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Novice Needs Help (MTM Suit)

JRinDC

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I'm new to this forum, and I'm sure some of these questions have been discussed, but if you would indulge me I would appreciate it. I'm a non-profit lawyer. I don't have the cash for some of the clothes discussed here, though I appreciate them very much. Even if I did, I'm cheap. But I still want to look my best, and I'm thinking about getting into the MTM or Custom market for a few items. I'm going to post questions in a couple of different threads to seperate the issues. FWIW, sizewize I'm pretty much a perfect 40R (maybe 38R in Hugo Boss), with a 6 inch drop. 33 sleeve.

Episode 1: Ordering a custom or MTM suits

I'm thinking about ordering a MTM suit from a local tailor for about $800. How do I know if I'm getting a good deal? Am I better off getting something off the rack at Brooks or Nordstrom or a discount suit store? What things should I look for to know the quality? What specific things should I ask for? I'm considering a charcoal grey suit (I don't have one), good super 120s wool, peak lapel, 2 1/2 or 3 button, with no vents or a double vent. What do you think? Is the peak lapel ok?

I'm a size that works fairly well off the rack, but this tailor made me a great mohair and grosgrain tuxedo that I love, and I'm inclined to try it again. Still, if it gives you an idea, I've never paid more than about $400 for a suit.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

chorse123

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Unless you are totally inflexible on the styling details, and given that you are a good fit off the rack and don't want to spend a lot of money, I would suggest waiting and shopping the sales.

I don't have the cash for some of the clothes discussed here...
Neither do I, but when you buy them at 85% off, your funds can go a long way!
 

JRinDC

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Indeed, but I need to learn where to go and how to find those deals!
 

JRinDC

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But how can you be sure of the fit when ordering online? I'm a 40R, but that doesn't mean, obviously, that every 40R will fit me. Do you just take a chance and plan on spending money to have it tailored?
 

alflauren

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Most of those places have good return policies. If something is so far off that a tailor can't do a nice job with it, by all means, return it. I don't know about everyone else here, but I actually return more than I keep. Take advantage of your easy size - I do MTM because I have to. I'd love to be able to buy a suit off the rack.
 

marc237

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I am also a lawyer in a not-for-profit (I avoid non-profit 'cause it sounds like I am not trying hard enough) and second chorse's advise. This life style choice requires either considerable economic good fortune or well planned and executed hunting and gathering forays. I personally find the exploring, stalking, and capturing to be part of the fun. For example, just the other day, I scored virtually brand new good quality $300.00 black suede bals from ebay for $10.00 because the seller simply mispelled her shoes in the listing. I have also picked up virtually new stuff thrifting for less than 15% of value simply because the owner no longer wanted it and the timing was just right. Good luck and happy hunting.
 

Mentos

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Haunt the Filene's on Conn Ave (along with every other person on this forum who lives within 600 miles of DC). You'll be able to get something nice for less. Also Sierra Trading Post online and C21 in NYC. It's not that I don't like my (Chan) gray MTM suit, but I do think that I could have found a pretty similar style for less if I had bargain shopped.

I don't think that those who are watching the purse strings should have first or second suits of navy or charcoal MTM if they have no great sizing issues. You may not get exactly the style you want (the odds of finding peaked lapels are low), but you'll find something pretty close.

On the other hand, 40R is among the toughest sizes for which to bargain shop.

May I ask who made the tuxedo for you?
 

JRinDC

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Highcliffe Clothiers made the tux. Did a really nice job. I was thinking of having them do the suit. MTM shirts there start around $80. Any experience with them?
 

Mentos

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I don't have any experience with them. Not sure if you know this, but Jantzen is the MTM source of choice here. Price start at $45. You can look it up--the discussions go on forever, and I've heard that they do a better job than the DC MTM places (assuming you send Jantzen correct measurements).

If you're a set size (I'm 15.5 x 33), you just use Jantzen as often as you can bear the long turnaround and troll around online and at Filene's until you find shirts that have a cut you like. Spending more than $50 on a shirt isn't necessary to look good, though it's a slippery slope.
 

NoVaguy

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Originally Posted by JRinDC
Highcliffe Clothiers made the tux. Did a really nice job. I was thinking of having them do the suit. MTM shirts there start around $80. Any experience with them?

here are the threads they show up in: http://www.styleforum.net/search.php?searchid=348052

it appears they have a good reputation for MTM.

do you know which factory they're using for the suits/tuxs?

i use Fields in Georgetown for alterations.
 

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