Am I just too small for an off-the-rack suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by oso101, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. oso101

    oso101 Member

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    I'm looking for my first basic mid-gray two-piece suit, but I'm afraid I might be too small for off-the rack. I'm 5'8" and 135 lbs with a 35-inch chest, which apparently is downright teeny in this day and age.

    I tried all of the following stores yesterday:

    J. Crew - 36S Ludlow was good in the chest but a bit too big in the shoulders. Also jacket length was a bit short, and the 36R a bit too long.
    SuitSupply - they go down to a 35R, but it actually seemed even bigger in the shoulders than J. Crew
    Hugo Boss - their slimmer-fitting 36S was even closer than the J. Crew but still a bit too big in the shoulders. Also, their best-fitting suit on me was $800, which with alterations would be more expensive than the cheapest bespoke suit from Mr. Ned.
    H&M - their 36S was far too big in the chest - the lapels sag way out away from my chest.
    Uniqlo's XS slim fit jackets fit great in the shoulders but are absurdly short on me.

    So, is there any suit out there - in NYC or online - that may fit me? I only wear a suit 3-4 times a year, so durable construction is not my top concern. Fit and budget is the priority. The backup option is a custom suit from Mr. Ned, which I understand starts at $850. This is really outside of my budget, but if it is really and truly my most affordable option for getting a suit that actually fits, I'll bite the bullet and shell out the cash. But I would love to avoid this if possible.

    Any suggestions? Also, suggestions for blazers that might fit would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    This may sound snarky - but I don't mean it to be.

    You might also consider weight lifting to build your shoulders and the rest of your body.

    Speaking from personal experience as a 5'-8" guy who struggled to bring his weight up to 135 pounds when he was in his twenties I can tell you that it can be done and you might be much happier with your body and your clothing.

    I doubt that you are going to find any suits with narrower shoulders than the makes you've mentioned - but if they are available RTW they are most likely to be found from makers who retail in Asia.
     
  3. lostron

    lostron Senior member

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    have you tried shopping in the kids section of brooks brothers or other retailers, otherwise, try custom tailoring.. I don't know the sizes too well for your frame but maybe you will find something there
     
  4. Publius

    Publius Active Member

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    I'm 5'8" and around 140 pounds, and I've had trouble finding suits with shoulders narrow enough for my frame. I have a couple slim Paul Smith London suits that are 16 1/2" across the shoulder that fit like a glove, although they are a few years old and I don't know what Paul Smith's current line is like.

    I've also had good luck with Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald fit suits and blazers in 36s. Their shoulders are around 17" across and the length is perfect for me. I want to try BB Milano fit (supposed to be slimmer than Fitz), but I've yet to find the right one in 36r or 36s. BB seems to never stock Milano fit in 36 anything.

    You mentioned J-Crew, and while I have one Ludlow suit, I had to drop a lot of money at my tailor before I was satisfied. I don't think it's cut as well as the BB suits for my small frame (lower armholes, wider sleeves, and the shoulders are a little wider: 17 1/2 - 17 3/4" across the shoulder). Good luck, and I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  5. Publius

    Publius Active Member

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    I don't suggest the kids section for suits and sports coats because, in my experience, they're not cut the same as an adult suit. Maybe I just had a bad experience.
     
  6. SirGrotius

    SirGrotius Senior member

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    I'm the same weight as you but a little bit shorter, so 36s usually does the trick.

    Burberry has a slim fit line that you can sometimes find on sale for $600. These are half canvassed and already cut short, so you don't have to worry about "short" size any more than having the tailor take up a tad if you'd like. Anyway, the main point is that the shoulders are fairly waif like. You can see what I mean on their website under Burberry London tailoring.
     
  7. wannabe

    wannabe Senior member

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    I'm 5'5 and 140-145 pounds.

    I've trolled eBay looking for stuff that fits me, and being short, it's hard to find. However, I've noticed that YSL 36 are usually cut to fit shoulders 16" or 17", and are quite long (29=30"). This sounds like it'd fit you perfectly.

    eBay is definitely a good bet for you.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Partito-Phi...A_MC_Suits&hash=item53eb1dca15#ht_6480wt_1012

    ^ might fit you perfectly. I'd buy it if I could shorten it 2.5 inches, but that'd probably mess the suit up too much. (I am in no way endorsing the seller, just posting it FYI).

    Kid's suits could also be an option, as they are for me. I've had good experience with Nautica, Calvin Klein, and Brooks Brothers, but I feel that these options might be a little too short for you. For example:

    Nautica Boy's 16 (16" shoulder, 27" length).
    Nautica Boy's 18: (17" shoulder, 27.5" length).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  8. hrb

    hrb Senior member

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    Club Monaco makes a 36s that may be right for you. i believe the shoulder comes in a round 16-16.5. Worth a check.
     
  9. oso101

    oso101 Member

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    Is this a specific suit of theirs that is narrower in the shoulders, or will all of their 36S suits fit like that? Seems worth checking out - thanks for the tip (and to everyone for all the advice).
     
  10. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    You might just have to bite the bullet and do some mtm.
     
  11. chet31

    chet31 Senior member

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    It will be difficult to find someting OTR. I am 6'0" 158 lbs,, have narrow shoulders. I am a 39, but usually go with 38 suits because of the shoulder thing. It's hard to find 38 suits, much less 36. I was in Neiman-Marcus - Chicago a few of weeks ago, they had a floor full of suits, not a single 38. The salesman told me to go to the NM in San Francisco, they have more small-sized suits there.
     
  12. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Check out Calvin Klein Collection. They make VERY slim 34R's and 36R's. I'm about to post a navy blue 34R in the B&S with a 19 inch chest p2p and 17.25-17.5 inch shoulders.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  13. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    Although I wouldn't advise this for most cases, you could buy the smallest size you can find and have it sized down by a tailor... a good tailor. It will be expensive to tailor (I've had it done for about $180), but it might be your only choice off the rack. Otherwise, there are some made to measure options depending on your price range.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  14. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Don't even look at it this way. Go the made to measure route. You will be spending at least 600 bucks for a Brooks Brothers Fitz, if you wait and scope out their sales (which don't happen often)oh, yea, and at 36, your options are more limited. MTM depending on the place can get you better selection of fabric and you ultimately end up being satisfied. I say this as another runt. :)D).
     
  15. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Senior member

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    Im 5'6" and 120 pounds, and I can't for the life of me find suit or sc's. H&M makes an elusive 34R which I have seen one time ever and have been to a million stores looking. Uniqlo makes things but the quality is always questionable, but I go for it if its on sale sometimes. I would be very interested.

    JRD—The suit obviously wont fit. 17.5 inches is huge if a 36s ludlow is too big, so that's out.

    MTM is an option but all of them require taking measurements, sending them to china, and praying. If I could get measured and get an mtm suit for under 500 and have it actually fit me, then I would be interested.

    OSO101- Suitsupply seemed great but yeah ,their 35 is absurdly big for something that size. I don't know where to look either.

    Basically this thread is making it clear that ZARA, HM, Uniqlo are not okay. Ebay has piles and piles of crap and hardly anything that's decent, and if it does the lapels are horribly outdated or the quality is terrible. Most people here can just find a suit that is cheap, often under 400 dollars, and that, most importantly, fits. We cant.
     

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