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Thinking about buying first suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dusty, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    I suppose first of all I should determine what kind of suit I'm after. What is the most versatile color/pattern (for weather and occasion)? Two-button or three-button? Two-button is the more classic of the two, correct? How important is it that it's fully canvassed?

    The next big question is where to get it. I'd like to try eBay since you guys seem to be able to find some excellent deals on there, but I'm still a bit wary. Is it advisable to try and find my first suit on eBay? Also on the subject of eBay, I can't seem to find anything good in my size (36R). I guess it's a sort of uncommon size - has anyone else this size had any luck?
     
  2. smartie_addict

    smartie_addict Active Member

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    It's funny that you suggest that a 36 is an odd size as it seems to me quite a few on this forum are this size (am i wrong?). That said, all the good suits have probably already been snatched up by said members.

    Question to this regard though: many "men's" stores (ie Joseph Bank, Brooks Bros) or just clothing establishments in general start their suit sizing in 38. What gives? Small guys like to look nice too. Children's sizing can feel..well..childish.
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Senior member

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    How much are you looking to spend? How often will you be wearing it and where?

    As to your two vs. three button query, it's all dependent on the style of the jacket. You can have a two button or three button jacket that is timeless in its design or will date very quickly. Other members of this board will certainly give you more detailed advice on what to look for. As for a fully canvassed suit, always try to get one. They are a lot more comfortable and will last longer than a fused suit.

    Sorry I can't help you out with small sizes, I'm 6'2" and 180lbs so I usually have more trouble finding something that is long and wide enough in the shoulders and skinny enough in the body...

    A.
     
  4. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Well if I were going the eBay route, maybe $300 or so (not including alterations). I'm not going to be wearing it very often at all; as for the occasion, just sort of this and that, you know? Weddings, church, dinner, possibly interviews later on (assuming this suit will last for years).
     
  5. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    before the '50s almost all suits were either 3 or 4-button models, so don't think that a 3-button is less traditional.

    i think for your purposes you should look for a solid charcoal grey. if you go with black you can also where it to funerals and nightclubs.

    it also depends on if this will be your first suit with more to come, or if you plan for this to be your only suit. if you plan on this being your only suit, i think you should save up and get something nice a la attolini, isaia, etc...
     
  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    This is crazy talk. You're talking to a 20 year-old here. Attolini?

    If you could get an Isaia for $500ish, go for it. But if you need a suit, set aside $500 and get the best you can get for that.
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (matadorpoeta @ Feb. 08 2005,19:07) it also depends on if this will be your first suit with more to come, or if you plan for this to be your only suit. if you plan on this being your only suit, i think you should save up and get something nice a la attolini, isaia, etc...
    This is crazy talk. You're talking to a 20 year-old here. Attolini? If you could get an Isaia for $500ish, go for it. But if you need a suit, set aside $500 and get the best you can get for that.
    I had already bought several RLPL jackets / suits by the time I was 20...ok something is wrong with me... Jon.
     
  8. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    Originally Posted by matadorpoeta,Feb. 08 2005,19:07
    it also depends on if this will be your first suit with more to come, or if you plan for this to be your only suit. if you plan on this being your only suit, i think you should save up and get something nice a la attolini, isaia, etc...
    This is crazy talk. Â You're talking to a 20 year-old here. Â Attolini? Â If you could get an Isaia for $500ish, go for it. Â But if you need a suit, set aside $500 and get the best you can get for that.
    a 20 year old is a grown man. there are many men who believe they only need to own one suit, and i think if you're only going to have one, it should be a good one. i've heard it's a custom in italy for teenage boys to save up as much money as they can before buying their first suit. sort of the way american boys save for their first car.
     
  9. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    It's true that I am only 21, so this will likely be the only suit I buy/need for a long time. I would like for it to be a rather nice one, but Attolini? Wow. Believe me, I'd love to have one, but it seems a bit out of my reach even through eBay.

    Also, is charcoal more versatile than a mid- or light-gray?

    [Thanks for all the help so far]
     
  10. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    i say charcoal because i don't mind wearing dark suits in the warmer months. light colored suits in the colder months look bad to me. i think if you prefer medium grey that's fine, but i'd stay away from light grey if it's to be your only suit.
     
  11. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Go charcoal. No doubt. Jon, weren't good suits like $50 back when you were young? [​IMG] Matador, a lot of European customs don't translate well over here, in my opinion. I doubt rising college costs in Italy interfere with their first Attolini purchase. It'd be a shame to buy an Attolini only to break it out for interviews. Seems like a waste of money to me. I would go canvas though, if you can. Might be tough to find something for under $500 in a 36 though.
     
  12. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    johnny, my advice to him is basically what i wish someone had told me when i was 19 and bought my first suit. for some reason i didn't ask anyone's advice and just picked something based on fabric and price. it's an okay suit but not very versatile (thick brown fabric, in l.a.). if i had it to do over agian i would have spent a little more and gotten something really cool. he says it's going to be his ONLY suit for the next ten years so i don't think it's out of the question to splurge on this. he'll have plenty of weddings, funerals, interviews, restaurants, and nightclubs to wear it to.
     
  13. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I know what you mean, Matador, but Attolini? Someone who only has one suit and hardly wears it probably won't appreciate the details that make such a garment expensive -- in all honestly, a Zegna would look just as good but would lack that certain something that makes the Attolini so expensive. That certain something really is imperceptible unless you know what you are looking for, and you won't know that unless you have experience with suits. I still miss so many of the little details that make a Kiton or a Brioni stand apart from even a Barbera or an Isaia. Better sticking with the best value per dollar ratio, which is something like Canali or Corneliani or even Zegna (simply because they are easier to find at discount -- see my sweet Last Call buy, where I got a $2200 Zegna for $438.).
     
  14. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    If you are 21 and don't yet have a 'foundation' wardrobe my suggestions would be....

    For a couple hundred on Ebay you could probably get 3 Hickey Freeman suits. In order, I'd suggest a charcoal solid, a Navy solid and either a solid black or a pinstripe in black, gray or navy.

    Not as sexy as Attolini but classic, functional and very solid in construction. He needs a foundation here, not detail work.

    If you have $200 and want only one suit I'd probably go with a 2 button or 3 button (but not super high gorge) Corneliani... nice fit for you young skinny guys, good construction and quite elegant.

    Hickey gets little mention but few suits last longer and they are classicly tailored so you can't really screw up.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  15. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    I know almost nothing about fashion, but here's my two cents, heh heh...: Go bold. Get one of those slick "chalk" pinstripe suits with the big old fatty pinstripes, 3-button if you're thin, and 3-piece if you can find one (versatile). For some reason I think a 3-piece looks real sharp if you're young and thin and can pull it off. I have one and I really love it. Some people might say it's too racy, I don't care. I feel like Snoop Dogg when I wear mine (and it looks great with this snazzy gold Gucci tie I found on ebay), and always get compliments from the ladies. Also, my personal tastes lean toward 3-button jackets for some reason. I guess I'm just used to seeing 2-button jackets on fat guys, so whenever I try one on it makes me feel middle-aged and overweight (and I am thin). However, if you want a suit you can wear all the time, go black or navy (blah). Or a subtle pinstripe. You can't wear a crazy pinstripe 3-piece to an interview and expect to be taken too seriously. However, if you want to score some action with the ladies, trust me... the 3-piece chalk pinstripe will always do the trick. It has for me. [​IMG] It just really stands out in a crowd. If you're young, the brand won't matter as much, you can wear just about anything well. I never knew any of those fancy designers, I just picked one up that looked good on me, and I can swear that thing helped me score many times. And when you're 20, I KNOW that's gotta be one of your top concerns (at least if you're like I was at 20).
     
  16. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Agreed. He is not looking to look *pimp*, but for a nice, basic suit for interviews and other occasions that call for one. I would with a well made but modest charcoal from a fairly conservative company with decent cuts and good workmanship - I prefer the Italians: Canali, Corneliani, even Vestimenta if that suits your body type. Others might prefer American. Hickey Freeman stands out here.

    BTW, linux_pro, where did you hang out? Seriously, I'm been to clubs all over NYC and LA, and no one wears a suit, expect on special occasions, like New Years... maybe. In LA, you wear a suit out only inf you are in fact, a pimp, all Pacino, or a entertainment lawyer. At college functions, there are even fewer suit wearing occasions.
     
  18. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    You cannot find a BASIC Isaia in a 36R for this price. I've been trying to locate a mid-top tier suit for less than 1k for the past two years, and have found NOTHING that fits reasonably well. I think your best bet would be to schedule an appointment with WW Chan, which Im planning on doing, to acquire your first "real" suit (this will be mine as well, and I'm 26).
     
  19. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    I agree with the suggestion to look at Hickey Freeman on ebay. They can be had for a song on ebay when compared to full price retail (many times a used, good or excellent condition Hickey which would retail at $1,000 or more can be had for less than $200 or even $100). They are well made, fully canvassed, and will last a long time (my two Hickeys, which I've had for a number of years, are both going strong). Bluefly sometimes has Hickey suits as well, although I don't know if they do right now.

    The styling might not be to everyone's taste, but it's a great suit for interviews or for the occasional social obligation where a suit is required.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Jeff
     
  20. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    I agree with most of the advice already posted (except for the 3-piece chalk stripe and the Attolini bit).

    However, I would advise for a navy suit, over charcoal. In the grand scheme of things, it won't make a damn bit of difference, but I just feel like a navy suit is more versatile. It's been discussed ad naseum here and elsewhere, but in my opinion, navy dresses down a little bit better. I almost never wear charcoal to a wedding, whereas I would wear navy. Maybe it's just me.
     

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