Formalwear for Slender Men
May 22, 2014 12:39 PM   Subscribe

My fiance needs a suit, possibly even a tux. He is very tall and slender. What are some good resources to find a suit that will look flattering on him?

His only in-person experiences were at a Men's Wearhouse and a Nordstroms, and both tailors/salespeople left him with suits that looked very boxy and ill-fitting. He has had a suit from H&M before; that was better, but even then, the inseam and arm lengths are usually too short.

We're looking for both online or in-person; Chicago-area even better.
posted by lady3bird to Shopping (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Macy's has good deals on suits/tuxes. Tall and thin is an Athletic cut or Slim Fit, and all suits need tailoring.

Here's an Extra Slim Fit Tuxedo.

Order it online, try it at home, take it to your tailor for fitting, or return if it doesn't work out.

Usually there's a 15% to 20% discount with coupons, and this weekend there will be a sale.

Good luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2014

As a skinny guy who has a lot of suits: J Crew or Brooks Brothers are probably your best bets for in-store options. J Crew in particular has a lot of extra-long suiting. They both have different styles for their cuts; make sure he picks a slim one, like J Crew's Ludlow or Brooks Brothers' Milano.
posted by ZaphodB at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

My 6ft 3in 165 lb husband was able to buy a suit at Macy's that fit him quite nicely.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2014

I would recommend J Crew as well.
posted by AaRdVarK at 1:05 PM on May 22, 2014

I'm very close to the height/weight of sciencegeeks husband, and the best fitting off the rack suits i EVER found were at the topman popup shop/section of nordstroms. it was like 90% of the way to looking really great even without tailoring.

Note that i also have long, gangly arms and regularly have the too short shirt sleeve/jacket sleeve problem there. These had no issue with that.
posted by emptythought at 1:21 PM on May 22, 2014

For Chicago go to Suit Supply. Their selection is uniformly excellent, and all their fits are extremely trim. It's also a very pleasant shopping experience. Example Suits, Example Tux.
posted by true at 1:22 PM on May 22, 2014

It would help to know what his actual suit size is. I'm somewhere in the 34L - 36L range (6'5", 165lbs), and I can tell you from bitter personal experience that basically every suggestion in this thread so far won't find you a decent suit if he's built like me. The Suit Supply in NYC doesn't stock 36Ls, Macy's is going to be a crapshoot at best, and the guy at J Crew's menswear place in Soho told me that they never stock "exotic sizes" like mine. Likewise, Brooks Brothers doesn't stock long suits in any size below a 40 as far as I know.
posted by saladin at 1:29 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

He is 6'3/6'4 and 150ish lbs. I plead total ignorance on suit sizing, but what I can say is that the H&M suit in the closet right now is a 38L and even it is too short on arms and legs. I think his inseam is actually longer than 34"? He goes for a 31/34 pant off-the-rack, but that is mostly because you can't get most pants any longer than that.
posted by lady3bird at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2014

Yeah, those H&M suits that claim to be "long" tend to be pretty short on me too.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that he's also in the 34L - 36L range, in which case you can junk basically everything that's been suggested in this thread so far. There was a thread on StyleForum a few years back that discussed the immense difficulty of finding suits in this range off-the-rack in the United States, and the general conclusion was that, if you're not ordering it online from Europe or spending a TON of money at a fancy European designer store (the French ones, like Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, are the best for tall skinny suits), then your only hope is to get lucky at an outlet store. As far as I can tell, that still holds true.

I will also mention that the cheap custom suit route offered by Indochino is pretty mediocre as well. I've got one of their suits, made from my measurements, and it's still a bit baggy and dumpy looking. Even though it's based on my actual dimensions, it's still cut from a generalized template that's designed around a much smaller and heftier man, and it shows.

How soon does he need the suit/tux?
posted by saladin at 2:10 PM on May 22, 2014

Have you tried Nordstrom's? It'll cost a pretty penny but they do a certain amount of in-house tailoring for free with purchase.

Most recently, a thin man in a good suit I saw was wearing Ralph Lauren. So... designer duds are probably where you're headed.
posted by purple_bird at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2014

Skinny guy here (6' , 150 lbs.). I finally bit the bullet a couple years back and had a basic suit made for me by a small shop in Portland, OR. It fits like a glove, looks great, and I wish I'd done it sooner instead of wasting just as much money over the years on suits off the rack. Tailors really can't fix the shoulders on such jackets.
posted by bennett being thrown at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2014

The pants should be un-hemmed when your fiancé buys the suit and then adjusted to fit.

If he's a 38L in H&M sizes, that likely places him as a 36L in most other stores. That is a bit challenging, but not impossible.

What you need is to choose suit brands that are slim fitting to begin with: John Varvatos, Ben Sherman, and Paul Smith come to mind as brands that are cut for people like your fiancé. The suit maker Thick As Thieves specializes in making the sort of suits that would fit him for about $500, though expect to do about $100 of tailoring adjustment once the suit arrives.
posted by deanc at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2014

My sister's fiance (6'5", 150lbs ish) just got a suit from Hugo Boss for their wedding. She said it had to be special ordered but they were good to deal with. They haven't gotten it back from the tailor's yet but the cut of the suit is suited to a tall slim frame.
posted by AV at 6:25 PM on May 22, 2014

My friend had great success with indochino (online) for his wedding. He is a tall lanky man and looked quite the gentleman. He went back and got suit number two after his wallet healed a bit from the wedding itself and now he considers himself quite fancy.
posted by skrozidile at 8:10 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

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