Another first suit question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by amathew, May 31, 2012.

  1. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    So I know there are a TON of first suit threads on here, but I had a question about how to proceed. I am in the market for a navy suit and was contemplating where to purchase it. My options are either to start with ONE high dollar/high quality suit like Oxxford suit or go with TWO Brooks Brothers 1818 suits (one in navy and one in gray).

    I am 26 and recently finished grad school and work as a statistician. I never wear suits to work and am in a very casual work environment. I get away with a dress shirt and trousers, and that is considered overdressed (my coworkers like to make fun of me for "dressing up"). So the suit would be for special occasions and I might throw it one here and there on weekends when I feel like wearing it. I plan on leaving this job in about a year, but I still probably would be in a similar casual environment at a tech company.

    Given this situation, what would you suggest:

    1. start with ONE high dollar/high quality suit like Oxxford suit
    2. go with TWO Brooks Brothers 1818 suits (one in navy and one in gray).


    Thanks,


    PS: My budget is around $900 - $1200
     


  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    If you don't need to regularly wear one, and won't be wearing it more than once every week or two, I'd start with one nicer suit rather than two more mediocre ones. That said, when comparing RTW BB 1818 to RTW Oxxford, I'd be much more concerned with fit than quality. There is no question that the Oxxford will be better made (by a wide margin, nonetheless), but who cares if it doesn't fit as well?
     


  3. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    I'd really love to wear suits more frequently, but because what I wear is allready considered "overdressed," I don't want to rock the boat any more. But I would definitely see myself wearing a suit 1 to 2 times a week to evening events, church, saturday (just for fun), etc.

    I just emailed a local suit store here in Denver about the following brands. I know they sell Samuelsohn suits, albeit it starts at $1,100, which seems a little overprices.


    - Kiton
    - Belvest (I'd be REALLY interested in a Belvest suit. Good quality and modern fit.)

    - Oxxford
    - Thom Browne
    - Corneliani
    - Paul Smith Mainline
    - Canali
    - K by Canali
    - Faconnable Tailleur
     


  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I think you are generally looking at things beyond your price point. At regular prices, Oxxford starts at $3-4k and Kiton at $5-6k. If anything, my estimates are low, since I haven't looked in five or six years.

    I'd focus more on $1,000 suits and set aside a few hundred dollars for alterations.

    If I were you, I'd pick a navy suit in a midweight cloth (11-13oz.). I generally find navy more versatile than grey, and you can wear the jacket alone as a blazer when you want to be more casual.
     


  5. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    Yeah, the SA at the suit store emailed me back and told me everything was $3,000 to $5,000. Maybe one day I'll have a Kiton suit, but for a first suit I guess I should do something more reasonable.
     


  6. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    For around $1000, you should be able to get a Made-To-Measure suit. You should check to see if there are any places in Denver that do this.
     


  7. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    I guess I do have a couple other options:

    - go to off saks 5th and look for a suit (not sure what brands to look for)

    -. buy the Samuelsohn suit that apparently starts at $1,100
     


  8. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    If you are not going to wear a suit regularly or for business occasions I would suggest one versatile suit (navy is a fine color but you could also go for a medium gray) and spend the rest of your money on some good quality shirts. If you end up wearing your suit once every couple of months I don't think anyone will notice if you only have one, until you can afford to get another one. But a collection of decent quality, well fitting, shirts will ensure that your suit is "suitable" for a variety of occasions.
     


  9. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    Thanks.

    Dress shirt is another thing I need to start getting. I've been updating my wardrobe over the past 6 months and have amassed about 14 or so dress shirts, with most being Brooks Brothers ESF or Charles Tyrwhitt. They're both good for the price point (BB is good at sale price), but perhaps I should look more 2 or 3 better quality dress shirts also.


    PS: \[​IMG] Thumbs up for Dubai. Visited there for a few weeks last year and it was great (plus, the gold malls...*drooling*). I sent a few resumes to American corporations that had offices there, but unfortunately didn't get any call backs.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012


  10. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    Yeah, but it doesn't have to be cost prohibitive. I like the finer fabrics and superior workmanship of a fine shirt as much as anyone. However there are some brands out there that just fit me right and for a much lower cost than something bespoke. That having been said, a collection of bespoke shirts is something that every adult male ought to acquire over time. It doesn't have to be done overnight unless you suddenly become the mega jackpot winner or something.
     


  11. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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  12. jamesny

    jamesny Senior member

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    I'd rather have a couple of well-constructed, great fitting suits than a bunch of ill fitting ones.
     


  13. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Senior member

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    Some permutation of this question comes up every so often (or very often depending on who you ask). My answer to this question is usually the same, you have two options (in my opinion) in front of you. At a budget of $900-1200, you can EASILY procure two well-made (100-120s wool, full canvass construction, etc.) OTR (off the rack) suits if you have the patience and diligence to do so. You could also get a very nice MTM suit for around that price. Which one you want depends on you. If you have a relatively easy to fit body type, then MTM does not grant you as much of a benefit. It is also important to note that a good tailor can really do wonders with an OTR suit. If you go the OTR route, you can get top-tier brands with excellent craftsmanship (i.e. Oxxford), but your fit will suffer some. If you go MTM, you will still get a nice, very serviceable suit, but you will be paying more per suit for the benefit of a better fit. Now, a word of caution, I can not tell you how many people have gone "MTM" and uploaded photos about their "first fit" and received less than favorable reviews. MTM is really an already existing pattern that has been altered to fit your body better. In most ways, a tailor can do the same thing given adequate material. If you can find an OTR suit that fits you well in the shoulders and chest, there is not much else the tailor cannot fix. That said, the place MTM really shines is in regards to arm holes, in that they can be cut exactly where you need them to be. A higher armhole suit will be more comfortable and allow you to be more "mobile". You can also look for OTR suits that have a higher armhole, such as the Zegna Milano or BB fitzgerald.

    Should you choose MTM:

    As this is your "first real suit", I recommend using an in-person tailor versus an online one. If you attend a trunk show, you can get a Samuelsohn MTM suit for around $1000-1200 in a decent fabric. You can pick whichever intricacies you want. I recommend sticking with a 2-button, notch label suit, with either flat front or pleats depending on your body type. Navy, Grey, or Charcoal solid colors are all great. Try and select a super 100-120's wool.

    Should you choose OTR:

    First, measure yourself. Shoulders, chest, sleeves, and total length are the key ones. This may seem kind of awkward, but you only have to do it once. Use these and go to a department store that sells suits and bring a measuring tape. Find the ballpark size (such as 40R, 42L, etc.) that fits you best and measure it. Shoulders, chest, sleeves, and total length are again what you want. The reason I suggest this is that not every brand cuts their suits the same. For example, I can wear a 42L/44L or XL depending on which brand the suit is. Some run fuller in the chest (Oxxford) and some run shorter (Isaia, Canali) as a general rule. Go on Ebay and look at the following brands: Isaia, Kiton, Brioni, Oxxford, Paul Stuart, Samuelsohn, Zegna, Hickey Freeman, Canali, Pal Zileri, Corneliani, Caruso to name some. You can find more by searching these forums. You can buy new or used (just remember to dry clean), whichever you prefer, but the prices I believe you will find are much better. Sometimes similar prices can be found on big sale days at places like Saks. Have patience and buy two suits you like and take them to a tailor. Do not be afraid to ask sellers questions such as, how much material is available to lengthen sleeves, etc. Now, sellers will most often not know terms like "full canvas" or "soft shoulder", but they can always look at the tag and tell you the model of the suit. For example, Oxxford "Gibbons". Once you know the model of the suit, search the forums and the interwebs and you can almost always find everything you might want to know about the suit.

    I personally got myself a nearly perfectly tailored Oxxford suit this way for ~400 including all tailoring. My only complaint with it is that the arm holes could be a little higher.

    Choose whichever you like and best of luck.
     


  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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  15. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    Thanks for the links.

    I went to Off Saks 5th and they had nothing but their house label and a bunch of Calvin Clein and Hugo Boss suits, so I just walked away with nothing.

    I was thinking about the following. If I can buy it during the upcoming BB semi annual sale, plus use my corporate member discount, I could get it for almost 50% off.

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCat...y=newArrivals&sectioncolor=&sectionsize=#null
     


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