First Serious Suit / Sizing and Fit

Discussion in 'Menswear Advice' started by NateH777, Feb 29, 2016.

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  1. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Hi, I am looking to kind of buy my first serious suit. I've had a couple before but they were primarily just quickly sized up by a Macy's department store type employee. I'm hoping to find someone who has more knowledge on body proportions, better knowledge on sizing details and what to look for etc.

    I don't have a large budget to actually purchase a custom suit, but do want to get accurately sized and given some pointers on what to look for when I look around. I am in MN and know of some higher-end suit places like Hubert White, Heime's, and Top Shelf. Is it frowned upon to go in just to get fitted, sized, and given some knowledge without actually buying a suit from the retailer?
     
  2. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Okay so I stopped by a couple places just to get a sense of sizing/fit. Stopped at Hugo Boss and tried a 36R that seemed to work:

    The last two are just a stop at Nordstrom Rack to compare sizing. The 4th photo is a 36R in Theory and the last is a 38R in Theory. The 36R in Theory felt really tight in the shoulders and chest but then again I'm not used to wearing suits. The 38R felt better but then the waist seemed large.

    I guess my overall questions would be in regards to if the sizing itself seems right to people and then what can/should be altered by a tailor? For me definitely the sleeves need to be hemmed as they're too long in all of them. Thanks in advance for the help and patience with a rookie.

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  3. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Went to the Armani Outlet and pulled out a 38:

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    So, in general, do the Armani and Hugo Boss ones fit appropriately? Inasmuch as a suit does before being taken to a tailor? Also, is there just a general "knowledge base" that people have in regards to brands and fit? I find it strange that a 36R works best in one brand while a 38R seems to be best in the Armani. This is a bit of a pain in the rear when it comes to buying a suit online, as I really don't know what size to look at.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  4. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    I've looked at Corneliani, Hickey Freeman, and Jil Sander suits online and was wondering if anyone would know what size would be the right one (as in how they fit compared with the Boss and Armani)?
     
  5. breakaway01

    breakaway01 Senior member

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    I would not recommend buying a suit online. As you have already found out, different brands can have very different measurements and fits for the same tagged size. Even the same maker may have different lines (e.g. mainline Corneliani vs Corneliani CC vs Corneliani ID; even within mainline there may be different models e.g. Leader). So just knowing that it's a "Corneliani" may not be enough to know whether you would fit in their 36R or 38R.

    Ideally, only buy suits online if you are familiar with the maker and the specific line and model. If not, then at a very minimum you should find out the jacket and trouser measurements, but this only gets you into the ballpark and you need to know the measurements of jackets/trousers that fit you well.

    From your photos, the Hugo Boss 36R fits you better than the Armani. There is a little bit of shoulder divoting and there is something going on in the upper back--not sure if it's due to square shoulders or because the jacket is slightly small in the back for your shoulder blades. The Armani is too short and the buttoning point too high for my taste. Finally I'd recommend a navy or medium grey suit as your first suit; definitely not black if you live in the US. By the way, please tuck your shirt in when trying on jackets.

    I'd also suggest going to Brooks Brothers. Their sales associates are generally better than department store SAs in terms of evaluating fit, and they have several models for you to try.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  6. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Cool, thanks for the pointers, the advice really helps. Yeah, I felt the Boss just fit better, although I know that the brand isn't highly thought of on the board.
     
  7. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Neither is Armani.
    The Brooks Bros suggestion is worth trying ,but don't expect fitting geniuses either,
    if the San Francsco store is representative. Check out the Milano model. It is the slimmest
    fitting BB suit
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  8. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Yeah, I just saw the Milano which got me interested. I hadn't considered BB, as I kind of thought of them as more of a "traditional American" type of fit.
     
  9. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    This may be a basic kind of question but where should the first button start on a body? Is it a personal preference kind of thing? I have a long torso and short legs to sometimes jackets fit a little funny. Here's another Theory suit (made in China I think):

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    My jeans that I have are rather low (on my hips), just a heads up. The jacket seemed to fit well but is the button a little high? Something looks a little off. Another noob question but quality wise...any other suggestions that have a modern fit? The total suit totaled $360 and I think (at least the pants) are like 40% polyester. I know at this price point there's not a lot of options, focused on quality, but wondering if people had other places that they'd look if they needed a suit sooner rather than later.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. Simone1

    Simone1 Well-Known Member

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    First of all: Congratulations on making your decision to get a proper suit! A proper suit is something that can last you for many years to come, but also will look tremendous on you, anytime you choose to jump into it!

    I am not too familiar with many of the American brands that the department stores cover, including Brook Brothers, Suitsupply etc - But I work with Hugo Boss as a suit specialist.

    Hugo Boss gets some hate on the board, and I never try to argue about anything - Because obviously, I don't like everything about the brand either! But let me emphasize something for you:

    Boss Menswear is present in two market segments: Premium and luxury. Three levels of workmanship are offered: Fused, semi canvas & full canvas.

    If you purchase the suits from the tailored line, they are gonna be partially canvassed - if you purchase MTM, they will have surgeon cuffs and will be fully canvassed if you wish so. Most of this is hand stitched, and it consists of 180 pieces, made of beautiful lightweight fabrics and have natural stretch of camel and horsehair interlining!

    We used to have a brand which was very expensive(Baldessarini), but it wasn't successful - simply because it just didn't sell a lot. In that price range, people opted for Savile Row bespoke suits or the Italian equivalents..

    I think one of the reasons that Hugo Boss often is looked bad upon at this site, is because of the price in US - it's quite a bit more expensive than here in Europe, so that's why the value might not be that high for the customers in the US, as you can probably get something better for a lower price (Because it's American brands, or made in USA/Mexico etc, and bunch of different taxes etc gets avoided).

    I know for a fact that partially canvassed suits from Boss in US, can start at ~1600 dollars, where in Europe we would be able to purchase it for ~1000.


    I am very rarely able to offer a suit which is perfect to a customer off-the-rack, without doing any alterations.
    There is folding at your neck area, which could indicate a few different things such as high shoulders. The folding can be altered.
    Some people experience horizontal crease below the back of the collar on all suits, and simply they just need to have some cloth taken up under the collar, you may be one of them.

    The specialist at your location should be able to point out the things that you need altered, and if they are trained, they are also able to pin everything.

    Kindest Regards
     
  11. Simone1

    Simone1 Well-Known Member

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    The classic style button stance should be slightly below the natural waist - however in the current fashion the button stance is higher than the classic style, which can lead to exposure of the beltline and the bottom of your dress shirt.

    Usually on the fashion forward suits: While the button is placed higher, the jacket is also somewhat shorter than the classic style.

    In the end it really comes down to proportions.. But also your build as a man, and what you wish to express. "Fashion fades, style is eternal" ;)
     
  12. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Hi, thanks for all the info and input, it helps. Part of my confusion to the process is just learning the terminology and what people are referring to, specifically. When you say "high shoulders", do you mean the jacket has a higher shoulder than my shoulders do? Or are my own shoulders too high for the suit?

    Thanks.

    Nate
     
  13. Simone1

    Simone1 Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of terminology, and I am trying to be as understandable as I can be. English is my fourth language, so sometimes I have difficulties making my points :)

    It's often the result of buying a jacket with a sleeve pitch that is the opposite of a person’s natural posture. That is–if you have the posture of a military soldier and buy a jacket that is designed for slightly slouched shoulders, then when you sit down, the fabric behind your neck may bunch up and stick out. To test out this phenomenon, pull your shoulders backwards and notice how excess fabric gathers on you back.

    On the other side, if you have naturally sloped shoulders and buy a jacket made for a very upright posture, then the same back bunching phenomenon could occur when you sit down. To understand this result, slouch your shoulders forward, while pulling the fabric on your shoulder backwards.

    As I said you have high shoulders, so you may need to shorten the collar and possibly lower it - this a tailor can do for you. But you can also find suits with different positions of armholes and different shoulders (Soft, much padded etc) - It also depends a lot on fabric.

    Have you tried suits by the Hugo label? They are often a bit more fashion forward, thus more slim silhuette, higher armholes etc.

    If I were you, I'd take any time in the world to try different styles... It's difficult for me to judge your body type on these photos, but different tailor styles works for different builds. I personally really love the italian styling. I personally have big shoulders, so I really like the neopolitan tailoring house style, where usually there's no extra height or breadth to the shoulder, making them appear smaller and rounded. This way, it doesnt add more to my shoulders than what I already have. These also have a much more casual expression tbh ;)
    The armani suit you tried on is too big for you. I always tell my customers, that I follow the rules of "As loose as necessary, as tight as possible".

    Hugo (red label Hugo Boss) have higher armholes, Burberry have some wonderful suits aswell with the same style. I also believe the "Brook Brothers" Milano cut have it! Go to stores and try them out, do whatever to gain information of your salespeople. Some of them are very knowledgable, and some of them have absolutely no clue!


    Edit: Btw, there are many people on this board, with a lot more knowledge than me, and also experience (wearing suits, getting suits bespoked, and selling/creating suits professionally) but I am very passionate about suits, and I really try to do this to help out with what I can do, until I simply don't have enough expertise :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  14. NateH777

    NateH777 Active Member

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    Thank you, you've been helpful. You're English is really good, especially for discussing something as idiosyncratic as clothing.
     
  15. IChen

    IChen Senior member

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    This looks very strange for some reason lol. Just the 1st button and I had to look at the picture again and was like what?? I know most people don't like polyester but it's durable however you get very warm quickly.

    But yeah like people said, I'd check out Milano from BB or maybe Suit Supply too? I know they're sort of trending and acceptable quality at a low price but you gotta order online unless you're close to a store. The Hugo fits you better than Armani and isn't bad fit.
     
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