Where to get a suit for an athletic build in boston?
October 26, 2013 11:39 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend is attempting to leave the ivory tower and get a job as a scientist in industry in the Boston metro area. He has been applying for jobs and is starting to get some phone interviews, so we are trying to get him some acceptable clothes for an eventual in-person interview. His current wardrobe consists of thrift store t-shirts and REI space-fabric pants. I have no experience with men's fancy clothes. The problem is that he has an extremely athletic build.

The optimal would have been to buy a mid-price suit ($500-$800) off the rack and have it fit ok. However, his shoulders are 50 inches in circumference, but his waist is 34.5 inches. We went to some high end department stores, but they had very few suits that would even fit his shoulders, and for all of them they would need to be extensively tailored in the waist, and the pants re-cut entirely because they were way way too big. The pants size he usually wears is 36/32, but his casual pants are worn not at the natural waist, where I assume that most suit pants are worn higher.

So, the questions are, given that we will probably need to spend a significant portion of the suit budget getting something tailored,

1) Where in Boston can we find a large suit (the 48L sizes seemed to fit him in the shoulders) for $300-$500 that will be amenable to tailoring? Right now we are planning to go to some discount stores like Philene's, Nordstrom Rack, and Burlington Coat factory and also some consignment stores around Newbury street.

2) Is it a better idea to get suit separates so that the pants aren't a problem? Should he just buy a sportscoat/blazer and wear it with some matching pants in his size? What are good color combinations for this? What are good stores for this?

3) How much money should he expect to spend on tailoring if major adjustments will need to be made to the jacket at least? And if you know a good tailor, please let us know, as we were just going to try someone with good reviews on Yelp.

Additionally, we will be in NYC next weekend, so if you know good stores/tailors in the NYC metro area, we can also look into that.

Thanks for any help!
posted by permiechickie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Best answer: Men's Wearhouse, hands down. There are two in Boston and one in Cambridge.

They were really great when my husband had to go --- they understood our price point and didn't oversell us on anything. He got a suit, a sports jacket, a couple of nice shirts, and two ties well within what we could spend. Tailoring was free or such a trivial cost as to not matter.

Men's Wearhouse also had things that fit my husband well -- he has the opposite problem of being too skinny for his height (per clothing standards anyway,) so he can never find appropriately waisted pants in his length. It wasn't a problem at all there.
posted by zizzle at 11:49 AM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]

Brooks Brothers has a line of suits sold as separates at the high end of that range. Tailoring would be free.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:51 AM on October 26, 2013

Came in to recommend Brooks Brothers, too. The downtown store is great - men's suits are on the third floor, and the tailors are fantastic.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 11:59 AM on October 26, 2013

Best answer: If you're visiting NYC then Suit Supply is a step up from Mens Wearhouse or Jos A Bank.

Unfortunately that probably won't help you much. The real solution to your problem is to get Made-to-Measure, and there are some options online in your price range if you're willing to risk it.

If you want to buy off the rack, the most important thing is getting the shoulder width correct. Everything else can be tailored, but as you said tailoring such a huge drop can look strange. I would suggest just finding something that looks decent at Suit Supply, J.Crew or Brooks Brothers as something to tide you over until you can get a good MTM suit.

This thread on Reddit has more ideas.
posted by rq at 12:02 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Men's Wearhouse Big and Tall line doesn't just mean stout or portly guys, it also caters quite a bit to body builders and really athletic builds. I think they tailor for free - not sure.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2013

My first thought is Natale's, but as others suggested, Brooks Brothers should do the job nicely as well. At a minimum, they should be able to help him understand his options.
posted by grudgebgon at 12:51 PM on October 26, 2013

Order him a suit from Indochino made to his measurements. The measuring process is not particularly difficult, you can do it at home, and the price is right in your range. You do need to wait 3-4 weeks, but it is well worth the wait.

All the men in my family, who have athletic or otherwise difficult to fit builds, have a suit from Indochino. The difference in fit versus off the rack clothes is amazing. A suit cut with wide shoulders and a narrow waist looks very good on someone who has that build versus the off the rack boxes you are likely to find.

Indochino will re-make your jacket or pants if they don't fit at first, so the risk is minimal.

Buy a made to measure shirt or two at the same time.
posted by ssg at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2013

Response by poster: Just wanted to update and thank everyone for the suggestions. We went to Men's Wearhouse and got a sales associate who was miles more friendly than the one in Brooks Brothers, and helped pick out some great suit separates that are getting tailored right now, and a a free sportscoat.
posted by permiechickie at 5:58 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

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