FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
30-07-2014 12:21 AM
First Suit, Talk to Me
Attending my cousin's wedding in about a month and my best friends a month after, so am needing some advice on attire!
Currently I am without a suit (no real need to wear one in my work environment), so am looking to purchase my first.
Crazy I know.
Going to be wearing it just for special occasions and maybe the odd formal business meeting in the near future, so a navy 2 piece would be perfect.
Figured around £300 would be a good amount considering how much I'll use it? I'm also shopping for some decent dress shoes to complete the look and also wear casually with chinos etc.
For the suit (after looking through the forum) I came away with the impression that Charles Tyrwhitt and TM Lewen are 'ok' for this sort of price, also had a look at the Ted Baker range and looked through Moss Bros, Slaters and a cheeky peek at Paul Smith too. Any experiences with these brands suits? If you were in my shoes where would you invest the money?
As for the shoes I'm looking at some quarter brogues (derby's) or wingtip brogues in tan to go with the outfit. Maybe Paul Smith if I'm going to be using them often more casually or Ted Baker / Roland Cartier.
Help a man to get suited and booted please!
30-07-2014 09:51 AM
You can get a good suit, for that price, from any of those makers. The way to decide though, is to make sure you get a good fit - and if you're really not used to wearing suits then you need to get used to how they feel and fit before you can make an informed choice.
Originally Posted by Alexi
Do your prep by going shopping - go and do lots and lots of trying-on in a lot of different shops, just to get the hang of it and see what kind of outfits suit you. By the time you actually hand over the cash you want to know why you're rejecting nine out of ten suits on offer. Compare trouser lengths; compare shoulder tightness; compare whether a single vent or a double vent works best with your body shape; compare one-button, two-button and three-button jackets (unbuttoned, completely buttoned, and partially buttoned); compare whether you want pleats or flat-front trousers; compare whether your look might be topped off with a waistcoat or not.
Some practical advice for a serious finding-out-about-suits shopping trip:
1) Wear the kind of shirt you'd wear with a suit, preferably in a neutral colour (e.g. white) which won't distract you from the jackets.
2) Wear the kind of shoes you'd wear with a suit. If you have slip-ons, perfect: you'll be taking them off and on a lot.
3) Most sales staff don't know what they're talking about; particularly if they're young and fashionable. If you see someone who looks like he's worked in menswear for a few decades, try his opinion (of the shops you mention, Slaters have given me the best advice in the past).
When you've got your suit, don't just hang it in the wardrobe but wear it a bit - suits feel different from casual clothes, and you want to arrive at your wedding feeling comfortable in it. Wear it when you go shopping for your shoes (tan brogues are perfect) - these too will need a bit of wearing in before they're completely ready for a long day at a wedding.
Good luck, and enjoy it; trying on nice clothes is fun!
30-07-2014 03:50 PM
Excellent advice there. There is no substitute for trying suits on to see how they fit and how they look. Suits that seem great on the hanger and on someone else might not work with your body shape at all. I agree with the need to wear the shirt or sort of shirt you'd normally pair it with and the sort of shoes you'd wear with it. That allows you to get a good feel for what it will look like assess if you need the suit adjusted.
I agree that salesmen and women can be shockingly useless. The quality of advice ranges from the well informed and expert to ignorant and unhelpful. I'd take someone with me whose judgment I thought I could trust: they are another pair of eyes and, no matter how good the mirrors, it is hard to see how a jacket sits on your back when standing naturally.
And trying on a range of styles is always a good idea. What is currently very trendy might or might not suit you. Skinny suits don't work as well on larger guys, for instance, and classic cuts can be smart and stylish (as opposed to a euphemism for old fashioned). You might like to try double-breasted styles - which seem to be making a come back - as well as single breasted.
Of the brands and shops you mention, I can vouch for T.M. Lewin doing decent suits in their price bracket. Their sales are good value.
SLaters isn't a maker of suits itself. They stock a range of suits from a variety of makers. It is often end of line stuff but normally decent quality (I've bought Acquascutum and Ted Baker suits there in the past). They are well worth checking out - the sales staff seem to know what they are talking about and the range of reduced price suits is excellent.
Moss Bros I haven't been that impressed by. I think you get better quality for the price elsewhere.
Austin Reed are worth looking at. They do a range of suits and cuts - from pretty traditional to more modern looks (like the 'Cut' range).
As for shoes, I wonder if tan is going to be a little light with a navy suit. Light colours draw the eye and shoes that are substantially lighter than suits look odd, in my view. Might I suggest looking at darker chestnut brown or deep red brown Oxblood shoes instead?
30-07-2014 11:26 PM
I dont have much time to post or read through this time, but I will say one thing. Buy now before all the sales end. That way you save your money to have it tailored without feeling ripped off.
31-07-2014 09:13 PM
Honestly thank you for the advice guys, really really helpful!
Will definitely be going to as many places as possible to get a decent idea of what works and what doesn't.
Also that practical advice is great- simple stuff which I can take on board to help me out.
Shall get shopping, see what I can find before the sales end and give a final reply with the end result!
Thanks once again.
Yesterday 01:14 AM
Been a while, but I've been busy suiting up at various stores. Having been through T M Lewin, CT, Slaters, M&S and Reiss I've narrowed it down to two.
Both are T M Lewin offerings - they fit well in store and I have 20% discount off there so win win.
Let me know your thoughts on which out of the two you would go for, as both seem pretty similar!
Bayley Navy Blue Tonic Twill 2-Button Slim Fit Suit | T.M.Lewin
Thornbury Navy Tonic 2-Button Slim Fit Suit | T.M.Lewin
Also managed to get these Paul Smith brogues at a very good price to complete the look with a fine twill/poplin white shirt and burgundy patterned tie from Lewin too.
Once again, thanks for the advice, suit stuff is not my forte!
Yesterday 09:31 AM
Solid outfit there, well done. They're both nice suits, so you won't go far wrong either way. I think I marginally prefer the styling of the first, but it contains mohair, so may have a slight shine to it. If you like that, go for that one.
Yesterday 10:44 AM
Both suits look great, and so do the shoes - good work! From what I can tell from the website, both suits have the same construction, cut and detailing - so it must be the fabric which makes the difference in price; most likely the more expensive fabric will last a little better, but that might not matter too much if you're just going to wear it occasionally. I'd say go back to the shop and pick whichever suit feels better on you.
Originally Posted by Alexi