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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 04 May 2009, 11:53
Jerz wrote:
That's a very good price for a bespoke suit, but before I jumped in I'd try and find some people who had used that shop before. Quality of workmanship can vary pretty dramatically, so you'd want to make sure you're not buying a suit that's going to fall apart first time you have it cleaned.

Bespoke and made-to-measure are two different things. Bespoke is custom-made to the buyer's specification by hand. Made-to-measure uses both machine- and hand-sewing.

EDIT: ***Not to be a know it all, Jerz. Just don't want anyone thinking they are getting bespoke, when they're not.***
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 04 May 2009, 15:52
Actually, as far as I know, the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is that made-to-measure is taking a preexisting design and cutting the suit to your size, whereas bespoke is having them actually come up with a one-of-a-kind design *and* cut the suit for you. Sort of like website design -- either building your website based on preexisting templates, or truly designing everything from scratch - right down to the nav bars, buttons, style guide, etc (one is obviously far more expensive than the other).

When most people think of "custom tailored" it's really made-to-measure. True bespoke will cost a fortune because you're expecting the tailor to actually design the suit a la Armani as well as cut it like a tailor.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 04 May 2009, 18:29
Wow, Alex showing off his sartorial knowledge as well! Impressive.

Yeah, true bespoke is really expensive (unless you're in Asia, where it goes from moderate to expensive, depending on the tailor.) In Savile Row, you will find tailors with cupboards filled with nothing but suit patterns. Every single customer at that store has his/her own pattern. It is never thrown out nor used to make a suit for someone else. True bespoke is literally a unique experience.

Made-to-measure (MTM) is basically taking a few key measurements, and then adopting that to a pre-existing suit pattern design. It's a great compromise between off-the-rack (OTR) and bespoke suits.

I wouldn't worry too much about it though. Even if you're going the MTM route, you're going to end up looking a lot better than most people who just buy OTR suits. Bespoke is a luxury that is great if you can afford it. MTM is the smart choice; it is just marginally more expensive than OTR suits (sometimes even cheaper!) but significantly better. Also, if you have a non-average frame (e.g. short but stocky, tall but really lanky, etc.), you really should just get MTM (or bespoke if you can afford it.) OTR suits are going to end up looking ridiculous on you.

A good rule of thumb to check if you have a rather non-average frame is to look at the "drop." The drop is the difference between your shoulder size and waist. Most OTR suits come with a drop of six, e.g. if you got a 44 suit will come with a 38 pants (should size of 44 - drop of 6 = 38). Couple that with the fact that a tailor can only take in or let out at most two inches (preferably one); that means if your waist size is less than 36 (damn you and your Greek god physique!) or more than 40, then you should get MTM. My suit size is a 44R and I have a 36 to 38 waist (*sigh*, working on getting it to 34), so I'm right at the border of OTR and MTM. Considering how cheap it is to get tailored suits where I am, I just went the bespoke/MTM route.

Of course, suit separates allow you to avoid this "drop" problem, but the selection for suit separates is still rather limited.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 02:45
My bad - I always understood bespoke and MTM to be interchangeable terms. Thanks for setting me straight.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 05:34
xenok wrote:
A good rule of thumb to check if you have a rather non-average frame is to look at the "drop." The drop is the difference between your shoulder size and waist. Most OTR suits come with a drop of six, e.g. if you got a 44 suit will come with a 38 pants (should size of 44 - drop of 6 = 38). Couple that with the fact that a tailor can only take in or let out at most two inches (preferably one); that means if your waist size is less than 36 (damn you and your Greek god physique!) or more than 40, then you should get MTM. My suit size is a 44R and I have a 36 to 38 waist (*sigh*, working on getting it to 34), so I'm right at the border of OTR and MTM. Considering how cheap it is to get tailored suits where I am, I just went the bespoke/MTM route.


I think the drop is the difference between chest and waist.

A guy who is 44" around the shoulders and 36" around the waist would look pretty funny.

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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 14:45
Yeah, chest size is right. I guess I was thinking of shoulder fit above everything else.

A guy with a 44 chest and a 36 or 34 waist would probably look really ripped. Most competitive swimmers have a drop of 10 or more.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 14:57
Yes, and as we age, that differential reverses itself from a 44 chest / 34 waist eventually to a 34 chest / 44 waist.

:-D
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 15:11
ooooh fun, it's a fashion thread!

some thoughts:

    •brooks brothers f & f is a pretty good deal - i'd def. say that you'll get more bang for your buck there than you would buying hugo boss at nordstrom rack
    •if you've never been to gilt, join up right now. ladies too. i've spent the past 6 months stalking their sample sales, to the point where i now have a complete business wardrobe for far cheaper than i could have had otherwise. about half the stuff i've bought has been from gilt. there's a good suit sale about once every week or two...they even had isaias for about $1000 a pop once
    •always remember that your money will go further if you spend it on (a) good shoes and (b) good tailoring. This doesn't negate suit quality, but remember that a $150 men's wearhouse special with $50 of tailoring and $300 of shoe will look waaaaay better than the $400 boss suit off the rack and some clunky $100 johnston and murphys.

hey, it's my new post-m.b.a. plan: personal shopper!
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 16:13
I signed up for gilt a while back, but haven't bought anything because of hesitations about size. Are you familar enough with how certain brands fit you to buy online? Or do they have a good return policy?
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 May 2009, 17:19
unhedged wrote:
I signed up for gilt a while back, but haven't bought anything because of hesitations about size. Are you familar enough with how certain brands fit you to buy online? Or do they have a good return policy?


No I'm not commenting on suits (though I do find this thread kinda funny - $1k for a suit? :lol: ).

The gilt return policy - it varies from sale to sale. I've bought items that have been marked "final sale, no returns". I've also bought items (eg sweaters) that I've been able to return with minimal hassle. Just check the items you're thinking of buying, on the bottom right of the screen, it should tell you the policy for that piece/sale...
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 06:23
sorry to bring the convo back to color...but if everyone is wearing black, as i have seen, even if wrong, and i don't want to stand out, then shouldn't i buy black also? i guess i'm looking for the realistic answer here...i want to buy a suit that in no way will get attention. honestly, after seeing nothing but black at school AND work, except a few guys that always stand out, i don't feel like taking a risk.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 07:30
My interview suit was navy with pinstripes. I also have a dark grey, a light colored suit, a grey pinstripe, and will probably pick up a plain navy at somepoint. Interview be very plain but from what I noticed visiting offices, people are slightly less conservative at a job than during an interview. Though I wouldnt be buying the stuff you see pro-football players wearing on sportcenter. Stay away from 5 button, red pinstriped suits.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 15:00
coolrun wrote:
sorry to bring the convo back to color...but if everyone is wearing black, as i have seen, even if wrong, and i don't want to stand out, then shouldn't i buy black also? i guess i'm looking for the realistic answer here...i want to buy a suit that in no way will get attention. honestly, after seeing nothing but black at school AND work, except a few guys that always stand out, i don't feel like taking a risk.


Wearing charcoal gray or navy blue will not make you stand out in a bad way at all. A solid dark suit will always fall on the conservative side, so you don't have to worry about that.

Though, in defense of the black suit, it does have its place in your wardrobe; but just don't make it your only or your first suit.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 15:23
General rule of thumb for business attire is that you can afford to be more fashion forward with your shirts, ties (and even shoes) so long as you keep your suit style conservative or understated -- but not the other way around (i.e. olive suits, Zoot suits, neon green pimp suits, 4+ button suits, unusual colors, etc. will not look appropriate no matter how conservative your shirts/ties are).

Charcoal gray, navy blue, and (now) black suits are all relatively conservative and understated. Pinstripes, checks or any sort of patterns are fine so long as they're subtle (i.e. it gives the suit a subtle texture from a distance, and you can't really tell that there's a pattern unless you're inappropriately close to the guy wearing the suit).

Shirts and ties again are where you can afford to be a little more fashion forward - you don't need to stick with boring solid white or solid blue. Go for all kinds of bold checks, windowpane checks, stripes, etc. if you want.

Some guys can break the rules and go bold (brown suits, etc.) but if you're not a particularly fashion forward guy, keep it simple and conservative to start.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 14:47
I am happy to report that Brooks Brothers now are having a 30% discount sale (code:friend75 Thanks Solaris1) and an additional 15% if you open an account.

I bought two 1818 madison for $890+tax. (original price: $1,996) and 3 shirts and two ties. I think I will be covered for all my clothing needs for the next three years.

Suit including pants, they will tailor for you. Shirts you will have to tail them yourself.

Any one know what kind of shoes and belts are good for the interviews? Thanks
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 17:27
Another tip I forgot to mention.
If you are going the MTM or bespoke route, and you're fairly confident (heh) you won't be gaining too much weight, it may be worth paying for an extra pair of pants. Jackets get much less wear and tear so they can last for a long time; pants, however, essentially take a pounding every time you wear them so they always wear out first.

If you get a MTM/bespoke suit in a fabric and color that you really like, do give some serious thought about paying a bit more for an extra pair of pants. A suit that's well taken care of, can last a long long time.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 10:36
I picked up a suit this weekend at the Barney's outlet. It's a navy blue Hugo 2-button, which has an extremely subtle striping pattern (only visible at about 5-10 feet away) and was discounted from $1098 to $547. Hopefully this will be appropriate for interviews. I'm tempted to pick up a Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald charcoal suit in the sale mentioned above, but I may try to hold out for the Nordy's half-yearly sale coming up. I think I could probably find a suit of similar quality for $500-$650 or so.

I nearly bit on a pair of Cole Haan's that were also about half-off, but didn't really like the Nike-Air sole they come with. They still look like normal, leather-bottom dress shoes, but are apparently more of a PITA to replace/repair.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2009, 10:03
I know this thread is almost beat to death but wanted to give an update on sales for people still looking for sales.

The Brooks Brothers semi annual sale starting June 22nd-ish is going to be 50% of not the normal 25% and if you sign up for a BB credit card you get another 15% off (that's about $320 a suit). I walked into BB today to see if I could find a blue fitz to add to my rotation, it was back ordered so I went ahead and had them put an order in and ship to the store, they'll give me sale price when it gets in.

So if you wear a common size and worried your local BB might sell through it quick you might want to go in and see the stock.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2009, 11:13
Just to add to that, Nordstrom's half yearly sale for Men starts June 19th.
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Re: Suits [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2009, 14:28
lsuguy7 wrote:
I know this thread is almost beat to death but wanted to give an update on sales for people still looking for sales.

The Brooks Brothers semi annual sale starting June 22nd-ish is going to be 50% of not the normal 25% and if you sign up for a BB credit card you get another 15% off (that's about $320 a suit). I walked into BB today to see if I could find a blue fitz to add to my rotation, it was back ordered so I went ahead and had them put an order in and ship to the store, they'll give me sale price when it gets in.

So if you wear a common size and worried your local BB might sell through it quick you might want to go in and see the stock.

Thanks for the tip! I will head into BB tomorrow and see what I can find. I was also planning to check out the Nordstrom half-yearly sale, which is coming up in a couple weeks. Then again, I usually only find Hugo Boss suits there. I like Hugo suits, but want to try something different.
Re: Suits   [#permalink] 05 Jun 2009, 14:28
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