Suits

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.
Status
Not open for further replies.

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,710
2,045
Suits. Yikes. I had the suit I got married in for a lot of years. It was a powder blue polyester with slightly belled bottoms. I'd see it in the closet and it would cause me to recoil.

I got one years later for my kid brother's third wedding where I was best man. It was an obligation to have the color suit that his new wife proscribed. At least this one appears 'normal', and isn't that the idea?

I've worn it twice in 6 years and the next time I'll have to have the waist tailored or have a pleated waistband, cinching it tight with a belt. I've lost weight.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,985
23,552
Another way to make an inexpensive or secondhand quality suit look good is accessories. Get some black dress shoes (but be sure they are comfortable, nothing worse than having sore feet at social events). Get a matching belt, the less conspicuous the better. If you know how to tie them, bow ties can be a good individual touch, but get conservative colors unless you are really wanting zany (don't). Otherwise, get a conservative tie or ties that are approximately the width of the lapels of your suit, and maybe a matching pocket square. Get all this at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, or similar discount place, and skip the high end items.
It depends on the culture in your area. Black suits are popular and widely worn in some places, notably New York City and other places. In some areas they are more worn by people in the funeral industry. If you have just a suit or two, brown is a bad choice. Navy or charcoal are best choices for universal use.
Footnote: I have several nice suits, all bought in various circuitous ways to save a buck. But it is really difficult to find places to wear them without looking overdressed. Churches have gone casual almost universally. Most social events reward snappy sportswear more than dressy clothes, and sometimes not so snappy. I have a tux I have worn exactly once, luckily at a major event. Even at my wedding in 2010 (I was a widower) I didn't want to put the guys in tuxes, so I wore a suit. Many, most weddings and funerals accept a sports jacket and tie without a pause.

 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.

dochudson

Preferred Member
May 11, 2012
1,635
6
You can never be over dresses.. you can always lose the jacket and tie but show up in chinos and polo when everyone else is in suits.
Never wear a button down Oxford shirt with a suit.

Black tie dress shoes in good repair and SHINED with a black belt that fits correctly. Thin black socks

No cuffs or pleats on the trousers.

French cuffs or not for your shirt depends on where you are going. Funerals no links, Las Vegas links.
These guys could walk in anywhere and still be well dresses. It's the details that count.



 

travelergypsy

Member
May 15, 2016
246
0
Never wear a button down Oxford shirt with a suit.

Why is this? What about the Oxford is a no-go with a suit?

The shines shoes aren't a problem for me. (Military taught be how to shine, and keep shined.)

 

akfilm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
309
1
Jos. A Banks makes a good cheaper suit. Charcoal is my favorite color, easy to dress up or down. Get a three piece if you can so you can mix and match, dress up or dress down, or wear the vest alone with a nice pair of jeans, a pocket square does wonders when you go without a tie or with a tie. No matter what, get it tailored.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,985
23,552
akfilm, good point, not "matching" but complementary pocket squares. I was being sloppy in using matching for complementary. The tie and square should "go together," but not be the same pattern, which looks corny.
Another suggestion: If you know you're not that interested in clothes, take along a sympathetic person who is, but who isn't overbearing, who will respect your preferences too. This may be your wife, daughter, or a friend. But they must be both clothing saavy and sympatico, understand you, and not be colorblind.
Guys in general can do horrible things with clothes. We mix cowboy boots with football jerseys with porkpie hats, so we sometimes look like we've just robbed a flea market.

 

admin

Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
8,295
1,853
St. Petersburg, FL
pipesmagazine.com
There's a lot of good advice here, which I agree with most.
Jos. A. Banks gets a lot of mentions, but I didn't think of them as a budget store, although I haven't been in one in over a year. I have several shirts and accessories from them.
Brooks Brothers - half of my clothes are from there, but they are even farther away from a low-budget place.
Already mentioned were thrift stores and TJ Maxx, which is great advice.
Also try:
- Consignment Stores

- JC Penney - I think this is one of the best places for new suits, shirts and accessories for a tight budget.
I don't have a tight budget, and I have several custom-tailored suits, and I still buy items from JC Penney because they have some nice styles with decent quality - 100% wool and 100% cotton.
A lot of the cheaper stuff has polyester and cost more than JCP.
I have some stuff from JC Penney that is quite good quality, and they have some nice styles, and they have many of the extra added features that better suits have, and many low-budget suits don't have. They have 3 inside pockets, actual real lapel buttonholes for adding a boutonniere or lapel pin. Most cheaper suits have a fake buttonhole on the lapel, and have a certain percentage of polyester.
JCP also has 100% cotton shirts that are high quality and priced ridiculously low. I just got a bunch of shirts for a client at JCP that are 100% cotton and on sale for $30 each. In contrast, Kohl's had brand name Geoffrey Beene shirts for $50 that had polyester in them!
#1 RULE: Proper fit - Whatever you get, take it to a tailor and have it altered to fit you perfectly.
#2 RULE: No man made materials - Just say no to polyester. Try to go 100% wool and 100% cotton, or in the least have the majority of the material as one of those. A cheaper suit jacket may have a polyester lining, and that is ok as long as the outer material is natural fiber.
One more note on JCP. (I'm about to spam my own forum just a little bit.) The suit I wore for my photo shoot for my new personal image & brand consulting business is from JCP. See it here: http://immaculatestyle.com/

 

dochudson

Preferred Member
May 11, 2012
1,635
6
A button down Oxford, may be worn with a suit, IF it is paired with a knit tie and the shoes are of a casual nature, like a slip on loafer. The exception here is .... not with a double breasted or 3 button suit. These lean towards a more formal look. With a 2 button, it takes a whole lot of bold style / flair to make a pin stripe into a causal outfit.
Oh my, who in the world would wear a knit tie with a suit and top it of with loafers! If that's the look you want buy a navy blue sportcoat and a pair of medium gray trousers and a pair of khaki trousers and all the Oxford shirts you want and cognac loafers/belt. If you insist on a knit tie get yourself a Harris tweed sportscoat.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,985
23,552
Kevin, thanks for the prompt on J.C. Penney's. I haven't shopped there in a long time. We have a household loyalty because my wife won a significant journalism award sponsored by and named for them.
Footnote on bow ties. If you can't tie one, don't buy the pre-tied. It's better to tie it yourself and have it look a little haphazard than going with the pre-tied, which just look faux bow tie. Okay (really rather nice) for kids, but not adults. I struggled for (I'm embarrassed to say) many years, and finally realized I was over-thinking the whole thing and can tie them pretty well. I do notice that some bow ties knot better than others, and I own one or two I've never coerced into place. However, people really notice and compliment them. In general, softer material knots better.

 

travelergypsy

Member
May 15, 2016
246
0
Thank you to everyone who has answered. I'll start shopping around the J.C. Penny's and Goodwills in he area.

 

phred

Preferred Member
Dec 11, 2012
1,754
0
If you can stand one more echo, get the suit tailored. Sizing is based on averages, and no two people (twins possibly excepted) are shaped exactly the same. I've bought off-the-rack all my life, but for a wedding some years ago, my wife insisted that I splurge on a proper suit (I believe we wound up at Nordstrom's), and the difference was really quite amazing. No gap at the back of the neck, the sleeves hit precisely where they should, the pants 'broke' on the shoes just so, and I looked pretty dang good if I do say so myself.
Can't currently fit into it, sadly (working on it...), but learned my lesson when it came time to get the Prince Charlie jacket and vest for my dress kilt outfit. :D

 
Status
Not open for further replies.

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.