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2 button suit vs. 3 button suit

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2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2008, 19:52
Alright, I'll admit, I don't regularly wear a suit to work and I'm not very familiar with the details of how a high quality suit should be worn or constructed. That said, I'm currently in the process of buying my first bespoke suit. I got measured today by my tailor and he has way too many options for me to even think about. If there are any more fashion conscious individuals on the board, I would love to hear your input. I am deciding between the following options:

1) 2-button vs. 3-button suit. I am 5'11" and my tailor told me that I should stick with a 2-button. He mentioned that only people above 6'3" should have a 3-button suit, especially in Finance/Wall Street. I've always felt more comfortable with 3 button suits, but he was strongly discouraging me from getting a 3 button. His 2-button suits seem to place the buttons a little bit higher, similar to a Zegna or Canali. Which one is more appropriate for business school/interviewing purposes?

2) Navy vs. Charcoal solid. I'm almost dead set on Navy. I have a charcoal pinstriped suit already that is off-the-rack, and it is decent.

3) 2 Side Vents vs. 1 Center Vent. Now we're getting to the part where it is too granular for me to even distinguish or care between some features. What are the purposes of each and which looks better? My tailor recommended 2 side vents.

4) Stitching on the lapel. My tailor recommended that I get a subtle stitching on the front lapel, and mentioned that it looks classy. I've never seen this and was a little bit hesitant. Is this gaudy?
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2008, 05:59
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Ozmba wrote:
Winter Approaching!

Whats the recommendation for over coats while wearing suits?


If you don't mind spending the money, get a cashmere overcoat in either navy or black. Possibly camel hair if you need to pick up two. You can get a good one for around $800, but can also get a wool/cashmere blend for $200-$400 at any department store. Check out Nordstrom's or a similar store.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2008, 07:33
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Definitely avoid Macy's in house Tasso Elba brand. I would second a suggestion made earlier on this thread about checking out Nordstrom Rack. That's where I plan to go shopping assuming I get admitted somewhere this year.

I personally find Brooks Brothers a bit too old-fashioned. If you're comfortable shopping for suits online and don't need them custom fitted, Charles Tyrwhitt has some good deals once in a while in their Clearance section.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2008, 09:43
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terp26 wrote:
thanks for your suggestions but what I am wondering, what makes a suit a good suit besides its name?

Obviously 100% wool is a prerequisite, but other than that? What things should I be looking for?


Quality construction and stitching and a solid fit/cut. These are hard to discern unless you know a lot about suits, so it is better to just go ahead with the higher-end brand names (they will take care of this for you). You are not going to get a half-decent quality suit < $500 sticker price.

Keep in mind that high end suits do not go out of fashion. If you pick up a classic, 2-button Navy Hickey Freeman or something of that sort, you should be able to hang on to it for at least 10 years (assuming you don't gain or lose a lot of weight). If you buy lower quality suits, you will likely want to replace them every 3-4 years.

I would rather purchase 2 high quality suits than 5 low-to-mid quality ones.

One last thing to note - even if you don't end up purchasing a super nice suit, please make sure you have nice shoes. I noticed a few prospective students at Tuck were wearing these big bulky square toed shoes with rubber soles. They looked like Rockports or something. You will look like a clown if you wear these with a suit. Invest in a pair of Johnston & Murphy, Cole Haan or Allen-Edmonds with a cap toe and leather sole. I currently have a J&M Cap Toe Oxford, but plan to purchase a pair of Allen-Edmonds Park Avenues once I get into school. The AE Park Avenue is a timeless style that I should be able to keep for at least a decade.

As solaris mentioned, Nordstrom Rack is a solid place to go. Another entry level suit to check out may be a Joseph Abboud. I have never tried one on, but I have heard good things about them for that price point.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2008, 10:40
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Or at the very least go to DSW and buy you a pair of Bostonian cap toe leather black shoes for $89. I would ALWAYS tell the novice to buy these shoes for wear with dress pants, suits, etc. They look good and are relatively cheap. I believe the J&M's Terp was referencing are a little more expensive ~$150.

http://bostonian.zappos.com/n/p/dp/29189384/c/72.html
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2008, 07:35
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Ozmba wrote:
Winter Approaching!

Whats the recommendation for over coats while wearing suits?


Another plug for Joseph A. Bank. I bought this one last year in the camel color for versatility and have been very pleased:

http://www.josbank.com/IWCatProductPage ... _Id=338711

If you are willing to spend the money, I agree that cashmere would be better. Try this one:

http://www.josbank.com/IWCatProductPage ... _Id=158461
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 05:03
Look at the picture below you and dress just like him, shades included. You won't look creepy. Not at all.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 05:08
There's an old post regarding this stuff for aaudetat's sig other, but here's my take:

terp06 wrote:
1) 2-button vs. 3-button suit.

2 button = classic
3 button = modern

terp06 wrote:
2) Navy vs. Charcoal solid. I'm almost dead set on Navy. I have a charcoal pinstriped suit already that is off-the-rack, and it is decent.

navy = youthful
charcoal = older

terp06 wrote:
3) 2 Side Vents vs. 1 Center Vent. Now we're getting to the part where it is too granular for me to even distinguish or care between some features. What are the purposes of each and which looks better? My tailor recommended 2 side vents.

2 side vents = man of action
1 center vent = man of less action

terp06 wrote:
4) Stitching on the lapel. My tailor recommended that I get a subtle stitching on the front lapel, and mentioned that it looks classy. I've never seen this and was a little bit hesitant. Is this gaudy?

huh?

Your tailor seems quite pushy. I'd go 3 button navy w/center vent and hold the bells and whistles.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 05:17
"Action" eh - I guess now I know what I've been doing wrong. It's obviously the lack of 2 side vents in my wardrobe ensemble.

kidderek wrote:
2 side vents = man of action
1 center vent = man of less action
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 08:14
Either button configuration should work at your height. I'm fairly certain that extremely tall men should avoid 3-button suits due to the enormous amount of cloth that covers the torso (see the nba draft for some examples of this). You can also consider the 3/2 button roll where the suit has three buttons but the top button is a part of the lapel roll and is not meant to be buttoned.

Both navy and charcoal are classic colours. If you already have a charcoal suit then get a navy one.

Dual vents are considered more functional (less bunching when you sit down) but centre and ventless jackets are acceptable as well depending on your body type.

I don't know what you mean by "stitching on the front lapel." Do you mean hand-stitching on the lapel buttonhole?
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 10:14
I would go with your tailor, he sounds right to me.

By the way, a center vent always makes me think of a butler.

I also really don't like navy, I'm a classic black fan. I would skip the stitching though.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 11:33
highhopes wrote:
I would go with your tailor, he sounds right to me.

By the way, a center vent always makes me think of a butler.

I also really don't like navy, I'm a classic black fan. I would skip the stitching though.


Isn't black reserved for funerals and posher events held at night?
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 14:25
I know this is obvious advice, but you really need to go with what looks the best on you. Try on different types/styles of suits and different colors. Bring an audience to solicit their opinions. For example, I have found that with my skin complexion that charcoal gray and any shade of brown looks great on me. There's nothing worse than having an awesome, well-cut, expensive suit, but the color looks horrible on you.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 16:42
terp06 wrote:
highhopes wrote:
I would go with your tailor, he sounds right to me.

By the way, a center vent always makes me think of a butler.

I also really don't like navy, I'm a classic black fan. I would skip the stitching though.


Isn't black reserved for funerals and posher events held at night?


I thought it was only in the UK where black suits were considered funeral suits?

for women at least, black suits have been fine for work-wear...could be diff for guys :wink:
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 20:51
I Always go with 3.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2008, 23:39
Black suits are really not considered business attire - they do make you look like morticians and G-men.

Formal attire is something different. Yes black tie does call for black - but tuxedos rather than business suits. When events go super formal, attire shifts from black tie to white tie (coat and tails, and sometimes top hats and canes).

There's a well-known saying that you should never be remembered for what you wear in a business setting. You don't want to be wearing something so shabby that you stick out in a crowd; but you also don't want to be wearing stuff that is so expensive that the people recruiting you take note (I always leave the Rolex at home for recruiting events). In a recruiting setting, leave everything flashy at home (including but not limited to bright/fancy colors, french cuffs, shoes with buckles, suits with highly defined patterns or stripes, flashy shirts, and so on). I'm really just talking about attire for men; women have a lot more flexibility.

Going back to the black suit, it could cause you to stand out at a recruiting event. Many people will not notice, but there are definitely people that do not regard black suits as proper business attire. You want to do everything in your power to avoid getting dinged before you even open your mouth. Remember, it is never good to be remembered for your clothes at a recruiting event, no matter how good it sounds to you right no.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2008, 20:36
What are the accepted norms for vents?
I read that while single vent is more formal in USA, the double vent is more formal in UK! What about the suits without vent?

I was also wondering about the pleats on the pant. I prefer single pleat but read that, presently, only pleatless pants are formal!
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2008, 00:01
Artemov wrote:
What are the accepted norms for vents?
I read that while single vent is more formal in USA, the double vent is more formal in UK! What about the suits without vent?

I was also wondering about the pleats on the pant. I prefer single pleat but read that, presently, only pleatless pants are formal!


Pleats come down to a preference issue.

I think pleats look "grandpa-style" pants, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2008, 06:54
I think a suit needs vents on the jacket, but I don't think the number matters. My suits are all 3 button, but my friend in the UK had the most awesome suit cut for him with 2 buttons (I want to get some, though the lining they insist on is floral and a bit... well... I don't really like it). No pleats on the pants though. Ever.

Try them on and see which suits best - it really doesn't matter between the two, more on which just looks best for you.
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Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2008, 09:17
3underscore wrote:
I think a suit needs vents on the jacket, but I don't think the number matters. My suits are all 3 button, but my friend in the UK had the most awesome suit cut for him with 2 buttons (I want to get some, though the lining they insist on is floral and a bit... well... I don't really like it). No pleats on the pants though. Ever.

Try them on and see which suits best - it really doesn't matter between the two, more on which just looks best for you.


It's all about the gorge!
Re: 2 button suit vs. 3 button suit   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2008, 09:17
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