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Tips for buying a suit?

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  • Tips for buying a suit?

    I'm planning on buying a suit for job interviews and other formal occasions. I also need a dress shirt, a tie, and some dress shoes. My budget for everything (including tax and tailoring) is about $1000. I'm not really sure what to look for in a suit. I'm about an hour drive from Houston, so a store there would probably be my best bet. I wear jeans and a t-shirt 99% of the time, and formal clothing isn't exactly my specialty . Any advice?
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

    This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

  • #2
    How to Dress for a Job Interview: An Illustrated Guide | The Art of Manliness

    Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
    Starting Weight: 294 pounds
    Current Weight: 235 pounds
    Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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    • #3
      Tailor, tailor, tailor. Seeing people in ill-fitting suits that they clearly just grabbed off a rack drives me crazy. Probably bothers me more than it should.

      I have a closet full of nice suits from various places, but you can get a pretty good bang for $1000 at Men's Wearhouse, or someplace similar.

      If you carry a gun wear it as usual and have them tailor around it.

      Sent via A-10 Warthog

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      • #4
        Personally I'd rather shoot myself in the face than wear a suit again


        But if I was going to and a had a decent amount to spend (which you do IMHO, you are definatly out off walmart off the peg machine washable shinnneeee suit teritory) I would go for single brested, conservative cut in a almost black grey colour, does for everything.

        I'd also spend most of the money on the suit and have it adjusted to fit at least if your budget dosn't strech to a full tailored suit (no idea what your money gets you in the USofA)

        Everything else hangs off that, as long as your shirt, tie and shoes are not gawd awful you could get away with a cheaper dress shirt (I had a really nice dress shirt for interviews, 100% cotten, high thread count, fold back cuff-link cuffs, looked really nice, and it cost about 20 from a mid range department store) most of it is under the suit anyway

        A nice plain silk tie from a department store cost about a tenner over hear and I can't tell them from a 100 designer tie, just pick a colour that suits you and the suit.

        Personally I prefere simple shoes if I'm dressing smart, something that shines up well, I think keep it conservative and simple for interviews and formal occasions, no cowboy boots with spurs and vibrams would definatly get noticed
        You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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        • #5
          Nice post you made out there.i really appreciate that visual help..i guess many people will get an idea now to choose the best suit for them..anyway thanks for making that post..

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          • #6
            I agree that Men's Warehouse is a good place to start. They have nice clothes at a good price and sometimes will have a sale so you get two times more for the same price. They usually have people who can help you put a look together as well.
            As for color, it's a good idea to stick with the traditional black, grey and navy. If I were you I'd try to think of how you feel in the different colors of suits you try on and buy the color that makes you feel confident in it. It helps when you have an important meeting or interview to wear that color, at least for me.
            After wearing it let it hang outside the closet for a day, a little air helps to keep the dirt from saying in the natural fibers.
            Shoes need to fit well and feel well. I can't remember when we bought my husband's last pair of dress shoes, probably 15 or so years ago. If you buy good shoes they will last and you can have them resoled when you need to. He wears his dress shoes at least 3 times a week. I may have ruined him, had him buy some work shoes at Nordstrom's (they started off as a shoe store originally) and he doesn't get them anywhere else.
            Ties, it's good to go with a few understated ones so you can wear them over and over but people won't remember them because they aren't flashy. (Well, I might because I'm deeply superficial but I don't live in Texas so no worries there)
            Dress socks should go well with the suit, I think a nice pattern in the weave or a subtle design makes a nicer impression when you cross your legs.
            There you go, shopping advise from a female who cares about looking good.
            Hope your shopping goes well, then take yourself out to lunch or at least a nice coffee..... or is that just a girl thing?

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            • #7
              Tailor, tailor, tailor.
              This. Nothing looks sloppier than ill fitting jackets and slacks. Nothing makes you look better than a perfectly fitted suited.
              And you probably will need tailoring.

              And if you are losing weight or working out, try on your suit on occasion to ensure it fits. My suit purchased in November is now too big and needs to go get tailored. LOL, I wore it once.

              Otherwise, nothing should stand out. Don't wear a funny tie or a weird shirt. Wear dress shoes. Ask yourself if Cary Grant would wear this when you accessorize.

              If you are in a creative profession, you have more leeway for interview clothes. That does not mean khakis, it just means more color, more modern cuts etc. LOL, balancing classy and creative for job interviews= a challenge.

              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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              • #8
                Absolutely agree that the suit is the most important part and Men's Wearhouse has a great selection. You will pay extra for alterations, so try on a lot and see if you can get a good fit off the rack. Their sales associates will try to steer you and upsell. Don't let them wear you down, lol. Black or charcoal are safe choices. A tiny little pattern in the fabric that you can't see unless you're up close should be fine. Since this may be your only suit, make sure it's something you could wear to a funeral. If money is tight, I wouldn't buy anything else there, unless you know for sure what you're looking at is as cheap as what you can get elsewhere.

                Shoes are probably the 2nd most important as far as your look. Don't go too stylish, because if you don't wear them regularly, they will last at least 20 years. You might want to start some place like Nordstrom's to see what a classic dress shoe in the $300-500 range looks like and then look in the other department stores and shoe stores for something similar for $100 or less. Absolutely black if this is your only dress shoe.

                If you're only buying one shirt, I would stick with white. Again, you might want to look some place like Nordstrom's at $100-300 shirts and then go elsewhere to get something in the $20-50 range. I would recommend 100% cotton, because the polyester blends tend to have a slightly limp look and crisp is definitely more alpha. Then have it professionally laundered and pressed ($1.75 where I am), unless you're super handy with an iron and spray starch. If you have any upper body muscle and a slim waist, you will want a slim fit or trim fit. Do not be afraid to take the shirt out of the package and try it on.

                Socks and ties can be had super cheap at Walmart. A 3-pack of dress socks (one solid, two subtle patterns) is like $8. Nobody else will be fondling them to tell they aren't the $30 ones from Nordstrom's. That 3-pack will probably last you 20 years too. The selection of silk ties at Walmart is minuscule, but they are $10-20. Unless people are examining the construction from the back, they look no different than what you could get at Macy's. If you have to go to a department store to find a pattern you like, you should be able to find something very sharp for $20-30. Silk only! Over time you can assemble a few different shirts and ties to give your suit different looks, depending on the occasion.
                50yo, 5'3"
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                CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
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                • #9
                  Oh yeah, the other thing. Get a nice portfolio in leather with a note pad and room for resumes. That's such a nice thing to have. When I got out of the design profession, I always felt lost without my portfolio case. I love having mine for interviews to keep resumes nice and work samples on hand plus a pad for notes.

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                  • #10
                    Joseph A. Bank, Men's Wearhouse, Brooks Brothers, etc., run excellent specials where you get discounts or shirts and ties thrown in. Look out for one of those. Make sure your shirt cuffs show. Too many men wear the sleeves too long. Google some formal portraits of famously well-dressed old-time Hollywood movie stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Tyrone Power.

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                    • #11
                      Kenn, thanks for the link. I passed it on to hubby and son (15 yr old) and they are enjoying it. Neither has the need to dress well but they do enjoy well made clothes. My son actually finds a sport coat to be very comfortable and practical.
                      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the responses, everybody. I've been thinking about going to either Men's Wearhouse, Jos A. Banks, Nordstrom, or Brooks Brothers. I'm leaning toward Nordstrom, but that could change. Can I get a nice $500-600 suit, there?

                        Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                        If you carry a gun wear it as usual and have them tailor around it.
                        Hahaha, you read my mind! I've actually been pondering that. I can't carry yet (not too much longer to wait, though), but I might ask if I can bring my holster in when they're taking my measurements.
                        In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                        This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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                        • #13
                          - If this is going to be your only suit, go for gray. Black can sometimes be too funereal, and navy can be tricky. Always go single-breasted.

                          - Check out department stores like Macy's, they get great deals on everything you need, including suits.

                          - Try everything on. If you are getting multiple shirts, try each on. Don't assume the same maker and size= same fit. It doesn't.

                          - Enlist the help of the sales associate while suit shopping. The sales associates in men's departments are usually very helpful- more so than in women's departments anyway.

                          - Check out stores like Marshall's or TJ Maxx for the extras. They get designer shirts, ties, belts, socks, and shoes for so much less than even the best sales at other retailers. They are hit-or-miss though, so I recommend buying more than one of you find something you like.

                          - If you find a deal on good shoes, jump on it. Just remember: you want good shoes cheap, not cheap shoes!

                          -Have some patience. I realize most guys don't enjoy shopping, but a nice suit is too important and too big an investment to rush. Be prepared to try on several suits.

                          -Stick with the classics. This is fairly easy to do in suits, it is the extras that can get you in trouble. There are some interesting trends in menswear right now. Steer clear! Things I've seen recently: obnoxiously bright shirts, calico floral ties, funky collars on shirts (ex. mandarin). Some men can pull these off. Most can't. Assume you fall in the "can't" category and don't be tempted. If you want to get funky, get some patterned underwear.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heliotrope View Post
                            Joseph A. Bank, Men's Wearhouse, Brooks Brothers, etc., run excellent specials where you get discounts or shirts and ties thrown in. Look out for one of those. Make sure your shirt cuffs show. Too many men wear the sleeves too long. Google some formal portraits of famously well-dressed old-time Hollywood movie stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Tyrone Power.
                            and even though men's sizing is much more standard than women's, realize different designers cut suits various ways. you need to be a certain frame to really look awesome in a brooks brothers vs. a joe banks, so try on as many as you like to really see the difference.

                            all components -- pants, jacket and shirt -- need to hang straight. no puckers, pulls or bulges. you should be able to move comfortably without feeling constricted.

                            buy LEATHER shoes.
                            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                            Ernest Hemingway

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
                              I'm planning on buying a suit for job interviews and other formal occasions. I also need a dress shirt, a tie, and some dress shoes. My budget for everything (including tax and tailoring) is about $1000. I'm not really sure what to look for in a suit. I'm about an hour drive from Houston, so a store there would probably be my best bet. I wear jeans and a t-shirt 99% of the time, and formal clothing isn't exactly my specialty . Any advice?
                              I'm gonna disagree with the crowd a bit here. Stay away from Men's Wearhouse, Joseph A. Bank, etc if you want a single, nice suit. These places employ commissions-compensated salespeople and pricing strategies that make buying 1 suit a terrible bargain. (Buy 1, get 3 half off kind of B.S.).

                              If you're going to spend more than $300, get a custom made suit. (Protip: spend more than $300 on a suit)

                              No amount of tailoring after the fact will make an off-the-rack suit fit like a custom-tailored suit. And you may spend as much as $100-200 in alterations on that off-the-rack suit anyway, so it may very well be that the custom suit is the cheaper option.

                              Here's one link to get you started:Custom Suits & Mens Suits | Indochino. But there's lots of online Asian-based tailors where you can send off your measurements and get a custom made suit for <$500. Presidential candidates and late night talk show hosts are known to buy their suits this way.

                              If you're going to buy 1 suit, get charcoal gray or navy. 3 piece is always a nice option. You'll stil look "finished" with your jacket off if you have a matching vest.

                              Get decent shoes and make sure they match your belt. Polish the shoes. With real shoe cream and elbow grease. Cap-toed or wing-tipped oxfords will look sharper than tassel- or penny loafers, but that's your call.

                              Get a conservative tie in a maroon or red color scheme. It conveys confidence and power. In any case, get a dark tie to contrast your white shirt.

                              Get a custom-tailored white shirt. Google it and you can be looking sharp for <$50.

                              It's 2013, not 1978. That means don't get pleats or cuffs in the pants unless you're obese, and don't get French cuffs on the shirt unless you're trying to convince people that you're a mafia boss.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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