Help me find suits

I’ve been thinking of buying a real suit, but I have no idea what I’m doing.

Can you guys (or more probably, the women) give me some sites to look at for “edgy” or fasion-forward suits? I don’t have any words to describe what I want, in large part because I don’t know what I want, but I don’t to look too much like a mutual fund salesman.

I’ll even take the names of designers if that’s all you can manage. If you have suggestions for making “regular” suits look less ordinary, I’d take those too.

No double breasted (unless, of course, you look good in double breasted suits).

Really, it depends on your body shape, what looks good on you and what you’re comfortable in.

The three-button, no back vent style has been popular for suits the last several years. Something other than your basic navy or black can be good, because you can pair it with a different color shirt.

To find one that you like and the style that looks good on you, go to a men’s clothing store or a better department store, have them measure you, and try on different styles and colors. From there, you’ll have a better idea of what looks good on you. Ask them the questions.

As far as designers go, I’d only give you the names of those made by the company I work for (because those are the ones that I know), and that wouldn’t be fair. There are other good clothing designers out there, and there are better ones.

A few months ago an occasion arose that required me to wear a suit. I average one suit wearing episode about every 5 to 7 years. I bought my last suit when I was married in 1990. I hear a lot of commercials for the Men’s Wearhouse and tried them out. A young lady named Jessica was very helpful and knew what looked good and what didn’t. She stayed well within my price range and I now own a very good fitting and very good looking suit. I didn’t think $400 would by much but I got a jacket, pants, 3 shirts, 2 ties, and 3 pairs of socks. I’ve worn it twice now and it is as comfortable as any jeans and t-shirt I own. If I need another suit in 10 years, that is where I’m going.

I just wanted to say that I read the thread title as “Help me find sluts” - carry on then.

Just my $0.02 - as a former menswear salesman.

Get a suit that is mostly natural fiber. Silk is not great - it always looks wrinkled and too casual. Linen is only appropriate for a summer suit. Your best bet is wool or wool blends. Buy a summer weight suit so you can wear it year-round.

The cut of the suit makes it look trendy or dowdy, depending. Look for a cut that suits you and your fashion sense. Darker, neutral colors are best if you’re only going to own one suit. It will not make you look like a fund salesman if you choose the right cut.

Get some shirts and ties at the same time. Do not skimp on the ties - they’re the first thing people notice. I, personally, would not own synthetic ties. It does not pay to economize here after you’ve paid hundreds for a suit. Silk all the way.

Own at least one white shirt, and at least one non-white one. Match them with the ties and suit. Ask for help if you need. A good salesman (or woman) will want you to look good.

IMHO, straight-collar shirts look better than button-down. They’re more stylish and less casual, good for avoiding fund-salesman style.

Make sure the shirts fit, and that you know how to tie your tie. This sounds simple, until you notice how many people don’t really know.

Once you own your suit, wear it. It takes awhile to feel totally natural in it. Experiment a little with the shirts and ties. A suit without a tie looks really good too.

Most shoes do not look good with a suit. Own a pair that looks good with your suit. Have a belt and socks that work with it as well.

If the suit is of a neutral dark color with no pattern, it’s easy to match the jacket with other pants. Get more mileage out of your wardrobe cheaply by doing this.

Clean your suit regularly. Press it before important events. Have the cleaners press it - it looks better and costs very little.

Next week’s lesson will be about the miracle of the blue blazer. Perfect for most of life’s occasions.

Don’t buy your suit off an internet site or out of a catalog - you must try it on to ensure that it fits properly and looks good on you. If you’re unexperienced with dressing this way, tell the salesperson and take someone whose opinion matters to you along for the shopping trip - this will make tie selection much less frustrating. I’ll second Racer72’s opinion on the Men’s Wearhouse. I’ve been to four locations in three cities, and have always had good results.

I have a 51-inch chest measurement, which means that it’s hard to find a suit jacket that fits me well - most 50-reg jackets will bind my shoulders while having waaaaay too much room in the stomach (I’m big, but not rotund), and 52-reg jackets are too big. The point of this exposition is:

The first time I went into a Men’s Wearhouse looking for a jacket and slacks, I told the salesman I’d like a black jacket in 50 regular. He looked at the rack, then back at me, and immediately pulled out the perfect jacket that fit as if it were tailored for me. Even better, it’s a 100% wool jacket and was on sale for less than $100. It made a believer out of me - the commercials aren’t lying. I walked away that day with wool slacks, a wool jacket, a new shirt and a silk tie for under $200.

Everything that has been said in this thread so far is right on the money. Straight-collar shirts not only look better (and more professional) than button-down collars, they’re more stylish right now, too. Get a couple. I’d recommend at least a white shirt and a deep blue shirt for starters, with two or three ties that will go with either shirt.

When buying dress shoes, pay close attention to how they fit at the ankle - this is where you’ll develop your first blister if they rub you wrong. If you want to make your suit less ‘ordinary’ but not outrageous, then buy a good pair of black cowboy boots instead of dress shoes (I tend to wear boots with my slacks - but would never be caught dead in a “western-style” suit). If you go this route, then don’t buy slacks with cuffs at the bottom. This may cause a bit of a sensation if you’re not in the Southwest region of the USA…but in Texas it hardly gets noticed, and if it does, its usually a genuine compliment on the boots. Make sure you shine your footwear before you go out - scuffed-up shoes make any suit look like crap.

I have to confess that I’m not sure what a straight-collar shirts are. Would these not have fold-down collars? How would you wear a tie with one? I think I must have the wrong idea.

I second the Men’s Wearhouse suggestion. After graduating from college last year, I decided it was really time I had a real suit as I would need to goto job interviews and the like. After much looking at department stored and not finding a thing, I determined that I was a rather unusual size (39 long). I found one suit jacket that fit at my local Nordstrom that was well over my price range. Finally I wandered into the Men’s Wearhouse, after checking just about every other store. They had a small but acceptable selection of size-39 long suits. I picked one that was on sale, tried it on, got it fitted, and wandered out. A week later I was back and picked up my suit–an Oscar de la Renta suit that retailed for $300, but marked down to $99. I got my suit, with alterations, for about $150. I love it. I’d go there again in a heartbeat for any other suit-related needs.

Got any suit buying tips for a man with a stupid body shape? My shoulders and chest are average for a man, but my waist is kid-sized (a tad under 30 inches I think). :frowning:

I have to get another suit this winter, but I’m putting it off. Jackets I buy always fit me around the shoulders, but flap loosely around my waist. Same problem with collared shirts. Ugh.

There are (generally) straight collar shirts and button-down shirts. Button-down shirts have collars that, well, button down. Straight collar shirts do not button down.

Look at a picture of President Bush or any past president. They wear straight collar shirts with their suits. Once you see a picture you’ll realize that you know exactly what they are you just didn’t know the term.

Narrad, what you want is a suit that is cut in a wedge or athletic cut. These suits are wider at the shoulders and taper down. Dress shirts can be found that are cut this way as well.

Pick the suit to fit your shoulders, then have it taken in so that it fits well at your waist. This is very easy for the tailor to do, but spell it out to them how you want it to fit. A good tailor can alter your shirts as well. If this option doesn’t work, you can order custom made shirts. If you look you can find them for well under $100 per.

But the suit shouldn’t be a problem if you look for the right cut.

I"d shy away from buying something “fashion forward” or trendy if you’re only going to be buying one suit. What’s “fashion forward” today is tomorrow’s “Damn, what in the hell was I thinking?”

As has been pointed out, much depends on your shape. Double-breasted is out if you’re a little big through the middle - you’ll only look bigger. Pin stripes accentuate the verticle, so if you’re long and tall you’ll only look longer and taller.

I’d say go with a summer-wool suit, single vent, pleated trousers with cuff, in a medium to dark gray. Pair it with a 100% cotton, straight collar shirt, black belt, good pair of black shoes (that you’ll remember to keep polished and re-soled and re-heeled), and a deep maroon necktie. Classic look that isn’t “fahsion forward,” but that you’ll be able to wear for nearly any occassion that calls for a suit.

Plnnr- who wears a suit to work every day.

Narrad - The Mens Wearhouse does free alterations when you buy the suit. They might charge a little for drastic alterations, but it’ll be quite reasonable. Look for “athletic cut” shirts and jackets, as others have suggested. It might help. Also, talk to the salesperson about the problem - it’s probably not as rare as you think.

Oh, and with respect to straight/button down collars - Waldo, what you were thinking of is a “banded-collar” shirt, which is the button-up shirt without a fold-down collar. You can’t wear a tie with one of these. Zoff covered the kind of shirt we’re all talking about - just think “Dress shirt without buttons holding the collar tips down”.