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Suit vs Shirts?

deadly7

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So I have a bit of a dilemma:

I have a few functions coming up for which I will need to wear a suit. I have two currently semi-decent (but nowhere near perfect) fitting suits that I could wear and a few shirts (but all of my classically conservative colors [e.g. solid whites, light blues] are old and imo not wearable). I'm thinking about buying some new clothes for these occasions. What would you guys recommend with a budget of 500-700 USD tops:

1. Buy a new suit (I have light gray and a couple of going-out black suits) from a MTO/MTM shop that can fit my hard-to-find size (roughly a 36S and sometimes smaller depending on the cut) in a navy or charcoal conservative cut
2. Buy new MTO/MTM shirts and wear them with my okay-fitting suits

If you guys think 1 is better, what are some good MTM online shops I can use? What color would you recommend? I scouted TaT but they didn't strike me as a conservative cut. I'm also not sure on their quality (fused vs canvassed).

What MTM shirts would you recommend? ModernTailor comes to mind, I just don't want to have a fiasco where my size isn't properly measured by myself. Or else, what slim cuts do you like (and I know there's a thread on this, but some more opinions can't hurt).
 

Ianiceman

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With that budget focus on getting a decent suit. You can buy decent quality shirts off the rack for a modest sum and throw in an extra $20 for tailoring if necessary but if you keep your jacket on as you should, very little of your shirt is gonna be on display for any quality nazis to sneer at.
 

Eight

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If you like the suits enough, I'd spend some of the money on getting them tailored better and get some shirts at brooks (extra-slim).
 

Maccimus

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Cheap MTM suit--risky
MTM shirts--always less risky
 

acecow

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I'd say that the shirt is much less crucial than the suit. If you're on a tight budget, I'd advise trying H&M slim-fit shirts in solid colors. They have white, pink and light blue. All very pleasant and slim-fitting. It gets even better considering they cost around $15 each. Spend the rest of your money on tailoring the suits that you have or buying a good quality one off B&S and tailoring it.
 

deadly7

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Originally Posted by acecow
I'd say that the shirt is much less crucial than the suit. If you're on a tight budget, I'd advise trying H&M slim-fit shirts in solid colors. They have white, pink and light blue. All very pleasant and slim-fitting. It gets even better considering they cost around $15 each. Spend the rest of your money on tailoring the suits that you have or buying a good quality one off B&S and tailoring it.

Hrm I'll have to look into H&M! Admittedly I've never been, but they seem to get high reviews for "really cheap but quality stuff" here.
Given that B&S is very hit-or-miss when it comes to 36S suits (or, god forbid, smaller sizes) what other venues should I pursue? I know a haberdasher in town that I will visit, there's Thick as Thieves (though I already expressed some concern about online MTM suits), but that's the extent of my searching/knowledge. I also have access to NMLC, Off Saks, Marshalls, the Rack, Nordstrom's, and a BB.
I might be a little flexible in the suit expenditure--after all, you only buy so many. Fixing my other suits would be another route, but I feel like spending more money and time on suits that are pretty cheap in construction is a bad idea.
 

phxlawstudent

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I don't get it. What makes you so hard to fit? Extra small-ness?

Anyway, if TM Lewin has your size, best bang for your buck OTR shirts in slim fit.

Heard too many MTM suit disasters. I highly recommend altering your existing suit; assuming it is wearable. Alterations are much cheaper than a new piece of clothing (which probably need alterations anyway). The other option is to buy OTR and alter that. But at that point, MTM is looking better. Anyway, cheapest option is to alter a suit.

Modern Tailor is taking longer and messing up more than in the past. No idea who to go to for a cheap and decent shirt. Propercloth is good, but expensive, and takes forever. Other than that, I haven't had the need to explore, so can't offer any first hand knowledge.
 

deadly7

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Originally Posted by phxlawstudent
I don't get it. What makes you so hard to fit? Extra small-ness?

Anyway, if TM Lewin has your size, best bang for your buck OTR shirts in slim fit.

Heard too many MTM suit disasters. I highly recommend altering your existing suit; assuming it is wearable. Alterations are much cheaper than a new piece of clothing (which probably need alterations anyway). The other option is to buy OTR and alter that. But at that point, MTM is looking better. Anyway, cheapest option is to alter a suit.

Modern Tailor is taking longer and messing up more than in the past. No idea who to go to for a cheap and decent shirt. Propercloth is good, but expensive, and takes forever. Other than that, I haven't had the need to explore, so can't offer any first hand knowledge.


My shoulders are quite narrow so a 36 would actually be big on me. Just my small, wiry build. :\\ My two options are either MTM or alter a suit to cut down the shoulder. Heh. I might just stick with altering my existing suits for the time being and saving up to buy something higher end.

Anybody else have any opinions on the subject?
 

phxlawstudent

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Originally Posted by deadly7
My shoulders are quite narrow so a 36 would actually be big on me. Just my small, wiry build. :\\ My two options are either MTM or alter a suit to cut down the shoulder. Heh. I might just stick with altering my existing suits for the time being and saving up to buy something higher end.

Anybody else have any opinions on the subject?


oic.

Decreasing the shoulder width of suit jackets rarely comes out right and even if it does, is quite expensive. So, knowing this... I would go for suit. Unless the shoulders of your jacket fit. Then I'd still alter them.
 

dv_indian

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Since you seem to be new to MTM and need to find something decent in a limited time frame, I suggest you stay away from MTM for now. Very few people get the fit right in their first attempt at MTM. Buy something off the rack and find a good alteration tailor.
 

deadly7

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Originally Posted by phxlawstudent
oic.

Decreasing the shoulder width of suit jackets rarely comes out right and even if it does, is quite expensive. So, knowing this... I would go for suit. Unless the shoulders of your jacket fit. Then I'd still alter them.

That's what I figured. The places I've seen normally quoted on SF (I haven't looked around my area yet) seem to charge $70-80 per coat alteration. Do you know of any suit companies that are sized to people that have narrower builds? I'd imagine not in America, but I'm hoping.

Originally Posted by dv_indian
Since you seem to be new to MTM and need to find something decent in a limited time frame, I suggest you stay away from MTM for now. Very few people get the fit right in their first attempt at MTM. Buy something off the rack and find a good alteration tailor.
"Limited time frame" would be about 4 months. I know MTM doesnt' happen overnight, so I am attempting to plan in advance.
Does this change your suggestion? What if I went to a haberdasher and had him/her measure me?
 

KingOfTheForum

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Originally Posted by deadly7
My shoulders are quite narrow so a 36 would actually be big on me. Just my small, wiry build. :\\ My two options are either MTM or alter a suit to cut down the shoulder. Heh. I might just stick with altering my existing suits for the time being and saving up to buy something higher end.

Anybody else have any opinions on the subject?


If the shoulders of your suit are noticeably large, then you should buy another suit. If it's wide through the torso, then that can be altered easily, and in that case, it would be better to buy shirts. If it's possible to save the items that you have at a reasonable price, then you should do so.
 

dv_indian

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Originally Posted by deadly7
That's what I figured. The places I've seen normally quoted on SF (I haven't looked around my area yet) seem to charge $70-80 per coat alteration. Do you know of any suit companies that are sized to people that have narrower builds? I'd imagine not in America, but I'm hoping.


"Limited time frame" would be about 4 months. I know MTM doesnt' happen overnight, so I am attempting to plan in advance.
Does this change your suggestion? What if I went to a haberdasher and had him/her measure me?


Sorry, I should have been more clear. By MTM I meant online MTM, which is fraught with risk.
Yes, it is possible to get decent results through online MTM for shirts if you get measured by a local tailor. But for suits, in person measurement by the person making or in charge of making the suit is a must IMO.
As for OTR suits, have you looked at the Benjamin suits by ehaberdasher? They are slim cut and rated very highly on the forums. They do have suits in size 36.
 

scurvyfreedman

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I'd do what I did. Have the suits tailored to fit better. You're not going to get something great for $500-700 anyway and definitely not better fitting than an okay fitting suit tailored to be a decent/good fitting suit. That could be up to $100-150 per suit depending on what you need done. After you do that for 2 suits you're left with $300-500. Get 3-5 MTM shirts for that price. Don't skimp. These will be your anchors moving forward. When you get new suits they will be both better quality and better fitting, but you will have a week's worth of good fitting shirts and two suits to start building around.
 

deadly7

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Originally Posted by KingOfTheForum
If the shoulders of your suit are noticeably large, then you should buy another suit. If it's wide through the torso, then that can be altered easily, and in that case, it would be better to buy shirts. If it's possible to save the items that you have at a reasonable price, then you should do so.
They're large, but I wouldn't say they're "noticeably" large unless you're looking just for errors. They fall maybe 1cm on each side? too far, from a rough guess. I wouldn't mind having it slimmed through the torso, especially if I'd be having another alteration done.

Originally Posted by dv_indian
Sorry, I should have been more clear. By MTM I meant online MTM, which is fraught with risk.
Yes, it is possible to get decent results through online MTM for shirts if you get measured by a local tailor. But for suits, in person measurement by the person making or in charge of making the suit is a must IMO.
As for OTR suits, have you looked at the Benjamin suits by ehaberdasher? They are slim cut and rated very highly on the forums. They do have suits in size 36.

That makes sense. I have not looked at those suits but I'll definitely have to check them out. Thanks for the suggestion!

Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman
I'd do what I did. Have the suits tailored to fit better. You're not going to get something great for $500-700 anyway and definitely not better fitting than an okay fitting suit tailored to be a decent/good fitting suit. That could be up to $100-150 per suit depending on what you need done. After you do that for 2 suits you're left with $300-500. Get 3-5 MTM shirts for that price. Don't skimp. These will be your anchors moving forward. When you get new suits they will be both better quality and better fitting, but you will have a week's worth of good fitting shirts and two suits to start building around.
Yeah this seems like the more favorable option to me at this point, too. I will be heading to a haberdasher's later this week but I'm not expecting much. I wouldn't say that I'm looking to spend more than $500-700 on a suit at my current pay scale and usage rate, anyway, but I may have some trips abroad in my semi-near future that could be lucrative.
 

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