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Suit Fit/Appropriateness Question

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    Suit Fit/Appropriateness Question

    This is really a two part question, but I just got a part-time job helping out at some charity events/auctions which are coming up in a few weeks. The dress code is suit and tie, and I bought a navy Hilfiger Trim Fit last spring for an internship and got it tailored but didn't end up wearing it.

    The problem is that in reading more about suit fit, I realized it's slightly too big in the shoulders, which look kind of squared off, but seems to fit everywhere else. I'm a 36 so sizing down wouldn't really work. Here's a few pics (sorry about the dirty mirror):

    Is it worth wearing anyway or this too much of a deal breaker?

    The second part of my question is, if this doesn't work I also have a dark grey (not quite charcoal) linen suit from H&M which fits better in the shoulders, but would this be too casual for a nighttime charity event?

    Being a 36, is it worth looking for another brand that fits better (maybe without tailoring cause I don't have that much time) or should I just go with one of these?



    Hmm, you pose some interesting questions.

    I wouldn't wear the H&M, not because of the color, but because of the material. Linen is brilliant as a daytime, summer suit material, but it's rather too rough-spun and rumpled for an evening event, especially since it's not summer anymore.

    The suit you've pictured comes close to a good fit. You're right that the shoulders are a little large. How do the shoulders look if you wear a sweater? Wearing a conservatively colored sweater might add just enough bulk to fill those shoulders out. But then you have to consider whether layering a sweater under your suit is a faux pas for an evening event. I honestly don't know the protocol on that.

    To be honest, the shoulders aren't so large that they will draw attention. I think probably 80% of the suit-wearing population wears suit jackets that are slightly too large - you won't look like a moron, you'll just look like an average suit-wearer, as opposed to the dapper suit-wearer most of us here aspire to be. So you'll have to consider whether the cost to your pride in looking not-as-dapper justifies buying a whole new suit.

    If you decide to go the "new suit now" route and want something cheap, I can recommend Macy's INC brand suits for their fit. I'm on the small side of a 36R, like you, and when I needed a well-fitted suit in a pinch a few years back I found that an INC suit with a size small jacket was a better fit than all the 36Rs I could find in the department store. If you can find one at your local Macy's, the whole suit will run you a little over $200. You do sacrifice quality, and especially material, for the price, of course. Most INC suits I've encountered, including the one I owned, are polyester blends with other synthetic materials (no wool at all). That doesn't mean they will look bad. I looked at an INC blazer today that had a nice texture to it, and I was surprised to see that it wasn't wool at all.

    If you go the new suit route and are willing to fork over a little more cash, I highly, highly recommend Banana Republic's "tailored fit" suits. They are the best off-the-rack fit for me that I've found, and the materials and construction are high quality. The downside is that they run about $540 full retail. The upside is that you can at least get 25% off through today with the BR25OFF code. If you don't like it, you can return it in-store without incurring return shipping fees.

    That probably doesn't help you make your decision, but hopefully it will at least give you some options to work with when you do.




      I'd say go with the TH suit. Like BenR said, it's a little big, but the majority of people have ill fitting suits anyway, and nobody will notice that yours is just a tad large. In the mean time, start doing pushups



        Your tailor can probably take in the back center seam 1/2 to 3/4 inches... Might not be quite enough but it would be closer



          Thanks all! I'm probably gonna go just go with the Hilfiger, but BenR, thanks for the suggestion on the INC, I'm thinking of heading to Macys to see what I can find.



            I'm no tailoring pro, but the suit fits well and looks good. If I saw you somewhere I wouldn't be thinking, man those shoulders are slightly big and he looks horrible, I'd be thinking, that dude has a well fitted suit.



              Max, you're good to go for now. I think Jason is spot on that a tailor could bring in the center a bit, thus pulling in the shoulders. Might be something to look into in the future.

              "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



                @max, that suit looks fine IMO. I think your arm hole might need to be narrowed. Aside from that I don't think the shoulders are that far off. Just slightly man.

                "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"