If you are a man, and you do not wear a suit to work every day, you still need ONE GOOD SUIT. It should be properly cut and sized for your body, and properly tailored – you can make a cheaper suit look good with the right tailoring. But a cheap suit tailored on the cheap is going to look cheap. Period.
Dan does not wear a suit every day, but there are occasions when he needs one. In my opinon, the best suit that could take you from weddings (day and night) to funerals, job interviews, important meetings, and any other time you need a suit is a basic, solid navy blue in 2 or 3 button. The last part is a personal preference, obviously. For Dan’s build, I think he would be best off in a two-button variety – one not so formal that he can’t wear the pants by themselves, or the jacket with a pair of chinos or dark jeans. The suit Dan is wearing in the photo above is a fine option in grey. Below are some alternative options.
For Dan’s purposes I have picked out three suit options (of course there are tons more) that would fit his needs and budget, have modern cut and styling, and can be purchased from the comfort of his home or office.
My first pick is the J.Crew Aldridge Suit. All J.Crew suits are assembled in China, but are made with 100% Loro Piana Italian wool. Between the two available cuts – the Aldridge and the Ludlow, I chose for Dan the Aldridge in Navy. It has a classic silhouette, but is still modern. The Ludlow is cut shorter and much slimmer up top. I don’t think Dan would be comfortable in that. He can get the Aldridge with a two or three-button jacket (I recommend two) which has notched lapels, a center vent, non-working buttons at the sleeves, and flap pockets. The pants are flat front, but are a fuller cut similar to the Bowery Pants. The jacket and pants are sold as separates, so if Dan is not the standard 6″ or 7″ drop (chest to waist) then he can easily purchase the correct size pants. The pants can also be ordered at the exact length he needs (a quick trip to a tailor can determine this number) therefore avoiding the need to hem all together, and with or without a cuff (I recommend no cuff.) Considering Dan’s height, he can probably order his jacket size in regular, and MAYBE have to tailor the sleeves. And both pieces look good enough on their own to be worn separately – the pants with a sweater, or the jacket with jeans, Bowery Twills, or Bowery Light Grey Wool pants.
At $590.00, this is the most expensive of the three options, but as someone who owns a J.Crew suit, I can at least vouch for it’s versatility, comfort, and style.
J.Crew Aldridge Suit | $590.00, jcrew.com
My second pick is made by DKNY and is sold at Macy’s. It was $595, but has been marked down to $349. It has the same general styling as the J.Crew suit, but is sold as is. This suit has a 7 inch drop which could require more tailoring – but if it is too much, then you’re starting to look at adding on a lot more money to the end result. The jacket has notched lapels, two button front, flap pockets at side, and side vents rather than a center vent. As someone with a larger posterior, I personally prefer a center vent, but again it’s a matter of personal preference. The pants are again flat front, have a buttoned hook closure with zipper fly, off-seam pockets, and buttoned back pockets. The hem comes unfinished, so it would certainly require a trip to the tailor. But for the price, it is a nice looking suit.
DKNY Navy Solid Slim-Fit Suit | $349.99, macys.com
My final suit pick comes from online custom suit maker, Indochino. Recently interviewed on Guyism.com, Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko stated that he and his business partner started Indochino as recent college graduates desperate for quality menswear that didn’t break the bank. What they’ve come up with is a line of Men’s suits, shirts, ties, etc that are custom created based on measurements provided by the customer starting at the price of the DKNY suit from Macy’s. The suit I picked for Dan is a classic navy two-button suit with a modern cut. The medium-weight fabric is wearable all year round and the Super 100s, 184 yarn count means the fabric has a beautiful drape and sheen while comfortable on the skin. Like both the suits above this can be worn as separates. But the reason this suit may be the best value is that at $349, this suit is pre-tailored based on the measurements Dan himself would enter into the system. They offer an instructional video on how to do this properly to ensure a perfect fit. However, should the customer make a slight mistake, or want to take up the hem a bit more Indochino offers a perfect fit guarantee. Once you receive your suit, if it’s not perfect Indochino offers up to $75 reimbursement for tailoring fees. Bonus!
Classic Navy Blue Suit | $349.00, indochino.com
No suit is complete without a tie. I could write about dozens of different places where Dan can purchase ties for any given amount of money. But for the number of ties one could need, and how they can be worn, it would be in Dan’s best interest to look at some $15 options from The Tie Bar.
I think ties, again are very personal, and with a navy suit Dan has plenty of choices. I picked a few (above) in solid, rep stripe, and pin dot that Dan could consider. Any more pattern and he could be treading 1990′s territory.
Clockwise from the top left – the blue silk knit tie is 2” at its widest point, and can be worn with the suit, but would look best with the jacket and a pair of Bowery Twills.
The blue & green Boarding Stripe silk tie comes in 2 1/2″ or 3 1/2″, and can be worn with the suit or as separates with twills over a white or small patterned shirt. Since all the above options have narrower lapels, I would recommend Dan go with the 2 1/2″ versions wherever possible.
The Purple Silk Twill is a nice formal option that can be worn with a white or light blue solid shirt, a gingham shirt, or stripes under the suit, or with the jacket worn with dark jeans. This also comes in the 2 1/2″ width.
The Burgundy Pin Dot silk tie is probably the most formal of the bunch. It can be worn with a white or light blue shirt, or something with stripes. I would avoid ginghams & plaids with this tie, though it doesn’t have to be ruled out. I would recommend Day wear this tie only with the full suit.
The Tie Bar also sells a number of options in pocket squares. The most versatile Dan can buy is plain white cotton or linen. At $8.00 a piece, this is a no-brainer.
Check back tomorrow for the final installment of Retrofitting The Man | Big Dan, and check out Big Dan’s Ramblings for Dan’s reactions.