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Old(ish) guy needing to upgrade my suits

J.R.

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Okay, I have a few items I'd like some comments on.

First up: previously in this thread I posted photos of a newer charcoal windowpane suit by Coppley with Comero super 100s fabric. It was still very American style and a bit boxy. I went to a different tailor and showed it to him. Based on his comments, he removed the shoulder pads, shorten the jacket (including fixing that it was not even across the bottom), fixed the neck roll, and took it in slightly. I also had a cuffs added to the pants, which shortened the pant legs. Tailor's comments were that I have very square shoulders so I should tend toward minimal shoulder padding. He also said one shoulder is lower than the other, and my arms hang forward which makes some difficulty getting the back to lay right and to avoid a bit of puckering on the shoulder unless you make it too boxy. It is much more comfortable to wear than it was.


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J.R.

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Up next: a slightly lighter blue take on a formal business navy suit. This is a semi custom, MTM, partially machine/hand made in Italy and hand finished at the tailor's shop, full canvas, Vitale Barberis Canonico cloth. It's more of an Italian slim style with only canvas on the shoulders and a bit higher armhole. It might be a bit too slim, especially in the pant leg. I'm used to my old boxy too large suits, so I'm going to try it out to see if I decide I like the fit. If not he will adjust whatever I need included in the cost. It's a bit tight in the shoulders when I raise my arms, similar to the above charcoal suit but since it is slimmer it's more restrictive. I really like the color and cloth but I need to get the fit down a bit better.

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J.R.

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Last, a mid-grey full flannel suit from Michael Andrews Bespoke / Hespoke Style online MTM program in a Vitale Barberis Canonico Super 120s. Overall I think this is the most comfortable and best fitting of the three. It has much higher armholes so my range of motion is great. Downside is it's a bit of a process to get the jacket on and over several hours the armhole starts to bug me under my armpits. But, I like the motion so that's an easy trade off. Overall fit wise I think it's good. Pant legs could maybe be a touch longer and I could maybe let the jacket out a touch (if I don't lose the Holiday 10). I decided to try the waist adjusters and I'm not sure I like those so I might send them in to get belt loops added. I went with the vest as well, and I'm sending that back in to be remade as it's too short and a bit too snug. Overall I'm impressed with this online MTM setup as I didn't need any adjustments from the first try. The above navy suit I had made locally I had to have let out on the shoulders and pant legs once already, and I might have him let it out a bit more. The only concern is that I got this in a slightly lighter flannel so it can be worn a bit longer into spring and fall, but it feels a bit thin and I worry it will wrinkle easily.

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J.R.

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I'm also thinking about trying some custom shirts. I've been using CT shirts and I like them overall, but they are either a bit too slim (like the one I'm wearing above) or too blousy. The local guy is roughly $200 per shirt, is that a decent deal or should I try some of the "custom" online shirts?
 

stuffedsuperdud

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Hey, glad to see that the charcoal windowpane suit finally got dialed in for you; that was a bit of a long road! I didn't think it looked bad before but if it was uncomfortable, then everything else is moot. It is a bit less stereotypical "Ohio lawyer" now than before, but in a good way and would certainly make a fine impression for any potential clients at your firm.

Definitely passes this test for sure:


On the blue suit, I like how the back is pretty clean, but I see a lot of loose bunchy fabric around the shoulders and upper arms. It's not as obvious from the front but visible from the sides. Is this something that can be cleaned up? The pants are perhaps slimmer than you're used to but you're not bulging at the seams or anything like that so if they're not uncomfortable I think you're okay.

The gray suit is super cool and I'm kind of amused about how you went from "So I am thinking about updating these 20 year old suits....." to Michael Andrews bespoke hahaha. The vest is definitely too short (no shirt should be visible between the vest and the pants, or else it breaks up your vertical line) but contributing to this seems to be that the rise of your pants appears to be on the low side. If this is comfortable to you, then I wouldn't change it, but there's a chance a higher rise might work.

I see there's more material wrinkling and pulling around the small of your back on the gray suit than on the other two. This happens to me with Spier & Mackay's off the rack jackets, and my tailor alleviates it by letting out the jacket around the two side vents. It looks like you might benefit from the same (or maybe as you said it's simply a case of holiday deliciousness).

Re: the side adjusters, I agree they're more often than not ineffective. However, I think in your case it's also tied to the lowish rise. If the rise went up past the widest point of your hips and up to your waist where you're narrower, then when you cinch them down they'll stay up, but that generally only works for people with an ideal body type. I've come to think of side adjustors as really an emergency workaround when you forgot your suspenders. You can go ahead and replace them with belt loops if that is what is comfortable for you, but at the same time I'd also add suspender buttons and only wear a belt with a two-piece suit. In three-piece mode, it tends to make the bottom of the vest bulge out a bit or, worse, is visible and again breaks up your clean vertical line from the vest seamlessly transitioning to your trousers, so for that I'd go with suspenders.
 
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J.R.

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm going to take the blue suit in to get it adjusted a bit more. It's too restrictive in the shoulders. It was supposedly a high armhole setup but it does not feel as free moving at the flannel. I'm hoping he can let out the back across the shoulders a bit to allow a bit more movement or perhaps add a slight bit of room under the arm sleeves. I'm actually wondering if the shoulders are too narrow leading to both the tightness and the bit of bunching on the top of the sleeves, although he noted that he had to move the sleep head angle slightly to try and match the hang of my arms. I'm also going to have let out the sides a touch to make it a bit less tight when buttoned. I actually like to button my jackets. The pants are definitely too tight. Not bad just standing and looking into the mirrors, but not comfortable to sit down. I hope just letting the legs out from thigh down a 1/4 inch or so will help.

You mention rise of the pants, both the flannel and blue are a mid or just below mid rise. My issue is I have a thin frame and hips but a bit of a belly so high rise pants like to drop down to my hips and I keep pulling them up. I see from what you and others said about a higher rise might look better, but you can't adjust the rise now right? If you can I would have the rise on both increased a bit.

On the flannel, I'm on the fence if I'm sending it all back to let out the jacket sides a touch and pants slightly as you can see it bunches up a bit under the rump. Or if I'll just have that done locally since it's a small thing. I've also contemplated having the back of the jacket let out slightly as you can see some vertical lines around the back of the shoulders, although it is not restricting or pulling when I move around, it just shows when I button it up.
 

stuffedsuperdud

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Right, the rise of the pants is fixed, and yea, I agree that higher rise pants work best with someone who has a flat stomach, i.e. their waist, where the belly button is, is narrower than their hips. Otherwise you spend all day pulling at your pants and generally being uncomfortable. The cure-all is, of course, suspenders! Once you start wearing them, it become quite difficult to go back to belts, because your pants never slip since they're hanging from your shoulders, and you can make the waist relatively loose and comfy since you are not dependent on cinching your pants tightly around your midsection anymore. Unfortunately, since suspenders are largely out of favor right now, they come off as a bit of a fashion statement and can be a distraction, but aren't an issue if you have a jacket or vest on.

Your local guy can probably put the finishing touches on the gray one. I mean, it's pretty cool as it is and a normal person would probably never even notice something like a bit of bunching here or there, esp. since in real life you don't stand still like that. I'd at least show Michael Andrews the pictures though, as that will inform them of how they need to update your pattern for your next order. What was the process like, btw? I've been following the HeSpokeStyle blog since those awkward early days (for some reason he's not super popular on this forum though) and I've been curious about this MTM project.

BTW for custom shirts, $200 each is a pretty decent deal, esp. if he does not have a minimum order size, and it might be the path of least resistance for you. Online MTM shirts seem to be awfully inconsistent, even amongst the more popular and reputable makers, and often isn't even a whole lot cheaper than what your local guy is charging.
 

J.R.

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Your local guy can probably put the finishing touches on the gray one. I mean, it's pretty cool as it is and a normal person would probably never even notice something like a bit of bunching here or there, esp. since in real life you don't stand still like that. I'd at least show Michael Andrews the pictures though, as that will inform them of how they need to update your pattern for your next order. What was the process like, btw? I've been following the HeSpokeStyle blog since those awkward early days (for some reason he's not super popular on this forum though) and I've been curious about this MTM project.

BTW for custom shirts, $200 each is a pretty decent deal, esp. if he does not have a minimum order size, and it might be the path of least resistance for you. Online MTM shirts seem to be awfully inconsistent, even amongst the more popular and reputable makers, and often isn't even a whole lot cheaper than what your local guy is charging.

Sorry, just saw this.

I emailed some pics to Michael Andrews and he wanted to make some adjustments. He took in the seat of the pants, and let the legs out slightly. He also opened up some room between the shoulder blades. The fit now is very good. The jacket is extremely comfortable. There is a slight bit of slack under the back of the armpits, but that's an easy trade for the comfort and not atipical. He also upgraded the side tabs as well as they were kind of crap before. I'm quite pleased with the outcome, especially at the price. Still waiting on the new vest as he is remaking it from scratch.

I also had the blue suit let out in the legs, between the shoulder blades, and under the armpits. The jacket fit is great. Not as free moving and comfortable as the grey flannel, but it lays nicer and looks sharper. The pants are still a touch tight in the thighs, but I think that will need to be fixed for the next pair.

Overall, I'm happy with the results. Two very different suits, and very different from what I already had. The flannel is pretty classic, but slightly lighter than the classic charcoal flannel. The blue is a decent bit lighter than navy, which I wanted. I need a business / marketing suit but I didn't want the same boring navy everyone else will be wearing. Both guys were great to work with and made multiple alterations with no complaint or extra charge.

I decided to order a couple of custom shirts from the local guy, and ordered one from Proper Cloth using measurements from a shirt that fits well with a few tweaks. I'm interested to compare the fit. The local guy is only making one to start and once I'm happy with the fit will make the others. The local guy was far more flexible in options to give it a bit of interest without being too garish.


I also ordered a few items from Spier and Mackay: the down blazer jacket (which I'm not crazy about), the Minis blue flannel pants (which I love the look but they are too slim in the legs) and a linen shirt uses the size I also use from most every other outlet (which of course is too tight). I don't think I'll order from SM again as their sizing is just off compared to anywhere else I order.
 

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