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First "nice" suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ranjeev, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Ranjeev

    Ranjeev Senior member

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    Hello gents,
    I am a first year law student and I need a new suit for interviews, meetings, that sort of thing. I own a few decent decent suits from Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew in Toronto but I'm looking at moving a bit more upscale. I do not have the budget nor the desire at this point to purchase a Kiton or Brioni suit but I was thinking that perhaps a navy Canali suit would be a good choice. It seems like no one on this board pays retail so where can I get a Canali, or similar quality suit, at a reasonable price? Do any of you have any experience with Woodbury Commons and suits there (Zegna for example)? I will also be in Europe for quite a bit of time in the summer so suggestions from across the pond would be helpful. I am a 42 long if it makes any difference. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bern

    bern Active Member

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    Jan 18, 2004
    Ranjeev,

    I would recommend going bespoke.. In my opinion, the criterias to look for in a suit other than the silhouette are (in order of importance): the fit, the fabric, and then the construction details. A bespoke suit will most probably fit you much better than any off-the-rack that you can buy, and you'll be able to choose the fabric that you prefer from a wide selection. Personally, I haven't found any ready-made suit that were even close to being as good fit as my tailor-made ones. Here is what I mean by a good fit:

    (i) the collar shouldn't buckle at the back of the neck,

    (ii) the collar should fit around the neck in such a way that your standard-spread shirt collar points remain  visible and are not covered with the jacket collar,

    (iii) the fabric should not buckle on the upper torso,

    (iv) the jacket sleeves should lie very close to the shoulder to avoid vertical "lines" from appearing on the sleeves, while preventing your shoulder from bulging out,

    (v) the length of the jacket should be such that it barely covers your buttocks at the back,

    (vi) if you prefer padded shoulders, then the shoulder top should form a perfectly straight line, independently of the angle of observation,

    (vii) no wrinkling should be present in the fabric around the waist,

    (viii) the end diameter of the jacket sleeves should be just big enough to let your shirt cuffs move freely,

    (ix) no horizontal wrinkles should appear on the front of the jacket when closing the buttons,

    (x) in my opinion, it's important that the jacket fits closely around the hips and buttocks, or the silhouette is distorted from either the side or the front,

    (xi) the jacket should fit closely around the waist as well, as this results in a closer fit on the torso,

    (xii) the pants need to be cut according to the length of your legs, crotch size, waist size, and hip dimensions.

    My best off-the-rack suit only satisfies three requirements: shoulder size, jacket length, and waist size. All the rest is off to some degree, resulting in a bad-fitting collar, a distorted silhouette due to too much tolerance around the hips, some bulges and wrinkles around the waist, on the shoulder padding, and on the torso.

    While tailor-made suits can be very expensive to obtain (typically upwards of 2000$US), it seems to be also possible to get one made for about the same price as a "good ready-made suit" would cost you. Since you are mentioning a trip to Europe, you might like to visit Napoli. Someone on the askandy forum (Spalla (sp.?) I believe) mentioned a few days ago that tailors in the Spanish neighbourhood of Napoli were affordable and good. Apparently, there are some tailors there who can make you a bespoke suit for around 800 euros, as long as you pay cash. Unfortunately, I cannot post a link to the thread at this time as askandy seems to be down again..

    bern
     
  3. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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  4. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Bern makes some good observations on fit. There was a good thread on interview suits at Ask Andy's forums, but that seems to be down [​IMG] Instead I'll simply repeat whatever I can remember: - Get a suit that's either charcoal grey or navy blue. I guess pinstripes are seen as too aggressive for someone coming into an interview. - Go for a conservative cut. Lapel gorge height (that's where the notches are) should line up with the edge of the shoulder; shouldn't be too high or low. Two-button probably, although here in Asia the three-button is much more accepted. Feel free to pick and choose the other details like trouser pleats, cuffs/no cuffs, jacket vents (if any), etc. It's all up to personal taste and your physique. Canali makes some good suits, and I've heard that Corneliani offers some of the best value (not the Trend label, though, so stay away from that one.)
     
  5. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    Hmm - this is a peaked lapel suit - not the most versatile of them although I would jump on it myself, if I had the money or ability to fit into a 42. B
     
  6. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    This is great info to have.
     
  7. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    Ranjeev, Holt's and Rosen are both having sales on now and you could most likely pick up some good deals there on their upscale RTW goods. They are also having a MTM sale with a pretty good selection of fabrics to choose from. In addition, while I have never been there, I understand that Korry's has some excellent deals on now, again in RTW or MTM.
    However, since you are going to Eurpoe, suggest that you wait and follow the advice of Bern (and others before him) and get a suit made there. IMO, it may be your best bet.
     
  8. Ranjeev

    Ranjeev Senior member

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    Thanks for all the replies gents. Bern, that is excellent info. to have, I appreciate the time that you took to type it all out. Classic, thanks for the heads up about Harry Rosen and Holt's, I'll be coming back up from Queen's Friday and I will make sure to drop in. I like the fabric of the Zegna suit but I think for interviews with a law firm I would probably feel safer going with a single breasted suit navy suit.
     
  9. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Classic, Korry's at Greek town, is that the store you're referring to? What's the best quality suit that they carry, btw? I've been there but I didn't really look much, the salespersons who I met with the exception of one gent were rather snob. Ranjeev, for discount retailers you might also want to check Tom's Place (www.toms-place.com) at Kensington market, or Le Firme (www.lefirme.com), which have 3 locations, the best selection is at Richmond Hill and the smallest store is the Jane & Bloor one. The best that Tom's carry is Corneliani, about CAD $1000 - $1200 tag price, but bargaining is pretty much the rule rather than the exception there. Tom's currently have a sale right now, but I heard the best time to buy is during their warehouse sale. FYI their salespersons don't work on commission (so I'm told by this friendly, knowledgeable staff whom I talked to). Le Firme carries a few Brioni but the prices run about CAD $2500 so I guess it's not really great value. You might want to check their private label suits, 3/4 canvassed and have unfinished sleeves so you can have working sleeve buttons. Retail prices run at about CAD $600 if I remember correctly and at that price I don't think it comes with much handworks. From what I interpreted, their business model is something like this: go to Italy a few times in a year and gather excess inventories from various manufacturers or dealers, making private labels from overrun productions, etc. They just had a clearance sale two weeks ago so I'm not sure what good stuffs are left, although when I was there during the sale I didn't buy anything because it was not discounted enough for me for me. Also many the stuffs there are designer labels, as opposed to classic tailoring labels, another reason I didn't see something interesting at the right price. For suits they definitely carry some decent selection  - Alexander McQueen (1/2 canvassed), regular Zegna, Canali, a few Brioni, and some others - and also some private label 7-fold (Kiton style) ties @ CAD $125, but I think Chuck's ties are better for the money. If you bumped into one of the owners, John DeLaurentiis, you might want to have a little chat with him about your needs. Quite a friendly guy and from what I'm told he used to work in a senior position at Harry Rosen before going on his own. But if you're visiting Europe, finding a great tailor there as suggested would be the best option. And if you're in NYC, why not visit that Barney's warehouse sale as mentioned in the forum. Toronto's clothing scene is really dry compared to NYC.
     
  10. Ranjeev

    Ranjeev Senior member

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    Hey FCS, I've been to the wearhouse sale that Tom's has and I was less than impressed. A few decent Armani suits but nothing really nice. Could just be my picky nature. I did get my dad a nice Calvin Klein suit from there a couple of years a go for about $100. From what I remember of Korry's, they carry Hugo Boss, Strellson (not sure about that one) and Canali as well. Can't remember the prices though. How are the Alexander McQueen suits? I saw a nice one on the web but was a bit leary because I've never seen one in person.
     
  11. bern

    bern Active Member

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    In continuation of my previous post, here is the link to a thread on askandy about bespoke and high-end ready-made suits. http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/F...?TOPIC_ID=1295 On the second page, the post by Spalla sheds some information on bespoke tailors in Napoli. bern
     
  12. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    Strellson is from Switzerland, if I remember JoeG's words correctly. The styling is a peg below Boss but I suspect that quality is similar. I have some items from them and they have generally held up well.

    B
     
  13. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    FCS, the only Korry's I know is in Greek town in Toronto. As I said, I have never been there, but I have heard that they carry a good selection at reasonable prices. I plan on going there soon and will let you know how it turns out.
    I have been to Tom's Place and if you know what you are looking for, and like to bargain, you could do alright. Personally, I have not found his warehouse sales to be beneficial, but that could be because, I have not found anything I wanted to buy.
    Likewise at Le Firme where I found the prices to be more than I was prepared to pay for what I was seeing. But that could be just for that particular location.
    Ranjeev, not that I am pushing Rosen, but I was there the other night and was looking at a MTM suit. They had a wide selection of quality fabrics for under a $1,000(CDN). I was most impressed with the service, and will most likely go back to order. This might be an option if you cannot wait till you go to Europe.
     
  14. MPS

    MPS Senior member

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    Bern,

    I like the list you've given, however I'd also add that on a bespoke suit the pitch of the sleeve will be spot on. This is rarely the case with MTM or RTW.
     
  15. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Classic, the current MTM promotion is done by Coppley and they are fused garments, not really worth it in my opinion. I was advised by a salesperson to wait for Samuelsohn trunk sale in March if I were to make a canvassed MTM.

    Ranjeev, I didn't really examine the Alexander McQueen suit but it looks quite decent, although it's more of a designer label so there is some extra premium based on that. Though if you're looking into Canali quality and higher, I don't think it would fit the bill.

    On a side note, have any of you ever heard about this tailor Franco (Frank) Benni?
     
  16. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Also, you could get MTM suits by same manufacturers for slightly better price than Harry Rosen at Rego at the Exchange Tower. Cambridge (a division of Coppley, fused though), Samuelsohn, and Brioni.
     
  17. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    FCS, which store did you attend. I specifically asked about fused and was told that what I was looking at was not fused.
    I was however told that there would indeed be a much better selection for the trunk sale.
     
  18. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Classic, the store that I visited was the one in Fairview Mall. The staff showed me a sample of the garment and that particular one was fused. It was also the same staff who suggested me to get Samuelsohn on the trunk sale. Earlier I also spoke to another staff at Bloor West and he told me that Coppley garments are fused and if customers requested fully canvassed MTM suits they would have to send it to Samuelsohn. The gentleman whom I spoke to at Bloor West is Simon Obadia (416 - 972 0556), a Morrocan Jew with French accent, and after a rather lengthy conversation I found him to be helpful and personable.
     
  19. Classic

    Classic Senior member

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    Thanks for the information FCS.
    Based on this will certainly double check. Also, since I will be in Toronto next week, will hopefully find time to visit the main store.
    Thanks again.
     
  20. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    just to add on strellson, it is pretty well equal in quality and style to hugo boss

    strellson was started in switzerland by uwe and jochen holy, the grandsons of hugo boss, after they sold all their stake in hugo boss ag

    i believe they also continue to run their original store, holy's, in stuttgart as well
     

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