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Buying a suit and need advice

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bryan101, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    I am 5'9" 170lbs and somewhat top heavy. I wear 44R in Isaia, Belvest, etc.
    I actually have a 46 R suit that fits. When I was younger and ran 20-30 miles/week
    I was still a 42R.
    Have you tried Paul Stuart?
     
  2. Bryan101

    Bryan101 Member

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    Thank you everyone for the input. Being that it was a slow day at the office before the holiday break, I cut out early to check out some of the suggestions posted here.

    Paul Stuart:

    Walked into Paul Stuart and was directed into the Phineas Cole section. I explained to the helpful salesman what I was looking for, style & color wise, and that the Ermenegildo Zegna “cut” was my favorite thus far. He produced a 2 button 42R Phineas Cole suit as well as a 1 button Phineas Cole jacket so I could try on a different look. The 2 button was cut very similar to the Ermenegildo Zegna, in an almost identical color. The only obvious difference was the addition of a “train ticket” pocket. Not sure if this is too trendy of a look that will be out of style in a year or so.

    Overall the suit was a great fit in that was very close to Zegna. Oh, and at $1,000 less!

    Only thing I didn’t like was the claim that they only had 1 suit in stock in this size, style and color at any time. Once sold they had to “order” a new one, and it might not be available next week when…thanks to AMEX… I can make a purchase. I found this hard to swallow. It came off like a used car salesman pushing to get a car off the lot. But maybe I’m wrong and just don’t know how the suit biz works.


    Saks 5th Ave for Canali and others:

    Went into Saks and explained what I was looking for to the salesman in the Canali section. Not the greatest service… I wouldn’t say he had a “bad” attitude but he didn’t seem into helping me unless I prodded him with questions. Also the suit “sales” at Saks seemed more limited than what I had seen in other stores.

    He didn’t have a solid Navy Canali to show me in a “trim” cut. He only had a Navy or Black w/ pinstripes. As predicted here, the fit was fantastic, and priced far more competitively than the Zegna. However I have my heart set on a solid Navy suit, and the salesman stated he would have to “order it”, which would take 7 – 8 weeks to get in stock.

    He did have a slightly different Navy Canali suit with a more generous cut, along with pants that had a single pleat. He was pushing this suit, saying they could alter it to look like the trimmer cut as well as take the pleat out of the pants. I wasn’t in love with the idea of doing any tailoring beyond basic alterations, so I passed.


    He also showed me a few others:

    An Armani Collezioni suit which fit well, just not as well as Zegna, Paul Stuart or Canali. I also had to switch to a “Short”.

    Next was Ralph Lauren Black Label, which didn’t work at all. Fit was totally off, having to go up two sizes in the jacket as well as switch to a “Short”. Half my wardrobe is RL, so I was surprised the fit was so off.

    I walked into the Brioni and Isaia sections, but looking at the prices ( $3K to $5K) I didn’t even bother to try them on.

    Corneliani also fit well, but the jacket seemed to be 2 inches too long. It was a more traditional look.



    So as it stands now, I’m probably going to go with the Phineas Cole from Paul Stuart unless I can find a Canali in the right color and cut. I still think the Zegna looks best, but honestly it’s just too much money… and that’s before you factor in all the things that go along with it (new shirt, ties, shoes, belt, and sales tax)
     
  3. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    RLBL is a very fashion forward cut with a high roped shoulder and narrow chest... I could tell you that if you are the slightest bit barrel chested it wont work. also a single pleat is not necessarily a bad thing. I have some and they are just as slim as my flat front pants. Lastly a ticket pocket is on trend yes, but not trendy.
     
  4. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I'm surprised the Phineas Cole worked and not the RL Black Label.

    I would suggest you go to the RL Mansion and try on several of the Blue Label cuts.
     
  5. Saturdays

    Saturdays Senior member

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    He isn't lying. I've had the same thing happen to me. I tried a suit on and fit was nice and everything, but didn't have the color I was looking for. He gave me his card and said he would check and make an order. He called me about 1 hour later telling me he can order my color in and pick it up in a few days. But within an hour I blew my budget at RL, instead. I genuinely gave PS a try that time - hopefully I get a chance to try again, I really enjoyed their store and their suits but was too impatient to wait at the time being.

    I am very surprised a RLBL didn't work on you, usually you go up a size and it fits well - and switching to S seems odd as well if you don't regularly wear a S. But I can see how having a big/extruding chest may cause it to fit improperly.
     
  6. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    Munich, Germany
    

    Are you talking by any chance about this suit here or something similar: http://www.paulstuart.com/product_i...MainCatId=14&HEADERMENUID=1&SUBPRODCATID=2152

    If yes it would be a quite timeless design (a bit slimmed down from the standard PS cut, but nothing like the fashionable skinny stuff). And don't worry about a ticket pocket - They have been around a very long time and will be around in the future (they are a bit more popular now, but by no means a trendy feature). The one button, peak lapel jackets, on the other hand, are a rather extravagant choice which I would not make unless I already have all the basics covered. So, if this fit you well, I would strongly consider buying it - especially since Paul Stuart is of high quality.

    BTW: Generally, I had a positive experience with PS sales people and felt that they push the sale less aggressive than their colleagues at Saks, BB, and other stores. So probably there was really only one left.


    Take what Saks sales people tell you with a grain of salt. I always felt that they were trying to talk me into buying something no matter what. However, I am glad the trim Canali cut (this is their main European cut) worked for you. Maybe you should visit their own store at

    25 Broad Street
    New York, NY 10004
    Tel. +1 212 842 8700

    before making a decision. They might have a bigger selection than Saks. Oh, there is also a Canali section at Bloomingdales (at leasted there used to be one, but I think they carried mainly the more generous cuts)


    Regarding RL: You could also try the blue label stuff, but be warned that at least some of the blue label suits are only half canvassed (meaning there is some fusing or "gluing" involved in the manufacturing process), which is not optimal at a $1000+ price level. The purple label will be beyond your price range.

    I'd stay away from Armani (overpriced IMHO) and I guess Corneliani has been disqualified due to fit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  7. Bryan101

    Bryan101 Member

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    I think that may be it. I'm 100% sure the one in the store was not on sale, and the tagged price was about $1,500. However that one looks just like it.

    Zegna suit is not online. I found one that looks like it has the same overall look but it has a single pleat in the pants and is not solid Navy:

    http://store.zegna.com/item/store/ermenegildozegna/tskay/B4ADC6EB/cod10/49120191BK

    $2,500 was what it was retailing for everywhere I've looked.
     
  8. Bryan101

    Bryan101 Member

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  9. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    ^ Well the Phineas Cole suit in the store might be a different fabric from the one on the website. Anyway, it seems to be a good choice, but I'd still have a look at the Canali Store in Downtown!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  10. Suitstyler

    Suitstyler Active Member

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    Oct 28, 2011
    From my point of view as a Custom tailor why dont you send a picture of yourself, front side and back. You could go shopping and have a friend take pictures of an off the rack suit. This way I could see what fit issues you may have , if you care to look your best.
     
  11. Bryan101

    Bryan101 Member

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    I ended up getting a slightly larger bonus at work, and hey... the Zegna suit was calling my name. Went into the 5th Ave store today and bought it.

    There is a charity Gala at Manhattan Motorcars in a few weeks, and I will be there rocking the suit. Now I just have to buy shirt / tie / shoes to go along with it!

    Thanks everyone for their input. I think this helped me decide what I like / don't like. My next suit will be a Paul Stuart Phineas Cole.

    And I'll post pic's when I get it back from the Zegna tailor.
     
  12. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Stay away from Phineas Cole. It is faddish.
    Will look dated very soon.
     
  13. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    Might be true for the aggressive 1-button peak lapel suits. However,, they have a less aggressive cut with notch lapels which is not more faddish than a BB Fitzgerald.
     
  14. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    Congrats - enjoy it!
     

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