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Please help me decide on fit

isealbz

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TL;DR: I'm currently fat, and while I'm planning to lose weight, I need to put together a new outfit on a low budget for a wedding that I'm attending as a guest on February 16. I'm having a difficult time deciding between the following.

For shirts, I can choose between a Brothers Brothers dress shirt in the Traditional/Relaxed fit (non-iron cotton) and the Madison/Classic fit (regular cotton).

I've read that regular cotton shirts from Brooks Brothers are preferable (more comfortable, more breathable, etc.), plus they are about $20 cheaper than the non-iron alternatives. Brooks Brothers didn't have any regular cotton shirts in the Traditional/Relaxed fit, which is why I ordered the non-iron shirt for comparison.

Here's how they compare: https://imgur.com/a/kRGzL4t


The Madison/Classic fit seems to look better when I'm standing up, but it is pulls slightly more when I sit down. It also wrinkles more quickly than the non-iron Traditional/Relaxed fit (no surprise there).

Brooks Brothers didn't offer shorter sleeves in my size. I think I could get away with just having the cuff buttons on the Madison/Classic shirt tightened, because the sleeves are only slightly too long. By contrast, it looks like I would have to have the sleeves shortened on the Traditional/Relaxed fit, which is an expense that I would prefer to avoid if I can help it.

For pants, I can choose between pleats and flat front. Both need to be hemmed. I'm planning to wear them with braces. Going a size up isn't a viable option at this point, so I need to pick between these two options.

Here's how they compare: https://imgur.com/a/I9POxsL


Should I go with Madison/Classic or Traditional/Relaxed? Should I go for pleats or flat front? Which combination would look best?

Thanks in advance.
 

Anachronist

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Dear isealbz,

The Madison shirt looks like it fits you better, i.e. less bunching and I agree with your view as to sleeve length being better on this one as well. Before resewing the buttons on the cuffs for a tighter fit, check how far the shirt protrudes from under the cuff of your suit's jacket (should be around 3/4 to half an inch), as jackets will pull up the shirt sleeve a bit from under the arm. Personally, I also avoid any non-iron shirts at all cost, so this another plus for the Madison. As practical as non-iron shirts are, if you tend to transpire more (which I unfortunately prone to :(), they are a nightmare, because they hardly breathe and tend to smell unpleasantly in contact with sweat.

Regarding the trousers, I would suggest to go with the pleated ones for the following reasons: firstly, they fit you better and should look good, once hemmed. Secondly, pleats - like all vertical lines in an outfit - visually help to stretch and reduce the perception of width. Finally, the main reason for pleats is that they offer additional fabric for movement to compensate e.g. the widening of the hips when a person sits down. I still value them for superior comfort over flat front trousers even though the latter have been the dominating fashion of the last years. That said, pleats ate making a comeback according to my well informed sources in the fashion industry ;)

Have fun at the wedding!
 

isealbz

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Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

The Madison shirt looks like it fits you better, i.e. less bunching and I agree with your view as to sleeve length being better on this one as well. Before resewing the buttons on the cuffs for a tighter fit, check how far the shirt protrudes from under the cuff of your suit's jacket (should be around 3/4 to half an inch), as jackets will pull up the shirt sleeve a bit from under the arm.
Assuming that the sleeves look fine with the jacket on, is there a non-financial reason not to have the buttons adjusted? I have to have the jacket sleeves taken up anyway, so if it isn't too expensive to have the sleeve buttons adjusted, I could ask the tailor to do it all at once.

Personally, I also avoid any non-iron shirts at all cost, so this another plus for the Madison. As practical as non-iron shirts are, if you tend to transpire more (which I unfortunately prone to :(), they are a nightmare, because they hardly breathe and tend to smell unpleasantly in contact with sweat.
This is what I've heard, but I haven't worn a non-iron shirt long enough to find out firsthand. I suppose that there is something to be said about avoiding wrinkles throughout the wedding, even if that comes at olfactory costs! Fit probably trumps that, so if the Madison fit looks better, I'll probably go with that.

Regarding the trousers, I would suggest to go with the pleated ones for the following reasons: firstly, they fit you better and should look good, once hemmed. Secondly, pleats - like all vertical lines in an outfit - visually help to stretch and reduce the perception of width. Finally, the main reason for pleats is that they offer additional fabric for movement to compensate e.g. the widening of the hips when a person sits down. I still value them for superior comfort over flat front trousers even though the latter have been the dominating fashion of the last years. That said, pleats ate making a comeback according to my well informed sources in the fashion industry ;)
That's exactly how I've been thinking about it. But a few other people to whom I sent the photos expressed a preference for the flat front pants, so I've been second-guessing myself.

Have fun at the wedding!
If all goes according to plan, I may have to post to a WAYWT thread. We'll see.
 
Last edited:

Anachronist

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I agree with you that fit definitely trumps most other reasons (maybe apart from the general desired look... a good fitting clown costume will always be just that... just thinking of some of the gaudy Versace or Gucci suits :D)

Regarding the buttons on the shirt cuffs, test it first by having them pinned when you're wearing the jacket to see where the end up. The reason is, they will move up, i.e. the sleeves will visiually become shorter and if this makes them move "into" the jacket and not leave the desired half inch shirt cuff showing from underneath the jacket cuff, then maybe you don't need the tighter cuff. See my recommendations for shirt fitting in a parallel thread here: https://www.styleforum.net/threads/fit-advice-for-my-dress-shirt.642156/#post-9644529

Regarding the trousers, without having seen the reasons for the recommendations towards plain front, I do suspect however that this could be driven much by "fashion" (something I highly recommend to "unlearn" and replace with a well educated own opinion on what looks good on you, the effect different cut and color of clothing have and what constitutes proper fit to not fall victim to advertising, the opinion of some wacky designers or, worse, that of the uneducated masses)... pleated trousers have been perceived over the last years to have a dated look or being "out" which may be a reason for the other advice. Don't let this, however, betray you from the practical and visual benefits of pleats in your specific case. I'm not saying plain front trousers are wrong, they just need to fit well and complement the style of the suit. My recommendation for the pleated trousers was purely based on a direct choice between the two you were wearing in the pictures based on their drape and the honest opinion that I felt the pleated ones looked more favorable on you. I'll let others chime in here though...
 

Jan Capek

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Hello isealbz,

I believe you made the right decision. Although the 80s made them generally unpopular, to my mind pleated trousers are classier than flat fronts. As for non-iron shirts, my experience is that they are either (1) affordable (in which case they contain something artificial - a thing I don't like) or they do not perform (kinda like non-sticking frying pans - they work 12 times and then they get worse than the regular ones), or they are (2) so cost prohibitive as to justify getting regular 100% cotton ones and have them ironed for coins.

I beg to offer advice on the next jacket purchase. While the impression of the final image is pleasant, go with larger lapels. They go nicer with pleated pants, look better on stouter gentlemen and are (arguably) classier and more timeless.

Jan
 

isealbz

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I beg to offer advice on the next jacket purchase. While the impression of the final image is pleasant, go with larger lapels. They go nicer with pleated pants, look better on stouter gentlemen and are (arguably) classier and more timeless.
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, this wasn't an option at the time, but I'll keep it in mind for the future.
 

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