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New suit help (larger guy, ~$1k, Boston, sack suit? MTM? Maybe higher rise?)

hammarlund

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I need to buy a couple of new suits for work. I am a larger guy, (6'/230) and have a longer torso and shorter legs (29" inseam.) 17-17.5 neck, 35 arm. I wear suspenders, not belts, with my suits--I have always had narrow hips and not much of a butt, so a higher waist might be nice. I haven't sized out officially yet but I expect to be a 52 or 54.

I'm looking for a classic cut with good drape--an older softer-shouldered "sack suit" style works well, though I could also be OK with a bit of a front dart. I am not aiming for a tight waist, it doesn't suit either me or the suit. Nor do I want an especially padded/sharp shoulder. Single breasted for sure. I could go w/ either flat front or pleated pants--pleated are frankly often more comfortable, though almost all of what I own are flat except a few pair pf khakis.

I haven't bought a new suit in ages. My current (old) suits are a Hickey Freeman (got on clearance @ nordstrom rack) and a higher-level Saks-brand one, both of which I had adjusted locally.

It occurs to me that maybe I should be looking into MTM suits, which seems have really come into their own these days? But I would need help!
1) Do MTM folk make suits in sizes up to 54?
2) Which specific MTM brands have a cut that would suit me? For obvious fashion reasons, everyone seems to advertise using skinny, tall, models.
3) Which brands have the quality to last for a while? They all claim to be high-quality of course but that cannot be true.
I can't really spend much more than $1k/suit though perhaps I could stretch a bit if there was a significant quality/longevity jump.

Thanks in advance for help!
 

classicalthunde

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I need to buy a couple of new suits for work. I am a larger guy, (6'/230) and have a longer torso and shorter legs (29" inseam.) 17-17.5 neck, 35 arm. I wear suspenders, not belts, with my suits--I have always had narrow hips and not much of a butt, so a higher waist might be nice. I haven't sized out officially yet but I expect to be a 52 or 54.

I'm looking for a classic cut with good drape--an older softer-shouldered "sack suit" style works well, though I could also be OK with a bit of a front dart. I am not aiming for a tight waist, it doesn't suit either me or the suit. Nor do I want an especially padded/sharp shoulder. Single breasted for sure. I could go w/ either flat front or pleated pants--pleated are frankly often more comfortable, though almost all of what I own are flat except a few pair pf khakis.

I haven't bought a new suit in ages. My current (old) suits are a Hickey Freeman (got on clearance @ nordstrom rack) and a higher-level Saks-brand one, both of which I had adjusted locally.

It occurs to me that maybe I should be looking into MTM suits, which seems have really come into their own these days? But I would need help!
1) Do MTM folk make suits in sizes up to 54?
2) Which specific MTM brands have a cut that would suit me? For obvious fashion reasons, everyone seems to advertise using skinny, tall, models.
3) Which brands have the quality to last for a while? They all claim to be high-quality of course but that cannot be true.
I can't really spend much more than $1k/suit though perhaps I could stretch a bit if there was a significant quality/longevity jump.

Thanks in advance for help!

At $1K I would check out Spier and Mackay Custom MTO. Its online, but you can order a RTW suit in your size to get a baseline, then return it and order a Custom MTO one with some simple adjustments and the details you want. I think they have additional things you can request too like no front dart, etc. but you'd need to email them.

The other option at that price range is Kent Wang, which again is an online order. But they will send you a sample to try in your size, you can take pictures and they'll consult with you on the changes needed.

Some quick other unsolicited advice - for added longevity, stick to name brand fabrics in a decent weight:
- both Spier Mackay and Kent Wang offer Minnis (particularly the fresco line) or Vitale Barberis Canonico/VBC (particularly their perennial line)
- stick to something between 270g/m and 370g/m, anything lighter than that will be more delicate and heavier stuff tends to be a bit more forgiving to the overall suit silhouette with the way it drapes)
 

comrade

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May be a bit over your price point but since you are in Boston, check out
the Andover Shop for RTW or MTM options:

 

classicalthunde

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May be a bit over your price point but since you are in Boston, check out
the Andover Shop for RTW or MTM options:


definitely worth checking out, but probably above your price point!
 

Oligarch

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Andover staff is good and quality is good, but prices will be higher than budget for MTM. They do occasionally have good sale items. If you’re willing to go to NYC you may have more variety, albeit at a higher price point. How many suits are you planning on getting? If you can reduce the number you might be able to get fewer but higher quality in terms of both fit and fabric/longevity.
 

breakaway01

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$1k for a custom suit is a challenging price point. There will be significant compromises here.

If you're new to custom tailored wear, you may think that custom has got to be better than RTW, but that is not always the case. At this price point what you're getting is a suit that has been modified from the maker's standard 'block pattern' for that size. That block pattern is based on an idealized human model specific for that manufacturer, and differs from maker to maker. The sales associate will made adjustments from their closest-fitting block pattern for your own measurements. Several potential issues with this:
- you are relying on the sales associate's experience and skill to recognize how your body deviates from their block pattern, and how to account for these deviations using their in-house system.
- it also depends on how close you are to their block pattern. The closer you are the better. Large changes to the block pattern are going to be more risky
- you can always try on an RTW suit and decide if it fits (with minor alterations). You cannot try on a custom suit before ordering it. A fit guarantee isn't worth as much as you think it might be. If the fit is terrible the first time around, how do you know that they will be able to get it right the second (or third) time around?

some general advice here
- I'd personally avoid online custom ordering unless you can try on the closest RTW size (as was suggested for Spier and Mackay) to assess how well it fits. However, it then is on you to figure out what adjustments to make for your custom order. Lots of risk here.
- avoid Indochino and similar low-cost custom suits. If you do go this route, strongly advise that you ask if they have any try-on jackets and trousers in their block pattern.
- SuitSupply might come in at your price point but the sales associates are trained to put people into skinny fits. Your goal of a comfortable Ivy fit may be challenging to achieve with them. That being said, I think they have a no questions asked money back guarantee -- if so might be worth a shot.
- personally would recommend exhausting your RTW options if $1k really is your budget.
- if you can stretch, try Drinkwater's in Cambridge. Andover Shop's ownership changed several years ago and I haven't seen any reviews of their custom tailoring since then.
 

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