Where can I go to find a well-cut suit? I'm 6'3" 190lbs and I'm sick of suits that look like they were made for me before I lost 60 lbs.
April 12, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Where can I go to find a well-cut suit? I'm 6'3" 190lbs and I'm sick of suits that look like they were made for me before I lost 60 lbs.

I'm a 25 year old living in Arlington, VA and I'm looking for a well-cut suit to compliment my tall/thin frame. I wear a suit to work 5 days a week and the 3 I currently own are from Macy's and Men's Wearhouse. I believe I got a buy one get one free deal at Men's Wearhouse about a year ago. They aren't the best suits out there, that's for sure.

One of my friends put it best when they said the suits look like they were made for me before I lost 60 lbs.

I realize I could go to Brooks Brothers and drop a grand on a suit, but I'm sure there's something between Men's Wearhouse and Brooks Brothers.

Any ideas?

And how drastically can the suit be tailored? Do I have to find a suit that's cut slim to begin with or can the whole thing be narrowed? The suit pants I have now are baggier than the jeans I wear.

I believe I'm a 40L. 16 1/2 neck size. 36/34 jean size.
posted by decrescendo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Tailoring is everything. I don't know of any specific stores in the area, but you could get a cheap suit from Men's Warehouse or Jos a' Bank and have it tailored.
posted by null terminated at 6:43 PM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm 25 as well. And I love Indochino.com
posted by Theloupgarou at 6:43 PM on April 12, 2010

Response by poster: So is Indochino all custom made stuff?
posted by decrescendo at 6:49 PM on April 12, 2010

I don't understand your neck and Jean size measurement. I'm five inches shorter than you and weigh 200 pounds and have those same measurements.

I would ask whoever you buy your suit from to also give you measurements for shirts and pants. I suspect the numbers you have may be off.

Unless I'm a lot more muscular than you...
posted by dfriedman at 7:06 PM on April 12, 2010

How much have you looked for this? 6'3" 190 is like practically the ideal size to be for off-the-rack suits, excepting the drop issue, which will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I don't know any specific stores in your area, but your measurements are not into freakazoid realm, they are in, "oh, how convenient, the sample is my size!" territory.

If you have a really tough time finding clothes that fit your size in your area, and you don't want to go for internet made-to-measure (very variable quality & style), and given your 'between Men's Wearhouse and $1k" price range, I would just sign up for Gilt, wait till a good suit batch of suits comes by (e.g. they have John Varvatos a lot, who make clothes that fit your size well but they cost a fortune at full retail. Gilt will carry like a $2k suit for $500) and order up a 40L. You'll probably need minimal tailoring.
posted by jeb at 7:10 PM on April 12, 2010

Response by poster: I seem to think that I have a hard time finding clothing that fits me. That's for sure.
posted by decrescendo at 7:20 PM on April 12, 2010

Your jean size probably won't be the same as your dress pants size. Jeans sit low near the hips, while dress pants should sit at your natural waist, not far below your belly button. You probably want something with a slimmer waist and longer inseam.

And you should be looking for something that has a tailored fit to begin with. There's a limit to what tailoring can do, especially in a jacket.
posted by stopgap at 7:24 PM on April 12, 2010

Response by poster: Whether or not I actually am "normally proportioned" is a different story. It's probably all in my head or something.

I've been measured multiple times for shirt size and it keeps coming up 16.5 36/37. The jeans I buy are 36/34s. 34/34 are definitely too tight in the waist.
posted by decrescendo at 7:25 PM on April 12, 2010

I'm sure there's something between Men's Wearhouse and Brooks Brothers.

Banana Republic. A good store will help you fit as well.
posted by milarepa at 7:29 PM on April 12, 2010

What you should do it look for a Hong Kong tailor that travels to D.C. and have him make a suit for your exact measurements. I do this in New York for suits and dress shirts.

If you were to go this route, a suit would be about $550-$700 depending on the material you select. (Dress shirts are about $55-75). You will never be as happy buying off the rack suits and having them tailored as you would be with a suit made to your measurements.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:32 PM on April 12, 2010

Between Men's Wearhouse and Brooks Brothers lied the venerable middle-class Jos. A Bank.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:35 PM on April 12, 2010

err. lies
posted by leotrotsky at 7:36 PM on April 12, 2010

I am basically your size... 6'3 195 lbs, 16.5 / 35 shirts and 34/34 or 36/34 pants.

You should look for suits with a european cut, generally slimmer. The problem with most clothes in the USA is that as the size gets larger generally the arms / legs get marginally larger and they are only built to fit a larger and larger pot belly.

I had good luck with "alfani red label" suits that I bought at macys, they fit well off the rack and only required minor tailoring. Not expensive.
posted by outsider at 8:22 PM on April 12, 2010

2bucksplus is spot on. Having your clothes custom made is relatively affordable and everything ends up fitting perfectly. I use tak tak tailor but I suspect any of the traveling Hong Kong tailors do similar work at similar prices.
posted by foodgeek at 8:23 PM on April 12, 2010

Put This On recently wrote about Indochino suits.
posted by One Thousand and One at 8:35 PM on April 12, 2010

I'm 6'4" and weigh 190 pounds. If that's not enough to convince you that I know what it's like to have difficulty finding good clothes that fit well, let me know and I'll give you all of my my measurements.

I strongly agree with tailoring. Even if you find something off-the-rack that fits you well, it's likely to benefit from at least a little bit of adjustment. Step #1 is finding a good tailor in your city. (Ask around; try men's style forums; find a good men's consignment store and ask them for a recommendation.) Take your suits there and get them altered to fit you as best as possible. Realize that you may need to replace those suits with new ones. If you found the right tailor, they will provide good advice.

Look for a good men's store, either in Arlington or DC. And I mean a good men's store, not Macy's or Dillard's or Brooks Brothers. You're going to get the best stuff by going to a store where they don't do anything but provide clothes to men, and that's likely because they'll also provide custom and made-to-measure clothing. And if not, they'll know of a place that does. And they're likely to have good tailoring advice. They're more likely to care about making you look good than making a sale, if only because they're probably more dependent on repeat business than a chain store.

Just in case you don't already know this: Big & Tall stores are not for you. The reason "Big" comes first in the name is it's not optional.

Going the 2bucksplus traveling Hong Kong tailor route, check out MyTailor.com. You'll have to wait longer, but the results are worth it. It looks like you can still get in on meeting the tailor at the end of this month in DC. (schedule link that may work)

What do you do for shirts? I don't imagine you're having a great time with shirts for a tall/thin frame and you just happen to be bombing out on suits. Are you finding 16.5 36/37 shirts that aren't crazily boxy and blousy? If so, you make me wish I had a smaller neck.
posted by ymendel at 8:45 PM on April 12, 2010

Before I had my wedding suit made I could only cram myself into something with an 18in neck, 50in shoulders, and 40in shirt. It was hell, and I'm only 5'8" but built like a brick. I'd checked some of the places listed by the CTDA and tried to figure out how to get to the places Flusser wrote about. I even bought one at Nordstroms. Then my wife noticed the place next to where she got her hair done. Neither CTDA nor Flusser had mentioned it, but she said the shop (Milan Clothiers in Providence, RI) was run by a nice gentlemen from Italy who was also the tailor, so I went.

I'll never buy suits from anyone else again. There's just no comparison. With everything made from scratch I was a 17in neck, 40in shoulders, and a 35in shirt, mainly because this guy was able to work the clothes around me rather than me around the clothes. We spent a lot of time measuring and talking about options. It helped that he had a somewhat similar body type as me, so he could relate to my complaints about off the rack suits, like how hot the fabric always is and how tall the collars are. His little 1st grade child came in at one point and started talking to him in Italian. Classic.

This isn't a question for the internet. We don't know enough about you or the tailors in your area. You've got to do some footwork. Go find a tailor who you can work with. Measurements are usually free and you can discuss buying off the rack and getting it customized. Bring the list of troubles you've got with previous suits with you. Once you've found the right one, work as a team.

My custom suit cost about $4,000 (remember: wedding suit). I suspect we could have had it for half that were it not made in Italy and was semi pre-made, but I know I'll have it forever and there's no comparison to that. My wife actually donated all but two of the old suits to charity, they just don't compare. Despite having fused canvas in the jackets we kept the Nordstrom's suit ($1000) and, believe it or not, the Land's End "Tailored Fit" suit (~$250). They'll pick up the slack till I can save another few grand, probably 5 years from now. Thankfully I don't wear suits too often.

While I'm divulging secrets:
* Johnston and Murphy's more expensive men's shoes are well made and repairable, and if you get two pairs of each style you can alternate between them every other day to let the leather soles dry so you don't wear holes in them. March is hell on leather soles. My dad used Kiwi shoe polish so I do too. Clean the shoes, lay the polish on thick, let it sit 24 hours, then polish.
* Image Supply has double edged razors without much markup. I do use Trumper's style shaving soaps but I could swear it's all about getting a good emulsion going. One of these days I'm going to try meringue. I shave with a new blade and with the grain of the hairs because if I don't I get razor bumps, and those suck. New blades cost $ but that's why I use the double edge razor... the blades are pennies on the dollar compared to a buck or whatever for Gillette's latest nightmare.
posted by jwells at 7:07 AM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

What you should do it look for a Hong Kong tailor that travels to D.C. and have him make a suit for your exact measurements. I do this in New York for suits and dress shirts.

I've done this too and had really good results with Raja Fashions who travel to the US.
posted by dmt at 10:37 AM on April 13, 2010

If you want to take your own measurements, Lands End has a bespoke service.
posted by feelinggood at 1:54 PM on April 13, 2010

Yes! Baggy suits were one of my hugest fashion pet peeves in DC. Since you're in the Arlington area, I'd encourage you to check out Lost Boys in Georgetown if you have the budget for some high end suits--Kelly, the owner of the shop, has great taste and might be able to refer you to somewhere else even if she doesn't have what you're looking for.

Also, check out Manshion, which is a men's fashion blog written by a DC resident. He has a whole collection of posts on suits and also a thing for Indochino.
posted by superquail at 10:31 PM on April 13, 2010

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