If the Suit Doesn’t Fit…Don’t Order it Online
In one of my last articles I wrote about the rise of menswear, and attributed this greatly to the popularity of online retailer sites, specifically Gilt.com, Mr. Porter, and Park & Bond (a Gilt affiliate). I still strongly believe that. Privacy is a big part of a man’s life, as most girlfriends and wives will tell you, but shopping online has major drawbacks. Furthermore, as a desire for sharp menswear continues to conquest the male population it wont, and should not, be necessary to shop in the “privacy” of the internet. The issue is this, every brand sizes differently, cuts its suits at different angles, makes its slim-fit jeans a different leg opening, and unless you know your body the way your tailor does, (assuming you have a tailor) buying online can be costly, time-consuming, and a complete ill-fit. I normally wear a Medium shirt, a 32 waist, and a 10 shoe. However, sometimes I am a 31 waist, a Small in outerwear, and a straight-leg Jean. Anyone the least bit sartorially inclined knows above all that FIT and CUT are the two most important things to dressing well – without the proper fit the rest is a waste of time, no matter how beautiful the fabric of that Versace suit.
As a young New Yorker, with little time to waste and even less money to spend I need to know that my clothes will look sharp, feel sharp, and stay sharp. So I adhere to the One Size Theory – only buy online if it’s a one-size-fits-all garment. I admit I break this sometimes for shoes – but that size rarely changes. Aside from shoes I now keep my “Gilty” pleasure purchases to Socks, Ties, Accessories, Watches, Eyewear, Pocket Squares…you get the cut of my suit now right? Ok, good.
So what is someone trying to look sharp, at a good price to do? It might seem obvious but it’s oft overlooked…it’s H&M (and many of those retailers like it, Uniqlo, Joe Fresh, Top Man, Zara etc.). I happen to be a personal fan of H&M most though, because of its range of style, incredibly fast production, and now elevated quality. It happens to be particularly fitting, because the one thing I won’t buy at H&M are shoes. However, their dress shirts fit great, and I can count on a consistency in sizing, shrinking, and style. They sell affordable suits that have a great modern cut and come priced from $100 to $150 (throw in $50 for tailoring and you’re set). Their range of, pants, shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, ties, hats, etc can’t be beat. Uniqlo may be an incredible basics shop, but if you’re looking to add some pattern into your life without the financial risk, or see a great pear of one-season-only shorts (I would never advise buying anything for one season only, maybe one occasion – like a theme party) you should look no further than H&M, and I will defend it to the core. It’s mission statement is to bring you “fashion and quality at the best price,” so save your designer purchases for consignment stores, your ties for the internet, and everything else for H&M.
Check these pairings from H&M’s summer Conscious Collection, whether you’re in the Hamptons, or in Williamsburg you’re bound to look sharp.