Myth: Men need pre-coordinated suits for work
and dressy situations.
Truth: Men need jackets and pants for work
and dressy situations.
You would expect that men would have it a little easier when it comes to getting dressed, especially for work and dressy situations. It’s supposedly as simple as a suit. And in many instances, that’s true. But is it necessarily easy? Not so much.
From me, you get the truth.
Most men do need suits for work, Shabbos/Yom Tov, and special events. And most of them just go to menswear stores, pick out suits, get them pinned and fitted, pay for them, and that’s the end of that. But for a lot of men, it’s just not that simple.
Just like suits for women, men’s suits are cut with certain proportions in mind. And if the suit’s proportions do not fit the man’s physical proportions, then he’s not going to have it so easy. The main issue with suits is the drop – the difference between the jacket size and the pants’ waist size. Most suits have a drop of 6, meaning that a size 42 jacket will come with a size 36 pants. Or a size 44 jacket will come with a size 38 pants. Of course, many men have physical proportions that fall outside of this norm, so most suits won’t fit properly.
Most men simply get alterations. And most menswear stores will pin and fit the suit to the man while he’s there. He pays for the suit and alterations and then comes to pick up the suit when it’s ready. As long as he’s getting the suit that fits the largest part of him, there’s nothing wrong with any of this. But if the suit’s proportions don’t fit the man’s proportions to start, that means that the suit will need a lot of alterations, and of course he’ll have to pay extra for those.
For example, if he wears a size 42 jacket with a size 34 pants, that means that the size 36 pants that come with the size 42 jacket will have to be taken in to fit. That’s actually not so bad because taking things in is always easier than letting them out. But what if he wears a size 42 jacket and a size 38 pants? That means he has to buy the size 44 suit (size 44 jacket with size 38 pants) and have the jacket taken in. That’s doable, but it’s liable to be difficult and expensive, especially if the shoulders have to be reset.
Another point in favor of suit separates:
They’re often cheaper to start
Then there’s the option of suit separates. You can buy a jacket from one rack and pants from another rack. If they’re roughly the same color and fabric, then you have the look of a suit. And you can customize the fit. If you wear a size 42 jacket with a size 38 pants, you can get each item in your size. That means you can get the item that fits the largest part of you and keep alterations to a minimum.
Case in point: my husband. He wears a size 40 jacket and size 36 pants. For a long time, finding suits was difficult and expensive and they never fit properly. So, a few years ago, I decided to forget about suits and focus on separates. It was so terrific to get him a suit that actually fit him.
Suit separates are also a great option if your natural drop is larger than 6. I once saw photos of a male model who wears a size 44 jacket and size 32 pants. With a pre-coordinated suit, he’d wind up with a size 38 pants that would have to be taken in a lot. But with suit separates, he can get the size 44 jacket and the size 32 pants and need no more than basic alterations.
Another point in favor of suit separates: They’re often cheaper to start. While most pre-coordinated suits cost anywhere from $200 upward, suit separates can often cost a total of around $100. And because you’re getting a better fit to start, you need fewer alterations, so you’re saving money there too.
In general, if pre-coordinated suits work well for you, then go with that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them. But if suit separates work better for you in terms of fit, then don’t be afraid to go there. Why not make things easier when you can?
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer/blogger and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tznius guidelines, and she’ll add to that with custom-designed jewelry. Read more about her ideas on her blog- www.truetzniutistruebeauty.wordpress.com. She also has a YouTube channel, “Look Your Best in Mitpachot,” where she does head-wrapping tutorials, and she is also available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at MESAtik@gmail.com.