14
Jun

I need a gray suit for a wedding... by this weekend. Any suggestions for an affordable (<$250) suit that I can rush order or pick up at a mall (in a mid-sized city)? I'm a 38R, but usually require a small bit of tailoring.

- Asked by Anonymous

Damn, you’re not one of those “planning ahead” type, eh? I hate to say this, but for that price range and time frame, you’re probably left with a lot of “not good” options. I don’t know many places that are willing to turn around alterations in 3-4 days.

If you’re on the trim side and have a Zara near you, then that’s an option. Their suits fall under your price range and you could either go the cotton route or try to find one that’s 100% wool. Definitely avoid their polyester-wool blends. Don’t expect the best construction though. Also, I don’t think they do alterations. The upside is that they sell pants and jackets separately.

You could also stop at a Macy’s and check out their Tommy Hilfiger “trim fit” line, also sold in separates. Most Macy’s do alterations and you could ask them to maybe put a rush on it.

Outside of that, in that price range, you might be relegated to *shudder* Men’s Warehouse or Jos. A. Bank, both of which I can’t recommend. If you do go this route, insist on something slimmer and also 100% wool (or cotton).

If you had more time, then I’d point you immediately toward Lands’ End’s tailored fit fine, which you can buy in separates. They’d need alterations though, but the upside is that LE often has 25-30% off sales if you subscribe to their email list. I have two LE suits and they’re decent beginners/workhorse suits once tailored.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more money, then I’d recommend trying to hit up a Brooks Brothers or J.Crew or similar-tiered retailer.

In this case, your options are limited and you’re either going to end up spending more money than you want to get something decent or spending money on something that’s overpriced for the quality.

07
Jun

In a bit of a pinch - I have a wedding in 2 weeks and have been putting off picking up a cotton khaki suit from J Crew (done my homework, best bang for your buck IMO). Don't know if I'll be able to buy it & have it tailored in time for the wedding. That being said, would I be able to keep it safe and opting for a navy blazer with khakis? Shirt and tie in my eyes is mandatory. I wore the same combo to another summer wedding last summer and to a wedding this past spring.

- Asked by Anonymous

In regards to your first predicament, if you have a good relationship with your tailor and get your suit to them ASAP, then you might be able to have them knock it out in time. Ask if they have a “rush” fee or if it’s even possible. Tell them your situation, your deadline and politely ask if it’ll be possible to do. Worth a shot.

In regards to wearing a navy blazer and khakis (along with a dress shirt and tie), that could work. Because it’s a wedding, however, I’d go a bit more formal. If you have lightweight grey wool dress pants or even grey/white/natural tan linen trousers, those would look nice and a bit more of a step up from chinos.

Can’t decide between the two? Compromise solution: grey creased chinos.

29
Apr
And&#8230; that&#8217;s all you&#8217;ll see of the royal wedding on my blog.

And… that’s all you’ll see of the royal wedding on my blog.

17
Nov
thisfits:

Morning dress, gentlemen. We must revive the tradition of wearing this for weddings in America. Who’s with me?

Agreed. This wearing of tuxedos before 5 p.m. has to stop at weddings. I blame Men&#8217;s Warehouse.

thisfits:

Morning dress, gentlemen. We must revive the tradition of wearing this for weddings in America. Who’s with me?

Agreed. This wearing of tuxedos before 5 p.m. has to stop at weddings. I blame Men’s Warehouse.

(via thisfits)

19
Aug

This just in.

putthison:

I have just learned that it costs about $150 to rent a tuxedo from The Men’s Wearhouse.

That’s horrible.

Just buy a tuxedo.

If you’re short on dough, wait for one of those 80% off sales at Jos. A Bank or create a saved search or two on eBay.  Spend $300.  Get something decent.  My whole set of formal clothes cost less than $200, including tailoring.

Come on.  $150?  To rent something horrible?  With a 100% polyester shirt?  Buy.

I would’ve preferred to buy, trust me. But this was one of those instances where it was insisted we all wear the same suit without variation. And when your friend asks you to do something like that for him on his special day, well, you suck it up and bite the bullet. If you agree to be part of the wedding party, then that’s what you sign up for.

12
Aug
What you need to know about renting a tuxedo from Men&#8217;s Warehouse
A few weeks ago I was part of a wedding party for two great friends that I&#8217;d known since high school. The whole ceremony and reception was fantastic and fun &#8212; as such things should be &#8212; and you&#8217;d have been hard pressed to find someone who wasn&#8217;t having fun while getting down on the dance floor.
In a way, the event became partially responsible for why I started this blog. I was talking with the groom&#8217;s brother (and best man) about style and eventually thought that it&#8217;d be a good idea to start writing down the things I&#8217;ve learned along the way and who else to look to for inspiration when it comes to dressing well.
The one thing that every guy in the groom&#8217;s party agreed upon was a bit of shock at the rental tuxedos from Men&#8217;s Warehouse. In general, I understand the reasoning behind going with rentals, especially Men&#8217;s Warehouse.
For one, the bridesmaids&#8217; dresses were all coming from David&#8217;s Bridal, which is a sister store to Men&#8217;s Warehouse. This meant that they could match colors in elements of the groomsmen suits with the dresses. Also, because the Men&#8217;s Warehouse is a nationwide chain, groomsmen could stop by in any store, have their measurements taken and pick up their suit at any location. There&#8217;s a significant convenience factor here. There&#8217;s one final argument to be made concerning cost of a rental versus cost of buying a new suit, but I&#8217;ll get into that later.
The purpose of this guide is to give you an idea of what to expect from Men&#8217;s Warehouse. If you&#8217;re one of the groomsmen and you&#8217;ve been told to go get a rental, then you&#8217;ll find the measurement guide helpful. If you&#8217;re getting married and considering picking Men&#8217;s Warehouse to get your crew outfitted, then you&#8217;ll have to decide if the value&#8217;s here and if it fits in your wedding plans. 
The measurement process
Men&#8217;s Warehouse makes it absurdly easy to get &#8220;fitted&#8221; for your rental. You show up at any location, tell them the name of the wedding party and they plug in your measurements into a database, have you pay (either in full or a deposit, you choose) and that&#8217;s it.
But the measurements they take can definitely be a huge variable. Since I knew what jacket size works for me, I actually had the woman who took my measurements size me down from what she suggested. Same thing with the waistcoat. In retrospect, I also should have told her to size down on the shirt, too. And then there&#8217;s the pants, but I&#8217;ll get into that in a bit.
Basically, if you&#8217;re going in to be measured, make sure you&#8217;re on top of what they&#8217;re entering in that computer and size down when you can. All of their suits run big and nothing is tapered.
What you actually get with a rental
I&#8217;ll break this down by element and go over each piece, because it&#8217;s worth knowing about.
Pants: Without exaggeration, imagine parachute pants minus the elastic cuff and straight throughout the leg. All of our pant legs were wide enough to put both legs into. Also, the taller you are, the wider the pant legs. If you&#8217;re tall and skinny, then this will be ridiculously baggy.
In addition, the pants are sized to fit three waist sizes, so assume that you&#8217;re getting pants up to two sizes too big in the waist that are taken in by elastic bands down to your size.
Men&#8217;s Warehouse will only adjust the break of the pants and hem them up when you go to pick it up. They will not taper the pants! This was a disappointment for several of us, who really could&#8217;ve used a taper on the legs. I seriously had a foot of extra fabric around my thigh area.
Shirt: The dress shirt is 100% polyester &#8212; basically, you&#8217;re wrapped in plastic. Also, the top button isn&#8217;t a regular button, but rather a button designed to allow the collar size to stretch larger, making it really awkward if you have a skinnier (rather than larger) neck.
I know this sounds crazy, but wear an undershirt, especially if you plan on taking off your suit coat and dancing up a storm at the reception. You might think you&#8217;re going to be even hotter, but that&#8217;s unavoidable anyway. The purpose of the undershirt is to help prevent your dress shirt from showing pit stains.
Tie: The tie is essentially a clip on. Imagine a pre-tied bowtie with an adjustable collar, except with a regular necktie on the front. This shocked me more than the pants.
When I commented on the clip-on tie to the clerk at the Men&#8217;s Warehouse, he excitedly responded, &#8220;Yeah! We make it super easy for you!&#8221; No kidding.
Jacket and waistcoat: No surprises here. If you sized down, you&#8217;d be all right. I didn&#8217;t need my sleeve length adjusted, so I wasn&#8217;t sure if they offered that service, but they might. But I doubt they&#8217;d tailor in the sides for you, just as they wouldn&#8217;t taper the pants.
The jacket is rather heavier in weight and fully lined. I took the liberty of opening up the front pockets, whose seams were still sewed shut. Overall, these elements fit the best.
Shoes: The shoes were Joseph Abboud, shiny-black (patent?) leather (or faux leather?) with rubber soles. If you have your own shiny-black oxfords, then I&#8217;d recommend wearing those instead. You&#8217;ll be more comfortable, plus it&#8217;ll look nicer.
Other: You&#8217;ve given a set of cufflinks and shirt studs (which you must return) and a pocket square and socks (which you get to keep). No real surprises here.
My final take
In the end, this cost each groomsmen $140 to rent. Because the price is determined by the number of items you&#8217;re renting, this could easily be lower (or higher) if elements were subtracted or added.
I understand that not everyone can afford to buy a new suit outright, so $140 is a more affordable option to many. But I also see how these rentals could drive a sartorially-minded gent a bit crazy.
In the end, wearing a rental for a few hours isn&#8217;t the end of the world. You don&#8217;t have to worry about anything while wearing it and you&#8217;ll be laughing at yourself for that wack-ass dance move you just did after one-too-many drinks.

What you need to know about renting a tuxedo from Men’s Warehouse

A few weeks ago I was part of a wedding party for two great friends that I’d known since high school. The whole ceremony and reception was fantastic and fun — as such things should be — and you’d have been hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t having fun while getting down on the dance floor.

In a way, the event became partially responsible for why I started this blog. I was talking with the groom’s brother (and best man) about style and eventually thought that it’d be a good idea to start writing down the things I’ve learned along the way and who else to look to for inspiration when it comes to dressing well.

The one thing that every guy in the groom’s party agreed upon was a bit of shock at the rental tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse. In general, I understand the reasoning behind going with rentals, especially Men’s Warehouse.

For one, the bridesmaids’ dresses were all coming from David’s Bridal, which is a sister store to Men’s Warehouse. This meant that they could match colors in elements of the groomsmen suits with the dresses. Also, because the Men’s Warehouse is a nationwide chain, groomsmen could stop by in any store, have their measurements taken and pick up their suit at any location. There’s a significant convenience factor here. There’s one final argument to be made concerning cost of a rental versus cost of buying a new suit, but I’ll get into that later.

The purpose of this guide is to give you an idea of what to expect from Men’s Warehouse. If you’re one of the groomsmen and you’ve been told to go get a rental, then you’ll find the measurement guide helpful. If you’re getting married and considering picking Men’s Warehouse to get your crew outfitted, then you’ll have to decide if the value’s here and if it fits in your wedding plans. 

The measurement process

Men’s Warehouse makes it absurdly easy to get “fitted” for your rental. You show up at any location, tell them the name of the wedding party and they plug in your measurements into a database, have you pay (either in full or a deposit, you choose) and that’s it.

But the measurements they take can definitely be a huge variable. Since I knew what jacket size works for me, I actually had the woman who took my measurements size me down from what she suggested. Same thing with the waistcoat. In retrospect, I also should have told her to size down on the shirt, too. And then there’s the pants, but I’ll get into that in a bit.

Basically, if you’re going in to be measured, make sure you’re on top of what they’re entering in that computer and size down when you can. All of their suits run big and nothing is tapered.

What you actually get with a rental

I’ll break this down by element and go over each piece, because it’s worth knowing about.

Pants: Without exaggeration, imagine parachute pants minus the elastic cuff and straight throughout the leg. All of our pant legs were wide enough to put both legs into. Also, the taller you are, the wider the pant legs. If you’re tall and skinny, then this will be ridiculously baggy.

In addition, the pants are sized to fit three waist sizes, so assume that you’re getting pants up to two sizes too big in the waist that are taken in by elastic bands down to your size.

Men’s Warehouse will only adjust the break of the pants and hem them up when you go to pick it up. They will not taper the pants! This was a disappointment for several of us, who really could’ve used a taper on the legs. I seriously had a foot of extra fabric around my thigh area.

Shirt: The dress shirt is 100% polyester — basically, you’re wrapped in plastic. Also, the top button isn’t a regular button, but rather a button designed to allow the collar size to stretch larger, making it really awkward if you have a skinnier (rather than larger) neck.

I know this sounds crazy, but wear an undershirt, especially if you plan on taking off your suit coat and dancing up a storm at the reception. You might think you’re going to be even hotter, but that’s unavoidable anyway. The purpose of the undershirt is to help prevent your dress shirt from showing pit stains.

Tie: The tie is essentially a clip on. Imagine a pre-tied bowtie with an adjustable collar, except with a regular necktie on the front. This shocked me more than the pants.

When I commented on the clip-on tie to the clerk at the Men’s Warehouse, he excitedly responded, “Yeah! We make it super easy for you!” No kidding.

Jacket and waistcoat: No surprises here. If you sized down, you’d be all right. I didn’t need my sleeve length adjusted, so I wasn’t sure if they offered that service, but they might. But I doubt they’d tailor in the sides for you, just as they wouldn’t taper the pants.

The jacket is rather heavier in weight and fully lined. I took the liberty of opening up the front pockets, whose seams were still sewed shut. Overall, these elements fit the best.

Shoes: The shoes were Joseph Abboud, shiny-black (patent?) leather (or faux leather?) with rubber soles. If you have your own shiny-black oxfords, then I’d recommend wearing those instead. You’ll be more comfortable, plus it’ll look nicer.

Other: You’ve given a set of cufflinks and shirt studs (which you must return) and a pocket square and socks (which you get to keep). No real surprises here.

My final take

In the end, this cost each groomsmen $140 to rent. Because the price is determined by the number of items you’re renting, this could easily be lower (or higher) if elements were subtracted or added.

I understand that not everyone can afford to buy a new suit outright, so $140 is a more affordable option to many. But I also see how these rentals could drive a sartorially-minded gent a bit crazy.

In the end, wearing a rental for a few hours isn’t the end of the world. You don’t have to worry about anything while wearing it and you’ll be laughing at yourself for that wack-ass dance move you just did after one-too-many drinks.

11
Aug

Style Hunting: Casual Wedding Attire (on a Budget)

StyleHunting has some some good advice on how to look sharp while attending summer nuptials with a casual dress code.

While he makes a good point about how you shouldn’t be dropping big bucks on a linen suit during times of personal fiscal austerity, I would say that investing in at least one cotton or linen blazer is worth doing.

Personally, I’d go with a cotton blazer, just because linen is impossible to keep unwrinkled and if you get caught in the rain you’re in some real trouble. You can usually find a decent blazer at end-of-summer sales at department or retail stores and obviously at your local thrift stores, too. Heck, check eBay and Etsy. Then, take it to a tailor and have it fitted properly.

You could probably do this for $50-100 total, depending on how cheap you pick up the jacket and what amount of tailoring needs to be done. I understand that can be a tough bullet to bite for some, but you’ll always have a go-to jacket in situations that require a bit more formality when the occasion presents itself.

I will also add that in some occasions, wearing a jacket is just a dumb idea, even to a wedding. Especially if said wedding is on a beach in the tropics with temperatures in the 90s. It’s definitely appropriate at that point to dress down, because you know everyone else will be wearing shorts and mandals (ugh). 

And about linen suits: For me, my cream linen suit has become the most expensive thing I’ve owned, wearing it only once to a wedding and now looking at it I see it needs probably $70-100 more in tailoring to be properly fitted, meaning I haven’t worn it once this summer, of which there have been few to none opportunities to wear it anyway. Something to keep in mind.

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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