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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'd like some advice on what my next suit purchase should be (and from where).

Some background: I'm a newly minted Chicago attorney (or will be when I get my bar exam results back). My firm is business casual, but I plan to wear suits at least four days a week (with a sportcoat or blazer on Fridays).

I recently received my first two "good" suits from BB--a navy suit and a charcoal herringbone suit through their MTM program. (Note: I have to use MTM or custom because I have an athletic body type--OTR almost never fits). Because of budget constraints I had to go with their low-end university fabrics for the suits. That said, I love the two BB MTM suits. I should add that BB did a good job with the fit, despite my somewhat difficult body type. Nevertheless, I'm still pretty new to all of this. As such, it is hard for me to know what is worth my money.

I'm looking to spend more on my next suit to get into some better fabrics (or perhaps a custom suit). BB has some pretty nice fabrics, zegna and others, for around 2k through their MTM program. Would I still be getting a good value for my money at that price point? Or, would I be better off going to a Chicago custom tailor, such as Paul Chang or Morris and Sons.

Also, what color would you all suggest? And, perhaps should I get pinstripes?

Thanks for the help!
 

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Hello all...I'm a newly minted Chicago attorney...
I usually avoid giving advice to attorneys or law students, but assuming the herringbone is going to be your dark gray solid, for the office, you might get a dark gray pinstripe three-piece, a navy or dark blue pinstripe, or a medium gray pinstripe. Regarding what to wear in court, I'm afraid you're on your own...
 

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Stay conservative with the cut and fabric. You want to try not to obviously outdress partners, judges or jurors. I would get a few more brooks mtm in the fabrics you desire.

Make sure you have plenty of good shirts ties and shoes in your budget. Allen Edmond cordovan is the official lawyer shoe. Go laceup.
 

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One thing I've seen on the forum that is very interesting is the notion that some "high end" fabrics, i.e. "super" type fabrics aren't necessarily the best fabrics in terms of overall value and long term durability. Search the forum for threads on custom and bespoke suits and suiting fabrics and you'll see some of the commentary I'm talking about.

For suits in general, I would definitely make sure you're getting a fully canvassed garment if you're dropping that kind of money on suit, regardless of the fabric used.

Personally, I would avoid double breasted suits. They are kind of flashy and dandified (for lack of better terminology) and tend to be associated with status and such. If you are wearing suits in a business casual environment, you are already going to stand out somewhat. I'd imagine wearing a double breasted suit would cause you to stand out more than you would care to and perhaps in the wrong way.

If you plan to wear sportcoats and blazers, you might consider a nice MTM navy blazer in a durable (non super) 3/4 season fabric or perhaps a nice gray sportcoat that can be worn during the cooler / colder months. You could also put some money toward 3-4 pairs of classic dress shoes.
 

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Assuming the Navy and Charcoal Herringbone are the only two you have, I would get a navy stripe and a dark grey stripe next...to vary it up, maybe do one as a pin stripe and one as a subtle chalk stripe...also, I would stick with single breasted. (I will let the guys direct you as to where you should buy since my opinion is biased)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info people.

I have the shirts, shoes, and ties covered. I have a fair number of the BB Luxury shirts in various solids and stripes. I have the merlot AE Park Aves., the brown AE Weybridges, and a brown pair of JM loafers. And I have a sufficient number of BB ties, though I'm trying to change over from their normal ties to their Golden Fleece ties, which I like a lot more.

My issue is just figuring out what suit I should save up for--figuring I'd spend around 2,000. As I mentioned, I like the BB MTM suits I purchased. But, I don't know if BB still provides good value for the money at 2k. Especially since the Chicago BB stores don't appear to offer the Golden Fleece MTM program (according to my sales guy and the BB tailor).

My question is am I likely to get better value for my money at good custom shop here in Chicago as compared to BB?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do agree re: the double breasted suits. I think I'd look far too pretentious in them.

To others, I do plan to wear suits most, if not every day of the week. My former mentor at the firm (a senior associate) told me that the one thing he would have done differently was wear a suit every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Assuming the Navy and Charcoal Herringbone are the only two you have, I would get a navy stripe and a dark grey stripe next...to vary it up, maybe do one as a pin stripe and one as a subtle chalk stripe...also, I would stick with single breasted. (I will let the guys direct you as to where you should buy since my opinion is biased)
Thanks, that's good info.
 

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If you're wearing dress shoes every day, I'd suggest getting at least one or two more pairs. 3 pairs are going to wear out very fast if you are wearing just those three pairs. Having one or two more pairs to rotate will increase the life of each pair.

If you like BB "luxury" or "golden fleece" ties they are all over ebay from reputable sellers. I sure hope you're not paying full price for them.

Bottom line is that if BB's local store can't do Golden Fleece MTM, which is the only way BB can do full canvas, you are NOT getting a good value for your $2K, regardless of fabric. I'd look into MTM programs through makers like Hickey Freeman and Samuelsohn (which pretty much only do full canvas MTM), and find out more about local custom tailors.

Thanks for the info people.

I have the shirts, shoes, and ties covered. I have a fair number of the BB Luxury shirts in various solids and stripes. I have the merlot AE Park Aves., the brown AE Weybridges, and a brown pair of JM loafers. And I have a sufficient number of BB ties, though I'm trying to change over from their normal ties to their Golden Fleece ties, which I like a lot more.

My issue is just figuring out what suit I should save up for--figuring I'd spend around 2,000. As I mentioned, I like the BB MTM suits I purchased. But, I don't know if BB still provides good value for the money at 2k. Especially since the Chicago BB stores don't appear to offer the Golden Fleece MTM program (according to my sales guy and the BB tailor).

My question is am I likely to get better value for my money at good custom shop here in Chicago as compared to BB?
 

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I agree that I would stay away from double breasted suits. I know you had mentioned that you require mtm because of your body type, but have you spoken to the tailors at BB in chicago about just altering the OTR suits to fit you? I also have a very athletic body type and the tailors at the BB store on LaSalle did a great job of altering several suits to fit me. I purchased two golden fleece, one 1818 and one fitzgerald. I must say that for the most part I was very impressed by how they were able to fit my body type.

Also, I was a little surprised you didn't mention any black shoes in the rotation. That is something you might want to look into in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I agree that I would stay away from double breasted suits. I know you had mentioned that you require mtm because of your body type, but have you spoken to the tailors at BB in chicago about just altering the OTR suits to fit you? I also have a very athletic body type and the tailors at the BB store on LaSalle did a great job of altering several suits to fit me. I purchased two golden fleece, one 1818 and one fitzgerald. I must say that for the most part I was very impressed by how they were able to fit my body type.

Also, I was a little surprised you didn't mention any black shoes in the rotation. That is something you might want to look into in the future.
tbonz,

I usually can't fit into a suit jacket that is my chest size (46) -- either my shoulders are far too large or my arms can't fit into the sleeves. Plus, I have a ten inch drop. So, OTR usually doesn't work for suits. I have had luck with a OTR BB University blazer and an OTR sportcoat, but even with significant alterations they only fit OK. In other words, OTR really isn't a practical option for me. As well, if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I think I might as well spend a bit more to make sure it fits.

I have some black shoes, but they are some ugly JMs. I will eventually replace them with something else, but it is a low priority for me.

Do you remember if Mario was your tailor?
Also, do you, or does anyone know if there is much of a difference between the two BB Chicago stores?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As for a custom suit shop in Chicago, Paul Chang and Richard Bennett come recommended by the forum. Anyone have any recent experiences with either of them?

As for Chris Despos, I gather he is out of my price range.
 

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Thewardrobegirl is right ! At the bare minimum you need one pair of black shoes and one pair of merlot/burgundy shoes. You can't go without a pair of black shoes and both pairs of shoes should be laceups not monkstraps or loafers. You seriously need a black pair of shoes. Also, I suggest you only buy Allen Edmonds or Alden shoes.
 

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If stripes are worn in your office with at least some regularity, then I would suggest you buy a grey (medium or dark) striped suit with your next purchase. If no one else is wearing stripes, don't go there yourself. Maybe go with a medium grey instead.
 

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Hickey-Freeman and Samuelsohn are fully canvassed. With either manufacturer you can get an MTM in fabrics up to super 130's for $1300 - $1500. I believe these two manufacturers are equal to the BB Golden Fleece fully canvassed suits, so I can't see why at full retail the BB is more expensive.

Read jefferyd's recent post on about ful canvassed suits. After sorting through that, it made me realize that one can definately overpay for a garment and not receive any better quality. For my money, I would not pay $2,000 for a Golden Fleece when I could buy MTM of equal quality, equal styling and pay $600 less at full price from HF, or Samuelsohn.
 
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