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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my New Years resolutions is to dress better, so I joined this forum to learn. First thing is a new suit to wear to some upcoming weddings. I don't wear suits on a regular basis, so I only want one for now.

I wear a 38 jacket and 30 pants, which severely limits my selection in the local stores. I wasn't impressed with anything in the normal department stores. The best option I found locally as far as value was a Manzoni suit for $600, but they didn't have the style I was looking for.

I decided to order a suit online. I got this one for $800. It is 84% wool and 16% silk. The color is charcoal with faint blue pinstripes. Is this a decent suit overall? It is possible to return it and try something else.

Obviously, the sleeves need to be shortened, but does the jacket fit correctly otherwise? The jacket length seems a bit long compared with my arms, but I have short arms. It just covers my rear in the back.

The pants are the correct waist size, but the legs seem to large. How difficult is it to alter the leg diameter?

How much can I expect to pay in total for tailoring?

Thanks for your help.
 

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I would expect to pay around $80-$90 for tailoring of both jacket and pants. Do the pants fit well in the back? Is there too much material in the seat? I can't see the bottom of the trousers either. If they need alteration, ask your tailor for a one inch break mid-shin. I would have the sleeves shortened to allow for 1/4" to 1/2" of shirt cuff to show, have the jacket brought in a bit in the torso and waist, and raise the shoulders a bit. If there is a little bit of a "neck roll" in the back of the suit, the tailor can fix this as well. I would consider having the trousers tapered from the hamstring to the knee. Make sure to go to a tailor, and not just someone who does "alterations." In most cases, a tailor will know just what to do for your build to make the suit look perfect. I favor a lower "v" in my suits, and usually go 2-button, but if you like the high 3-button, go with it. The suit looks nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any other comments about the suit?

How do I find a good tailor in my area? There are several listed, but I can't find any information about them. I'm considering taking a shirt and/or pants to one and see how that turns out before I let them work on the suit.
 

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I like the fabric.

Not only are the sleeves too long, but the jacket itself seems too long. I would also look closely at the shoulders, because I don't think it fits you there.

Before you do anything, take it to a tailor you trust and get him to tell you honestly if the suit can even be made to fit you. The answer may be no.
 

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I like the fabric.

Not only are the sleeves too long, but the jacket itself seems too long. I would also look closely at the shoulders, because I don't think it fits you there.

Before you do anything, take it to a tailor you trust and get him to tell you honestly if the suit can even be made to fit you. The answer may be no.
^Sound advice.

Jack's response touches on one the main reasons (other than my passion for buying locally) I never buy a suit or sportscoat online...unless I've had an opportunity to actually try it on at some point.You never know exactly what you're going to get, and some suits will be either too expensive or impossible to alter to get the correct fit. Sorry if that comes off as too negative, because I think it's a fine looking suit.

In the upside, my tailor recently (and very successfully) shortened a sports coat from a 41L to a 41R. In my expereince, the better qaulity the suit/the easier it is to alter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the fabric.

Not only are the sleeves too long, but the jacket itself seems too long. I would also look closely at the shoulders, because I don't think it fits you there.
Thanks for the advice. This jacket fits as well OTR as anything I tried locally. How much shorter does the jacket need to be? The salesmen in a few different stores all said that a 38R looked better than a 38S, but I'm probably somewhere in between.

What exactly is wrong about the shoulders? My shoulders really do slope that much. Here is a picture in a t-shirt that shows the natural shape.
 

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center button hole only please.
you have a right low shoulder also.
rather hard to tell much more from these pictures.
a tailor should be able to tell you what needs to be done and quote the cost. tell him you want to know the cost so you can decide if you want to have it done or to return it.
 

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Thanks for the advice. This jacket fits as well OTR as anything I tried locally. How much shorter does the jacket need to be? The salesmen in a few different stores all said that a 38R looked better than a 38S, but I'm probably somewhere in between.

What exactly is wrong about the shoulders? My shoulders really do slope that much. Here is a picture in a t-shirt that shows the natural shape.
What's wrong with the shoulders (at least as far as I can see, which is a little difficult with the dark color of the suit) is that they seem to extend a good 1/2" beyond your natural shoulders. The shoulders should fit so that if you were to lean against a wall your shoulder and the shoulder of the jacket would hit the wall simultaneously. As they are, it seems the jacket's shoulder would hit the wall before yours.

As you pointed out, they do seem to follow your shoulders' slope quite nicely, as there's no bunching up on the shoulders, which would be characteristic of shoulders with the wrong slope for your body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What's wrong with the shoulders (at least as far as I can see, which is a little difficult with the dark color of the suit) is that they seem to extend a good 1/2" beyond your natural shoulders. The shoulders should fit so that if you were to lean against a wall your shoulder and the shoulder of the jacket would hit the wall simultaneously.
Ok, that makes sense. I assume this is not too difficult to fix at the same time that the sleeves are shortened. It's good to know exactly what to ask the tailor to do before I go.
 

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One of my New Years resolutions is to dress better, so I joined this forum to learn. First thing is a new suit to wear to some upcoming weddings. I don't wear suits on a regular basis, so I only want one for now.
If you only want one for now, go with a solid. IMO pinstripes are too businesslike for a wedding. Navy or charcoal would be the recommended choices for an all-purpose suit.
 

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If you only want one for now, go with a solid. IMO pinstripes are too businesslike for a wedding. Navy or charcoal would be the recommended choices for an all-purpose suit.
Sounds like good advice to me. I would want to own a solid suit before I bought any with a pattern. Even if I had a solid, I don't think I would buy a pinstripe as a second suit - they say 'boardroom' to me.
 

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I was going to make the same comment that the jacket looked too long as well. If it's a size too large this would obviously make it even longer. Can't really tell from the photos though for sure...

As people have said, for $800 you have a lot of options. I'd get a solid navy or gray and make sure it fits.

-spence
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Every store I went to put me in a 38R. I looked at some jacket measurements online, and it looks like there is 1.5" difference in length between a 38R and 38S.

I think I'll take it to a couple of tailors to get estimates before I decide. I don't mind spending ~$100 to make it fit correctly.

It sounds like the jacket needs the sleeves shortened, the overall length shortened, and the shoulders narrowed. The pants need the legs narrowed and hemmed and maybe some material removed from the seat.
 

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I check jacket length by putting my hands at my sides, palms in, and curl my fingers gently. If my fingers can just encircle the hem of the coat without the fabric stacking I know I'm good.

Fwiw, at 5'9" I am a straight 40R at my tailor (and 32" waist), but with OTR I'm at times a 40R and other times a 40S. It depends on the manufacturer. As shared previously in this Forum, I've noticed some companies are now cutting coats an inch or so longer to accommodate the additional middle-girth now typical of American male.

As someone who shares a flat stomach, you may want to look at some short sizes to see how they'd work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll add another question here:
The first wedding that I'm going to is an evening wedding. I think the ceremony starts at 7PM with the reception at 9PM. Based on some searches here, I think a light to medium gray French cuff shirt with a black tie would be appropriate. I plan on using sliver cuff links and a silver tie bar. Sound ok?
 

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I'll add another question here:
The first wedding that I'm going to is an evening wedding. I think the ceremony starts at 7PM with the reception at 9PM. Based on some searches here, I think a light to medium gray French cuff shirt with a black tie would be appropriate. I plan on using sliver cuff links and a silver tie bar. Sound ok?
I think a white shirt is most appropriate for evening events. A light grey shirt is okay.
 
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