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Great Post – I found the information very useful as I’m about to make my first MTM purchase. Question for you – I’ve got a choice between Coppley and Samuelsohn for the fabrics and cannot decide whether it is worth the extra dollars for the Samuelsohn. The tailor says the quality of the Samuelsohn is superior, but in your opinion is it worth the extra couple hundred dollars to upgrade? The way I look at it I can either get a high end fabric from Coppley or a lower end fabric from Samuelsohn (looking to spend around 1k).
Well, my quick answer would be to go for the Samuelsohn. I’ve gone that route a couple of times and I’ve always been happy I did. With that said, how much are you planning on wearing the suit? If it’s going to be your “go-to” suit, then you should definitely go Samuelsohn – you’ll have regrets later if you don’t. If it’s something that you’re only going to be wearing on occasion (perhaps it’s a tuxedo, or something like a summer-weight suit), then it may not be worth it. My most important question is, are you sure you can get a MTM Samuelsohn suit for $1K? I’ve never been able to pull that off, as the nicer fabrics almost always run at least $1200. I have a feeling that you’ll be in the same boat when it’s all said and done (although I’m not sure where you’re getting your suit made, so I very well could be wrong about this). So, decide whether you can live with $1200 if you want Samuelsohn (unless your tailor really can do a nice fabric for $1K).
Bottom line though, I say go Samuelsohn if you can stomach the extra expense. Definite upgrade over Coppley.
Thanks for the quick response.
Yes, this suit is just for special occasions – weddings, big events, etc. so realistically I’ll probably only wear it a half dozen times a year.
I’m not sure if this is a typical thing, but the menswear shop I visited has a 20% off sale on Coppley and Samuelsohn fabrics for an order they place at the end of January (I’m thinking they order bulk once a year and pass the savings on to their customers). The store is Ed Williams Menswear here in Calgary.
The Coppley fabric I had picked out was around $1350, but what you have said makes me think that I should double check the Samuelsohn fabrics as I didn’t give them a very close look as the top end prices really scared me away.
As you pointed out in a previous post, I’m looking for a modern style suit (raised/smaller armholes with slim look) – can the MTM from Samuelsohn be built to look this way?
I’ll try and answer your questions one by one.
5 or 6 times is a decent amount. With that said, I would 100% go down to Brooks Brothers and try on the Fitzgerald, Regent and Milano cuts from their 1818 collection before you go MTM. Fitzgerald is cut the way it sounds like you want it, slim with high armholes (and Milano is even slimmer – Regent is less slim, but it may actually fit the way you want it depending on the size you try on). The good thing about Brooks is that they have all sizes in between (i.e. the don’t just have 40, 42, 44, etc. They have 39,40,41,42, etc. If the Fitz doesn’t fit well (it gives me shoulder divots as the shoulders are too tight) then try the Regent in a size smaller than you normally wear – fits me perfectly). The internet says that there’s a Brooks Bros. in Calgary at Core Shopping Centre (Calgary’s Eaton Centre, apparently). Brooks has a huge Boxing Day sale that’s usually good for 40% off, so you’d be looking at paying about $500-600 bucks for one of their suits. Half-canvassed, good quality for the money (I wrote a blog post on them, so you should search that out). Not as nice as a Samuelsohn suit, but you’d be saving about $800 – I would say that’s worth it if you get one during their Boxing Day sale. I would go in before Christmas, talk up a salesman, and get them to put your favourite aside and ring it through on Boxing Day, if this ends up being something you’re interested in.
Re: the Coppley suit you’re looking at, you must have picked one of their top-end fabrics, or the prices at your tailor aren’t as great as they’re suggesting, as that seems like a high price for a Coppley. You’re definitely in mid-low Samuelsohn territory at $1350. I would phone Harry Rosen and seen when their next Samuelsohn and Coppley trunk shows are in your area, as they usually have similar (10%+ off) discounts to what you’re getting for those events.
Re: Samuelsohn fit, they can pretty much cut it the way you like it, although it’s never going to look like Dior Homme. When it comes to having a MTM (or bespoke) suit, always remember that it’s the person measuring you that decides how your suit will fit. So you need to make sure that they’re well aware of your preference – speak up or forever hold your piece. You’ll likely have to have some adjustments made when it arrives, so stick to your guns and don’t accept it until it’s exactly what you want. Also keep in mind that Samuelsohn, like most suit companies, have a number of different cuts. I like modern, slim cuts with high-arm holes like yourself and I wear the “Arno” model. Give that one a try. I prefer independent tailors (like you’re looking at using) but the one advantage of Harry’s is that they have a wide selection of Sammy in the store for you to look at and try-on. They can also take pants from one cut and a jacket from another, so make sure you also get slim-cut trousers. If you really want to go with a bespoke look, ask them for side tabs rather than button loops (as all true Saville Row bespoke suits have no button loops). They’ll do it and won’t cost you any extra. You should also be able to pick the lining and decide whether you want surgeon’s cuffs (buttons that undo at the sleeve – these will cost you a bit more).
Anyway, my long-winded answer is, yes, Samuelsohn can be made to look how you want it, but you’re going to have to push for it, especially with the person measuring you and when you come in for your final adjustments when the suit arrives. If you want, I can send you a picture of myself in a Samuelsohn MTM so you can judge if it’s what you’re looking for.
Good luck and feel free to ask me any other questions you may have.
Yes, that would be awesome if you could send me a picture – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will definitely take your advice on the Brooks Brothers suit. In fact, I might sneak down there today to check them out and ask them about that boxing dale sale.
My professional attire has changed slightly over the last couple years where at a previous job I was required to wear suit and tie, my current job only requires dress pants and golf shirts.
So for the MTM I wanted to have a more formal looking suit (thinking black european slim cut with white shirt and black tie). However, I’m thinking that maybe the Brooks Brothers suits you are recommending might be good to have as an all purpose suit for things like interviews and important business meetings? What are your thoughts on that approach?
I really like your tips on the little tweaks to the pants. I quickly checked the internet on the side tabs point and I’m wondering if I went with them how does a belt stay in place? Or are they supposed to be a belt replacement? Also, as far as the lining would you recommend full length lining or cut off at the knees?
Thanks again you are a wealth of knowledge!
The side tabs replace the belt loops. It’s something of an extra touch (although it should be free) and it may not be to everyone’s taste, but I prefer the look. RE: lining, it’s a bit rare to see pants lined beyond the knee and I would suggest it’s probably not something you’d want. Imagine being at an outdoor wedding in August in full-length lined pants… not something pleasant at all. With this suit, I think your goal should be to make it as versatile as possible, so try to pick a medium weight fabric and line it (max) to the knee.
If you want a black, “european cut” suit that you’re going to be wearing with a white shirt and black tie, you probably don’t want Brooks Brothers or Samuelsohn. You should look at Thick as Theives (http://www.thickasthievesla.com/) or a more trendy, euro manufacturer like Dior, Prada, etc. The look you’re describing is very trendy. To be honest, I really am not a fan of black suits. I would highly recommend reading my post entitled “Corporate Style 1: The Suit” for all of my reasons why. Suffice to say that black’s not nearly as versatile as you think and far more trendy than you think. It’s a very formal look while simultaneously not being really appropriate for business (black suits have never been traditional for business – navy or charcoal are the colours of business). If I were you, I would go for a charcoal gray or dark navy suit. They’ll look almost black while being easier to match with other colours and also will be a lot more versatile for you. Black suits look faded and dull very quickly (esp. if you’re dry cleaning them) – charcoal is a better bet.
Also, unless a wedding is specifically black tie, or it’s your wedding, you might not want to wear a solid black tie, white shirt and black suit as you’ll like either one of the groomsmen or one of the waiters. Charcoal gray suit, white shirt with either a gray, silver or dark navy tie (with a subtle pattern) would be a look you can’t go wrong with. That’s my recommendation.
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Great post, and I also found the information very useful. I just ordered my first MTM suit at Harry Rosen. I’m a 38R or 39R and can be fitted off the rack. But this suit will be worn at my wedding, and so I wanted something special. Robert Kennedy helped me and took my measurements. He’s a true gentleman and appears to be a master of his craft. I enjoyed the experience…I even got to take advantage of the Samuelsohn trunk sale. Still pricey, but the Arno cut was just a great looking, fitting, and, probably more importantly, a great feeling suit on me. I got the surgeon cuffs and ticket pocket. I think it’ll look sharp, and I’m looking forward to my fitting!
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I really like the blog. Good info and great recommendations. If I may, since you recommend the guys who work or have worked with the great Harry Rosen, I would like to mention a guy who runs his custom, bespoke and made to measure shop north of the city, in Richmond Hill. The place is called Le Firme, which carries the high end designer stuff for a great price. But the guy who calls himself “the Bespokeman” also worked for Rosen. John is his name and he can make miracles happen with his very modern suit looks. Lots of experience. He travels to Italy and really has his pulse on the best trends. I have been a client for two years. Very happy with the results and his advice.
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Thank you for your excellent article. I have experience with one of those traveling Asian tailors and although decent, I still have inconsistencies in quality order to order. I’m writing because it sounds like we may be a similar fit. I was at Brooks Brothers yesterday and it came down to the Fitzgerald and the Regent. The sales associate preferred the Fitz, and I preferred the Regent. The sales associate also recommended a short in both cuts. Even though I had never tried on a short before, I thought it was closer in the appropriate sizing than a regular. I’m truthfully probably in between and you can’t lengthen a short. I felt the short made me look taller and I liked that. Now to my measurements, size, ect. I am 5’9″, 165 lbs, reasonable athletic build, but I would speculate maybe a little heavier in the waist. I would guess that my body fat is about 17-18%. Like most men concerned with health, I would like to get that down below 15%. For reference again, it sounds like we fit very similar in sizing. The associate put me in a 40S Fitz and I preferred the 40S Regent. It did not even occur to me to go down to a 39s. I don’t think they had them. Please let me know your thoughts and comparisons. It is difficult to know without seeing someone else in dressed. BTW, this was only a sport coat NOT a suit, so I have no clue how I fit in pants. My legs are rather slim compared to the rest of my physique. Also, I am 35 years old. Thank you!
Also, probably most importantly, I am a 16/32 in Brooks Brothers “Extra Slim” No Iron Dress Shirts. I learned this yesterday. I’m a little heavy at the moment (165-170 lbs, I want to get back to 160-162) , so I would imagine this shirt would fit very slightly more roomy and give me a little more room in the neck (mm), which I would appreciate.
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