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A Beginner's Guide to MC. Look here once before posting.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by pvrhye, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    I'm far from an expert, but I figured I'd dump a little of what I picked up here in an effort to stem the tide of similar questions from new members. -Anatomy of a Jacket The Quarters - The quarters are the part of the jacket below the button. It can be either spread or closed, but spread is, in my opinion, the much more appealing option. The Shoulders - Some prefer a padded, structured shoulder. Others prefer a padless or nearly padless natural shoulder. In either case, be certain your jacket's shoulders stop at, or just slightly beyond your natural shoulder. This is one of the most expensive things to alter in your jacket, so be sure you get it right. The Lapels - Lapels commonly come in three types: shawl, peak and notch. Shawl lapels look continuous and have no break between the collar and lapel (the gorge). They are used almost exclusively for dinner suits (tuxedos) and smoking jackets. Peak lapels appear to point to your shoulders. They are pretty versatile and can be found on all sorts of jackets. Notch lapels have a triangle shaped divot between the collar and the lapel. They are found on suits (lounge suits), blazers and sportcoats. Notch lapels are the most common type of lapel, and generally regarded as the most conservative. Notched lapel dinner suits, however, are an abomination. Your lapels should lie flatly across your chest. When purchasing a suit, look at the lapels. Are they hard-rolled (pressed into a crease), or soft-rolled (not pressed and allowed to gently curve)? Are the lapels padded (there should be a third layer), they should be. Are they abnormally wide or narrow? You may more may not like them either way, but be aware of it. The Gorge - The gorge is the part of the jacket where the lapels and the collar meet. A high gorge is generally considered the more contemporary option (as of 2011). The Sleeves - They shouldn't be overly baggy. Normally, I think they should stop where your hand starts when your arms are at your side. This allows you to show come cuff. When trying on a new suit, do not stick your arms out in the zombie-lunge motion. Everybody's sleeves would look short in that particular circumstance. Showing some shirt cuff is preferable. The Sleevehead - Commonly called the armhole, the sleevehead is where the body and the arm of the jacket meet. To accommodate more people, many ready to wear jackets have abnormally low armholes. Higher armhole that you can't park in a truck in result in a leaner, more flattering look. The Cuffs - 3 and 4 button cuffs are the most classic. Anything else moves into fashion forward territory. Most cuffs are vestigial, but some expensive jackets have "surgeon's cuffs" which are functional. Be aware though that surgeons cuffs are often impossible and always expensive to resize, so they are best left to custom suits (MTM and Bespoke). Buttons - 2 and 3 button suits are classic. Only button one button on two button suits. Only button the middle, or middle and top on three button suits. 1 and 4 button suits exist, but are generally considered pretty fashion forward. Nehru suits are loaded with buttons, but I don't know too much about them. There also exist 2 roll-1 suits and 3 roll-2 suits where one button is non-functional and is rolled with the lapel. I tend to believe that the button that use should be at or near the natural waist to facilitate movement, but different people have different ideas on where the buttons should be placed. The Waist - > . < You midsection will look something like my crude illustration here. The thin point is your natural waist (it's not at your hips). Classic men's clothing tends to wear trousers nearly up to the waist, but more contemporary trousers stop considerably lower (we call this part of the trousers the rise). The result is, traditionally, with the jacket fastened at the waist you won't see any shirt in the quarters. I personally don't wear my trousers that high without braces, but be aware of it. Your jacket should have a visible difference in width at the waist. We call this waist suppression and it creates a more flattering shape than the shapeless sack suit. Often this is achieved with darts, which look like little channels cut into the front of your jacket. The Collar - Should be snug to your neck. Good suits often have a special kind of cloth sewn under the collar (the name escapes me). Canvassing - Canvassing is what separates cheap suits from the good ones. It's a special layer under the shell of the suit that helps to give the suit it's shape. Cheap suits are essentially glued together (fused), while more expensive suits have progressively more canvas (just the lapels < just the chest < fully canvased). If you're curious, pinch at a button hole and see if you can feel 3 layers. first suit (A.K.A. what should I wear to an interview) Common consensus around the boards is that a navy or charcoal suit is the safest choice for a first suit. The dark colors can be easily dressed up for special occasions without the awkward entertainment/pseudo-eveningwear look of black. Look out for overly stylistic choices in the design. Unusual button stance or unusually proportioned lapels make a statement that you may not be wanting to make, and may put a shelf-life on your suit. A jacket should generally cover your butt. Trousers -Trousers can be made differently to accommodate braces or belts. Some have tabs or adjusters on the side instead. Be aware that formal trousers fit differently than jeans do. Cuffs are optional on trousers, but I prefer then since the weight they give to the legs helps to keep them straight. If your trousers bunch up at your feet, they're too long! They should break only slightly. Showing some sock when seated is normal. Pleats too are optional. They come in single, double, reverse and forward varieties. Pleats are generally made to accommodate thicker thighs/buttocks, but even with my oil-drum thighs, I find myself moving away from pleats these days. Trousers Links: Tutee's "On Pants" Shoes Generally, the more simple, the more formal. Black oxfords are the most common shoe for business. Pay attention to the shape of the shoe. Excessively pointy or square shoes (such as the infamous Aldos) should be avoided. Look for shoes that have leather soles. These are generally Goodyear or Blake/Rapid welted (the details of which are beyond the scope of this guide), and can be more easily maintained. Some rubber on the very bottom is preferred by some in bad climates. Lace-ups - Lace-ups are referred to in different ways based on certain key features. If the laces appear to be overlaid over the upper it's called a derby or blucher. If they're divided only by a seam, it's called a balmoral or oxford. The toes can be a plain continuous piece of leather (plaintoe), have a separate cap over them (captoes) or a different kind of cap that forms a sweeping W shape (wingtip). Decorative holes punched in the leather are call broguing. If the wingtip circles entirely around the shoe, it's called a longwing. Loafers/Slipons - You don't tie em. The metals part is called the bit if it includes one. These are generally seen as a more casual suit, and as such are rarely worn with a suit. Pumps - To the untrained eye, girl shoes. They're a classic formal shoe to be worn with a dinner suit. The man who can wear them confidently is classy indeed. Bucks - Suede and a bit chunky. There are the long time favorite of Seersucker-clad Kentucky Derby goers. Shoes Links: A Harris's "Shoes Explained" Forum Advice -Use the stickies! Notice the stickies at the top of the board. Ask a Question & Get an Answer is an excellent place to start on these boards. Certain kind of threads (like critique my fit) are outrageously common on these boards and can often be appended to similar threads. Common terms and abbreviations MTM - Made to Measure. Custom built from a pattern your your measurements. Bespoke - Ever see the guy in movies with the tailor walking around him pinning things in place on a partially finished suit? That's bespoke. RTW - Off-the-rack. Ready to wear. These are the suits hanging in stores. Ralph Lauren - RLPL (purple label) > RLBL (black label) > PRL (polo) > Chaps > Everything Else. Lauren by Ralph Lauren (often called green label) isn't Ralph Lauren at all. BB - Brooks Brothers. Look for 1818, BF (black fleece) and GF (gold fleece) with Brooks Brothers mentions. Those are all kinds of suits they sell. OCBD - Oxford cloth button down. A shirt made of oxford cloth with the collar button down to the chest. Measurement Terminology -
    Some Terminology: Inseam (I) = The inseam is the distance from the crotch to the leg opening Outseam (O) = The outseam is the entire length of the jeans...measured from the top of the waist...down the side- all the way down to the leg opening Front Rise (FR) = The front rise is the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband BackRise (BR) = The back rise is from the crotch seam to the top of waistband in the back Thigh (Th)= From the crotch seam to the edge of the leg A (Ankle) (cuff, leg opening)= Hips = Measure the hips is flat across the base of the zipper BoC: Bottom of Collar to end of jacket
     


  2. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    Nice primer.

    Mike
     


  3. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    More than enough to get someone started with something.
     


  4. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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  5. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    ^hey, 25,000!
     


  6. stu00a

    stu00a Senior member

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    Ralph Lauren - RLPL (purple label) > RLBL (black label) > PLRL (polo) > Chaps > Everything Else. Lauren by Ralph Lauren (often called green label) isn't Ralph Lauren at all.
    .


    PLRL???

    Polo Lauren Ralph Lauren????????? WAT??
     


  7. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    PLRL??? Polo Lauren Ralph Lauren????????? WAT??
    If you see any needed additions or corrections, I can edit it. Just explain clearly what to replace it with please. EDIT: Honored to be 25K
     


  8. stu00a

    stu00a Senior member

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    PRL -> Polo Ralph Lauren

    Please.
     


  9. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Senior member

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    OP: add some shoe info in there
     


  10. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    OP: add some shoe info in there
    Done. Shoes aren't really my specialty, but I got at least a little info in there.
    PRL -> Polo Ralph Lauren

    Please.

    and Done.
     


  11. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Andy Gilchrest's Encyclopedia of Mens Clothing, now in downloadable PDF.


    - B


    I can resist everything, except temptation

    - Oscar Wilde.


    ..
     


  12. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Boxercise Toughguy

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    Andy Gilchrest's Encyclopedia of Mens Clothing, now in downloadable PDF.


    - B


    ..
     


  13. AChekhovGun

    AChekhovGun Active Member

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    Fantastic thread. Well done. Kudos.


    Even as a beginner who's been lurking here for 2-3 months, I've seen about 20 different new threads for each topics covered above.

    One can only hope this thread cuts down on the repetition and consequently increases forum quality.
     


  14. mktitsworth

    mktitsworth Senior member

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    This is just the kind of primer info that Is necessary when we n00bs show up.

    Might I suggest also adding some info on ties. Perhaps also fabrics. The two not necessarilly together. Specifically perhaps different tie constructions (6, 7 fold, etc), knots (4 in hand, windsor, etc), exotic tie materials that may not have been seen (knit ties, cashmere, grenandine), I've seen a number of questions about bow ties since arriving. For fabrics, things like what &quot;super 1xx&quot; means, tweed, twill, all that stuff.

    Not that this is necessarily things you need to go into, but those are questions I've found myself searching for. For some of this, there are disparate links scattered about that could be useful, rather than rehasing it. Hell, a list of links - like David Hober's guides, A Tailored Suit guides, etc, would be good and (hopefully) keep some folks who are less inclined to look at the top right of their screens from starting new threads.
     


  15. Tano

    Tano Senior member

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    Some Terminology:
    Inseam (I) = The inseam is the distance from the crotch to the leg opening
    Outseam (O) = The outseam is the entire length of the jeans...measured from the top of the waist...down the side- all the way down to the leg opening
    Front Rise (FR) = The front rise is the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband
    BackRise (BR) = The back rise is from the crotch seam to the top of waistband in the back
    Thigh (Th)= From the crotch seam to the edge of the leg
    A (Ankle) (cuff, leg opening)=
    Hips = Measure the hips is flat across the base of the zipper
    BoC: Bottom of Collar to end of jacket
     


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