The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

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The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed May 06, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

Or how to wear a suit convinvcingly...

I've always loved wearing suits, and I have my fathers input on the matter to thank for that I think, as finding a suit to actually fit someone with a short wide torso, small waist and long legs was (and continues to be) quite an effort; and getting a godawful one would have been easy.

I've also ended up gaining all of his and my grandfathers dress codes, which can be quite useful:
Spoiler:
Formal, Black Tie & White tie events require plain toed oxford pattern shoes,
Less formal events are perfect for brogues, and winkel pickers.
Blue, Tweed and brown suits go with brown leather, all others with black.
Never wear a checked tie, or a tie with large obtrusive polkadots.
Never mix patterns, or use too many, treat your shirt like whitespace.
Make your tie fit the shirt and occassion, a wide kipper tie is best tied in a half winsor knot, with a wide collared shirt, a narrow tie is best tied with a winsor knot, unless worn with a winged collar in which case a thinner less regular knot is apporopriate.
Pinstripe will accentuate height and thin the body, checks will make you seem broader, a plain suit will more easily show its cut.
Double brested suits will increase the V-shape of a thin man, but make a portly man appear barrel chested.
Three button suits help tall people appear less so, Two button suits look less formal, unless worn with a waistcoat.


I've definately been guilty of obsessing over what suit etc to wear before big events, and taken time to co-ordinate a style that suits, no pun intended, the image I'm trying to convey. Something which has so far worked very well, especially at interviews and other important events, when a lot of my peer group looked somewhat uncomfortable and uneasy about their clothing.

I'm not sure why I felt like sharing this, Does anyone else share this enjoyment of suits? Or have a particular suit they want to share?
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby eternauta3k » Wed May 06, 2009 5:32 pm UTC

I like the way I look in a suit but if I'm in a party or anywhere indoors I start sweating like a pig. Also, I usually have to borrow shoes and a tie, and finding the suit, shirt etc. is a pain in the ass (because I wait until the last minute to start looking).
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Quadropus » Wed May 06, 2009 9:30 pm UTC

I enjoy the act of suit wearing. The favourite of my suits is a black velvet affair with gold pinstripes. Looks rather good with a top hat I might say....
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Wed May 06, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

Mmm... suits. Never does a man look better than when he's wearing a well-cut and well-designed suit. Also, the right one can win you an interview -- try navy with a white shirt and a pink tie. Mine has subtle yellow pinstripes that play off of just a *tiny* bit of yellow in the tie, and it's killer (I'd post a picture, but the only ones I have are with other people, and I imagine they'd not be thrilled about having their likeness tossed about on the internet).

I do have a couple things to add to, or disagree with, in re: the guidelines in the OP:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:1. Blue, Tweed and brown suits go with brown leather, all others with black.
2. Never mix patterns, or use too many, treat your shirt like whitespace.
3. Make your tie fit the shirt and occassion, a wide kipper tie is best tied in a half winsor knot, with a wide collared shirt, a narrow tie is best tied with a winsor knot, unless worn with a winged collar in which case a thinner less regular knot is apporopriate.
4. Three button suits help tall people appear less so, Two button suits look less formal, unless worn with a waistcoat.

1. Grey suits actually look *fantastic* with brown leather, and depending on the color of your shirt and tie, you can often do brown with a khaki suit, as well.
2. This is a very good tip in certain circumstances. Sometimes, however, you need to throw some stuff together and be adventurous. This is a picture of me with a linen pinstripe jacket, large check vest, small check shirt, and textured tie (with a brightly-colored belt, no less):
Spoiler:
Image
The trick is to avoid combining patterns of the same size (i.e., if you have a suit with close pinstripes, avoid wearing a shirt with the same size and spacing of stripes -- you can go broader, or try a different pattern. Or go plain.). The same goes for colors -- you can most certainly wear two shades of the same color, but for god's sake don't match them exactly if they're not patterned.
3. Decent advice for formal occasions, but really, tie knots are very much a matter of preference. I always wear a four-in-hand -- it tends to make the knot sit slightly askew, which is appealing to me. Also, if you're wearing one with a wide collar, you can show off the folds that are created on either side of the knot, on the part wrapping around your neck (as in the picture above -- see those symmetric curls? Awesome).
4. Two button suits are generally considered the standard, and if anything, I think three-buttons look less formal. They're also not so much in vogue any longer. Also, a two-button will be more slimming.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby steewi » Thu May 07, 2009 12:52 am UTC

I like wearing my top hat and tails (and waistcoat) for balls.

I have four top hats and more than 10 waistcoats. I bought a pinstripe suit the other day, and I'm looking for a place to wear it.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu May 07, 2009 7:28 am UTC

Talking of hats, the accidental destruction of my bowler hat is one of my biggest regrets from 6th form; anyone know a good millner?
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby SlyReaper » Thu May 07, 2009 9:37 am UTC

I don't really have much to add except: NEVER, under any circumstances wear a striped tie on top of a striped shirt. I've made that mistake before.

My usual "smart" attire is a cream coloured jacket, slightly darker cream coloured trousers, light blue shirt (with gold cufflinks) and pink/blue striped tie. I've been unsarcastically told that I look "dapper" when wearing that, so I reckon it's a good combo. My shoes are polished black, but I'm wondering if some brown brogues would go better with it.

I've also noticed a black leather jacket goes well with the same shirt and tie and darker trousers. Mine's a bit well-travelled, so it's somewhat less smart than the cream jacket.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Moo » Thu May 07, 2009 9:44 am UTC

If I may objectify you boys for a moment: a nice looking boy in a nice suit will make me melt every time.

Please carry on. Especially if it involves pictures. Please.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Gentlelady » Thu May 07, 2009 10:22 am UTC

Moo wrote:If I may objectify you boys for a moment: a nice looking boy in a nice suit will make me melt every time.

Please carry on. Especially if it involves pictures. Please.


I second this. A man in a suit is irresistible.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu May 07, 2009 1:35 pm UTC

Convinently, the dress code for the AGM, i'm going to is informal (Suit, shirt, tie, colour and style may vary); So whilst I'll only be in my "scruffy" suit, I could try to get a picture.

Edit: The trousers for my scruffy suit, are currently MIA, so I've had to team them the jacket up with the closest colour slacks I have, It's not my best look; pretty bland really, but not bad. I was going to try loud tie, who is loud, but figured grey goes best with gray, as opposed to irrideccent lime green
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Thu May 07, 2009 2:26 pm UTC

Two things:
SlyReaper wrote:I don't really have much to add except: NEVER, under any circumstances wear a striped tie on top of a striped shirt. I've made that mistake before.

Lies. As long as you aren't wearing matching stripe sizes, you can certainly do stripe-on-stripe.
TheKrikkitWars wrote:The trousers for my scruffy suit, are currently MIA, so I've had to team them the jacket up with the closest colour slacks I have, It's not my best look; pretty bland really, but not bad. I was going to try loud tie, who is loud, but figured grey goes best with gray, as opposed to irrideccent lime green

NOOOOOOO! Don't try to match a jacket and slacks that are not part of the same suit. At best you'll feed uncomfortable, and at worst people will notice and think you're wearing something from a thrift store (note that there's nothing wrong with rocking thrift stores -- I do it -- but I can't imagine that's the look you're going for if you're wearing a suit). At minimum, go with drastically different shades (i.e., a charcoal grey jacket and heather grey slacks). Different colors (a navy jacket and grey slacks) are preferable. It's better to wear intentionally a sport coat and slacks than it is to inadvertently wear a bad suit.

Also, I say go for the lime green.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby dubsola » Thu May 07, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

I have no specific knowledge of suits, but can pick a good one. Observe:
Spoiler:
suits you, sir.jpg
suits you, sir.jpg (105.17 KiB) Viewed 6485 times
(Just checking that I'm wearing pants)

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Moo » Thu May 07, 2009 2:53 pm UTC

APPROVAL.


Your friend appears to be snickering at you.

Also, approval for Clintonius' earlier picture post.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby SlyReaper » Thu May 07, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:Two things:
SlyReaper wrote:I don't really have much to add except: NEVER, under any circumstances wear a striped tie on top of a striped shirt. I've made that mistake before.

Lies. As long as you aren't wearing matching stripe sizes, you can certainly do stripe-on-stripe.


I'd still be wary about it. It can so easily look terrible. It's just safer to have a plain suit and shirt, and a simple pattern on the tie.

I guess I'm just not a fan of striped shirts in general unless they're rugby shirts.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby dubsola » Thu May 07, 2009 3:07 pm UTC

It just sounds like you prefer minimal styling to... hmm, not quite sure of the word. Can suits be outgoing? I'm thinking Napolean at the end of Napolean Dynamite.

And yeah, my friend was definitely snickering.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Thu May 07, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

"Bold," perhaps?
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby tin » Thu May 07, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

Gentlelady wrote:
Moo wrote:If I may objectify you boys for a moment: a nice looking boy in a nice suit will make me melt every time.

Please carry on. Especially if it involves pictures. Please.


I second this. A man in a suit is irresistible.


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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby frosty » Thu May 07, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

Wearing suits is nice. I enjoy it, it makes me feel good.

Unfortunately for me, my suits are either heavily worn or look cheap... I mean REALLY cheap, the fabric it so light. Added to the fact that I don't fit most of them too well.

I need to invest a bit more money into some suits since I'll be out in the "real world" soon.

Still, wouldn't mind a job where I could turn up in jeans and a t-shirt.

I've not tried to wear one since I started growing a bear, not sure how I'll look now.

----
edit
----

not a fan of the extra attention though, not right now.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Thu May 07, 2009 8:20 pm UTC

frosty wrote:I've not tried to wear one since I started growing a bear, not sure how I'll look now.

Something like this, probably:
Attachments
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby frosty » Thu May 07, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

*has a smile plastered across his face and chuckles quietly to himself*

nice

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Velict » Thu May 07, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I'd still be wary about it. It can so easily look terrible. It's just safer to have a plain suit and shirt, and a simple pattern on the tie.

I guess I'm just not a fan of striped shirts in general unless they're rugby shirts.


Striped shirts are fine with suits. Generally speaking, you'll be fine with a white or blue striped shirt, so long as the pattern isn't too loud. You don't really want the shirt to distract too much - ties and the suit itself are better suited for that.

clintonius wrote:"Bold," perhaps?


"Loud" is a more common term. And suits can definitely be loud. Tom Ford comes to mind immediately:

Spoiler:
Image

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Thu May 07, 2009 9:06 pm UTC

Yes, "loud" is the term -- thanks!

Isn't Tom Ford also the designer who makes the intentionally-undersized suits? Trendy or no, those things are fuckugly.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu May 07, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:The trousers for my scruffy suit, are currently MIA, so I've had to team them the jacket up with the closest colour slacks I have, It's not my best look; pretty bland really, but not bad. I was going to try loud tie, who is loud, but figured grey goes best with gray, as opposed to irrideccent lime green

NOOOOOOO! Don't try to match a jacket and slacks that are not part of the same suit. At best you'll feed uncomfortable, and at worst people will notice and think you're wearing something from a thrift store (note that there's nothing wrong with rocking thrift stores -- I do it -- but I can't imagine that's the look you're going for if you're wearing a suit). At minimum, go with drastically different shades (i.e., a charcoal grey jacket and heather grey slacks). Different colors (a navy jacket and grey slacks) are preferable. It's better to wear intentionally a sport coat and slacks than it is to inadvertently wear a bad suit.

Also, I say go for the lime green.


Tonight wasn't the night for elegance, but for things that don't matter if drunk people do silly shiz... no-one noticed the slacks, despite the pinstripe in them. The lime green only really goes with my very light grey suit, and a white shirt.

Either way, I looked alright and the suited-ness helped carry me to an overwhelming victory at the AGM (more due to the confidence and posture it instilled for my public speaking, than how I actually looked), will post pics if the mighty facebook can deliver.

dubsola wrote:It just sounds like you prefer minimal styling to... hmm, not quite sure of the word. Can suits be outgoing? I'm thinking Napolean at the end of Napolean Dynamite.

And yeah, my friend was definitely snickering.


Loud or Flamboyant suits, have to be carefully chosen to fit the ocassion and tailored to the wearer; a more minimal look can be every bit as effective.

Also, Bespoke tailoring is awesome, I recently had an old suit recut to fit me again, and it looks ten times better than it ever did!
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby steewi » Fri May 08, 2009 1:20 am UTC

Someone asked for pix?

How about this one?
n805810590_2508182_8031.jpg
Well, I'm not a poser at all, am I?
n805810590_2508182_8031.jpg (64.37 KiB) Viewed 6276 times


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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby GraphiteGirl » Fri May 08, 2009 1:42 am UTC

Spoiler:
lolbot-sewing-machine.jpg
lolbot-sewing-machine.jpg (21.9 KiB) Viewed 6256 times


tin wrote:
Gentlelady wrote:
Moo wrote:If I may objectify you boys for a moment: a nice looking boy in a nice suit will make me melt every time.

Please carry on. Especially if it involves pictures. Please.


I second this. A man in a suit is irresistible.


Thirded. Thirded like nobodies business. Gentlemen, do not underestimate the power that a well cut and co-ordinated suit has on the ladies.


Fourthed (not quartered). In fact, let's see some women in suits. I have something of a shirt-tie-waistcoat-top-hat preoccupation. Observe:
Spoiler:
Image

Spoiler:
n579432447_2240584_1133779.jpg
n579432447_2240584_1133779.jpg (9.55 KiB) Viewed 6255 times

^The only photos I could find on short notice. There will be more.

Also, does anyone know how to correctly tie a cravat?
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Surgery » Fri May 08, 2009 2:06 am UTC

I'd like to try wearing a suit someday, but I have nowhere to wear it to. I feel wearing it about town would be a bit silly, and I work from home, but even if I didn't the people I work for are more t-shirt and jeans or casual button up and jeans people. Maybe I need to find something to do that's not goto class or goto grocery.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby steewi » Fri May 08, 2009 2:10 am UTC

GraphiteGirl wrote:Also, does anyone know how to correctly tie a cravat?

There's no one correct way. But there is a pic out there - this is for a modern cravat. For Regency/Victorian styles, use this, but the actual tying is somewhat difficult. Many of them expect you to have stocks (a linen neckbrace that acts like a backing for the cravat).

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby MiB24601 » Fri May 08, 2009 2:30 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:The trousers for my scruffy suit, are currently MIA, so I've had to team them the jacket up with the closest colour slacks I have, It's not my best look; pretty bland really, but not bad. I was going to try loud tie, who is loud, but figured grey goes best with gray, as opposed to irrideccent lime green

clintonius wrote:NOOOOOOO! Don't try to match a jacket and slacks that are not part of the same suit. At best you'll feed uncomfortable, and at worst people will notice and think you're wearing something from a thrift store (note that there's nothing wrong with rocking thrift stores -- I do it -- but I can't imagine that's the look you're going for if you're wearing a suit). At minimum, go with drastically different shades (i.e., a charcoal grey jacket and heather grey slacks). Different colors (a navy jacket and grey slacks) are preferable. It's better to wear intentionally a sport coat and slacks than it is to inadvertently wear a bad suit.


Two stories to support this (I like stories):

At school, friend of mine came in one day wearing a suit jacket and suit pants from two different suits. Although the suits were very, very nice, they were obviously cut from different material and were almost, but not really the same color. The professor, who really knows his suits, looked over at my friend and discretely tried to convince him to change before what had to be a very big job interview. After politely trying to advise my friend a few times and having my friend be dismissive of the advice each time, the professor said "You're wearing a D&G Jacket and Armani pants. Your outfit probably costs close to a grand and you look like you got it from the salvation army." After that, not only did my friend never mix and match suits again, I don't think anyone in my class has.

A friend of mine was going to a semi-formal dance. She was going to have her roommate go with her. Actually, what she asked her roommate was "do you have a suit?" and when he said yes, she told him he was going to the dance. The about two hours before the dance, I get a call from the roommate asking me if he could borrow some suit pants. Apparently, he only had a jacket but no pants (I have no idea why). Although we aren't the same size, he asked if he could borrow a pair of suit pants from me. Both the women and I tried to explain that a key part of the suit was that the jacket matched the pants. In the end, both the women and I ended up convincing the roommate to wear a blazer and some khaki pants. The roommate was somewhat underdressed but he looked much better than if he tried to wear a suit jacket with pants that didn't match.

clintonius wrote:Also, I say go for the lime green.


No, no. Go for purple. I have a purple suit and it's AWESOME!!!
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby doogly » Fri May 08, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Most of my suits *do* come from the Salvation Army.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby dubsola » Fri May 08, 2009 10:44 am UTC

steewi wrote:There's no one correct way. But there is a pic out there - this is for a modern cravat. For Regency/Victorian styles, use this, but the actual tying is somewhat difficult. Many of them expect you to have stocks (a linen neckbrace that acts like a backing for the cravat).

I have something that I think is a cravat, but it is significantly shorter than the modern cravat illustrated. The second link was very cool but not particularly easy to read. :)

clintonius wrote:Yes, "loud" is the term -- thanks!

Ah, loud suits. That word has a bit of a negative connotation though, a suit can be bold without being overboard. It's in the eye of the suit beholder I guess.

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Loud or Flamboyant suits, have to be carefully chosen to fit the ocassion and tailored to the wearer;

I've a good picture of this.
Spoiler:
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Alder » Fri May 08, 2009 11:05 am UTC

GraphiteGirl wrote:
tin wrote:
Gentlelady wrote:
Moo wrote:If I may objectify you boys for a moment: a nice looking boy in a nice suit will make me melt every time.

Please carry on. Especially if it involves pictures. Please.

I second this. A man in a suit is irresistible.

Thirded. Thirded like nobodies business. Gentlemen, do not underestimate the power that a well cut and co-ordinated suit has on the ladies.

Fourthed (not quartered).

And fifthed. I will be watching the progress of this thread with interest. I think that guys should wear suits more often...
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby the_bandersnatch » Fri May 08, 2009 11:33 am UTC

Striped shirts definitely do work with suits, depending on the overall outfit and effect of course. I'm a short-arse, so anything that gives the illusion of height is fine with me!

Here's me, sporting my latest suit, and a friend at another friend's wedding back in Jan (faces blurred for TOP SEKRUT reasons, and to protect the innocent - you):

Spoiler:
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Edit: Forgot to mention which one I am - I'm the blurry face on the left of the picture.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Oort » Sat May 09, 2009 3:27 am UTC

As somebody currently looking for a suit (have to get one, or at least rent one, for prom), I don't know where to go. Any ideas? Macy's and Nordstrom were pretty expensive. I'm, a, new to suits.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby keeneal » Sat May 09, 2009 5:10 am UTC

I don't know about you, but at my HS, Prom was strictly a tuxedo affair. Check to see what people in your group are doing before choosing. If you're getting an "ordinary" suit, you'd probably just as well buy one... you'll have cause to use it while in college, I promise. Job interviews if nothing else. I don't know where I bought mine, so no help there. Sorry.

A full-on tux, however, I'd probably rent in your case. I (and a good chunk of my friends) got it from Mens' Wearhouse... they have a department devoted to renting out tuxs... it's called "Tux". Come to think of it, I've seen free-standing Tux stores in malls, too.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby clintonius » Sun May 10, 2009 4:27 am UTC

Oort wrote:As somebody currently looking for a suit (have to get one, or at least rent one, for prom), I don't know where to go. Any ideas? Macy's and Nordstrom were pretty expensive. I'm, a, new to suits.

Look for the value branches of department stores -- Nordstrom Rack is the one that leaps immediately to mind. Century 21 is also great if you're in or around New York. Also, places like Macy's sometimes have sales that allow you to get suits at a significant discount. Look into that, too. Finally, if you're able to find your suit size, you can try ebay (this option is last because suits tend to differ from maker to maker, and it's a bitch to order something only to find out that the chest is two inches too big or the waist is two inches too small [though a tailor should be able to fix these issues -- for a price]).

Edit: no matter where you go, you should 1) do some research online beforehand regarding how suits should fit (Esquire and GQ have good tips), and 2) make sure that the salesperson helping you is trying to get you into an outfit that is perfect, rather than one that will earn him/her commission.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Zamfir » Mon May 11, 2009 11:47 am UTC

Some more advice:

If your budget is limited, and it always is, you're often better off if you spend less, both money and time, on your suit, and more on shirts, ties, shoes, perhaps a simple but nice belt, etc. If you spend $50 dollars less on a suit, it won't matter a lot, but $50 extra on a shirt will make you look great. And you will probably find more occasions to wear good shirts and shoes than your suit.

Great ties can be had for small amounts, but recognizing a great tie can be difficult, it's something I definitely do not master myself. Shoes for under a suit have to look more 'delicate' than your normal shoes.

DO NOT buy a black suit. Wearing a black suit without looking like a cheap criminal is hard and expensive, I found this out the bad way.

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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Moo » Mon May 11, 2009 11:48 am UTC

Some sublimely dashing threads, my good gentlepersons. Much obliged!
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby doogly » Mon May 11, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

It's very easy to recognize a great tie - it will be shaped like a bow tie.
me1.jpg
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(this one is oldish and small but I am still happy with the ensemble, and have whipped it out when not photographed since then)
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Belial » Mon May 11, 2009 3:22 pm UTC

It's very easy to recognize a great tie - it will be shaped like a bow tie.


"The truth is you should never trust anybody who wears a bow tie. A cravat is supposed to point down to accentuate the genitals. Why do you want to trust somebody whose tie points out to accentuate his ears?"

That line is basically the only thing I remember from the movie "State and Main".

Not endorsing the viewpoint, the bowtie thing just conjured that up.
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Re: The Sartorial Elegance Thread.

Postby Ptolom » Mon May 11, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

My music teacher wears a bow tie on a day-to-day basis. He's the best teacher we have as well, he seems like he's just walked out of a book by P.G Wodehouse.


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