I could use a lot of advice (expanding suit and jacket selection)

BigBaby

New Member
I have been taking the time to upgrade different parts of my business wardrobe, and have gotten to a satisfactory area with BB shirts, AE shoes, and some upgraded belts and ties. However, I have a very poor selection of suits and jackets. I have:
-1 black suit, fused
-1 very dark navy suit (JAB Signature), fused
-1 dark grey // charcoal suit (Men's Wearhouse, Joseph Feiss), fused
-1 navy blazer, poor quality/condition (handed down to me; torn lining, plastic buttons, material so coarse it feels like canvas)

I am hoping to "only" spend around $1000 at this time (but could go up a few hundred if I saw something great), and am hoping to get the following:
-1 half canvassed suit for warm weather // summer: light grey, tan, or other
-2 half canvassed sport coats or blazers

For some personal details:
-I am somewhat muscular and also somewhat overweight at 6'2" and 240lbs; I believe this disqualifies me from italian/modern fit suits (such as Suitsupply, who otherwise seemed to pass the wallet and eye test) because of the size of my legs.
-I work at a place where very few wear a blazer or sport coat, and where most male executives only wear suits when they have to (board meetings, outside visitors coming to the company, meetings outside the company). Accordingly, while I do intend to sometimes wear coats to the office, the two I am hoping for should also be suitable for frequent use outside of the office.
-I am around 30 years old. I do not know my suit measurements at all, so visiting a store (or many) seems like a necessity.

The help I need from AAAC:
-Who do you like that sells a half-canvassed summer suit for $500 or less? If none, who do you like that is closest to $500?
-For the suit, what color would you go with if you could have just one lighter colored suit? I am leaning towards a light grey, as opposed to tan or light blue or whatever else, but could be convinced otherwise.
-What do you think of this sport coat:
-Any suggestions for other sport coats or blazers? Would you upgrade the blue blazer, or get something else entirely?

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

medhat

Super Member
Welcome to the Forum and the opinions that come with it!

1. Don't disparage your current wardrobe, leave that to us (kidding!). But JAB Signature is good enough, albeit fused. Don't throw it out.
2. Junk the current navy blazer if you don't like it, a new blazer would be a good place to start.
3. From your "personal details", the BB Fitzgerald fit will not work for you. Go with the Madison cut and have it taken in. I'd discourage getting a sportcoat with too bold a pattern. If you don't wear it often every time you do you'll look like "that guy". Stick with a navy blazer that fits. Single breasted, notch lapels, 2 or 3 button ('cause you're tall), maybe double vents. Play it safe. And make sure you get it tailored.
4. Half-canvassed for ~ $500? Others can opine on the new Joseph Abboud for MW, but I think they start at a higher price point. But then again, JAB is always having those "2 for 1" sales, so you could likely score a good deal there. Don't get too hung up on fused v canvassed when you're starting, focus on fit.
5. "Fit". if you don't know try and find a guy you think dresses well and see if he'll go to store (like JAB) with you. Sorry to be sexist but I think a knowledgable guy in this situation is typically better than an knowledgeable girl.
6. If you opt for a light grey suit, may I suggest, in addition to a new blue blazer, a khaki sportcoat? I think you may find it pretty versatile, can dress it up or down depending on accessories.

Good luck and welcome to the gang!
 

ilikeyourstyle

Super Member
Suit Supply and Charles Tyrwhitt both have half-canvassed suit options around the $500 mark, but taxes (and/or duties) and tailoring will probably push any suit purchase from them over $500.

If your suits are for business, stick with grey as opposed to tan. I have a light and a medium grey suit, and I can wear both to the office...although the lighter grey option is best kept to summer or slightly less formal days. I have enjoyed wearing my light grey suit to various summer weddings. I know some believe that a darker suit is a better option for such occasions, but since they invariably hold part of these weddings outdoors in steamy weather, I feel justified sticking with a lighter colour.
 

espressocycle

Senior Member
My advice is to buy a late-model used or discounted suit on eBay for under $200 and spend as much as it takes at a good tailor to make it perfect. You will end up with a better suit than anything $500 OTR. Measure your best fitting suit jacket or blazer and try for the closest match you can find (erring on larger, obviously, so there is sufficient cloth to tailor). It's a little tougher if you're tall, but possible.


I'm sure there are excellent tailors in Princeton, but if not come down to Philly and to Steve's Tailor Shop at Front and Chestnut. Steve is immensely talented and American, so there's no language barrier.

As for brands to search for, best bets would be Brooks Brothers, Hickey Freeman, Southwick, Jack Victor, Burberry, H. Freeman, Trussini or Hart Shaffner Marx. If you are lucky or don't mind a slightly dated 3-button, you will find Zegna and even Brioni.
 

Fred G. Unn

Senior Member
come down to Philly

While on your way to Philly, stop off at the Franklin Mills NMLC. They get a lot of mainline Bergdorf stuff and I've gotten some really ridiculous deals there. They always have plenty of half-canvassed Hickey Freeman stuff which might be a good fit for you. Suits are $500ish and SCs $300ish. They also have some great high end stuff. I got a Caruso tuxedo there for under $500, and they always have Isaia, Belvest, and Brioni SCs, although still pretty pricey until they hit the clearance rack.
 

jdove

Starting Member
I agree with medhat on purchasing a navy blazer first. It sounds like you have a couple suits that work for now and you may be in more need of a blazer.

I like the eBay suggestion. My other thought is, if you can wait a little over a month, Brooks Brothers will have one of their big sales week after father's day. Usually the day after father's day is an extra 15% off, so that would be roughly 40-50% off. I would suggest going in to your local BB and trying it on before the sale starts.
 

espressocycle

Senior Member
While on your way to Philly, stop off at the Franklin Mills NMLC. They get a lot of mainline Bergdorf stuff and I've gotten some really ridiculous deals there. They always have plenty of half-canvassed Hickey Freeman stuff which might be a good fit for you. Suits are $500ish and SCs $300ish. They also have some great high end stuff. I got a Caruso tuxedo there for under $500, and they always have Isaia, Belvest, and Brioni SCs, although still pretty pricey until they hit the clearance rack.

I do love Neiman Marcus Last Call, got my Rancourt-made Eastland boat shoes there for $75. The mall is now called "Philadelphia Mills" for some reason. There's a Saks Fifth Ave. outlet next door that is worth checking out as well.
 

Fred G. Unn

Senior Member
The mall is now called "Philadelphia Mills" for some reason. There's a Saks Fifth Ave. outlet next door that is worth checking out as well.
Ok, it's been a little while since I've been there. I noticed they were doing a ton of construction last time I was there so maybe it got a new name to go with the renovations.

It looks like their Hickey Freeman half-canvassed navy blazer is $345 right now with the code LOVEMOM:
https://www.lastcall.com/Hickey-Fre...nements%3D&eItemId=prod28530002&cmCat=product
 
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