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Tall/narrow guy seeking quality timeless suits and shirts that actually fit in Chicago or SF??

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lsanbourne, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. lsanbourne

    lsanbourne Member

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    Hello,

    Opera singer here, based in Chicago and SF. I am 6'3'' and 175 lbs with very narrow shoulders and nice long arms, so nothing ever fits me. I was looking at MTM or even bespoke but it seems like I may not know enough to appreciate true bespoke work yet — also I don't know if house styles of a bespoke tailor would be suitable for the concert hall stage. Also looking at quality shoes — I want something quality like Allen Edmonds, but the lasts seem so huge and I want slightly trimmer waists on my shoes.

    I'd be looking for suits and a tuxedo initially — though I can't find any casual shirts that fit either.

    RTW + tailor seems a possible option, but which suit to start with??

    SuitSupply has been recommended by Permanent Style and such, but their house style seems overly contemporary (tight).

    Many thanks in advance for your kind replies to this sartorial n00b,
    -L
     


  2. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior Member

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    House styles of a bespoke tailor can certainly suit the Opera house as there is a massive diversity of styles out there from the relaxed neapolitan style to the highly structured military inspired and everything inbetween (and off to the sides). You just need to find one who's style suits you/ your company.

    RTW + alterations is an option but are you able to find a suit that fits your shoulders/ chest correctly and is long enough in the arms? If you can then great, if they are too broad in the shoulders etc then its a fairly major task to get that fixed and you may be better off looking elsewhere

    PS is UK based and the recommendation for SuitSupply is exceptionally old. Whilst I'm aware SuitSupply also operates in the USA and is based in the netherlands I don't know if their proposition is identical in all territories as the comments ppeople in the USA give them tends to be fairly different to those from the UK. Could be the same but its the comparative thats different.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016


  3. lsanbourne

    lsanbourne Member

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    Thanks so much for the kind reply! RTW suits are always too wide in the shoulders, unless they are way too short in the length of the jacket, so I guess that won't work.

    My concern in bespoke is just finding various house styles here — I have read that Neapolitan tailoring is the only quality bespoke option in Chicago and San Francisco has nothing bespoke worth considering. (Is Neapolitan ever right for a tuxedo? Maybe it would be nice for a performer who's under hot stage lights, but unstructured seems informal.) Richard Bennett says for MTM the sales people do the measuring, and also said they had no house style, even in made to measure, which I had heard was a red flag. (MTM suits start at $1500 for full canvassing.)

    Does anyone have other bespoke recs in Chicago/SF? What about MTM options? I'm not keen to have a mere salesperson do my measuring, but I don't know if any have measurements taken by a real tailor.
     


  4. lsanbourne

    lsanbourne Member

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    Also very curious what people are doing in Chicago/SF for shoes. Seems like Alden and Allen Edmonds are the only goodyear-welted options? It's like we are living in a sartorial desert!
     


  5. comrade

    comrade Distinguished Member

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    You are correct. I lived in Chicago in the 70s and 80s and shopped in New York.
    SanFrancisco is worse. Both cities have suffered over the last decades from the onslaught
    of 'Business casual" and in the case of the Bay Area, the prominence of tech people.

    BTW, who in the Bay Area is offering Neapolitan bespoke? I would be very wary of the
    bespoke/MTM offerings, of Wilkes BAshford, Barneys, Saks, etc. These stores sell virtually
    the same "Italian for the American Market" clothing. It's dumbed down style with fabrics
    that the average well-dressed Italian would never wear. My suggestion is to check out
    Paul Stuart in New York and also get recommendations from New York members who
    can recommend relatively affordable bespoke options, like Franco Ercole:

    http://francoercole.com.

    Where do you perform in SF? I am an avid classical concert-goer- mostly
    Baroque, and attend the Opera occasionally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016


  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    What is your budget. Obviously, the budget will limit or open up suggestions considerably.
     


  7. lsanbourne

    lsanbourne Member

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    I called Paul Stuart here in Chicago and they said a tailor isn't really present except for the end, and they described their MTM suits as "tweeners." Didn't sound that different from just making alterations to OTR. Apparently the NYC store has a real tailor there -- sounds like that's the one to go to. Which is a bummer bec it means I won't have any actually fitting clothing for another many months....(I need it really for this audition season).

    Neapolitan-style tailor was Despos in Chicago.

    Budget is flexible. If I could find the ideal tailor to go to for these suit and formalwear needs, I might just bite the bullet and do it. On the other hand, this will be my first garment that fits at all, so just being able to get some basics like shoulders, neck height, lapel width, jacket length, sleeve length, etc. correct — while still having a high quality garment — would probably be enough.

    That is what is so frustrating...incompetent salespeople messing up the measuring. As a starter garment, I tried some MTM shirts in SF at Beckett and Robb, Tailors' Keep, and online at Proper Cloth, and all of them required multiple remakes. Tailors' Keep failed on the third one in exactly the same way as the first two failed and then blamed it on their factory (wrong waist size), so that was real impressive. Shirts never fit me so I figured MTM was the answer...apparently not?

    -L
     


  8. andrewmrsid

    andrewmrsid Senior Member

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    We have a similar build I believe. An Eton slim fits me well, the sleeves just make it, so that might be a shirt option. I've found I need made to measure as a 38L. I have friends who own Sid Jerome in Chicago, and you might consider giving them a call.
     


  9. comrade

    comrade Distinguished Member

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016


  10. lsanbourne

    lsanbourne Member

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    Ah, clearly I had read misinformation on Despos then. Please forgive the sartorial slip.

    I took a look at the Eton shirts when a Nordstrom sales woman pointed me to them and was very intrigued; however, aren't they about $200 per shirt? Seems quite steep when I could get that in MTM + Thomas Mason for less....and maybe if I keep tweaking this Proper Cloth size it might even fit better...?

    I actually called Syd Jerome and no offense at all to your friends, but I was very turned off by the sales person on the phone who interrupted my every sentence and reassured me that "you wouldn't want our tailors measuring you for our made to measure program!" I pushed him on why and he tried to answer a different question and then I came back to that one and he said that they didn't know how. That was encouraging.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016


  11. comrade

    comrade Distinguished Member

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    You might try these guys. They now have a Chicago presence.
    I know nothing about them and some years ago I inquired on SF
    about them and got no response. In any case, their clothing looks Neapolitan.

    http://www.belluccinapoli.com
     


  12. jepa

    jepa Member

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    Also a sartorial nOOb(ie). Learning however - which is why I am here. Careful not to tread into areas unknown to me.

    I understand your frustration. So I felt compelled to at least offer the name of the place I ultimately chose to get my feet wet and start on a better closet/wardrobe.

    oliverrowanbespoke.com. He's in the West Loop just off Morgan Green line stop. Joseph Mapes is his name.

    I had a suit and a blazer done. Overall I am pleased.

    I've also tried NIcholas Joseph in River North. Not bespoke but MTM. I order a shirt and pair of slacks. Have yet to receive them yet.

    I desperately wanted Proper Cloth to work - but simply cannot get sizing (around my pencil neck) nailed down.
     


  13. Despos

    Despos Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016


  14. comrade

    comrade Distinguished Member

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    Comrade, this is ridiculous. Not that I am trying to emulate Neapolitan tailoring. You would think the internet would provide clarity but how my work is defined/interpreted is humorous!

    No offense intended. Your work is generally regarded as about the best bespoke in the US,
    but not Neapolitan in Style.
     


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