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High arm holes on a decent suit whil on a budget is not for the faint of heart

otacon

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while* Oops.

See summary below if you're thinking "tl;dr"

I found a pretty neat suit shortly after Christmas. A lot of inconsequential little details to follow. I'll bold any major questions I haven.

Three piece, black with red pin or chalk stripes, wool and cashmere blend (I'm not very flashy, just something I've kind of wanted since the last time I saw Layer Cake). Tallia brand. From Macy's. On sale for about $200 because it was just a little heavy, a winter suit. I could probably get away with it as just a jacket, too, due to the weight, as long as the pants weren't black. Only had a 38L left, but it was actually cut pretty short for a long. The 38R sports jackets were bordering on being too short to pull off for me, as a matter of fact, though I still considered that as an alternative. I was pretty happy about it, but I didn't have a Macy's card to get a further discount, so I decided I'd come back.

The next day, I try it on. The pants fit well, the vest is just a little too long, and the jacket is still just a little too long (we're talking less than an inch on the torso.) I mention this only because the day before, I had on a sweater, so the fit was ever so slightly better then. This also means the 38R fit just a little better without the sweater.

I put the jacket on and...then it happened. I raised my arms.

UGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGH

It was terrible. The arms were cut too low. I should have noticed this the day before but, I guess with the sweater I didn't. Maybe I was just so glad to see a 3 piece suit for 200 bucks that I didn't pay attention.

As long as I didn't raise my arms, I looked awesome. But when I did that, it was game over. The 38R jackets were just a little better, but I'm on a budget. So much so that even the $120 or $130 jackets weren't really something I wanted to consider if the shoulders were off a little.


I guess I should tell you why I have kind of high standards for fit, besides the pictures on this site.

Besides having sort of a long torso (something people have told me, though I'm not sure I agree,) I'm at least a little fit. Some time in high school, my mother got me a sports jacket as a Christmas present. I didn't wear it much at the time, but it's become a staple for me in the last year or two. I was pretty brutal on it, though, getting it dry cleaned too often and never really brushing it myself (I'm not sure there's one in my house, and I'm looking into getting a Kent.) It's beginning to look pretty bad, and I at least need something I can wear besides it. I've gotten other jackets, but they for the most part look too formal (one's got a tux trim from Express, one is a bright white Urban Outfitters which is kind of weird, and the other's a dinner jacket...there's also a Calvin Klein seperate I got, and while it looks ok, I got it before I really knew what to look for in fabric.)

But what's so great about this jacket? It's certainly not the brand: American Eagle Outfitters. Is it the fabric? That's ok. I mean, it's at least a thick wool, and as far as color is concerned I like it a lot, being a dark navy with maybe some hints of red, and set back stripes that don't jump out at you. I wish I could find pictures of it on the web. I'm kind of embarassed to show my own on here. I don't think they make it anymore either.

So it must be the fit? Yes, that's it. It fits pretty well. The shoulders, especially. They're pretty natural. There's padding, but it doesn't feel very rigid. I cannot remember if this is something that happens with wear or if they came like this, but when I lift my arms in it, the shoulders still look ok. The bulge isn't very noticable. Can anyone comment on whether this is something that can happen with wear? I don't need rigid shoulder padding, as clothing sits well on mine. I own a canvas jacket that my shoulders look pretty great it, actually, and there's either minimal or no padding.

I stopped into Bachrach's at the mall. MTM starting at $489-ish is out of my student-budget, especially for that 3 piece I had my heart set on, (somewhere even further from my budget,) but that just means I'll have to save up a while for it, or settle for a sports jacket. They didn't seem to actually have any wool-cashmere blends. The sales person was very nice and knew what he was talking about, too, which was really great. *I found it interesting that he would recommend a half-canvas suit for the lighter fabrics, but explained that it was because the extra canvasing at the bottom, which really doesn't affect fit much, adds more pull than anything. For the weightier fabrics though, he of course would suggest a full canvas.*
Does Bachrach's have a decent reputation for MTM? They had OTR with higher arm holes, but shoulders weren't as natural as I'd have liked. He said that as spring approaches, they should get some with more natural shoulders.


I stoppped into Banana Republic after, just to take a peek. I wasn't expecting much for quality, but I found the fits to be superb. They felt almost tailored to me. But alas, the shoulder padding was still a little bulbous, even if the arm holes were cut pretty high for OTR. Again, is this something that can wear down in time, or even better, could a tailor put a softer padding in it without the shoulders having a lot of extra fabric? I'm only really asking because they were on sale for around $150, and I was so happy with how they fit, except in the shoulders, I'd almost forsake my MTM aspirations for a little bit longer and pick up one or two and, if it's possible, maybe have the shoulders made softer. I did not try on any of the suit jackets. Just from looking at them the shoulders seemed like they might have been more a problem, though.

I'm going back to the mall tomorrow, and I'll probably go try out RL's Rugby line if they have any in their store there, as I've read good things (but, depending on the sale, I might be able to get a mtm for about the same price from Bachrach's...) There is also a tailor around me that I need to get a price point on, but I almost feel like it would be rude to ask him for his prices over the phone. He's very old-world I guess, but his location doesn't draw much in high price business.

Also, I don't want to give the impression that I've only looked at two places. Of course not. I look most everywhere I go, and I'm only really limited by budget and a lack of knowledge of what I tailor could accomplish in re-fitting.

Please feel free to share your stories here, or offer any advice.

Summary:
Macy's has sale on wool-cashmere suits, which are cut short, but a long fits ok.
Shoulder padding is pretty extensive though, and arm holes are cut huge.

Questions:
Does shoulder padding wear down over time? I have sport jacket in which the padding isn't rigid, but I'm not sure if this is from wearing it too much or just how it was.

Does replacing shoulder pads with smaller ones result in too much extra fabric to really do anything about?

Does Bachrach has a decent MTM program? (Further research seems to indicate that it's done out of the country to keep prices down, which I'm not sure I trust.)
 

The_Foxx

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*save up for a suit from the Armoury online store.
 

otacon

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I couldn't remember their name. I remember checking them out a month or so ago and their store wasn't up yet. Doesn't look like it is yet, either. I really do like them, but I have no idea what their prices are like.

Edit: I was wrong. It is open--must have clicked the wrong link somewhere. Prices are nice too, even still a bit out of my range. I imagine I'll be looking around there for a while. Thanks.
 

KObalto

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You're not going to find high armholes at your price point. Just try on different brands and see what fits best for you. If you have a little more to spend, you might want to check out ehaberdasher or Wizard of Aaahs. And you tried on a 3-piece wearing a sweater? You probably do not want to do this IRL. Loved Layer Cake, BTW.
 

otacon

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I didn't try on the whole suit in a sweater. Just the jacket. I agree that you're right about my price point. Kind of why I was so intrigued by Bachrach, even if it means saving up for a while, because they can adjust the padding and holes. I guess if I had to be realistic, I'd have to admit that I won't be finding something I really like until after college, when I can actually afford it, and that I'll more or less have to make do with what I can find.

Thank you for those suggestions. I will check those websites out.

Over at the Armoury, the sizes had me wondering.
The size chart from the armoury is in this link:
http://www.thearmourystore.com/size-chart/

I'm not sure what to make out of those chest sizes. Those are, I would guess, not the measure of the wearer, but the measure of the fabric? I'm not sure how one is to measure for that sort of thing.

Would it be wise to measure myself thoroughly and allow them to suggest a size? I'm not sure what would be closest to a 38R.

Edit: After looking at Wizard of Aaahs, he seems to have a few around my price range. I'm just really learly because it's on the net and I can't try the shoulders out. I feel a little nuts about how much attention I'm paying to those.
 

Reckoner

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Helps to post a picture and save the essay.
Don't worry, you can walk around with your arms down.
Retailers have year end clearance sales for a reason.

You might as well write your autobiography while you're at it.
 

GBR

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Brands - not good
High arm holes- not at the price.

Is there an executive summary? - this is far too long and badly written to be understood.
 

otacon

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Kids these days...


The bold parts, and what precedes them, are what's important. I'll summarize it later.
 

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