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Help/Advice, Please. I need your help in the next few weeks...

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    Help/Advice, Please. I need your help in the next few weeks...

    OK Guys,

    I need the help of this community.

    Here's the scoop. I'm heading to a small conference in April where I'll be speaking and presenting. I'm in the middle of launching a new business and there will be potential clients in the room.

    Here's what I need help on...

    1) I've been told from others doing biz with these folks that it's a "suit crowd."

    2) I don't own a suit. Pathetic. I used to have a Hugo Suit but it was a terrible off-the-rack fit, never tailored etc. so I sold out.

    3) I'm a bit chunky in parts right now. Not necessarily fat/obese - just a bit chunky. I was extremely in shape before my wife and I had a baby, crossfit'ing 5x per week but haven't done squat in over a year except eat loads of good food.

    I have a few week to get looking good for this event.

    I'm not necessarily a suit guy and I'm wondering if I can still pull this off maintaining a very polished/professional look without the suit.

    I tried on a J-Crew Suit a few weeks back in a 42R - it fit really nice. I'm apprehensive to buy because I will get back into shape in a couple of months and then it's not going to fit me. I had a 34 pant which fit but didn't seem right with the jacket.


    A few weeks is enough to start getting back in shape, in my opinion. If you spend an hour every day or two doing a good workout, you'll at least be on your way by April. As for the suiting, I know nothing about that.

    But remember that if the suit makes the difference for a client, it's well worth it even if it won't fit in a few months.



      That's great advice.

      In this short time frame, do you guys think J-Crew would be good to go?



        First, is this YOUR new business that you're launching (or does your employment depend on it)? If so, get the suit. In this case, it sounds like it's worth making it a good one, too. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be very useful for suiting options in Canada. I would have plenty of suggestions if you were down here in the US.

        Second, how much weight are you talking about losing? 10 pounds? 20 pounds? More? Adjusting pants is easy. Adjusting the jacket isn't AS easy, but still very doable unless you're talking about crazy weight loss. In fact, within about 15 pounds, I'd be surprised if you change your jacket size at all. Your waist may shrink, but again, that's an easy fix.



          Without knowing your other options, J Crew should be fine. If you have Dillards near you, though, you should see if your location carries Hickey Freeman. if you can find it on sale, it'll be better than J Crew for about the same price.



            Get clothes that fit now. If / when you lose weight and things fit differently, deal with that at that time. Don't compromise on fit now for the future though.



              I echo Jason's advice.



                @Alan -- I generally agree with you, but in this case I'm not so sure.

                First, I have my doubts about the Hickey Freeman suits that one finds at Dillards. In my experience, only the very largest locations carry Hickey Freeman suits. Even those that do carry HF seem to be suspiciously lower in price, which leads me to suspect that they may not be of the same quality as the regular HF line that is carried by Nordstrom and menswear specialty shops. I currently own one Hickey Freeman suit that I picked up at Nordstrom Rack, and it was clear that it had come over from the mainline store. (I could still see the original $1300 price tag underneath.)

                In contrast, the HF suits at Dillards start at a much lower list price, which makes me think that the construction/materials is a step down from the original, or perhaps they are made specially for sale in Dillards stores.

                At the same time, I am really impressed with the quality of J. Crew suits, especially in terms of the materials used. (I can't speak to the construction.) I also own a couple of J. Crew suits, and while the quality of wool might not match my genuine Hickey, I would definitely put it up against anything I've seen -- and felt -- at Dillards.

                Finally comes the question of fit. It sounds like canadianeh might not want to go for the slimmer J. Crew "Ludlow" model at this time, but the J. Crew "Aldridge" is still a pretty modern cut. Hickey Freeman, in many cases, is still known for pleated pants and boxier fits. In summary, I'm not convinced that a "Hickey Freeman for Dillards" suit is inherently superior to one of the newer J. Crew models.

                @Jason -- Agreed. Don't buy a suit that doesn't fit now in hopes that it will fit later. That's too big a risk -- of time and money.



                  In all honesty, I've not spent time with the Hickey Freemans at Dillards. I only know that they carry them. If they are of lesser quality, then you can easily disregard anything I've said on the matter.



                    Hickey Freeman Ltd is their lower line and is only half canvassed, I believe. They don't come with the same quality of fabric either (i.e. no Loro Piana Super 120's)

                    I don't know if that's what they carry at Dillards, but if so that's why they're cheaper.

                    I haven't seen a J Crew suit, so I can't compare directly, but they seem to get good reviews.



                      If your J. Crew store carries their suits, how about this: buy the two best fitting jackets and take both to a tailor or two. Get their advice on which one to keep then return the other. Show them pictures of a well-fitted suit that you like so the tailor gets the look you're going for. Wait 2-3 weeks, pick it up, check the fit, done. On a time crunch, be aware that the tailoring could require several trips, but it will be worth it.

                      Also - wear it a bunch of times (10 times!) before the conference so that you feel like you're in your own skin and can concentrate on the presentation, not your pocket square.

                      If you lose weight, wait until the changes settle out before re-tailoring, but don't tell the tailor you're going to lose weight in case they try to factor that in. That would be bad.

                      Good luck! Post pics!



                        You mentioned this is going to be a "suit crowd". Do you think or know if this means they are a conservative group? Here why I ask, while I like the J Crew line (I have a Ludlow blazer), it does tend to be more modern. If you are presenting amongst a bunch of conservative, traditional "suits" you might want lean towards Brooks Brothers or Hickey Freeman.

                        What's your Ebay experience? Not sure what your budget is but for the amount you are considering spending on a J Crew suit you could probably find something in great shape on Ebay.



                          Great stuff. Lots of good advice.

                          First - I'm talking maybe 10 pounds. I still wear a medium in lots of BR/JCrew clothing, but right now, with the extra 10 the large in most feels better.

                          Second - I like JCrew. I have access to a Jcrew/Banana relatively close when I cross the border. That being said, I also have access to Brooks/Macy's/Nordstrom etc.

                          Third - Suit crowd comment > It's just what I've been told. Not necessarily conservative, but aren't the jeans/shirt type of crowd. My biz doesn't depend on this at all, but I do want to make an impression.

                          Great advice about wearing the suit a bunch first. I've never owned/worn a suit so I do want to feel good in it.

                          There is a part of me that still gets tempted to simply go very biz casual. This event is in California after all.

                          I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks for the great advice.



                            Don't believe what you see in the movies. There are plenty of suit wearers in California. ;-)



                              If you want to save a some money cause you might not fit the suit in a couple months, I'm liking the modern slim fit look of Macy's new house brand Bar III. The complete suits seem to be Drop 7".