Help me spend my suit $$

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by thinman, May 16, 2005.

  1. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I need (want) a new SB suit this summer, one of medium-weight wool for year-round wear, in a dark blue or navy. I love textured fabrics (natural fabrics) and would like something with a textured weave, but that might not be possible on my budget. I've budgeted $1000-$1500 and I've investigated several options. Now I'd like to hear opinions from forum participants about what you think is best.

    First, my measurements:
    I'm 6'3" and 160 lbs. I was just measured at 38L, with a 30" waist and 35.5" inseam. I have a 14.5" neck, and a 35.5" sleeve. I have slightly rounded shoulders. My measurements haven't changed appreciably in 15-20 years (Except I somehow lost 2" off my chest. Different workouts, perhaps). Most of what I know about different suit styles and silhouettes I've learned from reading Flusser's "Dressing the Man" and Roetzel's book, as well as posts here and on AskAndy and it seems that I have conflicting preferences: I don't like a lot of excess fabric, but I want to create the illusion of breadth to complement my height. Although I should probably wear full, pleated pants since I'm thin, I hate pleats and would prefer to minimize their number (if I could find them, I'd prefer narrow suit trousers with no pleats and a low rise).

    Now, for the possibilities: Locally, I have available Samuelsohn MTM, Zegna MTM, Oxxford MTM, and Brioni MTM. I'll be in Washington DC three times between May and September, including a one week business trip in August (and in Rio de Janeiro for 2 weeks in June, but I know nothing about options there). The Brioni, Oxxford, and Zegna MTM are outside my stated budget, though I could suck it up, double the amount I'm willing to spend, and hit the Zegna price range (Oxxford and Brioni ar 3-4 times the $1000-$1500 budget). Since I wear odd jackets much more often than suits, I'd prefer to spend less on a suit and more on sports jackets. I'm also driving distance from Dallas and could make multiple trips there for fittings.

    My options in the $1000-$1500 range seem to be:
    (1)\tSamuelsohn MTM for good fit (depending on the local tailor), OK fabric, OK construction.
    (2)\tSearching Filene's basement in DC three times and searching ebay continuously in hopes of picking up a quality make in my size and having it altered to fit locally. Potentially great fabric, great quality, but only an OK fit (ebay hasn't been very productive for the last several months, though so far I've looked mainly for high-end makers).
    (3)\tFinding a great tailor in Dallas (or maybe DC? Would three fittings be enough?). I don't know if this is possible in my price range of $1000-$1500, or if I decide to spend more, in the range of, say $2000-$2500.

    Please share your opinions of my best option(s), what sort of style/silhouette would look best on someone relatively tall and thin, and, if I go the OTR route, what makers provide the best style/silhouette. In other words, what would you do?
     


  2. vista

    vista Active Member

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    Could WW Chan be an option for you? He seems to be mentioned here and on Ask Andy a lot.
     


  3. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Chan will be in Dallas on July 22, but I don't think my travel schedule intersects with theirs again in the near future. I hesitate to buy a suit based on one session to measure and no subsequent fittings.
     


  4. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Originally Posted by vista,May 16 2005,17:59
    Could WW Chan be an option for you? He seems to be mentioned here and on Ask Andy a lot.
    Chan will be in Dallas on July 22, but I don't think my travel schedule intersects with theirs again in the near future. Â I hesitate to buy a suit based on one session to measure and no subsequent fittings.
    If Chan is in Dallas on July 22, I shall be very upset. I have an appointment with Mr. Chu of Chan in Beverly Hills, CA on that very morning. I don't think the schedule on Chan's website has been updated...at least the last time I looked. The first suit I got from Chan (on the basis of a single measuring session) was very satisfactory...not perfect (I didn't expect perfection on the first go-round) but still a very handsome garment. I am eagerly awaiting my March order--a blue blazer and a shirt, will probably be ordering a tweed fall/winter jacket when Chu comes around in July. P.S. Since making this post initially, I checked Chan's website. They now have the updated schedule posted, and the visit to Dallas is scheduled for July 20.
     


  5. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I guess if I decide to go with Chan, I'd better call and find out their schedule, instead of relying on their website.
     


  6. vista

    vista Active Member

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    Good luck with your expedition. I've been thinking a lot about those Chan suits. Hmm, maybe even a trip to HK. And if you really need help spending your suit $$, my address is . . . [​IMG] Which reminds me of an old Louie Anderson joke: Down-on-his-luck guy: Hey buddy, can you help me out with a sandwich? Louie: Well sure (looking around), where is it?
     


  7. jamesbond

    jamesbond Senior member

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    i believe the polo (blue label) made in italy MTM starts at around 1800$

    i dont know if your in the N.Y. area or not, but i believe the polo mansion is the only one that offers blue label. the chicago store might though.

    just a thought.
     


  8. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Good Lord. If Polo Blue Label MTM for a suit is $1,800, that means it is up from about $1,100 when I investigated the matter late last summer--a sad commentary on the decline of the dollar if true. The Polo store in Beverly Hills offers this MTM service, so I am sure that any of the "high end" Polo stores would also. Corneliani is the maker of these suits, BTW.
     


  9. cpac

    cpac Senior member

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    I believe it's actually closer to the $1100 you remember (as of their April trunk shows). (At least, this is what I recall from my visit to the mansion back then).
     


  10. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Senior member

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    Thinman, you could try Jil Sander suits. They are designed for slim & tall people, you would actually look great in any of them.
    They are fully canvassed, with flat front pants, slightly tappered, and medium/low rise (that means below the navel). I don't know how they are priced in the USA though, they might be a bit more expensive than your budget. You can hit them at 30% on sale, though.

    .luc
     


  11. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Thanks for your input so far. The sense I'm getting from everyone is that fit should indeed be my first priority, so I should go MTM. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near NYC, so options are somewhat limited.

    It occurred to me after my last post re: Chan, that one visit with Chan for measurements is no worse than MTM and would allow me at least to begin building a relationship with them. I'd have a base for suggesting future alterations. What is the turnaround time on their suits?

    Does anyone know where I can find Jil Sander suits? I recall reading a thread within the past several months where it was also stated that they fit tall slim guys well, so I've been looking around Dallas (Northpark Mall, Galleria), without success. It also seems to me that Ralph Lauren is a little pricey for what you get. Is that true of their blue label suits?

    Does anyone know entry level price to have a suit tailored in the Oklahoma City or Dallas areas? I could forgo an overcoat for a year, add about $1000 to my budget, and spend $2000-$2500 on the suit.
     


  12. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    I believe you've missed the recent Brooks Brothers MTM event (where Martin Greenfield tours the country and does fittings). However, a BB Golden Fleece MTM suit might be an option, and should fall within your budget. I have no personal experience, but people seem to rate them highly, particularly for the money.
     


  13. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Yes, Martin Greenfield was in Dallas within the last several months and sadly, I missed him.

    BTW, where can I find the schedule of Martin Greenfield visits. Someone directed me to it on the Brooks Brothers website, I think, but now I can't find the list.
     


  14. spatten

    spatten Senior member

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    Neiman Marcus Last Call is at Grapevine Mills in Dallas and you could always check there for some good OTR suits. I have picked up Zegna and Brioni for under 500$.

    WIth an 8" drop you are going to prefer a slimmer suit. My Zegna's have a 7" drop - which would probably still work well for you. Most of the other suits OTR seem to be 6". I believe Canali makes at least two models, one slimmer that might fit well and is in your price range.

    Doesn't NM have an Isaia MTM program also - they may be less than Zenga.

    Chan is probably the best option if you want an English Silhouette(sp?). But if I were spending that much money I would probably go with a local tailor for multiple fitting capability.
     


  15. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Isaia MTM runs a bit more than Zegna but outperforms it. Both are going to cost over $2400.
     


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