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Please offer your tips for a young man buying bespoke suits/shirts for the first time

justapasserby

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First, a huge thank you to all members for making this forum such an incredible resource of information.

I have an odd question. I'm 22 years old and I am told I look my age. I was just hired by a private equity firm in San Francisco where I am told my young age will be perceived as a big disadvantage when meeting clients (average age at this office is approximately 35). I want to have a polished appearance and am looking for tips.

I am settled on splurging on several bespoke suits and shirts. I understand that many features of a suit are a personal preference, but I would appreciate your opinion on what a young man attempting to project an intelligent, polished, and mature image should opt for. Questions:

1. What suit colors should I stick to? Are stripes a good idea?
2. What colors for dress shirts should I stick to? Are stripes a good idea (if properly matched with ties, of course)?
3. Side tabs or belt loops?
4. Pockets on dress shirts or no pockets?
5. Cufflinks or barrel cuffs?
6. Tips for what watch I should buy (budget is ~$500).

I've spent several days browsing the forums and various magazines for tips. Any other tips for how to dress and what to wear are extremely appreciated. Thank you!
 

Loupe

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Avoiding the question of whether it is worth buying bespoke at 22 (you will change shape over the next 10 years and you will change shape, but I suppose these suits might not be for the rest of your life if you're becoming a banker...), and whether it is worth going bespoke over M2M depending on the tailor;

1. I suppose grey/ charcoal/ navy would be the received wisdom. Depending on how many suits you're buying, then stripes might be nice. If you only buy two suits and one is a pinstripe/ chalkstripe, it will be obvious that you wear it every other day, but if it is one of five, (or five of five for that matter) then it would be fine.
2. I think this is largely up to you buy your choices may be dictated by your choice of suit fabric, i.e. you don't want your shirt's stripes to match your suit. Also, don't go dark.
3. Side tabs, or better yet- suspender buttons. If you go suspender, make sure the rise in the pants is adequate (i.e. the distance from the waistband to the point where the legs meet in the middle needs to be greater if you're using suspenders or you'll get a cameltoe.)
4. No pockets.
5. Cufflinks or barrel cuffs. Remember though, if you go for double cuffs, get some nice cufflinks too.
6. If you're going to the expense of buying bespoke suits and shirts, don't spend $500 on the watch. It is one of the key elements your clients (in particular) will notice first. Either spend a little on a knowingly minimal watch, or a fair bit more on a true quality watch, or get a nice vintage piece. If it's the former, then perhaps something like this: http://www.skagen.co.uk/index.php?SC...nCategoryID=33, if it's a new watch from a quality swiss/german brand, or a vintage watch, then stick to the sort of watch brand they discuss on timezone.com.
 

acecow

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1. Definitely charcoal. Pinstripes are OK if they are very subtle. Especially, if you aren't very tall. Flusser in his book advises against a navy suit for young men as it accentuates their age (and that's what you're trying to hide). I'd probably go for charcoal and lighter gray with or without pinstripes.

2. Since it's a work environment, get some blue, white and maybe pink colors. Stripes are fine as long as you don't wear them with the pinstriped suit (granted you get one) or if they vary in size and intensity between the shirt and the suit.

3. I prefer wearing a belt, but that's totally your decision.

4. Again, your own stylistic preference. I like to get all my shirts without pockets. They just look cleaner that way. I don't think I've ever used a shirt pocket for anything in my whole life.

5. I'd get mostly barrel cuffs, but also a few french cuffs.

6. Can't help you here. I have very little expertise in this area. One member here recommended this watch to me:
http://www.pm-bay.com/watches-bay/im...SRK013P1-4.jpg
I was able to get it on ebay for about $125 and couldn't be happier. It looks even better in real life.
 

Loupe

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Originally Posted by acecow
3. I prefer wearing a belt, but that's totally your decision.
Personally, if I were having a bespoke suit made, I wouldn't want belt loops because the absence of them tends to be a mark of quality, without such ostentation as, say, leaving a surgeon's cuff button unbuttoned. Every other piece of advice is correct, and the watch in particular adheres to the principle of choosing a watch which is aesthetically pleasing but inexpensive- Either get something nice, or drop a couple of grand. Nothing else will do.
 

Master-Classter

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Actually, I think if you're impeccably dressed and 50+, having side tabs will be seen as "stylish" or bespoke. If you're 22, in America, people will just assume you're dumb and left your belt at home.
 

heaven7

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Originally Posted by Master-Classter
Actually, I think if you're impeccably dressed and 50+, having side tabs will be seen as "stylish" or bespoke. If you're 22, in America, people will just assume you're dumb and left your belt at home.

I've got that a few times, actually. I'm 22 and wear a suit with side tabs somewhat regularly.
But on this case I must say that the persons who assumed I forgot my belt were really the dumb ones.
 

razl

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First, I commend you for becoming keen on quality attire at a young age, you are the exception in today's world. That said...

Originally Posted by justapasserby
I am settled on splurging on several bespoke suits and shirts.
...
(budget is ~$500)


...at the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I'm thinking you'll get a lot more mileage out of your budget sharking B&S. I doubt with a $500 starting budget you are to even get one quality bespoke suit and shirt, let alone several.

A single or couple quality, well fitting items - bespoke or otherwise - will do you better than a greater number of lower quality items. Though it may be tough to make a work week out of the smaller set.
 

phxlawstudent

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I think $500 is his watch budget.

Buy a used watch is my opinion. Say it was your grandfather's. I have a 1970 Omega and its working fine and looks pretty good IMO.

1. Stripes are generally viewed as the "boss's" attire. But, you can get a herringbone pattern or very subtle stripe that would look sharp. But that said, go with the traditional colors.
2. You don't match the color of your shirt's stripes to your tie. At least I don't. Anyway, stripes are personal preference. White and blue is as basic as it gets. You can liven them up with twill, herringbone, etc. Or stripes.
4. No pockets. But if you use it...
5. Cufflinks look flashy. Buy according to the face you wish to portray
6. Aside from advice avove, if you want new, buy an automatic Seiko, or an Orient, or heck, go to Costco and buy whatever watch strikes your fancy. No one will care unless it retailed for over a thousand dollars or is digital.
 

ginlimetonic

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Originally Posted by razl
Whoops, you are correct.


cut down on suit and shirt budge. get nicer shoes and watches.

for meetings with client firms, you'd just be asked to "tag along" and do the grunt work.

can't think of anything worse than wearing extravagent clothes for a entry PE analyst pos. Conservative navy, charcoal suits are good.
 

KingOfTheForum

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1) Navy blue, charcoal grey and other shades of dark blue/grey. Stripes are fine as long as they don't scream out "I'M WEARING STRIPES!"

2) If you don't have many dress shirts, I'd stick with white and light-medium blue at this point. Stripes are fine, but I'd opt for solid to begin my wardrobe because it's more versatile. You don't want to find yourself thinking, "I've got to wear the blue striped shirt again today."

3) Tabs or loops is a personal preference and doesn't matter if you'll aways be wearing a jacket, but I like belt loops. On occasions that I'm not wearing a jacket, I like knowing that I'm wearing matching belt and shoes. Tabs are nice for a few special suits.

4) Having a shirt pocket is personal choice as well. I think that shirts look odd without them because I've mainly seen shirts with pockets, but it won't make a lick of difference if you wear a jacket all of the time.

5) I wouldn't wear french cuffs everyday. In fact, I rarely wear them. I use french cuffs as a special break from the norm.

6) Watch is up to you. Whatever you buy, make sure that it's classy and understated. You don't want a HUGE, diamond covered watch that people notice everytime that you lift your arm. If that's your style, that's fine, but save it for a different situation. Preferrably, buy a watch with a nice leather band.

7) Pick up a nice pair of business shoes. The Park Avenue in black from Allen Edmonds is a classic.
 

musicguy

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If you don't already know what you want then don't go bespoke. Bespoke is for someone who knows exactly what they want in every detail, including the fabric pattern. Go MTM if you can't find something OTR that fits you correctly.

Just freaking go to the best men's clothing store in town and buy suits from there. Ask them for recommendations for MTM shirtmakers.

Spending days looking at forums isn't enough time. Anyway... blah blah blah. I bet this is a troll anyway. I don't know why I bothered writing this anyway.
 

poorsod

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My advise is to start slowly and consider bespoke a journey not a destination. Your taste will likely change with time and experience.
 

teddieriley

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I also vote against bespoke. You don't appear to know what you're doing .
 

dragon8

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I would get staple colors in SB. Are you difficult to fit OTR?
 

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