Challenge...Vegan Suit in Las Vegas?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tims1973, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. tims1973

    tims1973 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am currently stepping up to a more mature fashion now in my life. I want to buy some suits and have money to spend since I'm a single middle aged bachelor.

    I am Vegan. I would like to find, if possible, an animal-free set of suits that are of nice quality. I am completely new to the world of men's suits and have never been a fashion-ister. So, this new adventure will include footwear.

    Whenever I venture into a new hobby or new interest, I always query internet forums surrounding the topic. Challenge issued. Whatever information you can give me on label names and stores in my area would be highly appreciated from those "in the know". I look forward to building a new wardrobe. I can afford up to 2k per suit, but would prefer 600-1200 range for most of the suits, with a few really 'nice' ones.

    I'm currently thinking of buying my first suit as a blue 3-button jacket suit with the capability of using a cravat as the tie on certain occasions. The 3-button will keep the under-shirt visibility profile "high" near the neck so as to look more suitable for a cravat, yet still be serviceable for a tie or bow-tie as desired.

    The other suits don't all have to be 3-button. So, fire away with your suggestions. Shoes recommendations are also welcome.
     


  2. Sam H

    Sam H Senior member

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    Veganism precludes silk and wool so you will be looking at linen and cotton for your suits and ties. I don't know about synthetic alternatives to wool but they are generally frowned upon as being not that good. Also, if you are concerned about veganism you probably don't want to support the synthetic industry either as I would imagine petroleum derived fabrics are also not great for the environment.

    I also am unsure of what kind of footwear you could get. In my personal opinion this all really depends on the formality required or desired by you but if you don't have a formality bar and simply want to wear tailored clothing, I would focus on buying natural products within the realm of what you are allowed to wear; linen or cotton suits, canvas shoes etc.

    On the flipside if you need to dress for business then as far as I know synthetic wool and silk and leather alternatives are going to be necessary as a standard business rig would be wool suit, calfskin shoes and silk tie (with cotton shirting). Unfortunately, I'm not sure many people here will know of good places to buy these things because generally the advice would be to avoid them as they are usually cheaply made and sarcastically compared to wearing garbage bags with regards to breathability.

    Anyway, in my opinion, go with the flow of your veganism rather than try and fight against it by purchasing crappy petroleum derived subpar alternatives to animal products. Look into linen suitings and casual non-silk ties. As for shoes, that gets complicated as most shoes are leather or leather alternative and wearing fabric shoes with tailored clothes is going to be a statement but I think that too could be pulled off if done correctly.

    As for Las Vegas I am unfamiliar with anything there specifically but you are lucky that the climate would lend itself to plant-derived summer suiting.

    EDIT: One other thing that makes this a bit complicated is that suits generally have canvasing in them and this canvasing is typically horsehair. A cheaper suit will have glued canvas and possibly the canvas is at that point synthetic (I'm not sure one way or the other) but that would be a symptom of a cheaper product. It almost sounds like, given your price range, if you were able to work with a tailor directly who can find non-horsehair canvases and vegan fabrics you would be in a good place. I know in NYC there are some people who will make suits for your price range. It is generally made to measure with multiple fittings and made on premise rather than true bespoke suiting (which would be much pricier), but many people like the results. If someone like this exists in Vegas or the west coast, that might be your best bet.

    EDIT2: Good suit buttons are generally horn or corozo. Horn is obviously off-limits but corozo is nut derived. Go with corozo rather than plastic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016


  3. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    This limits you because the alternatives are absolutely dire and an even vaguely acceptable suit has never been made for one. Throw away your idealism and live in the real world. No sheep has ever been killed for its wool - in fact it is a kindness to them to shear their wool and prevent them suffering in heat.
     


  4. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    No leather for shoes? No wool for suits? Life's already hard enough as it is.
     


  5. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I respect your vegan lifestyle, but I do not understand.
    why wool is an issue.
    horse hair that is used in canvas, would be be cut from a living horse the same way wool is harvested.

    horse hair might also be a by-product of slaughter. I am not sure.

    horn also could also be a by product of slaughter.
    If i remember correctly from conversations from my button source.
    Horn is harvested from dropped animal horns.

    Maybe you have a new potential business.
    suits for Vegans. not a huge market, but the customers would be loyal.

    you could use organic cotton for fabric and thread.
    Tencel and rayon are both derived from wood pulp.
    good luck in your search.
    avoid synthetics.if possible
     


  6. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Look at cotton suits.

    HTH.
     


  7. Johnsson

    Johnsson Senior member

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    Having an unstructured suit made up from heavier linen or cotton is a simple solution, but I've never heard of a decent maker using synthetics for footwear. That will present a larger problem at the more formal end of things.
     


  8. tims1973

    tims1973 New Member

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    What do you guys think of these offerings from these websites (Links I provide here range from pedestrian-dress to what seems to me to be high style on the links)?

    Suit offerings:
    https://www.bravegentleman.com/index.php/suits.html

    Frankly, there aren't too many "vegan" suit offerings that are going to cost a lot. Most are cottons/linens/polyester which most men's suit lovers frown upon, however I've found a local suit maker in Las Vegas named Gary Franzen who actually offers vegan options in fine suits, belts, shoes, ties and hats.....and promises to promises whole ensembles that will be high end even if they are vegan. His Yelp reviews are all spectacular ratings. I am really considering getting at least a couple of suits made by this guy, even if they cost me a couple of grand.


    Links to various animal-free shoes:
    www.mooshoes.com/mens-shoes.html#/page/1
    https://www.olsenhaus.com/collections/mens-1/products/time-traveler-black-size-13

    https://vegan-shoes-usa.com/men-s-vegan-shoes.html?shoetype=22

    http://mattandnat.com/shop/shoes/oxford/atwater-black

    https://www.bravegentleman.com/index.php/shoes.html

    http://www.noah-shop.com/

    http://www.novacas.com/mens.htm


    Remember, I'm just starting out in this fashion venture, so please don't sneer too much if something offends your style sensibilities. Just be honest and sincere.

    So, do any shoes in there seem to be "passable" as a stylish shoe that can go with a suit?


    Also please comment on belts from these sites:
    http://www.thevegancollection.com/belts?zenid=,9W04fYd5IDAs26IEFOHG1

    http://www.thevegetariansite.com/cg...+Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=S&Category_Code=belts

    https://vegan-shoes-usa.com/billfold-black-wallet.html

    Wallets from these:
    http://www.thevegancollection.com/wallets

    https://vegan-shoes-usa.com/billfold-black-wallet.html


    Please, in your response, please link up the items you think have real promise to go into a nice, quality outfit ensemble.

    For instance, am I out of my mind for thinking this shoe (even though its not 'gloss/shine' oriented) might make a statement with a tan-colored suit and cream color vegan belt for a summer men's professional office suit?

    http://www.noah-shop.com/monica-beige.html
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Suit
    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Fitzg...PI6_P6E1kg2lrUUR4BPi1MJSzj6QuR0JTXxoCuyLw_wcB
    [​IMG]



    Belt (perhaps not a precise shade match to the shoes but with more searching I bet I can find a really spot on color match for a vegan belt)
    http://www.veganchic.com/products/Mens-Casual-Belt-by-Ahimsa+68998-0032.html
    [​IMG]


    Hat:
    http://www.bluekangaroo.com/product...tyle-fedora-fashion-cap-hat-ivoryretailstinks
    [​IMG]



    ---------------

    I think that setup looks sort of South American and summer'esque. Definitely stylish and can be used for professional or upscale casual. This suit could look professional with a standard tie, or be a high-end casual with a cravat scarf. (Yeah, in my brief venture into "style" I ran across pictures/products of Ascot/Cravats, for both neck scarf and tie and I like the way they look a LOT.)

    If that's not what you guys have in mind as an example, then there are plenty of other options among my links you can find for faux-leather and faux silk/wool suits for a more "pro" look.

    So, please, have a look at my links and maybe do a little of your own google-fu and give me some more ideas (or better ideas) from your experienced style minds. I'm way too new at this to turn down any suggestions. Go nuts with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016


  9. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior member

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    The concern is the welfare of the animals whilst they are alive and not just the slaughter of an animal. I've no idea of the tracability of wool to be able to say without doubt that the sheep's who's wool was used to make the fabric were treated at the highest level of welfare

    I do agree with others, for summer suiting you've almost no problems. Winter suiting is going to be more challenging but if you live in Vegas then thats probably a non-problem.

    The challenge will be more the leather goods, the vegan I know thats into sartorial fashion still buys leather shoes as simply every other option he has tried may look fine initially but quickly look too heavily worn. His solution has been to buy a small amount of top quality leather goods, feel guilty and make them last a decade with good care.
     


  10. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    My wife is a vegan and very into fashion so I understand your predicament. Being familiar with Vegas I would challenge the notion that heavier winter fabrics are a non issue there. Sure, you might never need to wear tweed but in the colder parts of the year fabrics heavier than linen are certainly appreciated. Your best bet, IMO, is to find some vintage clothing made out of synthetic materials. Several decades ago polyester did not have the cheap connotations it does today and some very nice garments were made from it by Brooks Brothers and others. Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, synthetic materials are usually reserved for poorly constructed, inexpensive clothes these days. On the other hand, if you don't mind cheap you could just do what @The Noodles does and hop on over to Kohl's and get a 100% polyester Chap's suit for $100 and then spend $300 worth of tailoring on it.
     


  11. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Senior member

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    I respect your buying integrity. My wife is vegan, so I understand how difficult it can be to find suitable options to your taste that are well-made.

    WHAT ARE YOU DRESSING FOR? This has a huge impact on what we will suggest. If you want a lot of suits, and you are willing to spend 2k, I'm assuming you are dressing for a conservative business dress environment (I assume you're in a senior management role somewhere, where suits are the norm for meetings). Let us know if you are dressing more casually (business casual, etc).

    I have limited time to respond right now, but my thoughts are

    1) re Brave Gentle Man jackets - some of the fabrics look okay, but they might not breathe very well depending on the amount of polyester vs cotton. Generally the SF code is to run as far as you can from polyester. I had a suit with a poly blend once and it breathed like a garbage bag. I sweated all day - not professional. Cotton can be good, but may show marks from alterations more than wool, so anything needs to fit properly off the rack or only be taken in (as opposed to let out). Cotton is also casual. The cut of the Brave Gentle Man blazers is frankly not very appropriate for a business environment. Pretty feminine. Looks short, one-button closure is a little affected. Lapels are skimpy by styleforum standards. Shoulders are structured, which seems weird with short jacket. Pockets might be in the wrong place. A fine fashion piece, it that's what you're going for. But overall, I would avoid the jackets.

    Consider hemp fabrics for jacketing. Less common. Try searching the "unfunded liabilities" thread, and try cross-posting there asking for vegan fabrics. People say it breathes very well, if I remember correctly.

    2) re: fitzgerald suit - Is likely to have horsehair half-canvas inside the suit. The Fitzgerald cut is a little more structured than others, which helps formalize the linen (and also means it is more likely to be half-canvassed with horsehair. Overall, though, light linen is a very casual fabric. Unless you are in the southern US or a country near the equator, it might make you the most informally dressed person in the room. Also, buttons on the light linen might me mother-of-pearl, which comes from shells.

    3) shoes are very difficult. I have looked for myself before. No time to look at all that you've posted now, but you might need some trial-and-error on that front. My wife has Matt and Natt purses that have held up very well, but shoes take a worse beating than purses. The shoes you posted are quite casual.

    Since you have the funds, I think you should consider going to the tailor. Generally speaking, it takes a while for a tailor to fit you properly. The first few suits might not be great. But the more you buy from them, the better the suit should fit. Also, because you'll be wearing an unusual fabric, you increase the odds of people noticing an improper fit. Essentially, if you're going to wear linen/cotton/hemp while everyone else is wearing wool, it would have to fit very well in order for you to not be out of place in a bad way.

    Out of time now. Will try to post more later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016


  12. scatterbrain

    scatterbrain Senior member

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    @Caustic Man

    Jinx. You owe me a pop.
     


  13. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    Good point. I imagine any vintage polyester suits will be the same. This vegan thing is hard. I guess that's why I only do it part time.

    Only if it uses sugar that isn't made with fish bladders (which is surprisingly rare, I've come to find out). [​IMG]
     


  14. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior member

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    I'll admit not to being familiar with Vegas but Google claimed average winter temps are still in double figures (C) and so for most Scots that'd still be t-shirt and shorts weather so 12oz cotton/flax plus a light over jacket for early morning/night would be fine but I guess its what you're used to
     


  15. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    But he's not a Scot. I lived in Alaska for 5 years and after my first winter I would sweat while walking outside in 10 degree (c) weather. The body simply adapts. I've been in Vegas on 50 degree days and linen simply would not have cut it. I'm not saying you have to bundle up in a camelhair overcoat, but that chilly wind can certainly get you.
     


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