I want to look like a million bucks on a couple thou
March 2, 2010 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Men's Style Filter: What essential clothing items should a man own? Specific recommendations welcome. (lots of details inside)

Yet another "Time to upgrade my wardrobe" thread.

I want to look like a million bucks without spending a million bucks. I have the very ambitious goal to look as good looking as I can without surgery.

What are the essential pieces I should buy - and by essential pieces I don't mean "a nice blazer" or "a great pair of jeans" I mean give me brand names and stores, and tell me when the sales are or when I should try in the store & then buy online. If there's a better forum for this (and I know there are some good fashion forums) point me to them - and not just because you heard it's a forum that discusses fashion, but because you're active there & have improved your fashion IQ tremendously by participating.

Facts about me:

- I'm 34, going on 35
- I live in New York
- I'm 5'6"
- My arms are short.
- My neck is wide, always has been & working out makes it worse.
- I weigh 186 lbs
- I work out and have muscular arms & legs and a big muscular ass from years of cycling & skating. Euro pants don't fit me, and some of the slimmer jackets that used to fit me don't anymore - my shoulders are getting to broad from that rowing machine.
- I also have a bit of a belly. (not terrible, I don't exactly have the "V" I did in college, and it jiggles a bit, but it's by no means of beer belly proportions, think of it as love handles + enough belly to make love handles - diet is underway, but I don't expect to reach my college weight of 145 ever again, especially since I've put on muscle since then.
- I have tiny feet. Really tiny - short, but wide. It's almost worth its own thread, but let's just say I'll be experimenting on Zappos because shoe shopping in stores is insanely difficult (not to mention embarrassing). Merrel (non fashionable, super comfortable) and Fuevog (funky fashionable, not super comfortable) and just sneakers (adidias, nike) have served me well until now, since they come in unisex sizes & cater to wider (read: human proportioned) feet.
- Everything else is normal size, thank you very much.

What I currently dress like:

- Jeans & black tees are a staple. I like this look a lot - it's rock & roll, it goes just about anywhere (or I go just about anywhere in it). It shows off my arms, does just enough to hide the belly & psychologically, just does it for me as a classic, iconic look that matches my personality. I do occasionally either meet or catch a glimpse of someone else who dresses like this & think either: That guy looks like someone I'd like to hang out with or that guy is a massive douche. There is no in between with this look.
- Black pants (from anywhere, hemming pants is easy - Filene's Basement on 6th ave has a good selection of black pants). I buy what fits & looks decent (no pleats, thank you very much) and get them hemmed. Mostly cotton, but I may switch to wool if you show me how & why.
- Button shirts (from J. Crew - they fit nicely. Mostly white, some stripes and some of that ubiquitous gingham). Finding shirts in general hard because of my short arms + large neck. Most button shirts come in "wide neck = long sleeves" and I hate that "neck is too big to button the top button" look almost as much as I hate the 'sleeves gathered around the wrists' look. Another option is made to measure - I've been to Addison on Madison but wasn't crazy about fabric selection & fit options (but maybe I should reconsider?). The J. Crew shirts are also great because they're soft cotton, so don't look bad if I take them out of the dryer & stick them on a hanger instead of ironing them. (I used to iron - I got lazy. I also used to get my shirts laundered - I got cheap.)
- A suit jacket from H&M or Banana Republic on occasion. These are okay, but I know the quality isn't great & know I look like a guy who got a suit jacket at H&M or Banana Republic. Or at least feel that way. Suit jackets are somewhat outside of my comfort zone. I'd like to own one or two of really good quality, probably tailored, all sewn & no glue, something that will "last a lifetime" - can I do this without breaking the bank?
- Very comfortable, but very ugly shoes (not my fault - shopping is a nightmare & I'm lucky I have these - again I'll be looking to upgrade but realize I may be on my own here).
- None-too fashionable coats & jackets. These need to be upgraded, but I don't really want to spend a thousand dollars on a camel hair trench coat. I have some nice stuff for spring/fall, but nothing nice for winter. What is a(n aspiring) stylish New Yorker to do when the temperature dips? I'm not convinced woolen overcoats can match goose down in February - can I pull off a ski jacket and still look rich? I think so - tell me how.
- I'm lazy. If I can't pay someone to launder it & if it can't go on a hanger after it comes out of the wash/dryer, then I'm not going to wash it - my wasteland of sweaters that were worn a few time & then never washed can attest to this. So nothing that requires special attention.
- I don't get haircuts nearly often enough, but when I do I go to Chelsea Barbers and they do a good job.
- I like a bit of facial hair. I have that typical Asian 'hair grows in patches' thing that prevents me from going full beard or getting a real good 2-3 day stubble, but I try.
- My wallet + keys, etc. are too damn fat & bulk out my pants in all the wrong places. How do I fix this without resorting to the mugger's delight of keeping my wallet in my back pocket, or the long slim wallet in the blazer I always carry.

What I want to dress like:

Ever see someone on the subway (or pick your other "where lots of random people collide" location if your'e not in NY) and go "What are they doing on the subway? Shouldn't they be in a taxicab on their way to a party with A list celebs?" That's what I want to look like.

I want to look like money. Not in a Donald Trump kind of stuffy business way and not in a "looked like they stepped off the runway & went straight toTop Shop" of-the-moment trendy fashion model kind of way, but in a "my parents had money so I've dressed well my whole life, so I'm comfortable in an situation - business, dinner, drinks. I can dominate it all with or without a suit" kind of way. I want a look that can go from the workplace to the bar & not have me look like the mass of middle management chino + button shirt wearing masses that are OH so easy to ignore, and not (necessarily) having me look like upper management either. A bit more artsy than that, but still classic and still powerful/influential/charismatic. That's right, I want my clothes to be charismatic.

I want to go into a business meeting & have everyone assume I'm an authority based on how I'm dressed (I'll take care of the sounding like an authority part), have women check me out on the subway on the ride home thinking "I wonder which of his mistresses lives in Brooklyn and why he isn't taking his Mercedes," and when I go out for drinks I want to grease the wheels of socialization as much as possible. In brief, I want to be this guy (who, incidentally, stepped off the cover of John T. Molloy's Dress for Success), but without the Darth Vader/American Psycho vibe.

For some reason the phrase "Hugh Grant meets Jude Law" is popping into my head as people who pull this off well (though Hugh Grant is the kind of guy I tend to make fun of as the "romantic comedy guy who stars opposite Sandra Bullock"). Realizing I don't have the looks to star opposite Sandra Bullock or Nicole Kidman, how do I put together a wardrobe that says "Well, he may not have the looks to date a movie star, but he's got the money & taste."

So, Metafilter - how do I do this on a budget? Let's say I'm willing to spend ~$300-500 a month upgrading my wardrobe. Walk me through the absolute essentials. Take me to specific stores, even specific aisles of specific stores & do everything for me but tell me whether or not it fits nicely when I go to the dressing room. Tell me what to buy first, what to buy second. What can I buy to upgrade my current wardrobe, and when I'm looking to replace, what should I replace it with? When should I buy brand name, when can I go cheap? I'd rather have a few good pieces (perhaps several of them to save me from doing laundry + keep them from wearing out) than lots of mediocre stuff.

It's March 1- let's put together a "staple outfit" that I can own by May 1, buy a few choice items in bulk when the sale hits, and expand on throughout the year so that by autumn I'm a new person.
posted by MesoFilter to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (43 answers total) 92 users marked this as a favorite
I think the most important distinction between clothes that are pretty nice and clothes that make you think someone is a celebrity is fit, more than anything. You can get bargains on clothes and spend some money having them tailored exactly to your body, and you'll look way better than focusing on labels or specific items of clothing.
posted by xingcat at 10:15 AM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]

Just as one quick note: it is as easy to get sleeves shortened on a shirt as to get pants hemmed. If you can find shirts that fit your torso without tailoring, you're way ahead of the game, and then get the sleeves shortened to your arm length.
posted by brainmouse at 10:18 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

A nice reversible belt is a great addition. You spend a bit more than you would for a couple of cheap belts, but you get a high quality belt that will go with everything.
posted by ODiV at 10:23 AM on March 2, 2010

Considering your requirements here, it's not going to be terribly cheap. Here's where I'd start:

Use your H&M and Banana Republic jackets to find a good tailor. Take each jacket to a different tailor, get 'em fitted the way you like, evaluate the cut and the service. We'll come back to this.

Shoes: easy fix. Allen Edmonds is where you want to start. Generally, you won't find the quality you're looking for for under $300. We had a big men's shoe thread here a while back; it has plenty of good advice.

Suits: Start with Brooks Brothers and their contemporaries. If the shop you go to has a tailor you like, go with them, otherwise take it to the great tailor you found with your H&M jackets. Get everything tailored; this is going to make a bigger difference than anything. Make sure any jackets you get are canvassed instead of fused. It'll make a difference in how the suit hangs on you. Other details, like surgeon's cuffs (working buttons) will show those who are paying attention that you paid over $1k for your suit, but won't make much of a difference in how the suit fits.

Ties: patterns are largely a matter of personal preference, but material isn't. You'll want plenty of silks for the look you're going for, and a few woven wool numbers for the preppy weekend look, if that's your thing.

Cold weather: wool trenchcoat, calfskin gloves, good scarf. Blacks/greys are traditional, but feel free to step out of the box a little here. Don't forget, your coat can be tailored too. No ski gear, but if you're willing to be fashion-forward, you can slip a thin down vest under your suitcoat.

Drop the facial hair. Clean shaven or a trimmed beard are your options, and it sounds like the beard is out.

If the J.Crew shirts fit, wear 'em. Don't be afraid of color here, and get a variety of collars and cuffs. Wide ties for wide collars and vice-versa. If you want to keep up with the dryer-to-hanger thing, the shirts at Jos. A. Banks are good. Just make sure the shirts fit you well, especially around the waist/belly. Lots of american shirts are cut fairly baggy, which can lead to a ton of extra material around the waist.

If the rock and roll look works for you, great. Buy jeans a touch too tight to start, and add your own wear to them. They'll stretch to fit you well. Don't wash them unless you have to. Don't buy them pre-distressed. A close-fitting leather jacket does wonders, lined or unlined. Again, add your own patina, nothing pre-distressed.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:29 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

No colors not found in nature, natural fabrics only, if you want to look like someone who's grown up monetarily comfortable.

Looking celebrity-wealthy is different.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:32 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Shoes: easy fix. Allen Edmonds is where you want to start. Generally, you won't find the quality you're looking for for under $300. We had a big men's shoe thread here a while back; it has plenty of good advice.

Seconding this. I posted the question referred to, and bought a pair of Allen Edmonds Park Avenue lace-ups. I love them. The look and feel of these shoes is a vast improvement over the cheaper $100 shoes I had been wearing.
posted by jayder at 11:09 AM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]

The secret is finding a good tailor and wearing good shoes.
Having clothes made to fit you is not so expensive as you might think, and if you buy well-made clothes, they'll last long enough that the extra expense does not hurt.

And lastly, after you put on your very fine-fitting clothes, forget how fine they are and never ever ever mention how they got that way.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:56 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

craven_morhead has you off on a great start.

I've posted on a similar topic, but I'll rehash here. And add that my husband became really interested in his fashion choices a few years ago and it is HOTTT.

- A good tailor is very important. He or she can make anything you buy - cheap or expensive - look as if it was made for you. They can fix aspects of your clothing that do not flatter your body type. They can gently direct you if you are wearing clothing too tight or too loose.

- My husband had his wedding suit custom made by Thick as Thieves in Los Angeles. It was less than $1000, and he was not only able to have it made to his measure, he was able to consult with the designer, pick the fabrics, and decide what kind of plackets, cuffs, lining, pockets, etc. he wanted. TaT does email consults, but there are probably similar operations in NY that you could work with personally.

- Invest in pieces. Jeans, for example. Husband researched extensively about denim, jean brands, cut, fit, what would suit his body and style. Husband bought one pair of $250 Kicking Mule brand jeans, which he wears nearly every day. This is key, along with not washing them, apparently. There are many rules to developing jeans from stiff fabric chutes into your second skin. As mentioned above, developing pieces with your own patina is very chic.

He also has himself a Nice Watch, Horsehide work boots, and his dad's vintage motorcycle jacket.

- Find out what cuts / styles work for you from your favorite designers or stores. This allows you to buy pieces secondhand or online at a discount. Husband also likes J. Crew, for example, and buys their cotton button shirts on ebay and gets them tailored.

- Join a community like the Style Forum.
posted by Seppaku at 12:04 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Re: Fit

Agree. Fit is one of the more important distinctions. As I grow more & more refined, clothes that don't fit well really bug more & more.

Any recommendations on someone to do alterations in New York? My alterations person is excellent on the sewing machine, but I really only trust her eye for simple jobs where I can give exacting instructions.

So many people telling me to get a good tailor, so few people with any idea of who they may be in New York... I have a few bookmarks & a couple of friends I can ask.

Re: Getting Sleeves Shortened

If I have an old shirt with longish sleeves, I'll give this a go. My alterations woman can do wonders with a sewing machine, as long as I give her specific instructions, so there is as good a place as any to test the theory.

Re: Shoes

I remember the Men's Shoes thread & the general advice that the cost for expensive shoes is more than made up for in the wear & tear they'll take and still look good. I'll look at Allen Edmonds - it looks like they may actually carry my size, which is a huge boon & one of the primary reasons I dread shoe shopping. They seem to have a few locations in New York, so here's to hoping they'll carry my size in the retail outlet as well.

Re: Suits

I always associate Brooks Brothers with the sack suit, but browsing their site they do have some more ... shall we say elegant & less banker ... styles.

I'd rather look like I'm going to an art gallery opening than going to work at a bank (which I did in the past - it's where I grew my distaste for the sack suit).

There are plenty of outfits out there that do suits by mail, or suits to measure that are made in Hong Kong or some place similar, but I really like the idea of consulting with someone whose eye I trust and who can engage me in a conversation rather than going to one of those places where it's up to me to ensure I get what I really want out of all the myriad options.

Re: Trench coats

I agree this may be the way to go, but on my short frame I'm always wary of a trench that cuts of my legs. I may have to experiment here. Too bad there's no "short and wide" equivalent to a "big & tall" store (you think I'm being ironic, but I'm not, I'm often just one size too small for things).

Re: Facial Hair

Of course a wild & wooly beard is out, especially given my facial hair configuration. Given that my face is a bit undefined looking when I've just shaven, a 5 o'clock shadow is probably my best bet, especially in light of this study, which means exploring electric razors.

Re: Shirts

I'm glad the J Crew meets with approval from multiple posters. I have a friend who works there who can keep an eye out for the sales for me. I don't know that they need much tailoring for me (which is one of the prime reasons I like them, aside from the feel & no need to iron factor), but a tuck here or there probably won't hurt.

I recall not liking Jos A Bank last time I shopped there a decade ago, but I'm willing to give it another go. Brooks Brothers is also supposed to have a great no-iron shirt.

Re: Jeans

I do tend to wear my jeans in, but I also wash them from time to time - when I can start feeling my leg hair get pulled out by the built up layers on the inside. Roughly it's 14 days of wear time to 1 wash. The wash is in cold water, inside out, with some sort of gentle Woolite or Ivory Snow type detergent in the pre-wash cycle, tumble dry low & leave on a rack to complete air drying.

Ernest Sewn may be the way to go for me for jeans - again a size thing. I can get them hemmed, but it's never quite the same after a hem - the tiny bit of extra fabric makes the break fall funny & wear out in a slightly odd way. Having them custom made from the get go avoids this problem, and I can specify the exact cut I like.

Re: Nice Watch

I've been on the lookout for a good watch. I have very specific tastes. It's something I always stop & look out for, but don't put much time into actually researching.

Sounds like I need to find a good tailor, start looking at shoes & looking for a suit I like.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:50 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: Probably the biggest boost to my wardrobe I can do right now is to buy a great pair of nice.

After the shoes I'll look for a good tailor & start thinking about suits.

It sounds like my shirts are in a good spot right now & my jeans situation is pretty good.

Shoes along these lines will work well with jeans, do you think? (I'm guessing at the size there, I'll have to try them in person.)

I'll shop for coats and see if I can find something on discount given that the season is well past, but knowing that I have some decent spring pieces will carry me until the fall if I don't find anything.
posted by MesoFilter at 1:46 PM on March 2, 2010

You've mentioned your height a few times. You may find that wearing pants with no break and a striped shirt will help give the impression of longer legs and torso. And a more fitted coat might be a better idea than a trench. Also monk strap shoes are really eye catching if you want to grab the ladies attention.

Seeing as you are in or near the Chelsea area, did you stop by Barney's warehouse sale last week? I'm not sure if its still going on but they usually have really good deals on nice mens designer suits.
posted by cazoo at 1:49 PM on March 2, 2010

Meso, I actually have those shoes. I wouldn't wear 'em with jeans, for the same reason that I wouldn't wear a french-cuff shirt with a sportcoat; it's too far over on the flashy/formal scale to be dressed down so much, IMHO. If I'm pairing a dress shoe with jeans, it's occasionally a cap-toe or loafer, but more likely my brown monk straps.

Oh, speaking of monk straps, the pair I have I found at a thrift store, and had developed a beautiful patina. If your natural brown shoes develop their own colors that look good, don't muck 'em up with brown shoe polish. Go with a neutral polish and let the character of the leather come out.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2010

With your fit issues, forget buying off the rack, and having somebody try to alter tailored clothes into making you look good. One of the reasons movie stars and models look great in clothes, is that they are genetically lucky, to have bodies that are model sizes. For men, that's a 40 regular coat, with the standard 6 inch drop waist (i.e. 34" waist), and highly proportionate arms, legs, neck, belly, buttocks, weight, etc. Movie stars and public folks that don't have model's proportions, have clothes custom made.

The good news is, that option is becoming more and more affordable, and for those who would have to spend a lot on alterations to rack stuff anyway, even price competitive with off the rack, with alterations. For $700 to $800, you could go to the Chinese tailoring company that is dressing Warren Buffett and Bill Gates these days, if you stay with basic wool/poly blend suitings. Stretching your budget, you might even get a very, very special deal on a true "investment grade" Savile Row suit, by winning a little lottery in April. If you have your accurate measurements, and are looking for a real "deal" in an engineered construction suit (made with fusible interlinings and bag coat method), you might want to make a $279 experiment (for workday suits, that you'll wear and clean frequently for a year or two, such garments can serve to keep your better quality gear out of harms way, while offering a better grade of fit, for people with unusual measurements). Or, you can still stay with local New York offices, of good Shanghai bespoke makers. You can have suits, overcoats and dress shirts made to measure, with a 6 to 8 week delay.
posted by paulsc at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: You've mentioned your height a few times.

It is an issue when buying clothes - everything from shirt & suit sleeves, to suit lengths overall, to buying jeans without needing to get them hemmed, even in a place that carries short length jeans. Buying suit jackets can be a bit hit or miss, though I'm having more luck recently - just the sleeves need to be taken in a bit to get a decent fit.

You may find that wearing pants with no break and a striped shirt will help give the impression of longer legs and torso.

I've heard that. Another thing that helps is wearing a single color, or at least not having a very stark contrast from shirt to pant (white to black, etc.) or wearing a jacket to hide the transition better. You don't want to cut yourself off in the middle if you don't have to, so creating a single line from head to toe with a fairly monochromatic outfit helps.

a more fitted coat might be a better idea than a trench.

Google Image searches lead me to believe you're talking about something like a pea or military style coat, but with a waist. example, example (bottom image).

These look nice & I agree probably would work better than a trench on me.

monk strap shoes are really eye catching if you want to grab the ladies attention.

These do look nice. Much less stuffy than those wingtips I was looking at before - but, again, sizing is an issue. If you stick a size 6 into the Allen Edmonds site and so much disappears. I may be able to pull off a 6.5 in some styles, but typically not dress shoes.

Also Google just now led me to this Sierra Trading Post site that has Allen Edmunds shoes for less than half off. I'll have to see if I can try some things on in the store and/or buy with the intent of returning from this site.

Seeing as you are in or near the Chelsea area, did you stop by Barney's warehouse sale last week? I'm not sure if its still going on but they usually have really good deals on nice mens designer suits.

Nope. Barneys is usually off my radar, but I have heard some great things about their warehouse sales. I'll put myself on the mailing list.

Speaking of - are there any mailing lists I really ought to be on?
posted by MesoFilter at 2:16 PM on March 2, 2010

Paulsc, do you know anything else about the company from your $279 experiment link? Looks interesting, but suspiciously cheap.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: paulsc - Thanks. I'm aware of the existence of those hong-king tailors... I may have to go to Yelp for help on one to choose. I do get occasional postcards from Mohan's, but it's not exactly cheap... I mean it's not crazy expensive, but I have to buy 3 suits at a time to get the deal, and that's a bit of an investment in something whose quality i'm not sure of yet.

Maybe I can test drive them on their shirts first.
posted by MesoFilter at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: Google looks like it's even more helpful than yelp.
posted by MesoFilter at 2:32 PM on March 2, 2010

The Internet can't tell you how to dress, only where to shop. At 5'6" and 185, everything will need to go to a tailor, as mentioned above. Your search for a new style should start someplace like the Sartorialist, with visits to Continuous Lean, All Plaidout, and maybe Ivy Style for more references. See what works on guys with your build, and try to identify why it works. Your one-stop shop for the old money look is probably the Ralph Lauren mansion at 867 Madison Avenue; Mr. Lifshitz has been selling this particular fantasy of WASP privilege for decades, and he's really, really good at it (even if those who inhabit his fantasy world probably shop at J. Press and Paul Stuart).

Shirts: as a lazy man myself, I love Brooks Brothers non-iron material. You can take it out of the dryer and put it right onto a hanger, and any residual wrinkles will drop out as it cools. My favorite shirts are Brooks Bros made-to-measure non-iron, and with your physique this might be the way to go. It's not fully custom-tailored; rather, they take your measurements and apply it to one of several basic templates like regular or slim-fit. You select the material, pattern, cuffs, collar, placket, and breast pocket. They have specials every spring and fall, starting tomorrow, for 25% off your order. I can't recall exactly but it works out to maybe $135 per shirt. Seems expensive at first, but it's amazing how well they fit, and the effect is exactly what you're looking for - people notice, but can't quite put their finger on exactly why it looks so good. It's the exact opposite of the standard BB fits-like-a-tent, billowing shirt look.

Suits: since you're already at Brooks (346 Madison Ave), check out the 1818 line of suits, including the Regent and Fitzgerald models. They're slim, and if they don't work the sales associate can probably suggest something else. Keep in mind that they have sales twice a year, in winter and summer, when they're 50% off. I picked up two Fitzgeralds, one in charcoal and one in navy, for about $850 total last year. They are workhorse suits.

I am also a big fan of j.crew suits and sportcoats, which have gotten much better in the last 2 years or so. J.crew puts out a 20% off coupon pretty regularly, and if you're an unusual size you can often pick them up at a deep discount at season's end. Their cotton suits are a good deal even at full price, which is fairly reasonable, and are a great option for the humid NYC summers. They are an excellent option for a standard, wear-everywhere wool or chino sportcoat. Check out their "Liquor Store" mens shop at 235 W. Broadway. They're really riding the classic Americana wave, but with great results - they've veered away from the cloyingly preppy look of the early aughts and you can get assemble some jeans-and-black-tee-level classic looks all in one store.

I've got a made-to-measure Thick as Theives suit that cost less than $400, and it fits beautifully, but it's agressively slim. I feel like I'm in the Hives or the Killers when I wear it. It's not a versatile garment. Their cuts probably wouldn't suit you.

Shoes: as mentioned, Allen Edmonds are good, but if you visit Brooks Brothers check out Alden next door at 344 Madison Ave. They offer their classic models in a wide variety of sizes and widths. A pair of captoe oxfords or chukka boots in color #8 (deep burgundy) cordovan will go with any color trouser or suit, from black to grey to navy to tan to seersucker, and even dark denim, and will age beautifully.

Denim: check out Blue In Green at 8 Greene St. in Soho. They have some amazing Japanese denim, but the selection of fits and material is broad so you should have an idea or image of what kind of fit you want and talk to the guys there.
posted by Mendl at 3:31 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

A watch that winds up like a proper watch with a simple gold case. The less fancy the better. Should probably be Swiss.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:02 PM on March 2, 2010

Jos. A. Bank? You gotta be kidding. That's really low end stuff, and just does not look good even with retailoring. A guy I know told me "check out this Jos. A Banks suit, I got it on special, the jacket was only $40 when I purchased it with these $50 slacks." I deadpanned back at him, "You see this Armani necktie I'm wearing? It cost more than your whole suit."
Fashion, even men's fashion, is a funny thing. Good fashion is intended to look like you have money (as MesoF wants). But to do that, you have to spend money, and spend money on maintenance. And you have to wear even expensive clothes like you don't care if they get wrinkled or stained. There is nothing less fashionable than someone who wears a suit, even a custom tailored suit, and wears it stiffly, like they've never worn a suit in their life. You have to "own" your clothes. And you must spend the bucks to have then dry cleaned and pressed. If you are a "no maintenance" guy, like you describe your sweaters, you will probably always look unkempt, because your clothes will be unkempt.
I can only repeat some of the suggestions here that I agree with, and tell you how I dress, which I suspect is pretty similar to what you want. I don't have a lot of money, but I will spend big bucks on quality goods because they will last for years, and always look better. Remember you're probably trying to impress people that dress well and know how to shop, and they will instantly know the difference between a $200 suit and a $1000 suit. It's my opinion that you can't get a good suit for less than about $750. Go to Barneys and check out some Hugo Boss suits, they're well made and not as expensive as Armani or something like that. Insist on TWO tailoring sessions, when you pick up your suit, if there is the least bit of poor fit, send it in again for more tailoring. Most people don't think of this, but it's one of the best ways to get a really good fit, and most quality stores will do this for free. Then splurge on a couple of expensive Armani ties which should set you back $80-120 each. You can go midrange with shirts, as long as they're always clean and starched. I prefer Ferragamo, but that's really pricey, a more modest but good quality men's shirt would be the Perry Ellis brands, they're well tailored. Or you might consider custom tailoring with your particular size problems, if you buy 5 or 6 shirts it costs about the same for custom tailoring as for midrange shirts. And I'll concur with the recommendation for Allan Edmonds shoes, they work well (although mine just dissolved in the rain once, after about 15 years). Edmonds will totally recondition and remanufacture your shoes for about half the price of what a new pair would cost, I haven't sent mine in yet.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:08 PM on March 2, 2010

"Paulsc, do you know anything else about the company from your $279 experiment link? Looks interesting, but suspiciously cheap."
posted by craven_morhead at 5:29 PM on March 2

I haven't personally bought from tailors4less, but last year, I bought another tux, like this, from one of their competitor's, Indochino. It's 100% wool fabric, fused front, decent polyester lining, bag coat construction, and fits my portly self pretty well. The fabric isn't anything luxurious, being (probably) processed wool fiber (natural long fiber wool combined with shorter cut fibers from other processed wool, for bulk). I had to have the seat seam of the trousers let out a bit on receipt, for my behind, but the ventless coat was generous enough not to be tight, so go figure. The buttonholes are machine made, the pockets are machine made, and the coat lining is double bluff blindstitched at the hem (a nice touch that keeps the coat hem from bunching and riding up in wear, like many bag coats do).

It's fine for a tux I wear 15 or 20 times a year, and I expect I'll get 5 years out of it. In none of those wearings will anybody mistake me for James Bond, but in all of those wearings, I'll be wearing my own, well fitting formal wear. It's all I want and need from a tux, and it beats renting formal wear by 10,000%.
posted by paulsc at 4:24 PM on March 2, 2010

are there any mailing lists I really ought to be on?

Since you're in New York, you definitely should be checking out The Choosy Beggar every day.
posted by neroli at 7:08 PM on March 2, 2010

You need a tailor in NYC? Campos and Campos is the guys I trust my delicate vintage silks to, and I believe they specialize in men's clothing. Not cheap, but solid work.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:03 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: Mendl - Thanks. That exactly the sort of information I'm looking for. I'll be hitting those stores in the coming weeks/months, trying to match my budget, priorities, and sales. I may skip the shirts this season to focus on more important pieces.

Sartorialist always struck me as too cutting edge (really, how many days in a row can you show the basics? nobody would keep coming back), but I'll add those blogs to my feeds & bookmark things I like. I hadn't heard of the others before so I'll be checking them out too.

You mentioned I should get *everything* tailored - well, you seem to live in NY. Where should I go to get them tailored? Any recommendations? I mean, for the stuff I end up buying off the rack that works well on me to begin with, where do I go to get that extra touch? I don't think, for example, J. Crew does more than minor alterations. So where to go after that?

I'm really glad people agree with me about J. Crew. I'll get my friend to inform me of the sales in advance.

Civil_Disobedient - I agree, a simple watch is better. So many designers seem to want to put their stamp on things that a simple watch is hard to come by. My (not too earnest) search continues, but I think it's a later piece - an accent, not a staple.

charlie don't surf - I agree on the few items / best quality philosophy.

Also if I gave the impression of being a shlump, yeah that's partly true, but I have no problem sending my shirts & pants out to the service and having my suits dry cleaned. I have my black tees inside out on hangers (good hanger that don't give me pointy shoulder) - it's not like it's all piled in a ball somewhere.

It's the sweaters that I don't think my local service would be too good at, and I just don't have the patience to wash (and dry) properly. Partly it's cramped NYC living - who has room for sweater driers galore? Partly it's just laziness, and partly it's a bit of a dislike of sweaters.

In any case- Barney's, Hugo Boss. I'll visit.

Seppaku - I've been reading up on not washing jeans. Interesting. On my way home from work today I did notice some jeans that looked faded due to washing. I really hate gross old disgusting jean feel, but I also tend to wear my jeans until that point. I'll have to do more research into this.

neroli - added to the RSS reader.

ch1x0r - Campos & Campos. Got it. I'll try taking a shirt there & seeing what comfort level I have with them & then maybe move on to one of my well made, sized right, but not super well fitting coats.
posted by MesoFilter at 8:32 PM on March 2, 2010

Yes, you do have room for a drying rack for your newly laundered sweaters. Folding racks take almost zero space when folded.

BTW, as an afterthought, I will endorse the old "Dress for Success" book, it was given to me in my first corporate job, where everyone was expected to dress in a suit and tie, we sold IBM equipment so it was very conservative. A lot of the advice is dated now (unless they've updated it since 1980 when I first saw it) but a lot of the rules they give are basically eternal, especially for suits and jackets. Little things like your shoe color is supposed to match your belt, don't mix silver and gold (e.g. belt buckles match your watch) etc. The details are important, people don't specifically notice the minor flaws, it just detracts subliminally from the whole look.

Anyway, good luck with the shopping, and i hope you enjoy suiting up. I remember reading a little quip in a fashion magazine that claimed the older you get, the better you look in a suit and tie, and the worse you look in casual wear like jeans and t shirts. They're right.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:38 PM on March 2, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, you do have room for a drying rack for your newly laundered sweaters.

Bah! I was waiting for someone to call me on that... LOL.

BTW, as an afterthought, I will endorse the old "Dress for Success" book

I read it when I got my first corporate gig too, and no it hasn't been updated since 1980. At the time, I didn't really have the budget or any fashion sense at all - I was the local equivalent to just off the farm.

The advice in Dress for Success is much more specific than that - lots of information on cut, patterns, how to figure out of a suit will wrinkle easily, how to go through measurements, how to shop on a budget (start from the expensive stores & work down so you have a basis for understanding quality, raid the stores during their seasonal changeover sales, etc.). It's been a long time since I've read it but the basic tenets have stayed with me. I just didn't put much effort into implementing them. At least, not in any consistent way.

Stores like Brooks Bros & Barneys were (and to some extent still are) not of my working class roots, but I'm at the point in my life & career where those working class roots may be holding me back & it's time to get over my hangups and start taking my appearance seriously.
posted by MesoFilter at 10:40 PM on March 2, 2010

A guy I know told me "check out this Jos. A Banks suit, I got it on special, the jacket was only $40 when I purchased it with these $50 slacks." I deadpanned back at him, "You see this Armani necktie I'm wearing? It cost more than your whole suit."
posted by craven_morhead at 7:54 AM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

MesoFilter, I don't live in NYC but I do like buying clothes there. I would rely on this thread at StyleForum for specific tailor advice. It has lots of options. Further lurking and searching at this site may prove fruitful for you.

Based on your black T-shirt and jeans comments, you seem to understand the value of having a uniform. It's even more useful and economical at the level of suits and high-end sportswear. You can save a lot of money and avoid error by sticking to a basic look composed of high quality pieces. My business suits are all very conservative - navy or charcoal, solid or pinstriped, one khaki chino and that's it. No glen plaids, chalk stripes, sharkskin, etc. Almost all my shirts are solid white, semi-spread collar, barrel cuff. Dark, subdued ties. Shoes black, cordovan, or brown - as long as they're well made, mid to dark brown goes really well, even better than black with most suits. It's nearly impossible to screw this look up and if everything fits well, even cheaper pieces will look really good (except for shoes - cheap shoes always look bad).
posted by Mendl at 9:43 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's my basic idea- as I said at the top, I want "essential pieces."

I envision white shirts, black/dark grey suits, mostly solid & some subtle pinstripes & good shoes. I want something that looks as good unbuttoned and without a tie (casual) as it does buttoned & with a tie (business), but I suspect some of what I'm envisioning as a fun, playful look may not be something a short, wide person could pull off as easily as a tall, skinny person... so it'll be a matter of exploration & experimentation.

Shoes are my first mission. I'm still learning what's out there, but I'd like something a little funkier than, say, wingtips, and something tells me I'll prefer a slightly duller finish to a lot of the super shiny shoes I'm seeing. Not just for the laziness factor, but because I perceive them as being more versatile (shiny shoes + jeans?).

There's an Allen Edmunds not far from my job, I may pop by during lunch & just see what they've got & what they have to say about my sizing issues, and to get an accurate measurement for online shopping. I've got fairly thick socks on today, but I'm only half expecting them to have anything in my size anyway.

Alden (mentioned above) looks promising re:variety at my size (though admittedly a large chunk of those in the list are moccasins - still, there are a few more formal shoes there than with Allen Edmunds). It figures that it'd be a British company - I've always had better luck with non-US companies.

And I'll be checking out Zappos too. I expect the internet can give me variety than most bricks & mortar stores because of the long tail issue of needing to stock what will sell. They may not be the most expensive/highest quality, but they may be able to tide me over as I continue my search - unless you guys can provide me with more links & stores to check out.

Then I'll start looking at tailors & taking my existing suit jackets to them for adjustment and start browsing for suits just to get a feel for what I like - I'll probably visit Brooks Brothers & Barneys and just browse/try on different things until I get a feel for what I like.

Oh- and diet. I just caught my profile in the mirror as I was going through some of my old clothes to decided what needed to go & it's bigger than I remember - damn those winter months & comfort food.
posted by MesoFilter at 10:59 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: Struck out at Allen Edmunds. The sales guy there (really nice guy) measured my foot & it's way too short & wide to fit into anything they have. "Almost off the charts wide" were his exact words. Mind you, my feet aren't freakishly wide, they're just abnormally short/wide, and with a high arch to boot. One girl in a shoe store once called it the "Asian brick" and for a while I'd considered launching a line of shoes called Bricks that imported shoes from Asia.

I was told to try Eneslow as a place that does hard to fit feet & Vogel (who I'd heard of before - this isn't the first time I've tried to tackle this problem) who can do bespoke shoes. Of course Vogel is $1300 for the first pair, $850 each pair after that, which is why I didn't go for it last time.

Last time I researched this, I found a couple of places that do custom shoes (including one whose claim to fame is that Gene Simmons buys his shoes there), and their pricing was all in the same range. I think most custom shoe customers are diabetic, since a lot of the sites emphasized this.

I'm on the Eneslow site & it looks like they may actually have stuff in my size or close enough to it that I can be comfortable, and made by Alden. It appears that these are specialty shoes, though and not what I would find in the Alden store.
Modified Last - This Unique system offers precise fitting and correction location with up to 3/8" insert depth capability.
I'll head down there & see what I find. If I have to put in an insert - well that's not so bad, maybe it'll give me a little more height!

I'm actually excited by this find - I may (for the first time in my life) get dress shoes that fit nicely & aren't either too tight or too long.
posted by MesoFilter at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2010

It's Alden of New England, not England - there is no more American shoe company in existence. There is no more American shoe than the moccasin - it's a Native American design (although Aldens are not true mocs). The generally chunky, solid shape of their footwear, especially the longwing, is distinctively American.

Go check them out in person. They're not that shiny. If you want a more matte finish, use cream conditioner instead of polish.
posted by Mendl at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: LOL Okay New England. Perhaps the fact that they do specialty sizes explains why their normal sizes go down below the traditional lower limit of men's 7, rather than their (I thought) European-ness. (I don't know why I need to find a reason that they make odd sizes- I guess it's just my lifelong frustration at not being able to buy nice shoes.)

I will be checking them out in person @ Eneslow, maybe this evening after work. Thanks for the tip on cream conditioner. Care is something I'm going to have to take more seriously. At some point I'll need a 2nd pair so I can start alternating, but let's think one step at a time here.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2010

a cardigan. as layers work wonders, having a smart cardigan can be worn on top of a pain tee, and made to look smart. take it off, and you're casual!
posted by Mike Brains at 7:02 AM on March 4, 2010

^Have you seen his proportions? You need a specific cardigan to flatter someone who is 5'6" and 185 with an athletic frame.

Just a thought OP, this

I want to look like money [...] in a my parents had money so I've dressed well my whole life, so I'm comfortable in an situation - business, dinner, drinks. I can dominate it all with or without a suit

requires more than some brands suggested by Metafilter.


1. Your clothes can't be "charismatic." Your clothes should suit your personality; if you're charismatic already just go to Barneys, Oak, Odin, Epaulet, or any other number of NY boutiques and shop.

If you're not charismatic, don't try to dress as such. It will look like you're trying too hard.

2. The clothes being suggested here (J.Crew, Allen Edmonds) don't have much personal character. You won't look "business casual" but you'll blend in just like business casual does.

3. Men on The Sartorialist are far from "cutting edge." Schuman is really into traditional, European menswear--or, stuff that reminds one of Hugh Grant or Jude Law (except much nicer). Try looking there again.
posted by achompas at 8:33 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: So I went to Eneslow, and it looks like their website exaggerated their variety in my size. All they had was something like this, but in black. I don't know what you call that style of textured leather, but I wasn't too keen on it. It was a good looking shoe & my pants immediately looked better wearing them too, but I wanted to hold out for something better/see what my other options were. It was also ever so slightly too long, even if the width was good. Something I could manage, but the arch support was rigid & just a bit too forward and I was afraid it would be uncomfortable to wear all day long.

When I asked about the sales guy about the apparent variety on the website ("do you guys have a warehouse where I can special order from?") he got annoyed at me and told me that what they had in stock was all there was & I could try my luck on the website, but I may be disappointed. I've decided that the website probably lists stuff they can't carry in the store & may be special order. I wanted to try Alden, but nobody was picking up, they close pretty early.

I was just on the Alden site today and it looks like the "Orthopedic Shoes" that Eneslow is supposed to carry aren't anything special, Alden has a whole line of them. So I called the local Alden Shop (after googling for the phone number - their website is woefully out of date) and the sales guy said I was welcome to come in & try the stock. If they didn't have something in stock, but make it, I could special order it - pay for it in advance & they add it to a production run, and I have it about a month later. I'll try to leave work early to get there before the 6pm closing time.

Sorry to turn this into a blog about my odd shoe size adventures, but I'd like to share what I'm learning with the community - I may update this thread from time to time over the coming months to chronicle my progression in other areas as well.

This weekend, time permitting (I have a hectic schedule), I'll start looking at suits.
posted by MesoFilter at 9:22 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: achompas - Fair points. Let me address them as best I can.

1. I'm not a super charismatic guy, but I'm not exactly a stuttering moron either. That is, I'm a decent conversationalist, not the life of the party. I don't expect my clothes to do the heavy lifting for me, just provide a perspective through which people perceive the pearls of wisdom I'm already dropping. (Though some of you may be saying - if your clothes blend into the background, guess what I can infer about your personality, and you may be right.)

As mentioned earlier, I read Dress for Success when I got my first corporate gig & it made a real impression on me. It's based on a series of psychological experiments done on behalf of some trial lawyers who wanted to know how the way they dressed affected the jury's perception of them.

So he did stuff like sent someone to a door at the same time as someone else & counted the number of times the other person gave them the right of way. He tried this endlessly with different variation of shirt, suit, tie, etc. I'm a psychology aficionado & this message resonated with me. People treat you differently based on how you dress.

Ever since then, I've noticed it everywhere. How people treat you on the subway, when you're walking down the street, and to a lesser extent, in business meetings (where people are polite & talk to you as long as you're dressed respectably).

About a year ago I was walking down the street behind a guy in a remarkably tailored suit. Perhaps a bit too tailored, actually, but he certainly stood out. I was about 15 feet behind him and I noticed that everyone bent their path so as not to cross in front of him - they all crossed in front of me. I was dressed "normal" the sort of middle manager uniform of black slacks & a button shirt that I always wore, but it was really clear to me that clothes do matter. Plenty of other, lesser experiences lead me to this conclusion as well, but that one was especially memorable.

So I'm not looking for clothing to replace a non-existent personality. I'm simply looking for clothing to a) convey who I already am - but a more idealized version of me, b) provide a better light in which to view the things I'm already saying or doing, c) get me more respect as I'm doing stuff out & about from people who have not chance to talk to me and/or from people I may only have brief encounters with.

2. It's very easy to go to J Crew and end up looking like this guy, even though you can't find him anywhere in the catalog. But there's nothing wrong with getting a few items there. The shirts there fit me & they're less than half the price of other places where the shirts don't fit me. I'll probably eventually go made-to-measure or full custom, but for now I'd like to spend my money where it's going to have the most impact - which right now is shoes & suits.

But I am open to other recommendations. It's posts like yours here that made me think to come to Metafilter to ask.

As for character - I think I have a personal sense of style. It may not be too developed, especially in the higher end, but I basically know what I like. I'm not looking for "the mefi style" I'm looking for recommendations on where to shop & what to ask for in order to get into the - let's say horizontal strata ("go to the hugo boss suit section of Barneys") so that my style (vertical strata - cut, color, etc.) can express itself in a new playground.

Incidentally, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren - these brands aren't ones I really would have considered before this thread (and I'm still iffy on Ralph Lauren - but I see they have a few different lines & I may find something there I like). They both seem a bit too old school & yacht owning to me. Sure that's one version of rich, but not the one I'm really thinking of. My version of rich is the guy at the art opening with a Soho penthouse, not the guy on the yacht and a place on Martha's Vineyard. And Brooks Brothers to me says "I was a banker in the 1800's" but a visit to their website says they've moved well beyond the "sack suit" they're so famous for.

If I'm willing to spend the money, I'd like to get quality, and asking for brands here is a way to help ensure I'm getting quality, and I'd never have heard of companies like Thick as Thieves otherwise (too bad they're not in NY).

3. Got it. Sartorialist good. It'll be a good place for me to develop my eye and learn what I like. Now if only they had a sartorialist for short squat guys like me.
posted by MesoFilter at 10:56 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: Have you seen his proportions? You need a specific cardigan to flatter someone who is 5'6" and 185 with an athletic frame.

I'm glad you think I'm atheltic, and I'm inclined to agree with you - arms & legs wise. My belly, however, says I was athletic & now I sit in front of a computer all day but still hit the gym 2-3 times a week.
posted by MesoFilter at 10:57 AM on March 4, 2010

Great points--I have a better idea of where you're coming from.

Check out Epaulet in Brooklyn. They make great house shirts in great fabrics (and they're made in the USA). They also stock a wide selection of brands, so you'll run through a bunch of different aesthetics.

If Alden doesn't work out for your unique shoe size, I'd really encourage going bespoke. They're pricey but you're guaranteed to find shoes that fit. Make sure you do some homework first.

I'm not familiar with suiting (although I'll upgrade my sack suit soon enough), so I'll just defer to other posters here. Good luck.
posted by achompas at 9:03 PM on March 4, 2010

Put This On is the blog you're looking for.

If you're in NYC, he just recommended Daffy's for well-fitting wool trousers on a budget, I believe.
posted by talldean at 5:58 AM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've been to Daffy's... a couple of them & they really seem to have a selection of tight europants that fit on my legs, but not around my rather ample gluteus maximus.

I've been to Alden & they're trying to get a 6 from the factory to see how it fits. If not, they may be able to "add your size to a production run, if you pay in advance." In the meantime, I went to my old standby John Fluevog and picked up this rather boxy number (apparently modeled on a volvo car?), which they have in my size (though numerically it's big on me). I've previously purchased shoes from Fluevog that fit very well, but were a touch on the funky side with all sorts of interesting styling/detail. These are pretty plain relatively speaking. They had black in stock, which I picked up, and I'll be getting the brown/rust/wine colored ones shipped to me (which I hope to turn more brown & less rust over time).

My girlfriend says these are the first nice shoes I've ever owned - which isn't entirely true... I've owned nice shoes before, just they were either too big or too tight and only wore them on really special occasions.

Re: Putthison - Another blog recommendation - thank you!

Re: Epaulet - The high collars of the pinpoint oxfords won't work on my wide neck, but the gant may work.I'll pop by the shop when I'm in the neighborhood & take a look.

Now that the weather's warmed up, I'm able to wear a blazer, similar to this one from Calvin Klein that I got at Men's Warehouse (walking by, popped in just to see what was there) last year on sale.

Between the shoes & the blazer, my look is really picking up - even if it is jeans & black tees underneath.
posted by MesoFilter at 9:18 AM on March 8, 2010

Response by poster: Just an upate.

I've been back to Alden shoes & I think I can get something something like this in my size, but since I just spent money on shoes that I like, I'm delaying purchasing them, knowing that they have them is good enough for now.

My Timbuk2 shoulder bag has been looking less a part of the ensemble lately, so I've decided to upgrade. J Crew has some nice bags, but way too big, or too expensive. I also didn't like that it was "dyed leather and may rub off on light clothing."

I saw someone on the bus recently with a nice Fossil bag (it had the branding on the front) and I remembered seeing some nice bags there a while back, so I browsed the website & took a trip.

I saw this nice bag on the website, but it's pretty expensive, still I took a trip down to Fossil. They don't have it in stock because it's new. Also, I realized that, like the J Crew bag, it would be far too big for me. So I ended up getting the rather nice, and far cheaper, CityBag. It has a couple of internal pockets and one large external pocket, but doesn't have nearly as many small pockets as I need. I'm hoping to find some sort of small pocket partition bag thing to put inside, just so my toothpaste or pens don't fall over and leak inside the bag.

Since so much brown is working its way into my wardrobe, I'll need a brown belt. Fossil had a few (I think my last 2 belts were from Fossil), but far too wide. J Crew had some nice brown belts in a variety of tones & sizes, but last time I was there I was in a bit too much of a rush to try any for length.

I'm reminded of the realization I had a few years ago - men's clothes are so simple. Shirt. Pants. Jacket. Shoes. Belt. Bag. That's all any man ever wears. The difference between someone who dresses well and someone who doesn't is just a choice of which shirt, which pants, which jacket, which shoes, etc.

I have to say, though, that the shoes were a big part of it for me - I'd resigned myself to ugly, but comfy shoes because of my sizing issues. Getting decent shoes has really boosted my confidence in other areas too.
posted by MesoFilter at 5:33 PM on March 24, 2010

Response by poster: I've created a Yahoo Pipe with the blogs mentioned in this thread, and a couple of others. Add it to your RSS reader as a one-stop-shop for all your sartorial fun.
posted by MesoFilter at 1:11 PM on April 7, 2010

Response by poster: I bought a suit recently at Macy's (got a great deal on it too). There are so many suits there & at a glance, it's hard to tell the good from the bad. Macy's seems pretty middle of the road to cheap ($70 for a suit?), and it wasn't too crowded for a Saturday sale day...

So I was wondering how to spot a quality suit & stumbled across this thread here with an excellent post on what to look for. I've been told here numerous times to avoid Banana Republic & J Crew for suiting, so I decided to go to Macy's figuring I'd see a range of suits.

I'll have to go back & put some of these quality-suit-tests to the test until I can afford to get something at Brooks Brothers.

The downside to all this is now my boss is constantly convinced I'm going on a job interview (not entirely untrue).

I'm very happy with the way the suit fits, but I may bring it to be altered a bit after all these job interviews.
posted by MesoFilter at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2010

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