Custom Suit Discussion
It is time to!
Like many of us on WSO I got my navy and charcoal suits, 4-6 white and blue dress shirts, my Allen Edmond (AE) park avenue shoes, and made it through the interviews and internship.
Now that I am starting full time I would like to build a wardrobe of 4-5 custom suits I wear consistently. What felt like a simple task of adding in conservative suits of slightly different navy's and grey's has turned into a complicated custom suit adventure as I navigate the never ending world of fabric colors, weaves and patterns.
Now to be fair, I am making this more complicated. So if you were jumping in here to tell me something like "no brown in town" or "I like to go navy for my first suit" thanks but no thanks prospect.
As an incoming overpaid associate I am willing to spend a good amount of money on my wardrobe but also don't want to screw it up. My body is an odd slim shape so having custom fitting is important for me to look professional. I found a good tailor with a cut that fits me well and reasonable prices. I don't have many expensive hobbies, not into watches or fancy whiskeys, so paying $1-2k (which is what I will be paying for Loro Piana custom MTM suits, don't need help here) per suit is fine as long as I use it for 3-5 years.
Some will read this and think "why doesn't he just tell his tailor he wants something standard?" The truth is your bosses and bosses bosses are all wearing a combination and variety of different suit/shirt color, patterns, weaves, materials that all appear as "standard" to our simpleton minds. And since I can't afford a $7k/suit Saville row bespoke fashionista tailor like John Weinberg, I am asking my fellow internet monkeys for advice!
For those who have advanced to custom/bespoke suit buying or are comfortable sharing your personal style, here are some questions I have for you:
1. Suit Fabric - What type of fabric weight and super (S) count do you usually go with? In the past my suits have all been standard S110s and usually 280g+. I'm finding that in the summertime these are pretty heavy and hot and I would like something lighter. In addition, finer fabrics (Super150+), seem smoother and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, while also being lighter (usually 250g). I've heard these finer fabrics can wear faster, what has been your experience? Can the heat concern also be addressed with half or quarter lining? Do you lose formality doing less lining?
2. Fabric Pattern - Birdseye, Nailhead, Sharkskin, Herringbone, Plain weave? What are the general fabric patterns for an environment like Investment Banking/Private Equity? Are certain patterns too bold? I imagine it depends. Do you diversify? I've heard Birdseye and Sharkskin are safe for "the boardroom" and are formal. (Assuming 100% wool fabrics here and no linen, silk, cashmere, but am open to suggestions) Here is a list of S170 Loro Piana fabrics I am looking at. I know I can't pull off pinstripes, check, creams/browns, linens, probably not Herringbone either, but are Sharkskins like N13041/N13047 too aggressive? Should I stick with something even simpler (like N13063) so I don't look like a goof?
3. Color - Simpler question. Not a huge fane of check print but do people ever do windowpane? I don't see much light grey I'm guessing it isn't that formal? Charcoal, medium grey, navy, and dark blues seem to represent 95%+ of the suits I see on the street. Going to stick with those unless I get a sense I have a greenlight to do otherwise.
4. Shirt patterns - Yes we do white and blues with suits but does everyone keep it standard with poplin (broadscloth) and oxford weaves? Or do you ever branch out and do twill, jacquard, herringbone, royal oxford? Do certain patterns go better with specific suits? Just curious...
5. Suit features - I'm assuming notched lapels until I'm David Solomon? Do you guys do belt loops on every pair of slacks? Is half or quarter lining appropriate? Do you ever cuff the slacks? Always go with structured shoulders?
6. Shoes - Now I know this is a topic big enough it deserves its own post but!... when do you bust out the loafers with a suit? Socks or no socks? Gucci/Ferragamo bit loafers at a client meeting? (Seems bold but what do I know) If I want to upgrade my oxfords from AEs what is a good brand to go with? Everyone says "no brown in town" but they clearly haven't been outside because I see it all the time.
For all the high school prospects on this forum (90% lol) this post is useless but for you seasoned financiers that appreciate the sartorial arts... I long for your wisdom! Feel free to share you style and personal fashion choices, thank you for taking the time, and answer whatever questions you like :)
Edit: There seems to be some confusion regarding my post and I apologize if this is my fault. I do not need help finding a place to get the suits made or cheap brands. I already have a tailor that will custom make a MTM suit with the custom fabric of my choice at a price point I am comfortable with.