Hello, Kiyoshi! Could you please give an advice on where to find affordable yet quality, classy transitional outwear? Trench coat or a light wool overcoat or maybe something else that would look good with a hat and nice shoes, not a harrington or an anorak. On-line. If you say "ebay", could you please advise on what to look for? ~ 300 dollar-ish. Thanks a lot!
With your budget, it’s worth checking out the sale section of Brooks Brothers right now, where you’ll find this trench coat. Right in your price range.
Otherwise, you can find some Barbour jackets for about that price range (or cheaper) on eBay UK. I picked up a Beaufort this week for $230, barely used and looks like it’s in great condition.
On my thrift-store-and-ebay budget, it's hard to find anything linen (pants, coats, shirts, suits) of any quality, but there's always a lot of linen-cotton blend items. Are these going to be summer-in-Chicago appropriate? I'm sure they won't be as cool as pure linen, but would they be so close to regular chino, for example, as not to be worth owning for the summer months?
Linen-cotton is actually preferable to me to linen. It wrinkles slightly less and is still cool enough to wear in the heat. I’ve got a few linen-cotton blended jackets and they work just fine. I’ll probably try to get some linen-cotton shirting, too.
For the smaller guy, he really should consider shopping in the boys section (I know you've recommended this before too). I'm a student so financially, I haven't been able to do anything but thrift, but I do still have casual button ups from when I was younger. I'm 5'7", skinny, and 33" sleeves. A boys 20 usually fits quite slim and the neck and shoulders should be about right for him. If he's 5'9" or taller, he might have to worry about body length.
Attention smaller/shorter people, this anon has been quite helpful.
I hope you had a good time at SXSW! (I'm from Austin) I am a little new to all this stuff but I love the blog. I was wondering if Land's End ever has jackets that are 36S?
Austin was fun — catching the inevitable cold after 10 days on a weakened immune system from drinking/staying out too much was less so on the plane ride back. Still, I think going there for college would’ve been a complete blast. Helluva scene there.
Lands’ End really only does short and long sizing for their “traditional” fit line of suits — not their tailored fit.
If you can up your budget some more, might be worth checking out Suit Supply, which has a lot of options in your size.
Hey there Silentist - any suggestions for a lightweight spring/summer blazer (cotton, chino, etc) that would fit a guy with a 35" chest? My best-fitting wool blazer measures 17" across the shoulder seams, and it's still just barely on the large side. I love the casual look of the LL Bean stonewashed cotton blazer, but sounds like it runs large in the shoulders.
Someone out there just needs to start a blog for small/short people, because this isn’t really my wheelhouse — and it’s tough to find stuff for short/small people.
I would take a look on Yoox and maybe try to find something in a 36 in their blazers section. Lots of those brands tend to fit slimmer and some are cut a bit shorter. Baring that, you could hit up the boys section of Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren, as is often suggested — cheaper and still good quality.
I am interested in purchasing my first solid navy and grey suits from Suit Supply. What do you think of the Napoli Pure Wool S110's suits?
Well, the suit certainly looks nice. I think it’s a great price.
But I’ve never handled a Suit Supply suit or worn one. And really, it all comes down to how it looks on you and if you like how it fits with some alterations (should they be needed).
Truthfully, I’ve often seen things that I thought looked great online, bought them and then tried them on and found they didn’t really work for me. It’s disappointing and you’ll never really know until you actually can wear it — that’s the reality.
But those suits sure do look nice, I’ll say that much.
Imagine a skinny nerdy kid who was into science fiction, PC gaming, punk music, chess club and Chuck Palahniuk — and wore T-shirts reflecting those types of interests along with baggy chinos and jeans, hoodies and skater shoes.
I know you're not a shorts guy but maybe you can post and folks can help out. I'm over the cargo shorts thing and looking for some casual khaki shorts for spring summer. I'm not a huge fan of showing off a ton of thigh (too fair skinned... blinding) so maybe top of the knee length? Any leads would be great.
It’s really hard for me to give great advice here. And you really won’t know how these shorts fit from any retailer until you try them on.
I’d be tempted to tell people to go with someone with a more traditional styling like Brooks Brothers, but paying $85 for shorts just strikes me as something really stupid. Lands’ End Canvas makes a bit more sense for $40.
Still, I think shorts rarely look great on most guys. You don’t get clean lines like you would from trousers, and you can always achieve the same level of “staying cool” from lightweight chinos and linen trousers.
how are your 3sixteens? have been eyeing them for a while, haven't yet decided to pull the trigger though. are there any levi's fits that they most closely resemble? just thought i'd ask :)
Definitely a fan. They haven’t fully broken in yet though.
In terms of fit, I can’t emphasize enough getting to a place where you can try them on for yourself. I got the SL-100x, which has a straight leg. It’s a narrower leg than a Levi’s 501, slightly lowered rise.
I also tried on the ST-100x, but they were just way too tight (and I consider myself to have rather average leg widths) in the thigh area.
I’ll also mention that my co-worker has been breaking in a pair of their shadow denim, and they’re damned cool looking.
If you’re in Chicago, hit up Haberdash. If you’re in LA, NYC or SF, then hit up Self Edge.
What do you think about the colored chino and denim trend? Even gap, old navy, and J Crew have caught on. Do you have any suggestions in this department? Thanks!
If you don’t have basic colors already, then get those first, ie: dark denim and khaki chinos.
If you’ve got those down pat, then feel free to get what you think works for you.
Generally speaking though, colored chinos are extremely casual (what I’d call “weekend wear”) and colored denim is a bit more like streetwear to me (outside of white denim). That’s just my take on it though.
I have a pair of red chinos that I like to wear once in a while during the summer. It’s a good GTH piece.
I need to stock up on a shirts - dress, OCBD, casual, etc. I'm a 35" chest, 14.5" neck, 32" sleeve, skinny with narrow shoulders. BB ESF is too big in the shoulders and a too baggy in the chest and waist. J. Crew's dress shirt in a 14.5/33 is good in the neck, but baggy in the chest/armpits, and the shoulders are a smidge wide. The best I've found is J. Crew XS-sized casual shirts. Great fit but the neck is way too small to button. Can't afford M2M - anything ideas?
Maybe give Rugby a shot (there’s a student discount). Not too sure about anything else out there.
Love your blog; it's become a daily must-read. Any recommendations (or sources) for leather watch bands? I'm looking to replace the Speidel band on my 1950s Omega Seamaster that I Ebayed. Thanks in advance!
Hi Kiyoshi, I asked you a question a few months ago and didn't hear back from you. I love your blog and would really appreciate it if you could help me out! I've got about 5 suits that I got made for me, the colors and fit are still nice. But they have 3 buttons. I do notice the 2 buttons or even 1 button suits seem to be more popular/ in style. I was wondering do I let go of my old suits and buy new ones? Thanks
Sorry about that. I would keep them but have a tailor or dry-cleaner re-roll the lapels into a 3/2 roll, where you’d only button the middle button. The 3/2 roll is pretty classic and seen quite often.
Shoe care question: just picked up a pair of the Florsheim Veblens in wine. Should I give it a coat of Allen Edmonds spray waterproofer (non-silicone) to protect it from moisture/dirt? I've used it on suede but never on calf. And if I use it should I do it before or after polishing for the first time?
I don’t use waterproofer, personally, on any shoes. I’ve found that as long as you put in shoe trees at the end of the day and polish semi-regularly, then you’re going to be fine (although, you can’t polish suede, obviously).
Wrangler cowboy cut unwashed. $25.14 on Amazon, with free 2-day shipping. They are great.
Follow up question from anon:
Re: dark jeans for officewear - should have specified that they need to be high enough to tuck a shirt in. Will the 514s fit the bill? I’m on the shorter side (5’8”) and sometimes worry that a lower rise makes me look shorter.
514s are a bit of a lower rise. I’d try some of the others above.
re: modern tailor. I would tell the guy to measure his Astor & Black shirt and use those measurements for MT to make their shirt off of. I would imagine since his A&B shirt is custom, it ought to fit him better than anything else he has (BBESF or MT's own slim fit). I did this with a couple of shirts I had custom made for me and as long as you take careful measurements, the MT shirts are great.
I found Modern Tailor to be somewhat inconsistent, even within the same order when I got multiple shirts at once.
I enthusiastically recommend MyTailor and Biased Cut based on personal experience. (And I should have a J. Hilburn shirt here on Friday to review, too.)
As a follow-up to the question about the Brooks Brother's cardigan, do you know of any that are heavy and on sale as F/W lines are phased out? One with pockets would be preferred, and cheaper if possible
It’s tough to find stuff on sale now, as it’s several months after the post-winter clearance season. I really don’t have any good leads for you man.
Hey do you know anything about the Saxxon Cable Shawl Cardigan from Brooks Brothers? It's on sale right now for 50% should I pull the trigger or will it come down any further? Do you know if it fits true to size?
I’ve seen it in person before. It’s super nice and heavy. My own beef would be that it lacks pockets, which I sort of like on my cardigans. I wouldn’t hold your breath too much on it dropping much more and still being available in your size.
In terms of sizing, I find Brooks Brothers to be fairly standard. I’m a 38R and wear a size small. Otherwise, call up their customer service line if you’re not sure.
considering placing an order for a modern tailor shirt this week as my white bespoke astor & black shirt has officially thrown in the towel after multiple years of weekly use. question about the ordering process: when selecting a slim fit, i lose the option of side pleats, which i prefer. should i opt for the normal fit, choose the side pleats and simply measure one of my bbesf shirts, hoping they get the portions correct?
If you’re entering your own measurements, then don’t pick the “slim fit” options. That’s more for people who don’t know their measurements.
But really, I would contact Modern Tailor’s customer service directly and ask them. They’ll know much more than me.
Hi Kiyoshi, I was interested in pulling off the leather jacket+trousers+shirt+tie look for a night out this weekend, probably all black with exception to the shirt. Just wondering what tips you can offer to pull off the look, something like look from Ovadia and Sons spring 2012. And if you had any particular brands that wont break the bank in mind I would love that too. Thank you!
Seems like that’d be hard to pull together in five days unless you plan on buying all of this in person. Do you have a leather jacket already? Because if not, then you’re probably going to end up shelling out quite a bit unless you get lucky at a thrift store.
As for trousers, you could look into Lands’ End’s tailored fit suiting. For a black tie, I’d suggest something from The Tie Bar, which should be pretty cheap.
I'm slowly creating a more mature wardrobe and I'm hoping you could tell me whether or not one can wear a blazer with jeans? Is this an appropriate combination to encompass a more mature casual look? Any further details is always helpful, thank you.
Hey Kiyoshi, so I've got an interview on Thursday and the office attire is casual/business casual. I was going to wear khaki bucks, navy slacks, solid blue shirt, red patterned tie, and a light grey jacket, but now the weather is saying it's going to be almost 80 degrees that day. I don't want to go in there looking too casual and have them think I think I already have the job, but should I try to shed a few layers so I don't sweat the entire time?
I’d maybe lose the necktie. The jacket should be enough. You could also take the jacket off until you arrive at the office and then put it on inside.
Hey dude, I'm gonna sell a sportcoat to a buddy of mine, trying to figure out how much to ask for. Picked it up from JCrew last summer for about $160, worn probably about a half-dozen times. I don't want to rip him off, but not looking to get ripped off either. How do you price things that you sell off?
I usually do “fair market” and see what other similar items would cost me online — like eBay. But I also start my prices slightly higher and then reduce down over time. You really don’t have that option.
I will say this though: It’s a friend, right? So, give him a deal. You obviously don’t want it and he could use it. He’d probably do the same for you.
What ties do you think pair up best with madras shirts(if any)?
I’d probably go with a solid tie in raw silk or linen. Navy would probably work for most, but it’d also depend on what colors the shirt was. Maybe pick a minor color from the shirt to be the dominant color of your tie?
Frankly, good work is worth paying for. I’ve often spent more on alterations than what I paid for the article of clothing (that is, I buy a good amount of stuff on clearance and at thrift stores). It’s sort of a necessary thing. Either you pay the money to get a garment that fits properly, or you don’t pay the money and it looks bad.
My advice is not to care so much about the price, but rather the quality of the work and customer-tailor relationship you have. Do they listen to you? Do they give you good advice? Do they do high-quality work that reflects your expectations?
I would also keep in mind the area you’re getting the garment altered. Places in urban centers have higher prices, because the cost of doing business is higher. They have to charge a certain rate because they know how long it takes to complete an operation and that reflects an hourly rate they need to achieve a certain amount of profit to run their business.
I never understand people that argue with their tailors about the rates they charge. It costs what it costs to that tailor — there’s no Groupon here. There’s no coupon code. It’s a service that either you want or don’t from that person. If you think it’s too high and you think you can get similar results cheaper elsewhere, then do that.
But in my experience, going cutrate has its pitfalls. I’ve tried doing the local dry cleaner route sometimes and been disappointed, even with simple operations. If you value your clothing, then have someone alter it with an equal amount of care and consideration.
Hey man. Thanks for all the advice you've given on your blog! I need some help though. I am graduating college and then attending a wedding in Arizona at the beginning of the summer. I am planning to buy a suit for the occasions. I will not need to wear a suit for my job that I'll be starting in the fall. My only use for this suit will be for whenever I want to wear it so I am thinking something more casual. I want something that won’t make me look too old, something more youthful. I liv
Your question got cut off, but I think I get where you’re going with this.
If you want something more casual, then try going for a chino suit. J.Crew has a few options, as does L.L.Bean Signature. Best part? You can split them up and wear them as separates.
I’d go with navy, as it’d be more versatile, but khaki could look good, too.