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Doomed with OTR suits?


Senior Member
Mar 23, 2009
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Posted before but new name.

As a college student, I recently purchased a suit for interviews and sorority formals. I was on a tight budget (<$200) and originally looked at SF approved Target's Premium Merona line, but long story short I was forced to buy an Alfani suit on sale from Macy's at the last minute.

The suit fits very well and needed little tailoring, but the shoulders are a tad too big although they were the slimmest I could find out of any of the suits at the mall. I wear a 38R but I guess my shoulders are not very broad. Am I doomed to never find the perfect shoulder OTR? I heard that it's next to impossible and very expensive to slim down shoulders. Will I just have to save up and buy MTM or bespoke? Are there any brands that you would recommend that sell suits without too much padding for a college budget?


Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Apr 21, 2005
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I'm your size, and the answer is no, you're not doomed. But you'll probably have to do some looking. It's a matter of trying on many different suits and seeing what works for your build. Once you've done that, if you're on a budget, you can then look for deals on those suits. For example, some of Ralph Lauren's Polo line might work for you, and those can often be found new for $400 or so. Corneliani works very well for me, and it can be had relatively inexpensively, with some digging. Yoox.com actually just sold some Cornelianis in our size for $500 or so. While not dirt cheap, it's much more affordable than MTM or bespoke.

On the cheaper end of the spectrum, H&Ms suits tend to run very slim. So the options are out there. Just don't give up.


Senior Member
Mar 23, 2009
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Yeah I've wanted to try H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, etc. but I don't have any around me. I'll look into them next time I'm near one.


Senior Member
Oct 14, 2008
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As you are a young man, college -aged;
the fact that you are trying at all should impress.

I give you TOP marks for even wearing a suit.

An inexpensive suit will look fine...with good looking YOU underneath.

It just won't look good for as long as one made of finer materials.

With care, you'll still get 3-5 years out of it, easily.
The nicer clothes will come later as you establish yourself & needs.

Other things are just as important as the suit,
so if you don't mind my mentioning some of them:

A nice clean shirt
Make the effort to iron it.
Do it the night before your important day.
Most important is to iron the collar FLAT out.
do not iron the collar folded.
A nice 'roll' on the collar as she folds over, is a crisp James Bond look

Iron the cuffs from the inside....this will make sense to you when you do it.
Iron the front of the shirt.
If in a rush, remember those pointers....Collar Cuffs & Front.
5 minutes after wearing it, the back will wrinkle anyway.

Polish those shoes!
Nothing looks worse than making the effort to suit up,
and have grungy shoes.
the 'distressed' look is not for an office interview...ever...period.
Wear only black shoes to an interview...the brown ones after you get the job.
Wear dark socks...play it safe, Charcoal Grey or black, which ever matches best.
When you are not wearing the shoes, or just after wearing, use shoe trees,
to maintain the shape & absorb foot moisture from the leather.

Get the job first...then you can grow a beard like Moses if you like.
Shave the night before.
Don't risk razor cuts on the morning of an important meeting.
Does a nice suit look good with tissue paper bits on your face?...ughh.

Manicure your fingernails
Your hands will be noticed.
Clip the nails not to close to the fingertips.
If you suffer from dry skin,
use some lotion on your hands before leaving home.
An emergency fix for 'cracked' looking skin on the fingers.....lip balm.

Brush your teeth...and carry some mints.
Remember, clothes are one thing..personal hygene is also imperative.
Leave that meeting with them buzzing about your good manners,
cleanliness, clothing, and most important..your skills.
Its a winning combination that will all matter when they decide who to hire.

It is sad how few young men (or men of any age for that matter) just don't try anymore,
or don't even know how to try.

You are making the effort!
and you will go far because your priorities are in the right place.

No one expects a 20-something-year-old to own an expensive suit.
But they will expect the effort to wear something appropriate,
and you are already doing that I think.

It is tempting, especially in a forum such as this,
to get caught up on high-end brand names & designer names.

But remember,
many of the members here are wealthy.
They can buy a pair of shoes at $400 and its like buying a candy bar to them.

But for a young man starting out,
or 98% of the rest of us, those designer & high-end clothes are un-reacheable.

The GREAT thing about this forum,
is that the experienced ones here, wealthy or not,
give so MANY GREAT TIPS on how to find good deals to make it possible to own the fabulous clothes at very inexpensive prices.

A lot of them even sell their own clothes here, at very generous low prices,
and we are all lucky to have them.

Sorry to type so much.
I am sure you already knew most of this,
but there are maybe some young newbies lurking & learning
who may also benefit by the information.

I wish you every success.


Distinguished Member
Nov 27, 2008
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^^ Your frequent use of the carry makes your posts read like zen poetry meets Ann Landers.

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