at what one consider bespoke suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dumadiscount, May 23, 2005.

  1. dumadiscount

    dumadiscount Well-Known Member

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    Being quite young and not having the greatest salary in the world. I am 25 and a first year lawyer. Although I could probably appreciate the quality and cut of a bespoke suit, I cannot envisage buying bespoke for at least another 5 years. Especially knowing that I am going to spill alcohol and what not on my current suits ļ I will stick to my cheaply made fused middle of the road designer rtw suits for now but I am wondering:

    At what age or approximate salary did you consider purchasing bespoke?

    edit: sorry about the topic title, should read "at what point should one..."
     
  2. FIHTies

    FIHTies Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Why would you contemplate bespoke before you could afford it or were comfortable owning and didnt care that something would spill on it?

    Doesnt your question contain the answer?
     
  3. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In my opinion, it's more about money and station than age.

    Some men live in one bedroom apartments and spend their disposable income on clothing. Others lead balanced lives and need much more income before they consider bespoke.

    Considering shoes, shirts and tailored clothing it's a $20,000 USD and up annual habit even if you're shopping carefully.

    That's five tailored garments, one pair of shoes and ten shirts in addition to neckties and other accouterments.
     
  4. dumadiscount

    dumadiscount Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] *retreats back to the streetwear forums*
     
  5. boston

    boston Senior member

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    Bespoke is OK when you can afford to spend $2000 on a single item of clothing and feel OK about it.

    Certainly was not 25 for me.

    -boston
     
  6. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

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    I purchased my first three bespoke suits my first year out of law school. Prices ranged from $1600 to $2000. That's affordable on the salary of a first year.
     
  7. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    You have to be comfortable with the purchase whether you spend $800 or $5,000 for a suit. There are millionaires who would never dream of buying a suit costing more than $400. An employee of mine never spent more than $200 for a suit. (He shops at Syms religiously and known there by name.) He is very comfortable and happy spending what he does on clothes, and he is always dressed in an appropriate manner.

    You do not have to spend $4,000. There are bespoke, semi-custom, and MTM choices which start at $800. Many of the participants of the fora tend to wax poetic about the tailors who charge $3,500 plus. You may find what you want in less expensive garment. BTW, some people have taken the expensive bespoke route and have returned to less expensive choices after some experience.

    Good luck.
     
  8. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    That depends on where you're working (big firm v small firm/govt/other), how much debt you have (six figures for many people I know) and your other commitments (including having a family). I've been able to be heedless, but I can guarantee you most first year lawyers -- or second, or fifth years, at least in my experience -- would not think of buying a 2,000 suit. Granted, that's a small fraction of the entry-level BMW many seem to buy, which they'll get rid of in three years while the suit goes on. However, and this isn't meant as criticism or attack, I do feel like a little bit of perspective is needed in this discussion.
     
  9. FIHTies

    FIHTies Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    (montecristo#4 @ May 23 2005,19:10) I purchased my first three bespoke suits my first year out of law school. Prices ranged from $1600 to $2000. That's affordable on the salary of a first year.
    That depends on where you're working (big firm v small firm/govt/other), how much debt you have (six figures for many people I know) and your other commitments (including having a family). I've been able to be heedless, but I can guarantee you most first year lawyers -- or second, or fifth years, at least in my experience -- would not think of buying a 2,000 suit. Granted, that's a small fraction of the entry-level BMW many seem to buy, which they'll get rid of in three years while the suit goes on. However, and this isn't meant as criticism or attack, I do feel like a little bit of perspective is needed in this discussion.
    "Lease" is the key word in the Beemer discussion.
     
  10. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    You, yourself, have to decide how important clothing is for you and your job. I'd suggest that it is much more important for an attorney than for many other professions.

    Without entering into the brand label contest, you do still want to be in the fit contest. Buying an illfitting quality brand at retail and making it fit through tailoring is not very wise - if it requires more than $150 - $200 to get it right.

    Many have been happy with WWChan and Hemranjani(sp?) and should put you in to something distinctive at less than $1,200. Which is also the range of the MTM Greenfeld program at Brooks. If you are NYC, there seem to be several MTM shops there at less than $1,000 for lesser fabrics.

    In the beginning, concentrate on fit. But, get one very good navy blue blazer. Much of the high cost clothing is because the buyer is determined to get a very, very, very particular style and and then fit. Nothing wrong with that, but a precise, particular style is not necessarily required for you to still stand out, because the others will not have any clue about fit. Just avoid the football shoulders and the puddled trousers.
     
  11. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    You can dress superbly without shelling out $20K a year. You might have to spend $15K to initially build the wardrobe, but unless it is a hobby (believe it or not, I like looking and trying on more than actually buying) once you hit a threshold (10 suits, 20 shirts, 50 ties, 7 or 8 pairs of shoes) it isn't necessary to continue to build your business wardrobe. It is more an exercise in gradual replacement. You could easily buy 10 superb OTR suits for $10,000 total (including tailoring), 20 MTM shirts from WW Chan for $1800, 50 first class ties bought on Ebay for $1500, and 8 pairs of CJ handgrades from Plal.com for $3200. That's $16,500, and that would be getting really superb stuff at nice prices, but not tremendous prices. That's really not that much money for a first year lawyer at a big firm. Now, knock that total number of suits from 10 to 8, and all of the sudden you can get possibly two true bespoke suits (depeding on where you live) instead of 4 OTR and spend the same amount of money.

    I would not recommend doing this, however, unless and until you appreciate the garment. Unless you are filthy rich, I don't believe you should purchase something just because it's the best. You should purchase it because you appreciate why it's the best. If you can't avoid spilling alcohol on yourself after work, then I think it is likely you wouldn't appreciate a bespoke suit as much as you probably should before you get one.

    So, my answer would be: No bespoke suits until you decide that a life spent spilling alcohol after work is not the one for you.
     
  12. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    The moral here is not against getting drunk all the time; it's simply in favor of not spilling any drinks on yourself.
     
  13. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    Being 25 and getting drunk all the time is perfectly acceptable - watch out for them beer goggles though [​IMG]
     
  14. dorian

    dorian Senior member

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    (Kent Wang @ May 23 2005,22:11) The moral here is not against getting drunk all the time; it's simply in favor of not spilling any drinks on yourself.
    Being 25 and getting drunk all the time is perfectly acceptable - watch out for them beer goggles though  [​IMG]
    Yep, beer goggles can get you more emotional and financial ache than spilling beer on your new, bespoke suit... "Alwaaaaays look on the briiiight side of life...." [​IMG]
     
  15. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    For me, never.  I'd rather put that money towards another nice watch.

    Not to sound like your dad, but unless you are a size for which off the rack is impractical, a bespoke suit should be far down on your list of spending priorities, behind (1) paying back student loans, (2) contributing to a 401(k), (3) saving for a down payment on a house, and (4) entertainment expenses.  Once you are okay with those, you can consider whether $2,000 is a reasonable expense for a suit.
     

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