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Suit or costume?

A12321

Senior Member
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Nov 14, 2018
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Please don't be offended. I'm in mid my 30s in NYC and your fit looks outdated. I can see where the "used car salesman" comment comes in. You look like you are trying too hard. I am not into the skinny look either, but I think your fit needs some cleaning up. If you did not mention it, I would think you were in your early 60s.

My worthless opinion is that you can keep the trousers and coat with these changes:
1) Lose the braces.
2) Lose the tie (for now).
3) Taper your trousers about 1~1.5" from mid thigh all the way down to the bottom hem. Reduce inseam by 1". Your trousers will still be comfortable and won't snag.
4) Swap shirt out for something more light blue or light taupe.
5) Swap wing tips for loafers.

While my proposed changes above might seem drastic, it will clean up your look and make it more age appropriate. At the end of the day, you can dress however you want. But people in this world do take another's appearance and presentation into consideration and I do not think you can go wrong with the above suggestions.
 

mikealvaa

Well-Known Member
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Jan 29, 2015
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Please don't be offended. I'm in mid my 30s in NYC and your fit looks outdated. I can see where the "used car salesman" comment comes in. You look like you are trying too hard. I am not into the skinny look either, but I think your fit needs some cleaning up. If you did not mention it, I would think you were in your early 60s.

My worthless opinion is that you can keep the trousers and coat with these changes:
1) Lose the braces.
2) Lose the tie (for now).
3) Taper your trousers about 1~1.5" from mid thigh all the way down to the bottom hem. Reduce inseam by 1". Your trousers will still be comfortable and won't snag.
4) Swap shirt out for something more light blue or light taupe.
5) Swap wing tips for loafers.

While my proposed changes above might seem drastic, it will clean up your look and make it more age appropriate. At the end of the day, you can dress however you want. But people in this world do take another's appearance and presentation into consideration and I do not think you can go wrong with the above suggestions.
I respectfully disagree on most of this. Some of your advice is literally the look I am trying to avoid. I will never ever taper my pants and I feel great in braces.

But I respect your opinion.
 

comrade

Distinguished Member
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May 10, 2005
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I'm a product strategy consultant. I live in Palo Alto. I work a lot with developers, product managers, marketing, design and other folks who never wear tailored clothing. Most don't have a style of any sort.

The interesting thing is that the younger folks think my style is cool, but some of the older folks are a bit more judgmental. Either way, it doesn't really impact what I do.

Many of the older folks probably wore trailored clothing at work 20 years ago. I know
my son-in law, who was from Microsoft, then Google since 2002 or so, did.
I cannot think of a single instance where I saw someone in a DB suit in NYC and I've lived and worked in this town for a few decades. I'm not saying don't wear it, I just have never noticed it as being a NYC thing.
I was a NewYorker, born and bred and I get back every few years. One can see DBs on the
Upper East side whre the proportion of bespoke clothing in higher than oter areas.
 

wrblz

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2023
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13
Also a denizen of the legal world. Just a few thoughts, brother:

Overall, the outfits look appropriate and classy, somewhat vintage in the boxier looser fit, especially the trousers and pleats. But pleats have never gone out of style and always add some class. It's a rangy, classic American look.

I think the fit on the double-breasted suit is sharp, and trouser length looks fresh and modern.

Love the tan houndstooth jacket but agree a different color might bring it to life better.

In the end, set the style, don't follow anyone else. Should help you arguing territorial jurisdiction and venue.

1707932949923.png


I agree with others, that your original fit is more classic and vintage than we typically see today. It's not "modern". But, ironically, much of what is pushed on this forum is not classic when it comes to fit.

I'm a similar age as you OP and on a similar journey - moving away from slim, modern silhouettes in favor of something more classic and comfortable.

When I look at the side-by-side above, the first thing that strikes me is how feminine the suit on the right looks (compared to the left) and the obvious clown-shoe syndrome.

The left looks (and is) more comfortable and classically manly, though it's obviously not modern. You won't fit in with younger crowds wearing modern cut suits. But it's up to you whether that bothers you.

I agree completely that once you've tried braces with high-rise pants, it's hard to go back. It's also the way high-rise, pleated trousers are meant to be worn, and the braces are hidden so I don't see why they matter at all.

The problem with taking your existing fit and tapering the pants is that right now the jacket and trousers match up very well. With a taper, you risk losing that top-bottom balance. Of course, a very, very subtle taper could be fine if that's your preference. I've been in the territory of slim, calf-catching tapers before too so I get the caution.

You could very slightly taper your trousers and very slightly reduce the length, but your current fit is good and well-balanced.

I'd say one thing to consider is the colors, fabrics, combinations, etc. Your outfit on the left looks dated (not in a bad way) because of the fit and the styling. The fabrics and overall outfit are nice and work well together, but they too are more classically inspired and lend themselves to that vintage feel. If you took the same cut and applied it to a dark navy Fresco suit with a crisp white shirt and solid grenadine tie, it would also look more modern. So perhaps that's another way to think about this?

I don't think you need to change anything. You're not in a costume and I don't think others would say that. They may think you dress "old fashioned" but that's not the same as costume territory (ex. 3-piece suit with vintage accessories, bowler hat, etc.). You're after comfort and a style that you enjoy, and I completely relate to what you're doing here and understand why you wouldn't want to go backwards (in your mind) by modernizing the cut. If I were you, I'd work around the edges of the fit to see if there's small adjustments you can make that still work for you, and otherwise pay attention to how modern the fabrics/styling/accessories are rather than the fit.
 

sydneycider

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2022
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Just for the record, I think your first fit looks fantastic!

Will you stand out, yes. Will other people think you are weird, maybe some but less than you think.

Keep doing what you're doing.

And I disagree with what some others have said, don't ditch the tie. It really ties (hah) the look together and I think it would look odd without it because it's such a classic style.
 

TomTom

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
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I have to put my 2 cents worth in here.I have been working in the legal sector and finance for almost 20 years. Your outfits look nice and relaxed, not to boxy and not in line with fashion trend, and that is a good thing. Wear what you like to wear, cultivate your style and learn and evolve it trough the years. If you like to war a tie, wear one but make sure it's not a shiny one. Grenadine or shantung in plain colours like navy or dark brown are fantastic and very versatile. Keep up the good work, you are on a good path.
 

DorianGreen

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Sep 7, 2022
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As others have already said, your first outfit looks good, not costumy at all. I always advocate for wide leg trousers as they look classic, manly and relaxed. I would only prefer a wider lapel on the jacket.

I want to encourage you to go on, it's a personal and pleasant style.
 

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