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Suit & Tie-Fi

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I actually looked around and couldn't find this thread anywhere else... so I thought I would start it since this is easily one of my vices.

 

Let's see... in college I started out with a hugo boss charcoal suit (actually exactly the one in this picture). I had it tailored at Richard Benett tailors in Chicago (great tailors and bespoke suit makers if you're ever in Chicago). It was my first interview suit and, being on a budget, I actually found it at Sak's off Fifth for a little under $300 which was a steal considering I had seen the same suit for $1100 at Nordstrom. Tailoring was $100. As I went in to different banks to interview on Wall Street, I received compliments on the suit from people in the bank that assumed I worked there. That's the ultimate test, since they probably paid 8 times as much for their own suits.

 

Boss Black (Charcoal Suit)

 

But as we suit connoisseurs know, off-the-rack suits can never really give you the nice fit you want. Heck, even an armani off the rack suit will have really nice fabric but the fit will never look as good as a bespoke or made-to-measure suit of inferior fabric.

 

My first foray into the high-end tailored suit world was with Ermenegildo Zegna. They offer made-to-measure suits with excellent cuts and top notch fabrics. I had one made in a very dark charcoal with squares. It's a 150's fabric so it has a VERY fine weave. Issue is that it tends to wrinkle very easily. In retrospect I would have gone with something a little more coarse for daily wear. Plus it would've been cheaper. 

 

 

 gt-986_400.jpg

Overall the fit was excellent for a made-to-measure suit (essentially made-to-measure is the cheaper variant to bespoke in that they have pre-made templates for a huge variety of body types and they fit you to the closest one then tailor it). I was in very good shape then (body fat 15% with a slightly visible six-pack) so it looked REALLY sharp. I've got to dig up the pic and put it up and take pics with all my other suits. The suit came out to around $2000 (€1900) and then and only then I truly understood why suits can cost that much. When you put it on you really do feel... like the boss. Until your managing director tells you to finish some research that you know will leave you pulling back to back all-nighters sleeping and showering in the office.

 

I ended up purchasing another Zegna suit and a brioni sports jacket which I ended up selling.

 

My dream suit, however, will be made this fall (I need to get down to six-pack shape which means a lot of rock-climbing this summer). Norton & Sons in Savile Row, London used to make suits for Emperor William I of Germany. British suits also have that really nice hourglass cut in the waste that I think looks nice if you're in shape. Any recommendations on fabrics?

 

 

I think I will post comparisons next week. I hope other head-fiers are fond of classical clothing.

post #2 of 7
Impressive!

I'd love to go bespoke one of these days. Usually, I like to pick up used Hickey Freeman and Brooks Bros. off eBay and have them tailored.

Not ideal, but affordable and the quality is good. I go conservative, with navy or charcoal wool.

Though I'm a bit of a hopeless Anglophile - I love their clothing and shoes. Not to mention audio gear, literature and cars. smily_headphones1.gif Though I enjoy American versions of the same - Alden, vintage Florsheim, the previously mentioned suit manufacturers, American lit, our audio companies, and old US iron in cars.

Also, the UK has the best shaving brushes and fragrances. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Uncle Erik - 6/5/11 at 12:55am
post #3 of 7

This is why it's nice to be an accountant - unlike finance or law, most folks in my field dress in conservatively cut suits without showy fabrics.  Any <$1000 suit will work just fine :)  I have noticed Armani tends to be very kind to my heavier-set colleagues, however

 

 

Still, I'm definitely interested in something custom in the future

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Impressive!

I'd love to go bespoke one of these days. Usually, I like to pick up used Hickey Freeman and Brooks Bros. off eBay and have them tailored.

Not ideal, but affordable and the quality is good. I go conservative, with navy or charcoal wool.

Though I'm a bit of a hopeless Anglophile - I love their clothing and shoes. Not to mention audio gear, literature and cars. smily_headphones1.gif Though I enjoy American versions of the same - Alden, vintage Florsheim, the previously mentioned suit manufacturers, American lit, our audio companies, and old US iron in cars.

Also, the UK has the best shaving brushes and fragrances. smily_headphones1.gif

Bespoke is truly a wonderful experience. You really get to know the tailor and they can get the perfect cut. If you're a fan of the very elegant british hourglass cut then they can do it. If you want a more italian cut, then a good tailor should be able to pull it off too. The great thing about it is that a good tailor will be able to deal with any body type and make you look good. If you're in REALLY good shape then you can come off looking like James Bond. If not, then they can accentuate your best features and drape the others to make you look like you're in better shape. Certainly the italian cuts do a much better job with the latter category.

 

I agree about the brushes. I own a Vulfix silver tip brush and it has lasted well over 9 years. My grandfather owns one that he has had for over 20 years. Still in beautiful condition. Truefitt & Hill creams then give you a luscious experience when you shave.
 

Also... Bowers & Wilkins = win.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

This is why it's nice to be an accountant - unlike finance or law, most folks in my field dress in conservatively cut suits without showy fabrics.  Any <$1000 suit will work just fine :)  I have noticed Armani tends to be very kind to my heavier-set colleagues, however

 

 

Still, I'm definitely interested in something custom in the future

In investment banking and a few of the top companies in management consulting the emphasis on suits is pretty mindblowing. I don't know if you've ever seen wallstreetoasis.com, but I'll have you know it's a pretty accurate portrayal of the field. You're pretty much expected to own the nicest suits you can afford in order to not look out of place. People will actually make fun of your suit if it doesn't fit well. Now, in terms of "showy" fabrics, the most you can get away with in your first few years is very thin checkered patterns like I described. If you want full-on pinstripes then typically you tend to be one of the higher-ups that rose up in the 80's. Still, when elegantly done, thin pinstripes can look quite nice.

 

Of the off-the-rack suits Armani definitely has a very tailored look. They've pretty much identified perfectly the type of people of each size that buy their suits and if you tend to be heavier, you do get that made-to-measure look that prevents the person from looking too fat.

 

I honestly find nice suits to be worthwhile investments. I still have every suit I've ever owned and they're all in perfect shape. All you need is some dry cleaning every little while (ideally you have two pairs of pants per jacket) and that's that.

 

 


Edited by fx101 - 6/5/11 at 8:32am
post #5 of 7

I picked up a never used Brooks Brothers dark-dark grey with blue pinstripes 2-piece suit at a charity sale for $10.  Tailoring cost about $50 from a nice lady who runs a laundromat down the street.  A month ago I finally got some Brooks Brothers non-iron slim fit shirts.  I'd recommend them to anyone, they're amazing.  My ties vary, I try to change it up if I'm actually wearing my dressy stuff.

post #6 of 7

I got a $1400 tweed Ralph Lauren sport coat for around $200 and a $300 pair of pants for $15, all brand new from the outlet store.

post #7 of 7

While you can get some pretty good deals on SAKS, NM, Barneys, BD, & etc, there's often only one or two sizes available when they're on sales.

 

Quote:
I have noticed Armani tends to be very kind to my heavier-set colleagues..

 

That's very true (and that's why I tend to stay away from it). Varvatos & Etro are good for people who are on the slim side, Dolce & Gabbana is not too bad either, but could be a little boring for some people.

 

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