28
Dec

in your opinion, whats the least a suit jacket should cover of your rear end? would you just return a suit if the bottom of ur cheeks were peeking out a little?

- Asked by Anonymous

If your cheeks are peeking out, then you should put on pants. 

In all seriousness though, it’s a personal preference. What are you comfortable with? 

Alan Flusser’s recommendation is that you take the total height from the top of your jacket’s collar to the floor, and your jacket’s hem should hit the middle of that length. 

16
Dec
thisfits:

It just occurred to me that this 40% off + free shipping sale at Lands’ End is a good opportunity for someone on a shoestring budget to pick up a first basic suit. 
If you’re, say, a graduating college senior looking to start a job search in the next six months, you probably won’t find a better deal for under $120.
Promo code DONNER, PIN 1585. Jacket, trousers.

I was going to post something similar, but Aliotsy beat me to it. If you don’t have a suit yet and are on the Ramen Noodle Budget*, then here’s a place to get started. 
(* Yes, the Ramen Noodle Budget piece is forthcoming. My plan is to bang it out tonight and tomorrow and have it up sometime next week.)

thisfits:

It just occurred to me that this 40% off + free shipping sale at Lands’ End is a good opportunity for someone on a shoestring budget to pick up a first basic suit. 

If you’re, say, a graduating college senior looking to start a job search in the next six months, you probably won’t find a better deal for under $120.

Promo code DONNER, PIN 1585Jackettrousers.

I was going to post something similar, but Aliotsy beat me to it. If you don’t have a suit yet and are on the Ramen Noodle Budget*, then here’s a place to get started. 

(* Yes, the Ramen Noodle Budget piece is forthcoming. My plan is to bang it out tonight and tomorrow and have it up sometime next week.)

04
Dec

could you recommend any nice winter suits that i can add to my closet? currently dont have any, and my only two suits are navy and gray. thanks!

- Asked by Anonymous

For wearing around the office, I’d say a good flannel suit is worth looking into. The grey flannel suit is somewhat of a long-time staple piece of a man’s wardrobe before modern HVAC systems were introduced to most workplaces. 

For a more casual alternative, I think a tweed suit might be worth tracking down. The instances when you can wear a full-on tweed suit though might be sort of rare. I wouldn’t consider it office attire, given that tweed’s origins were meant for it to be worn in the countryside, not the city. 

Still, I like tweed suits because you can break them up and wear the jacket and trousers separately with other elements of your wardrobe, which is what I do quite often. I was lucky to find two of mine at thrift stores (both donegal tweed). 

As for where to buy new, that really depends on your budget. Be warned though that finding either types of suiting isn’t going to be something you can find on the cheap. Lands’ End has a flannel suit that’s gotten some mixed reviews in terms of the quality of the flannel used. The only tweed suit I’ve seen from memory would be from either J.Crew or GANT by Michael Bastian

01
Dec

Hey Silentist, nice blog! That charcoal Lands End suit - how's the quality? looks nice enough, how is it 'in person'? I've bought their shirts and ties and love that they have the 'tailored' fit, but have wondered about their suits Thx! John

- Asked by Anonymous

In all seriousness, buy one and see for yourself. They have a bullet-proof return policy.

I liked mine (both of ‘em) enough for the price to keep them and get them altered. Are they the nicest suits you’ll own and can buy? Nope. But for ~$200-250, they certainly are in my book. A lot better than the similarly (or higher) priced stuff from Topman, Zara, H&M, etc. Just my opinion though.

01
Dec

I have the same LE suit that you wore in your 11-30 picture. Mine seems much baggier so I assume you got both the jacket and slacks taken in? I need to find a tailor to do the same alterations, if so. Also, did you shorten the jacket at all because mine seems much longer?

- Asked by Anonymous

Yup, definitely had my tailor do some work on it. The side have been taken in on the jacket, the trousers have had the seat and waist taken in and the legs tapered to a 7.5” leg opening.

I didn’t shorten the jacket, but I am 5’11”-ish and am wearing a regular. Maybe that’s the reason?

09
Oct

So I was reading through old posts and I read that you're a 38 long. I thought I was the only one! I rarely find jackets in this size, but you seem to have a ton. I know you thrift a lot, but when you buy new, where do you go for your size? It doesn't seem like any major brands carry 38L.

- Asked by Anonymous

You’d be correct that it’s nearly impossible to find 38L off the rack. I think Tommy Hilfiger and Haspel have that size, but it’s pretty rare. Most brands have 38R and 38S.

Most of the time I go with a 38R and then let out the sleeves if possible. Also, I tend to show more cuff than the average person, so I can live with a shorter sleeve length.

07
Oct

HELP I just bought the j crew ludlow suit in charcoal, can I wear OCBD shirt with knit tie, also need recommendation on shoes to go along with for a wedding tomorrow, please help...

- Asked by Anonymous

I’d recommend plain black captoes (like the Allen Edmonds Park Avenues), but you could also probably go with burgundy or brown captoes. Less formal would be brogues and wingtips. Tough to really give a concrete answer without knowing your budget or if you live in a location where you can snatch something up quickly.

Whatever you do, avoid wearing loafers with a suit.

ADDING from Anon:

"White OCBD with knit tie go well with the JCrew Ludlow suit?"

Some people don’t like button-down collars with suits, but it works if it’s casual.

30
Sep

I'm a student (on a budget around $300) looking to play dress up for a job fair. Is Jos. A. Bank any good?

- Asked by Anonymous

I can’t recommend Jos. A. Bank to you. For that kind of cash, you should just order a suit from Lands’ End (jacket, trousers) in your size and then take the suit to a tailor to make it fit perfectly.

Plus, you can use coupon code SAVEBIG with PIN 1234 to get 30% off the highest priced item in your cart. That’ll put the price of the entire suit at $198.15 and leave you with $100 extra to do some alterations.

12
Sep
My favorite look from the Michael Bastian S/S 2012 collection.
That suit looks fantastic and you could easily break it apart to wear the jacket and trousers separately.

My favorite look from the Michael Bastian S/S 2012 collection.

That suit looks fantastic and you could easily break it apart to wear the jacket and trousers separately.

21
Aug

You can only afford to buy one suit, which color is most acceptable at weddings and funerals; black, navy or charcoal?

- Asked by Anonymous

I would go with the navy or charcoal, especially dark charcoal. I’ve worn a navy suit with a black tie to a wake before. Maybe it’s a newer thing, but the immediate family of the recently passed didn’t wear black — on purpose. For them, they didn’t need to feel even more grim is what one of them told me. So, I think navy or dark charcoal would work for funerals. Traditional? No, but it still can convey a respectful tone.

Wearing black is such a powerful statement of formality and (sometimes) somberness, yet can also be interpreted as fashionable. I don’t think a black suit is very “conservative” in comparison to navy or dark charcoal. It’s a strong statement.

04
Aug

what do you like better: 2 buttons vs. 3 buttons on the front of a suit coat or jacket?

- Asked by Anonymous

I don’t mind either, actually. Although, I wouldn’t buy a 3-button jacket if it wasn’t a 3-roll-2. I’d avoid ever getting a suit or jacket where the top button on a 3-button front isn’t rolled and the lapel clearly is formed with the intention of having the wearer button it.

Statistically though, I only have one suit with 3-buttons. Every other single-breasted jacket I have (suit or otherwise) is 2-button stance.

31
Jul

What's the difference between suit jackets and sportcoats/blazers from a design standpoint? They look the same to me.

- Asked by Anonymous

I think Put This On gave a fairly comprehensive explanation between the types of suit, sportcoat and blazer jackets.

Some historical context is perhaps helpful. Suits emerged from formalwear and were meant generally to be worn in the context of business or other occasions calling for them. Sportcoats come from a sportswear background, in such activities like hunting and horseback riding.

The sportcoat includes details that make some functional sense. Pockets will have flaps to keep items securely inside (and rain, dirt, snow out). Often, the pockets will be at an angle instead of horizontal to make them easier to reach into while riding. The back will have a single center vent, allowing the coat to sit split over the horse’s back. Sometimes hunting and shooting jackets will have an extra collar tab and throat latch that allows the coat to be buttoned at the neck for warmth.

Of course, these are traditional details that really aren’t modern-day defining elements of a sportcoat, given that designers have borrowed and reappropriated them into suits (and vice versa).

Generally speaking, your sportcoat or blazer won’t have matching pants. They’re made of fabrics that full suits might not ordinarily be made of. They have patterns or colors that often aren’t made into full suits (think: patchword madras, tweeds, etc.). And they’re usually more casual than a suit jacket would be.

29
Jul
It’s on sale: Haspel seersucker suit — I’m fairly certain this is similar to the seersucker suit I own, although the stripe width on mine is much smaller and this one seems to be the typical width. Regardless, today’s Sierra Trading Post deal flyer brings the cost of this suit to under $100. (The only way to activate that coupon is through the email they sent out. If you want me to forward it to you, email me.) 
In regards to the fit, I found my Haspel suit to fit pretty true to size. The jacket didn’t really need to be adjusted, however, I did have the trousers slimmed and seat adjusted. Another nice thing about the selection at STP is that they have short, regular and long sizing.
The one downside to this suit is that it’s 3/4ths lined. The upside though is that it’s half-canvased. You might be able to have a tailor remove some of the lining if you find it’s making you run a bit hot, but I’m not entirely sure.
As you’re probably aware, wearing a seersucker suit is probably a bit ambitious as a whole, but I’ve found it works well when you wear the items separate from each other. The jacket goes well with jeans, navy and grey trousers and go-to-hell chinos. The trousers work with almost any blue or navy jacket. Get a pair of bucks (dirty or crisp white) and you’re set to go.

It’s on sale: Haspel seersucker suit — I’m fairly certain this is similar to the seersucker suit I own, although the stripe width on mine is much smaller and this one seems to be the typical width. Regardless, today’s Sierra Trading Post deal flyer brings the cost of this suit to under $100. (The only way to activate that coupon is through the email they sent out. If you want me to forward it to you, email me.) 

In regards to the fit, I found my Haspel suit to fit pretty true to size. The jacket didn’t really need to be adjusted, however, I did have the trousers slimmed and seat adjusted. Another nice thing about the selection at STP is that they have short, regular and long sizing.

The one downside to this suit is that it’s 3/4ths lined. The upside though is that it’s half-canvased. You might be able to have a tailor remove some of the lining if you find it’s making you run a bit hot, but I’m not entirely sure.

As you’re probably aware, wearing a seersucker suit is probably a bit ambitious as a whole, but I’ve found it works well when you wear the items separate from each other. The jacket goes well with jeans, navy and grey trousers and go-to-hell chinos. The trousers work with almost any blue or navy jacket. Get a pair of bucks (dirty or crisp white) and you’re set to go.

26
Jul

Hey, hope all is well. I'm in the market for a navy, slim fitting suit. Something that would be appropriate for professional and social events. It would be worn lightly, so I would like for the material to be suitable for all seasons, more or less.

Last night I tried on a Hugo Boss, Theory, and the Tommy Hilfiger suit that you had mentioned a few days ago. The Theory suit was a winner. It was dark navy, 96% wool / 4% lycra, and fit like a glove. In my opinion it would need minor alterations, slightly shortening the sleeves and hemming the pants to no, or a very slight break.

I did some research this morning and it seems that the general consensus is Theory's quality isn't up to par with the price. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find this particular suit online for anything less than retail. I'll probably hit Nordstrom rack or something along those lines to see if I can find anything comparable or better.

Bottom line, I really like this suit, but don't want to get ripped off. Thoughts?

- Asked by irunchi

I’m having a hard time coming up with a figure of what that Theory suit costs, but seeing that their blazers run $500, that makes me assume that the suit plus tax and alterations will come near or above $800. If that’s an acceptable price and you’re happy with how it’ll fit and look, then go for it.

However, you should be aware that a lot of made-to-measure Chicago tailors start at around $800, too, for a suit (Nicholas Joseph, DeLouice, Sebastien Grey, Balani). There’s also traveling MTM operations with an in-person tailor like J. Hilburn and MyTailor.

I don’t have any experience with these operations or Theory suits, but if the money’s all the same to you and you have the time to wait for a MTM suit, then I’d definitely give that a look instead.

Hope this helps.

ADDING from the comments:

williamstelmach said:

I love the fit of Theory suits too. The quality issue comes from the fused vs canvassed. I think the suit’s retail is about $699. Go to Off Saks. They have them on sale and if you are a More member they are always 40% off or BOGO. Dont buy at retail

jhilla said:

I bought a Theory suit 7 mo’s ago and payed $500 total (30% off). They are tempting since the fit is slim but it’s true the quality really isn’t great for the price (especially if paying retail). It’s evident in the lapels and movement of the jacket

dieworkwear said:

You can find Theory suits on sale for like $300 at places like Off 5th, or when Saks has their big sales. The fit is good on some people. Construction isn’t great tho. Big prob is those wimpy lapels, but fit is 90% of anything anyway, so your call

docbound said:

My sibling has stuff from Theory, and their stuff is terribly overpriced for the quality. Ring Jacket Navy Wool Suit from The Armoury. Done deal.

22
Jul

Regarding: Mission Impossible: Suit, shirt, tie & shoes on $500 budget ... in less than a day

Great article, I think that is the way most people acquire their suits. They realize that they haven't worn their old one in years and have gained/lost weight, moved their stuff, moth holes, etc... and don't realize it until the last minute.

Do you know if those are the same suits that are always up on Gilt? I have always been curious, but not enough to pull the trigger and return it.

- Asked by williamstelmach

Thanks. I do agree that if you’re not dressing up every day, then you probably don’t know how that suit in the back of your closet fits. Worth doing every six months or so, or at the change of the season, to see how it fits and if you need alterations and/or a new suit.

I’m not entirely sure if they’re the same suit that ends up on Gilt, but I’d assume they might be. If you can make it to a Macy’s, then at least you could try them on and get an idea if you like them or not. Either way, Gilt’s non-final sale return policy is fairly decent now.

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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