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Help a college kid build a suit and shirt!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by shadowsnuzzy, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm going to India soon and plan on buying a made to measure suits there (already have one). They are fairly cheap and good quality, but most importantly, allow for a large amount of customization. I also plan on buying shirts.

    Here's a little information about me. I'm 18 years old. I like to dress down "dress" shirts with jeans or a sweater. I pretty much wear a shirt everyday in a casual setting. I'm 5'8" and very skinny. I weight 120lbs lol. I also have a rounder face (matter for the collar), I don't think widespread collars or double windsor knots are a good look on me. I plan on wearing these suits to business conferences, meetings, interviews, jazz gigs, ect. I plan on wearing the shirts both with my suits in formal settings as well as casually with jeans.

    Note: Criteria in red is my priority for resolving. Either these are most important or I'm clueless when it comes to these features.

    Suit:
    Lapels: Lapels are suppose to be slimmer right? Any exact guidelines?
    Pockets: 2 pockets? Flap, slanted, jetted?
    Buttons: 2 buttons or 3? I have 2 right now and it's working pretty well.
    Jacket Bottom: Round edge?
    Vents: No vent, 1, or 2? I currently have no vents and it does compromise on my flexibility. I read that 2 vents makes you looks like a waiter. What's the deal here, 1 vent?
    Material: Always 100% wool right? Some times my current wool suit gets itchy, maybe I can ask them to line the inside of the pants with cotton?

    Pant:
    Pockets: Vertical or slant pockets?
    Pockets: 1 Back pocket or 2?
    Cuffs: No cuff or cuffs?
    Pleats: Definitely no pleats, this is one thing I know for sure lol

    Shirts:
    Collar: I'm totally lost here. All I know is widespread isn't a good fit for me. Semi-spread? Cut away? Classic (don't even know what that means)? Also the collar points should be hidden under the suit jacket right? Keep in mind since double windsor knots don't look good on me I"ll probably be wearing four in a hand a lot. Maybe half windsor.
    Placket: If I want to wear the shirts casually too no placket is the best option right? I read that plackets are a more formal, dated look.
    Back: Plain? Side Pleat? Dart Pleat? Box Pleat? What...?
    Bottom: Rounded bottoms are better for casual shirts right? Straight for formal? I recall hearing somewhere that straight shirts tuck into dress pants better and don't have that gross "pillow" look when shirts have excess fabric at the waistline. So I want to get a good tuck, but at the same time I want many of these shirts to be versatile enough to wear casually and I don't think the straight cut looks very good in casual settings. Any advice on this? Maybe get two sets of shirts, one for formal setting and one for casual? That's a last resort as it costs more money.

    I'm really just looking for some clarification and feedback as to what would look good on me based on my size, facial shape, and age. Hopefully I'll resolve some of these dilemas before leaving for India in a week!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Also, can the suit jacket be used as a blazer with jeans or does one specifically need a sports jacket for that? I've heard people say you can use a suit jacket without the pants while others have said that's a strict "no-no." Thoughts?
     
  3. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    You have quite a bit of latitude in selecting a suit. Wool is a safe choice. Mohair, cashmere, or blended fabrics are also reasonable choices. For your stature, stick with a two button jacket. Creates a deeper "V" and accentuates the vertical line. Stay away from three button or double breasted jackets. Omit the cuffed pants and shoot for a one inch break on the trouser hem. You can go with a single or double vent. Opinions may vary, but the vents make it easier to access your trouser pockets with minimal disruption of the jacket fit.

    The trousers should have slant pockets. The jacket pockets are again a matter of personal style. With a round face, stick to a traditional point collar (classic). Use a four in hand knot on your ties. Omit the full or half Windsor. Plackets are always fine unless you want to look "trendy". Do what you like with the back as long as the shirt fits well. The "pillowing" of the shirt is usually a sign of too much girth. Have the shirt taken in at the sides or with darts. Otherwise, focus on the length of the tails. Many dress shirts are designed to be tucked in, and hence have longer tails that hang below the crotch of the trousers. If you want an untucked shirt, keep the tails shorter.

    Generally, don't wear a suit jacket as an "odd" jacket. Get a sport coat.
     
  4. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Damn, exactly the kind of response I was looking for.. thanks!

    Quick question: Obviously 4 in a hand is my go to for ties but is there any knot that's more "formal/sophisticated", perhaps for special occasions, that will suit a round face or should I just 4 in a hand everything forever?
     
  5. jaywhyy

    jaywhyy Senior member

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    A solid navy suit jacket can double as an odd jacket, and you'll get away with it unless you meet a real sleevehead. Any striped jackets can absolutely not be used as an odd jacket (unless youre going for the hipster look). Greys should also be avoided.

    The giveaways that its an orphan suit jacket will be the buttons. Typical navy blazers will have gold/pewter/MOP/horn buttons that contrast with the jacket. A suit jacket will have darker buttons. Another problem you face using your suit jacket as a blazer is that it will wear much more quickly than your trousers. This can become quite obvious with suits.

    In general, I don't recommend it, but it can work in a pinch.
     
  6. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Duplicate again
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  7. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Trousers I would suggest always two back pockets, the symetry looks better and they are useful. Whilst you are thinking about pockets think about inside pockets in the coat as well. Get those that you want including pockets for iphone and so on. There is no need to just have the standard three or four.
     
  8. Stylishmartita

    Stylishmartita Well-Known Member

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  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This thread is like the blind leading the blind.

    Two buttons, navy or charcoal, 100% wool, bemberg lined. At least 3.5" lapels with notches. Two standard flap pockets. Always get 2 vents, your waiter analogy makes no sense. The only thing that shouldn't have vents is a dinner jacket. Trouser pockets make no difference, slant is easier to get your hands in. If you get pleats, get one single forward pleat with cuffs, if you get flat front cuff is optional. Your distaste for pleats is irrational. For shirts placket doesn't matter, but always get a spread collar. Point collars don't look good on anybody regardless of face shape. The collar/face shape correlation is bullshit.

    Most of your preferences and ideas here stem from the fact that you are young. Go with what I just said to you and you won't kick yourself for making silly mistakes in 5 years if the suit is still around and you will look mature and people will take you more seriously rather than a young fashionista trying to look "fly".
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    This, though I dislike pleats as well (perhaps it is irrational).


    Unless you are wearing a tuxedo, in which case you need a black self-tie bow tie, a four in hand knot is fine. If you like it and prefer it, wear it. For a "formal" event which requires business attire, just wear a dark suit, white shirt and dark conservative tie. The knot you tie is a distant secondary consideration.
     
  11. PhiPsi32

    PhiPsi32 Senior member

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    Keep it simple. Master the four in hand.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    Pleats to me don't look great on younger slimmer people. GQ agrees with this as well, it just goes better with the older audience. And I think the collar thing has some merit because it's not so much that the collar itself looks bad with a round face, as it is the fact that you can't wear four in a hand knots properly on a widespread collar. You need fatter knots to take up all the space like double windsors, and those do not flatter a round face by any means.
     
  13. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    I'm pretty sure you just committed blasphemy by using GQ to defend your position.


    I pretty much agree with Patrick. A single pleat is actually my favored style. I don't like how the crease on flat-front trousers just end somewhere on the thigh (full disclosure: I'm wearing flat-front today). 3.5" lapels are probably best, but you might be able to do skinnier, but <3" is a no-go: they'll be out of fashion before your first post-college interview. I also think single-vent is perfectly acceptable.
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Step one: Don't listen to anything GQ says.

    The whole spread collar fat knot thing is nonsense. Spread collar, four in hand knot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  15. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Lol I posted a picture of me in a spread collar with a 4 in a hand knot on another thread for something else and someone commented to use a fatter knot to take up the space. I kind of knew it in the back of my head but was hoping no one would notice... I guess it comes down to personal preference

    My current suit lapel is 2.5", I guess that seems slimmer but I'm a very thin guy. Also, I pretty much wear only slim ties (2.5 inches) as well so I think it works fine. Probably go for this size again. As for my colors, I was definitely thinking charcoal and navy. I currently have black - probably not the best first choice but I didn't know any better.
     
  16. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I highly recommend you don't go with 2.5" ties or lapels. It is an immature look.
     
  17. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    Agreed. Unless you're an extra for Mad Men, I'd ditch the fashion forward look for officewear and job interviews. If you want that stuff for going out to clubs or whatever, that's a totally different topic.
     
  18. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    It seems like your mind is made up. Do you just want to hear that people agree with you? If so, just stick to GQ.

    2.5 inch lapels are too slim. I don't care how skinny you are.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. shadowsnuzzy

    shadowsnuzzy Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the lapels are too slim, that's something I'm not certain about. I'll talk to the tailor and see what he thinks too. As for the ties, it might be immature but I think it's worse when an 18 or 20 year old wears a full 3.5 inch tie. For some reason it reminds me of investment bankers... an older crowd. I'm sure in 10 or 20 years the slimmer ties will look stupid on me, but for now, as a young adult, I think the 2.5 inch style goes along with the whole idea of wearing slimmer cuts in everything from jeans to formal wear.

    Not looking for agreement necessarily as I'm sure I won't find it here, but I've gotten some great information regarding the customization of my next suit that will be put to use. That was my goal.
     
  20. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    Being 18, not wanting pleated pants is understandable. You're young and skinny, so go wild with your style, that's fine. I guess you don't want to dress like a mid-30s professional, and that's cool. Your body, style, and clothing needs will change a lot in the next 10 years, so anything you buy now is not going to be around so long anyway.

    Since you listen to GQ, then you should heed their advice that the only shirt collar you need is the semi-spread. If your FIH knots are too small, then you've got cheap skimpy ties. Quality ties will produce an ample sized knot when tied FIH.

    Otherwise, listen to Patrick. His advice is spot on.

     

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