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newbie seeking wardrobe building advice

slider643

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Hello all, new member here.

First of all, thank you for sharing your knowledge, I've learned a lot in the month or so I've been lurking. I'm glad I found your site or I would be mindlessly roaming the Macy's of the world buying poorly constructed suits from clueless salespeople.

I've recently reentered the workforce in a business formal environment. After two years of school and eight years before that in a business casual environment, I need to build a wardrobe. I currently have one suite I like, and three suits that are serviceable. All will be phased out over the next calendar year.

My question is, what would be your advice on building up a wardrobe over the next year? My chest is a 48 with an 8 inch drop on a 5'11 frame. I'm build like a linebacker. Thanks to you I've also discovered STP (prices are fantastic!), and was thinking about filling out my suit collection from there. I've found a good tailor here, but is a 2" adjustment in trousers too much of a miracle to ask? If this is the route I go, which brands would you recommend for my frame? I've also begun to search the MTM route, though I can't seem to find one in the Boston area. If there is a good MTM like Mr. Ned in the Boston area, I would really appreciate the reference.

As for personal taste, I like 2B single breasted with fabric types leaning a little more towards Italian type than English. As for other style features, it's been ten years since I wore a suit regularly, so I'm open to any suggestions you may have given my body type.

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 

kronik

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Not sure what recommendations to make for your frame, honestly.. I have an 8 inch drop as well, 5'11 with a 44 chest. You could try some boxier shirts and getting them taken in/shortened, what have you for a more fitted look.

In a business casual environment, (at least for me) you're somewhat limited as to shirts/slacks/shoes/belts.. sportscoat/ties every now and again but not so frequent that your co-workers start to think you're a pretentious dandy (it doesn't matter if you are).
That being said, I'd be looking for shirts on eBay, at STP and discount outlets (you live in Boston after all, Filene's :p ) where you can try a lot on, or at least, don't have to pay too much to return. If price isn't so much an issue, I'm not sure what the department store landscape is like in Boston but surely Saks/NM have stores there?

Go for a number of different pairs of odd trousers, differing colors.. patterns.. so you can mix it up. If you have the option of flat-front (that looks good) and pleated, I'd get both. I unfortunately do not have that option.

Shoes is an entirely different issue, and if you've been reading here.. you've seen the bevy of options you have there.


http://mytailor.com/tourschedule.aspx#MA

I've had shirts / pants by MyTailor.. I like the fit on both - perhaps they're worth a try for you as well.
 

slider643

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Thanks kronik. A lot of a what I do now is client facing with my suit coat on, so I think I need to address that first, though shirts are definitely starting to creep into my consciousness.
 

mensimageconsultant

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It sounds like you need at least a blue blazer, suits in solid navy and charcoal gray, a patterned suit, and a lightweight suit, purchased as needed or whenever you find a great deal. Some odd pants (not black), too, as already noted. It also sounds like either flap pockets or besom pockets will work for your body type. Vents or pleats - without pictures, it's a guess. Taking in the waist by two inches shouldn't be a problem.
 

thinman

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Welcome to the forum, slider643 (kronik, he's now in a business _formal_ environment).

I suggest you gradually replace your existing suits with great fitting, high quality solid navy, solid charcoal, and 1-2 patterned suits, as you find them at discount prices. Filene's and STP are good sources of discount clothing for you. It's great that you've found an alterations tailor you like. 2" is about the maximum I would try to take in the waist of a pair of trousers.

I would suggest you begin building a collection of quality shoes, if you don't have one already. Start with at least 2-3 good pairs of shoes--a black captoe oxford, maybe a brown captoe oxford, and something a little more daring, perhaps a pair of monkstraps or chelsea boots, depending on your tastes.
 

Earthmover

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One Isaia I've gotten in the past from STP was a drop 7, in addition, they have narrower shoulders and a trim silhouette; if going RTW, I think you can pick up a size 58r or a 60r and see if it works for you; my guess is that pants will be too big on the 60r, but if 58r jackets fit you, the trousers may work, either right out of the box, or with some adjustments.

As for shoes, there are many shoemaniacs giving great advice, so I'd poke around the archives and the ongoing shoe threads.
 

slider643

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Thanks everyone. In my current rotation I have a very subtle, navy blue glen plaid (looks solid unless you're a couple of feet away), a subtle charcoal herringbone, and a blue multi colored pinstripe. My other two suits need to go, sooner rather than later.

I don't have high hopes for Isaia, especially since they seem narrow from what I've read here and I'm pretty broad through the shoulders. I guess I'm more width than depth, if that makes any sense. My guess is Belvest, Corneliani, and maybe Samuelsohn from STP and maybe Canali or Zegna if I can find these elsewhere.

As for shoes, I've been an Allen Edmonds fan for a while and probably will stay at this level til I get my suit rotation sorted out.

A quick question on MTM. I've had one experience in the past, but was disappointed in the final product, there seemed to be a lot of unsightly excess cloth in the back by the bottom of the armholes (the back of my armpits). Was this due to a mismatch between my chest and waist measurements on one coat? Is this something I could point out to a good MTM tailor and have it resolved reasonably well in an order? I've been seriously thinking about going this route, but can't seem to find a good one in the Boston area, so if anyone has any ideas, I'd be most appreciative.

Thanks again for all the past wisdom and for specific help in this thread.
 

mensimageconsultant

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It sounds like it's mostly due to your large chest. Perhaps your upper back is not as developed. If that's the case, you might want to consider some different exercises. The large drop likely also is contributing. Anyway, yes, a tailor should be able to make adjustments.
 

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