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Old 05-04-2009, 08:22 AM   #21
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Very good advice here - sounds like my father talking to me way back when . Not much to add. I agree with Brewer on color, Rich on tie tying, Bright eyed on buying shirt and tie elsewhere. Buy socks the same color (or slightly darker) as the trousers and a couple of white handkerchiefs.

A suit with solid colors or very discrete patterns lets you use more variety of shirts and ties to mix it up and give the appearance of multiple outfits.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #22
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Brooks Brothers has an offer right now for two "suiting essentials" suits for $800, less a 30% "friends and family" discount this week (you just have to ask for it), so $280/suit + tax. They're half-canvassed and are going to be a bit higher quality than Jos A Banks or Mens Wearhouse (which are most likely fused construction). Stick with navy and/or charcoal. Black is for funerals and pinstripes are for business meetings. If you want more specialized advice on suits, these are a couple of interesting forums:

Andy's Fashion Forum - Ask Andy FORUMS
Men's Clothing - Style Forum

If you have an outlet mall near you, other good places to check are Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth. But their sales associates will not be as knowledgable as BB. You also need to be skeptical of the supposed savings they claim. There's a printable 40% off coupon for Off Fifth you can google, good until tomorrow.

Pick up a pair of Allen Edmonds wingtips and you'll be all set.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:10 AM   #23
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Brooks Brothers is top of the line--that is an amazing price and those suits will last forever and be conservatively styled enough to stay "in style" forever, too.

Now what color shoes go with a navy suit again?
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:12 AM   #24
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If the need to wear this suit is very occasionally you may want to consider the option of just renting one for the day..
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:24 AM   #25
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Nice to know you're finally a man and need a suit---jeessstttt kiiiddddiiinng. Had to buy a black suit 2 years ago for daughter's wedding. This is what son-in-law wanted, and couldn't convince him to go for tuxes. He also wanted shoes from Van's (black with white soles). Anyway, went to Men's Warehouse and got a black suit, blue slacks and a multi-colored sport coat, and 2 ties for $486. Very satisfied, except after the purchase they informed me that for every $500 of purchases, you get a $50-off coupon on your next purchase. Have never made it back to spend $14 and get that $50 off on something else, because I HATE shopping.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:33 AM   #26
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FWIW,

I know that some don't like black suits except for attending funerals, but I think they can look awesome at evening events requiring a bit a formality (cocktail party, company dinner, etc...). Also, you can get away from the "funeral look" by pairing it with colored shirts and ties.

As for shoes, I only wear lace ups with my suits. Black leather shoes will get you the most mileage. I have seen recently people wearing brown shoes with a navy suit and I am not crazy about it... Just my opinion.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #27
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Got a new suit a few years ago from Men's Warehouse. It fits nice and I look hot in it. They do free alterations if need be.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:06 PM   #28
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Thefed,

My two cents worth, on sale for 100% off today only:

I have purchased my suits exclusively at the Men's Wearhouse for the last ten years or so (after I quit traveling to Hong Kong on business.)

IMO, you can't beat their customer service. Prices are very reasonable, and they won't let you leave the store looking bad- bite the bullet and listen to them regarding shirts, ties, shoes, etc... You'll probably spend a little more than you wanted to, but you will have a wardrobe investment that will last and make you feel good every time you suit up. MW will tailor the suit for free, and alter it as you become more prosperous... The discounters can't match their knowledgable sales staff, tailoring, or selection. If you want to save a few $ buy a good suit there, and get the shirts, ties, socks, etc at one of the discount retailers- it is easier to shop for these items on a budget. I like Jerry Garcia Ties-MW doesn't carry them any more, but I have found them at the discounters and at Macys. They are well-made, look great, and are designed to go with about any color you want to pair them with- you can wear them with Khakis and a dress shirt for those in-between occaisions.

Echoing what others have said, I'd go with a conservative charcoal grey with a subtle stripe, a muted glen plaid or a solid. Wool. Wool. Wool, no poly. Crisp white dress shirt, maybe a lite blue. I prefer button- downs, they look more tailored to me, just my preference. Stay away from trendy colors, shiny finishes, and dark dress shirts. If you are suiting up, you want to look like a succcessful CEO, not a junior intern shopping at Dress-for-less. A dark color will get you though a funeral, wedding, interview, or a fancy dinner with the DW.

Don't scrimp on shoes- invest a few $ into a good quality pair of black dress shoes, keep them polished, and they will last for years. Get them with a goodyear (stitched) welt- nothing looks worse with a good suit than a cheap pair of shoes with molded soles... I buy Cole-Haan on sale at Macys; wait for their twice-yearly sale, or try one of the big shoe discounters.

Another idea is to hang out at the bank, courthouse, an expensive restaurant, or the capitol building and and observe what other successful well-dressed executives are wearing- then emulate what you like.

Good luck with your shopping and post pics!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:31 PM   #29
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Totally agree on the don't skimp on shoes part. Sore feet can ruin a night out.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:38 PM   #30
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Totally agree on the don't skimp on shoes part. Sore feet can ruin a night out.
I'm thinking a nice pair of Birkenstocks.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:00 PM   #31
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I agree. It's hard to beat MW or Joseph A. Bank for suits. When I was working I got my dress shirts mail order from Lands End. I could never find 17-33 shirts with a trim fit.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:35 PM   #32
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FWIW,

I know that some don't like black suits except for attending funerals, but I think they can look awesome at evening events requiring a bit a formality (cocktail party, company dinner, etc...). Also, you can get away from the "funeral look" by pairing it with colored shirts and ties.

As for shoes, I only wear lace ups with my suits. Black leather shoes will get you the most mileage. I have seen recently people wearing brown shoes with a navy suit and I am not crazy about it... Just my opinion.
I agree......... so long as you include the shades. That look is hot.



Black suit and black shirt or black turtle neck major hot.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #33
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Best bet Ive learned. Just take the lady you are sleeping with. Whatever she thinks looks hot. Just go with it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:03 AM   #34
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After wearing suits for a living these past 20 years or so, my favorite suit has to be the 2 button Hugo Boss dark all weather wool suit with pleated pants that I got from Barney's for $500. As they say, you get what you pay for & it's really true. Still looks good after many years of service.

Every person has a different body shape/color so that second opinion from your significant other will really come in handy.

Good shoes are a must. Black leather Johnston Murphys would be my choice.
With the recession, you'll have no problem scoring great deals.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:16 AM   #35
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Great advice here already.

Here's another vote for dark charcoal gray. The color is flattering to nearly everyone (black can be harsh) and will move you through multiple settings with ease.

My BIL is a jazz pianist and plays at ritzy clubs, and he says that the one accessory that really made him pop was a nice wristwatch. He had the spiffy suit, the great shoes, but the nice wristwatch (classic, understated, not terribly expensive) really finishes the look. It's a small detail, but if you wear a watch make sure you have a nice dress one.

Have fun shopping!
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #36
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Great advice here already.

Here's another vote for dark charcoal gray. The color is flattering to nearly everyone (black can be harsh) and will move you through multiple settings with ease.

My BIL is a jazz pianist and plays at ritzy clubs, and he says that the one accessory that really made him pop was a nice wristwatch. He had the spiffy suit, the great shoes, but the nice wristwatch (classic, understated, not terribly expensive) really finishes the look. It's a small detail, but if you wear a watch make sure you have a nice dress one.

Have fun shopping!
I've got some bling left from my younger days, but I think it'd make me look more like a pimp than respectable plaintiff! 14k gold nugget band, almost 1" wide!!
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:58 AM   #37
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I've got some bling left from my younger days, but I think it'd make me look more like a pimp than respectable plaintiff! 14k gold nugget band, almost 1" wide!!
Ditch the "Mr. T starter kit" at a tupperware gold party and you have the $$$ for that suit.. and probably the shirts, ties and a good pair of dress shoes- which will help make a better impression than the pimpware.

Good luck. Let us know how it all turns out.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:31 PM   #38
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Well....i went to the local Mens Warehouse and wouldn't fork over my cash to them if my life depended on it. My saleswoman was unfriendly, uninformative, and downright rude at times! Should I really base my opinion of the whole company on one salesperson? Maybe not, but what choice do I have.

AGE DISCRIMINATION. At least that's my take on it. How old must I look to finally get some respect in these kinds of places? Geez. I went in with my wife and 2 kids. We were greeted by a woman asking what we were looking for. I advised I needed a suit for weddings, funerals, etc. She suggested a navy blue or charcoal, and said "Come on over to this rack, these are the cheapest". Did I ask for the cheapest? No.

Then she says "First, take that...umm......THING off first" WTF!!?!? She was pointing and referring to my SON who is 1 yr old and was clinging to my chest. I was startled at the very least, but I let it slide. She followed up by trying to lighhten the mood with "hahaha...he doesnt look like he wants to let go"

So, she said she had no tape measure, and would guess my size. After 3 coats, she said a 40 regular was it. I found a great looking suit listed at $399. No specials. no deals. I asked if there were any for the advertised $199 and $299 by the same manufacturer as advertised on the website. She said, oh, there's one...but the cut wont fit you well. I said "can we try?" her: "Sure...here" She grabbed me a 38S, where we had determined a 40R was right. I pointed out that it was very snug and didnt feel right, and she said it was the cut of cheaper suits...that's why she knew it wouldnt be good for me. I tried to confirm "And what size is this vs. the one I liked?" Her "They were both 40 Regular" Me "hmmmm".

And so I left. I was hoping for a pleasant experience...something pleasant enough to make me feel like parting with $300 bucks or so. NOPE!!!!


So, I ventured to JCPenny's and found they had virtually all suits on sale 50% off or more. I found a charcoal Stafford Worsted Wool suit for about $120. It looks great on me, the pants could be shortened a toch. But it looks good I think. Why should I avoid this $120 suit? The 'list' is $220...but we all know JCP's stuff is ALWAYS on sale.

I did end up grabbing a pair of dress shoes..rockport I think. Still deciding on the suit

Thanks for any input!
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:00 PM   #39
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Should I really base my opinion of the whole company on one salesperson? Maybe not, but what choice do I have.
You've got plenty of choices. You could go back to that store and work with another salesperson if you want. It costs nothing (but your time). And, if you do happen to find a suit you like, you can buy it and mention what bad service you got before. The new salesman is happy, maybe he mentions it to her and she gets to learn a lesson. Buying a suit there but denying her the sale (whether she is on commission or not, her boss should hear about this from you) is the best way to "vote" in this case, even more effective than just shopping somewhere else.

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So, I ventured to JCPenny's and found they had virtually all suits on sale 50% off or more. I found a charcoal Stafford Worsted Wool suit for about $120. It looks great on me, the pants could be shortened a toch. But it looks good I think. Why should I avoid this $120 suit? The 'list' is $220...but we all know JCP's stuff is ALWAYS on sale.
If you think the JCP suit looks good (and if DW likes it) then you should feel good about buying it. It may not have the quality construction of a more expensive suit, but this would likely show up with more wear than you are going to give it wearing it two or three times a year. But be sure it truly does look and fit just as well, because it it looks crappy you'll really wish you had bought a different suit. When you put it on, you want to feel like you look great.

I've got a suit I bought at JCP: 100% wool, and fits well. I was on the road, the business I was on changed and I needed to buy a suit. I was not going to pay $500 for one day of work. This worked out fine.
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I did end up grabbing a pair of dress shoes..rockport I think. Still deciding on the suit
I wear RockSports on "business casual" type days, and they are very comfortable. I've also had good luck with their more formal shoes--they feel like slippers. I had one pair re-soled 3 times.

Just a comment: With the kids in tow (or hanging onto you) the salesperson might not have thought she had somebody who was serious about buying a suit. Obviously, everyone deserves to be treated well, and she didn't do that. Her mistake.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:52 PM   #40
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wow! what a response... keep em coming!

I'll have to post a pic once I get something...I have a court date in 3 weeks and would like to have something by then.
Pretty soon you'll be a fashion stud.

The only thing I have found with dark wool suits is that they are REALLY hot in the summer, and I'm not talking about Notmuchlonger's "I look hot in it" hot.
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