I’ve bought suits off the rack and I’ve had them custom made by tailors, but they’ve all been imperfect in some way. And by imperfect I’m talking about the fine points of tailoring that don’t make a whit of difference in the final tally of sins and virtues, but upon which I am inexplicably focused: the angle of the lapel notch, the quality or absence of hand-stitching, the button stance and button count, whether there are one, two or no vents, the angle of the pants pockets, the fullness of the break on the lower leg. I’m a picky bastard.
This makes shopping for a suit notoriously difficult. First, there is the issue of money. In my early twenties I hardly had any of it, so I was barred from a certain level of gentleman’s tailoring. That’s less of a barrier today, but I’ve found that even if I walk into a store ready to fork over even one or two weeks’ salary on a good suit — on the right suit — I still meet with frustration. Inevitably, some of the crucial details I’m looking for always seem to be missing, or if they’re all there, then they don’t cut the suit in my size. I’m officially a 40 long, but even if you can find a 40 long these days, how it will hang off my body is unpredictable.
The last suit I bought, just two weeks ago, was a 44 regular. How the hell does a 40 long fit into a 44 regular? I have no idea, but I do know that, for whatever reason, the suit looked great on me and I liked it a lot. It was a nice black, two-button model of worsted wool with a very light pinstripe pattern and it very nearly came close to satisfying all of my criteria.
The Disappearing Suit
Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed Web designer-geek.
The only problem with this almost perfect suit is that it’s gone. Not gone as in no longer available, but gone as in disappeared. When I bought it, the shop sent it off to the tailor for some minor alterations, and that was the last anyone’s seen of it. It’s been apparently stolen or perhaps mislaid in some dark, dusty corner of Barneys New York. You would expect Barneys to be a bit more conscientious.
Here’s what I was thinking in my head when the manager explained this predicament to me over the phone yesterday: “Aaarrrggggh!”
This means that I have to embark on yet another suit hunt. The manager was nice enough to offer me a refund, of course, and a generous discount if I select another suit to purchase. That’s all great and everything, but when I bought this suit, I was very nearly at the end of my rope, having tried on nearly everything that looked halfway decent — it was only out of desperation that I tried on that 44 regular in the first place.
When I was a kid, I could never understand why some adults always wore jeans and sneakers. Now I know.