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I’m 21, never worn a suit in my entire life. I do own a few suit jackets which I wear casually and occasionally. As I’m heading into the professional world (and inevitably, the world of interviews) I think it’s about time that I get a nice suit.

I’m interning in Germany right now so I thought I might as well go try to buy something here (I’m from Canada). I went to a fairly upscale place hoping to buy something there. I know almost nothing about suits so the salesman gave me a few to try on. The suits were all around 1000 euros (~$1600), about the price I wanted to spend. Size 46 is about as close as I can wear, but it’s still big. The suits I tried on were very nice but they didn’t feel right. At first I thought maybe it’s the colour or style but I eventually realized that it’s likely the fit. I then enquired about getting a made-to-measure suit at this place. I know that MTM suits are constructed based on your measurements so they fit better. I asked how long it would take to get one. The salesman told me it would be done in 30 min, I at first think that he misunderstood me, so I ask again, to which he confirms with a certain proud smirk that they can make a whole suit in 30 min. I’m not a suit expert but anyone with an IQ higher than a carrot would know that this man was trying to sell me an off-the-rack suit as made-to-measure so I very quickly got out of there.

So I wanna learn more about MTM suits before I head back out looking for one again. I have a few questions.

1) I know of no independent tailors (reputable ones of course) in my city who can make bespoke or MTM suits. The other option is to go to Boss/Armani/Zegna and other similar boutiques and commission one there. Are there any downsides to going to one of those stores? I’ve always liked Zegnas, and they do have a MTM program. I’ve gotten the impression from a few people that MTM suits from those stores are essentially off-the-rack but made on demand. Only slight alterations are added to their large-scale, assembly-line like manufacturing process.

2) I always see lots of suits at boutiques like Zegna, these suits look unfinished, often with a white thread sewn into the shoulders. What are these suits? Off the rack?

3) what should I look for in a suit in terms of fit? ie. how do I know if a suit fits well? Can anyone describe it?

4) Anyone know anywhere in the Edmonton/Calgary area to get MTM suits? Or Germany in Münster?

More tips of ANY KIND would be greatly appreciated also!!!

Thanks!!
 

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The white thread is called basting and is found on many OTR garments. Over a grand is a heck of a lot to spend on your first suit, I'd shop around and find a fit that you really like. I'd rather have a less expensive first suit that looked great over one that had expensive fabric but was sloppy.

Also, use the search function to look through old threads and there's a ton of info on this topic. You'll find most here favor quality over the designer label.

-spence
 

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spence is right when he says fit comes first.
some off the rack suits have that shoulder baste. its there to impress you. if its hanging on the rack its off the rack.some have baste on the sleeve bottom. that saves a bit of labor and makes the stores tailor faster.
the fit is right if it feels comfortable but is not too loose.
the shoulder and chest area are where you judge it. because the lower part is the area best for altering.

made to measure from a retail store is done by one or more of the brands of clothes they sell.
the store measures you, the factory manipulates the standard pattern to fit your measures. then the garment is sewn on their regular assembly line, and the finished garment is sent to the store.

there are a few m2m only manufacturers that work through independent tailors.
 

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Unless you are really hard to fit, you may not need MTM. I am really hard to fit and I buy MTM suits locally that are made in Canada by Samuelsohn. I don't know if we have any current threads about suit shopping in Germany, but you will find a lot of good information about suit shopping in Canada at:
https://askandyaboutclothes.com/community/showthread.php?t=85421

I believe in quality over quantity and while I hope I am not being presumptuous, $1600 seems pretty pricey for a first suit. You might consider spending less on a first suit, see how it works out and applying the difference to you next suit.

Cheers, Jim.
 

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I'm 21, never worn a suit in my entire life. I do own a few suit jackets which I wear casually and occasionally. As I'm heading into the professional world (and inevitably, the world of interviews) I think it's about time that I get a nice suit.

I'm interning in Germany right now so I thought I might as well go try to buy something here (I'm from Canada). I went to a fairly upscale place hoping to buy something there. I know almost nothing about suits so the salesman gave me a few to try on. The suits were all around 1000 euros (~$1600), about the price I wanted to spend. Size 46 is about as close as I can wear, but it's still big. The suits I tried on were very nice but they didn't feel right. At first I thought maybe it's the colour or style but I eventually realized that it's likely the fit. I then enquired about getting a made-to-measure suit at this place. I know that MTM suits are constructed based on your measurements so they fit better. I asked how long it would take to get one. The salesman told me it would be done in 30 min, I at first think that he misunderstood me, so I ask again, to which he confirms with a certain proud smirk that they can make a whole suit in 30 min. I'm not a suit expert but anyone with an IQ higher than a carrot would know that this man was trying to sell me an off-the-rack suit as made-to-measure so I very quickly got out of there.

So I wanna learn more about MTM suits before I head back out looking for one again. I have a few questions.

1) I know of no independent tailors (reputable ones of course) in my city who can make bespoke or MTM suits. The other option is to go to Boss/Armani/Zegna and other similar boutiques and commission one there. Are there any downsides to going to one of those stores? I've always liked Zegnas, and they do have a MTM program. I've gotten the impression from a few people that MTM suits from those stores are essentially off-the-rack but made on demand. Only slight alterations are added to their large-scale, assembly-line like manufacturing process.

2) I always see lots of suits at boutiques like Zegna, these suits look unfinished, often with a white thread sewn into the shoulders. What are these suits? Off the rack?

3) what should I look for in a suit in terms of fit? ie. how do I know if a suit fits well? Can anyone describe it?

4) Anyone know anywhere in the Edmonton/Calgary area to get MTM suits? Or Germany in Münster?

More tips of ANY KIND would be greatly appreciated also!!!

Thanks!!
I'm only asking you this because you said you are in Germany and they told you that you were a size 46. Is that European 46 or North American 46? If you were a Euro 46, I would go for the OTR Armani or Zegna. These suits are cut slim and for a 21 y/o you will look very stylish.
 

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I'm 23 and also going through the process of building a wardrobe and learning about how to dress properly because, well, it's about time, and because I'll be starting med school next year. I'm exceptionally thrifty, and have plenty of time at the moment, so my method may not suit you, but here is what I've been doing:

I've bought several pairs of abused (and thus cheap) Allen Edmond shoes on Ebay to learn about shoe care, construction, and fit. With lots of elbow grease several are quite nice now. I also got a variety of shirts (some nice brands, some junk), lots of great ties, and several suits from Ebay, thrift, and consignment stores. I also found a very experienced and patient (and inexpensive) alterations lady who is helping fit the suits for me. I'm happy with this process because I've exposed myself to various styles, materials, etc, and learned quite a bit about what I'd like to buy when I finally do spend real money on nice suitings. As a plus, lots of the "cheap" things I've acquired are decent and will serve me well for years.

For starters, I'd find a tape measure and measure yourself and any of your jackets that fit particularly well, according to the nice tutorial linked on the askandy homepage.

Whichever way you go, good luck, but I wanted to write this post partly for you and partly for others in your (our) position viewing this thread, because the idea of having to spend $1600 on a first suit would probably scare off a lot of folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm only asking you this because you said you are in Germany and they told you that you were a size 46. Is that European 46 or North American 46? If you were a Euro 46, I would go for the OTR Armani or Zegna. These suits are cut slim and for a 21 y/o you will look very stylish.
I guess I would be a EURO 46, I'm pretty skinny.

Thanks for all the responses. It seems that most people would recommend that I take it slow and learn more about suits before spending too much money. I will definitely consider this.
 

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It sounds like you're doing well. I think the best thing you'll be able to do is find a reputable shop with honest salesman and build a relationship with them. My experience is that many salesman view young people as an easy commission and will try to take advantage of you. It sounds like you're an educated customer and know what you want so you'll do well but be frustrated now and then.
 
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