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Valentino Suits/Short Man Woe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by november, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. november

    november Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Dusseldorf, Germany
    I just purchased a Valentino suit in dark blue, two-button,one-vent,with pants with one-pleat. IT defnitely has more of a pinched waist compared to American suits. I haven't received
    it yet as is it getting altered but I was surprised how well it
    fit me as usually I need to alter suits a lot as I would be shopping in the petite section for men if there was one.

    Speaking of small, the salesperson kept mentionning to me that I needed to wear a suit with broad shoulders in order to
    look bigger. It's funny because I am 5'5 but I am pretty athletic yet I can only wear size 36 or 38S suits. Slim pickings
    for sure.
    I hope to go to Asia where I might get a bigger variety or in Italy. However, North American stores seem not to care much for the Danny de Vito set. One day, I'll go the custom suit
    route when I can afford it.


    I now know what not to wear. I don't look at all in 3-button suits. 2-vent-suits are not for me as I have soccer player butt. Armani is DEFINITELY for me. I felt very sloppy in one.
     
  2. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    I feel your pain. I, too, wear "short" (although not a 36-38...). I have a hard time with the Italian designers and cuts because the jackets tend to run too long for me--and I need the fuller cut of the American style. I'm right with you on the 3-button thing, though. I have short legs, and the 3-button suit makes my torso look even longer and my legs even shorter. [​IMG]
     
  3. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    DO NOT get a broad shouldered suit if you are short. A high-shouldered suit is fine, good even. A nice pitched shoulder raises your overal silhouette. But the shoulder should end right on the deltiod.

    Number of buttons is less important than where they are. You want a high gorge, high waist, high button stance, high everything. Except pockets. It's a nice touch to let the front pockets be a little lower than normal; it stretches the coat out and elongates your body. And you need as a short a coat as you can bear, not one centimeter past your butt.
     
  4. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Nov 1, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Manton, what do you mean by a pitched shoulder? Something like a 'pagoda-shaped' sleevehead?
     
  5. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes. But it's not enough that it curves upward at the end. The overall shoulderline should also be high. This requires a reasonably thick pad, which many dandies are loath to consider. But it works wonders for the short man.
     
  6. november

    november Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Dusseldorf, Germany
    Thank you Manton for the suggestions.
    The suit I bought does have a pitched shoulder from what
    I remember. The shoulder also has a feature
    that a neophyte like me found interesting: the stitching
    is not parallel to the shoulder blade but instead is positionned in a way that makes it invisible when one looks at the jacket
    form the front.
     
  7. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I noticed that my Jil Sander suit is the same way
     
  8. Tyto

    Tyto Senior member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal
    Manton is dead-on about shoulder width--A salesman once tried to convince me to buy a jacket that made me look like a horrible marriage of Wellington and DeVito. The few suits I own have a fair bit of padding, though, and it definitely works, although I like the feel of a more natural shoulder and will probably go in that direction.

    I'm 5'7" and a 36 short, as well. Oh, to be able to fit into a 38: the options at 38 grow exponentially. As it is, I can't seem to find anything between the Men's Wearhouse price point and about $800-$900 that is of good quality. And even when 36s are available, the selection seems sparse (maybe 2-3 suits) at best. Even though folks 'round here and at Andy's frown deeply on MW, at least I can point to any suit in the store and say, "please find one of those for me in a 36s."

    I guess I'm on edge because I just spent a frustrating weekend chasing suits at sales (BB, Polo, etc.) in Beverly Hills and Pasadena, hoping to find something in the $500 range. Unfortunately, the wonderful-looking grey flannels ($498 on sale at BB) that I was chasing don't come smaller than 38, or the salesman simply didn't want to order them for me. The one suit BB carries in a 36 (Brooksease, and then only if you're lucky enough to find one) seems to me to be little more than a Men's Wearhouse suit with a BB label and a bad drape.

    Are we shorter and narrower folk doomed to pay full price for a decent suit, outside of a lucky find? Do you folks have much luck at specific places?
     
  9. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You mean the stitching of the sleevehead or the shoulder topseam on the coat?
     
  10. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Los Angeles
    Speaking for my Jil Sander, I was referring to the shoulder topseam.  It starts at the collar in the usual place, but runs slightly backward, hitting the armhole a few inches on the posterior side.  Is this a fashion suit feature?  What do you think it does to the shape of the shoulder?

    edit: if my description is unclear, i may be able to take a pic
     
  11. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That means that the suit has a small backneck measurement. That is, the distance from the center back seam to the shoulder seam, up where the back meets the collar, is quite short. This adds fullness to the shoulder over the blades, and makes for a more comfortable, better draping suit. This is a halmark of the Scholte/A&S/Naples/Drape cut. Highly desireble, if you like that silhouette. I sure do.
     
  12. november

    november Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    Dusseldorf, Germany
    i was referring to the topseam as well.
     
  13. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Thank you very much, Manton - I learned something today.
     
  14. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    Oct 25, 2004
    36 short here.
    i feel your pain
     
  15. novalis

    novalis Senior member

    Messages:
    131
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    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Gentlemen, I too wear a 36S and fully commiserate. I have posted a new topic for short, slim men. Perhaps we can learn from each other's experiences about which stores and brands fit well.
     
  16. FIHTies

    FIHTies Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Back and Better Than Before
    If you fellahs can post preferred lengths on 36S measured as in A Harris's ebay measuring post I would appreciate it. I would be willing to carry a 34S-36S in an Italian cut if the demand is high enough. Of course that would mean that its a fused suit as mentioned in A Harris's review. JJF PS: I am pretty sure that I have 52-54" x 3" tie lengths available.
     
  17. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Apr 1, 2004
    another member of small-man club here: 38s
     
  18. CaptChaos

    CaptChaos Senior member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm a 38S or 38R and I can sympathize. One retailer in Vancouver (Harry Rosen at Oakridge) does carry 34 and 36 due to the high Asian population in the area. They carry the standard designers like Armani, Canali, Hugo Boss, etc.
     

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