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Help! i have 1 week to buy a suit.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by highvoltage, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. highvoltage

    highvoltage New Member

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    Hi, I'm a 16 year old high school senior in New York City.
    Today I received a letter stating that my high school yearbook portraits are going to be taken next week and I need to wear a suit. The problem is that I don't have one and all my relatives and friends wear different sizes than I do. I was planning on purchasing a suit but was in no rush because I didn't think the pictures were going to be taken so soon. Guys, please help me by giving me some tips on finding a suit.
    My jacket size is 36R and I have a 31" waist. I was thinking about going with a navy blue single-breasted suit, black shoes and black belt, light blue and white vertical striped shirt with white collar and cuffs, blue and purple striped tie, and a white pocket square. Would this work well?

    I would really prefer to spend less than $700 on the suit, as I need to buy a tie also. I have the rest of the stuff already. Any recommendations on stores to check out to find something in my price range? Hugo Boss is all I could really find for me from the little bit of looking around I did recently. I know Hugo Boss suits are overpriced for what they are and Canali are great for the money when on sale but right now I just need something decent and I need it SOON. I don't think a fused jacket will matter to me, as I will only be wearing this suit a few times in the next couple of years. By the time I need to wear nice suits, I will have the money to buy some better ones. So, the important factors for me are the style and fit. What labels should I look for and what stores can I find them in? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Peter
     


  2. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

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    peter,
     i can't advise you on where to shop as i have never been to nyc. i'd just like to say something i know many people on this forum will disagree with. if you have only one suit, make it a black one. you will then be prepared for a funeral, a wedding, a nightclub (when the time comes), and even a job interview (i've pulled off this one with a solid blue tie and white shirt.) no other color is this versatile, though gray comes close. in any case, if you're going to own only one suit, i suggest you consider the versatility of the color and fabric, rather than focusing on this one occasion. the first suit i ever bought was a brown three-piece number when i was 17. no one gave me any advice, so i just bought what i thought looked nice in the store. don't make the same mistake.
     


  3. Nick M

    Nick M Distinguished Member

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    First in to disagree with Matador.. [​IMG] I think, all other things being equal, that a man's first suit should be in a dark-to-charcoal gray. It's not too 'powerful' for use as an interview suit, like black may be, and it's versatile enough for any occasion. You can wear it with black, brown, and oxblood shoes, and any color of shirt, even colors denied to black and navy (pale blue and black, respectively). That said, Peter, the navy suit is a good all-purpose choice too, and your ensemble sounds good. To actually answer your question, sorry, put me on Team 'Never Been To NYC So Can't Really Help You'.
     


  4. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Distinguished Member

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    I agree with Nick M that the dark charcoal gray is the way to go. You can wear it with everything. It will be $700 well spent. At that price range, you might try Brooks Brothers or Saks. While I do not live in NYC, I have always had good success with the tailors at Saks (in Michigan). They take the time for all the seemingly insignificant things such as the different lengths your arms, legs, and shoulder heights. A really expensive suit that is not tailored well will look no better than a $700 suit. And a $700 suit, in the hands of a fine tailor, can look wonderful. Good luck.
     


  5. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Senior Member

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    As far as places to shop go, you're just a touch out of luck in that you just missed the sale season at most NY stores. There are a few that have last year's stock left. I would suggest you try the Barney's warehouse sale. Although it's not as good as in past years, it's still got a decent selection of suits at around 50% off. For $700, you can get a suit that was originally well north of $1000. My brief review this year suggested that they had done a good job culling the best out prior to the sale, but there are still plenty from which to choose, even in 36R.

    The sale itself is at 17th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. You might also try Century 21.

    If I were spending that much on a new suit, those are the locations I'd look. One last thought, although you're a 36R now, it wouldn't surprise me if you'll be a 38R in about two years as you continue to fill in. Unless you look like a little boy in a grown man's suit, get one with some room. In recent years I've gotten rid of suits that I bought in leaner times that I'm sure would've been fine a size or two larger.
     


  6. itzamazing

    itzamazing Senior Member

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    I thought Barney's warehouse sale was over on Labor Day? I went a week before and it was pretty horrible this year.
    Filene's Basement had some Missoni suits (no idea about quality, don't wear suits) for $399 that were pretty nice. They also carry some other less expensive brands as well.
     


  7. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

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    nick; concerning charcoal gray-- i think it's a great color, but it's not versatile for every occasion. for one thing, it is an autumn/fall color, and doesn't look good in the spring/summer. also, a guy who owns only one suit is likely to store it in the closet and bring it out only when he has to; weddings, funerals, the opera, etc... remember, we're not talking about what color one would wear most, but what is that one color that is appropriate in the most situations. this is just one of my quirks, but i think the navy blue suit is the not an "all-purpose suit." to me navy blue says "trust me with your investment needs." or "can i offer you some mutual funds? insurance?" it is for professional purposes only, in my book. i hope you're not one of those guys who wears a blue pinstripe suit and wingtips to social affairs. Â [​IMG]
     


  8. Nick M

    Nick M Distinguished Member

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    So you're saying black is more of a spring/summer color? A suit's versatility is determined by its accessories, and charcoal simply has wider scope for colors - in a pinch, you can make charcoal summery using shirts, ties and shoes much more easily than you can black... Charcoal is appropriate in all the situations you mentioned - and I'd much rather be wearing a gray suit than a black one at a daytime wedding - and in a job interview situation, it's much more of a sure bet than black, in my opinion.
    If a color is appropriate in the most situations, surely it'll be worn the most? Â [​IMG]
    Just once, with a pink open-collared shirt and brown two-tone slip-ons - the word bandied about was 'suave', I believe. Â [​IMG] Again, it's all about the accessories...
     


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