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July 7, 2014 3:40 PM   Subscribe


 
2. ???
posted by entropicamericana at 3:49 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Ah, yes. Don't put my cell phone in my pocket. Of course. I can just have my manservant carry it. Or keep a little Beatrice Potter animal behind me at all times, little Jemima Puddle-Duck holding my phone in her bill. Or maybe a bunch of fairies clustering together to hold it aloft amidst their fairy-cloud. That way they can also use Fae Magick to keep my trousers freshly-pressed at the same time. Good. Sure. Maybe just leave the suit in a hyperbaric chamber while I go about my gentlemen's business, clad in a glittering layer of honeyed filigree
posted by Greg Nog at 3:55 PM on July 7 [36 favorites]


For a brief, hilarious second I thought the advice was
1. "Don't wear it"
2.

....and then the rest of the page loaded.

I think I like that version better. My advice would be don't buy a suit that was mass manufactured, you're paying premium prices for unbelievably sub par goods. I still buy my suits used because the quality of new suits, even at the 1,000-2,000 USD range, is unacceptable to me, 20 years after my first salvation army suit purchase. Don't get me started on these new, slim cut suit pants.

Disclaimer: I am not a fancy man.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 4:06 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


"Think about what dry cleaning is: chemicals. In time these chemicals break down the fibers … wool is organic."

Yeah, hello, woo. Not that dry cleaning doesn't wear on the fabric, of course, but it doesn't have anything to do with "chemicals" versus "organic".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:20 PM on July 7 [14 favorites]


Ah, yes. Don't put my cell phone in my pocket. Of course. I can just have my manservant carry it.

Interior jacket pocket, GREG, some new suits have sized cell phone pockets, I asked for one specifically for my latest winter suit.

My manservant has better things to do


why are you ever wearing anything but a cape and kilt anyway?
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on July 7 [17 favorites]


Though now written more than fifty years ago, Cary Grant's Style Philosophy for the most part remains timeless good advice.

I’m reminded of a piece of advice my father gave me regarding shoes: it has stood me in good stead whenever my own finances were low. He said it’s better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones. One pair made of fine leather could outlast four inferior pairs, and, if well cared for, would continue to proclaim your good judgment and taste no matter how old they become. The same applies to suits, so permit me to suggest you buy the best you can afford even though it means buying less.
posted by fairmettle at 4:29 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


#4 is not true of double-breasted suits, assuming anyone still owns one. And while the cleaning advice is fine, it's for the wrong reasons. Good-quality wool can survive many more cleanings than other parts of most suits. Mass-produces suits are held together with interfacing instead of stitching, and after too many cleanings the wool will start to seperate from the padding leaving ugly irrepairable bubbles. In a hand-made floating canvas suit this matters less. A light brushing after each wearing with a suit brush will make cleanings less necessary.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:50 PM on July 7


Gentlefolk should have a briefcase, portfolio, satchel or bag for items that will ruin the shape or smell of their suit. Such as books, electronics, pocket flask, lighters/pipes/cigars/cannabis. My dad couldn't bring work home due to it being classified, but he had two beautiful leather briefcases - one hard-sided, one satchel-shaped - for his book, lunch, and what was then a very unusual Japanese folding umbrella.

For most days I have a Coach manbag with a diagonal strap, or vintage leather binoculars case (so sporty) that can just hold my everyday carry, plus a trade paperback or iPad or hip flask. If I have to carry sheet music or my prayer shawl (or a bottle of wine or fifth of booze), I use a soft leather laptop briefcase or Bally portfolio-style briefcase. For a laptop, I use a padded sleeve inside a briefcase or backpack.

Make sure bag shoulder straps are wide and smooth on the underside so as not to ruin the shoulder shaping, or snag the fabric of the suit. Even though it looks dorky, if wearing a long tie it goes OVER the diagonal shoulder strap. The rubbing of the strap will pull the knot out of shape and possibly destroy a tie's cloth in less than two city blocks. Also, test to make sure the leather or fabric dye doesn't rub off on the suit, especially when wet!
posted by Dreidl at 4:51 PM on July 7 [13 favorites]


My suit preservation strategy is to buy a new one every time there's a wedding or funeral because I got too fat since the last wedding or funeral.
posted by octothorpe at 5:13 PM on July 7 [24 favorites]


I would add that when you buy a suit purchase two pair of pants* that match each jacket. You wear your jacket from home to work and then you remove your jacket for the duration of the day except to go out for lunch. Pants you wear all day and they suffer more wear.

*Why pair of pants and not pair of jacket or pair of shirt?
posted by vapidave at 5:15 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


When traveling with your suit, if it’s in your luggage, try folding it inside out. It protects the jacket.

I'm not sure I believe this one. What is the jacket being protected from? Turning it inside out will have the folds going in the opposite direction of how they were designed.
posted by justkevin at 5:25 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I have my suits pressed only most of the time. I also had an extra layer of lining at the crotch as I regularly walk the three miles home and that tends to wear out. I also have some second pairs of suit pants with a silk lining all the way down the leg for winter. I have no end of suit tricks.
posted by shothotbot at 5:26 PM on July 7


Extra reinforced crotches are vital for the well suited man who may have to spring over some rooftops or jump from a Fire escape from time to time.
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Why pair of pants and not pair of jacket or pair of shirt?

Looks like it's because they were originally a pair of separate leg coverings, and the plural stuck even after they were joined into a single garment.
posted by JiBB at 5:44 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Oh god another fucking clothing thing to worry about. I noticed my favourite pair of Diesels had a crotch-hole in them yesterday, so that's the end of those, nobody would repair crotch holes even if they could. I've got an overpriced Rodd & Gunn cord jacket sitting in the cupboard, wore it once and now am afraid to wear it again in case I do it wrong. What next, I gotta take my shoes in for a yearly service? Inner lining on vintage leather shouldn't be all ripped and stained like that? I shouldn't tumble white shirts to the left because of "fibers"? Can't wash garage towels with my girlfriends intimates? Hey, I know, maybe I'll pair my socks, just spend a month sitting there on the floor, drinking room temperature gin and putting two socks together. Jesus Christ.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:45 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


The Whelk, you need to Ask a Bespoke Tailor!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:47 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]




The Whelk, you need to Ask a Bespoke Tailor!

I uh may have used that article so I coud have Clint Barton getting a realistically tailored suit for a superbro.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Extra reinforced crotches are vital.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:03 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, this is all lovely advice for people who live in Cloud Cuckoo Land and float to work on a gentle zephyr of faerie breath, but here's the ugly truth: In the summer, in Milk Chocolate City, a man--well, this man--can only wear washable "durable press" trousers that will win no prizes for style or savoir-faire. So, Dockers up, baby.
posted by the sobsister at 6:03 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


These guys will repair your crotch hole.

Nice, do they do reply paid shipping? :-P
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:07 PM on July 7


Ah, yes. Don't put my cell phone in my pocket

Of course. You put your cell phone in its own tiny bespoke suit and walk it about town, hand in hand, as one would a beloved nephew.
posted by maxsparber at 6:28 PM on July 7 [25 favorites]


That is ridiculous no nephews are beloved.
posted by The Whelk at 6:32 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


#4 is not true of double-breasted suits, assuming anyone still owns one.

Double-breasted suits were quite popular at Pitti Uomo this summer. Suitsupply has recently expanded their offerings.

Most of this didn't start off as bad advice, but the nature of the #menswear blogosphere is such that everyone feels compelled to write their own list of basic tips, based on earlier blogs, all originally sourced in the same three books. Potential broken telephone effect.

Re pockets, they can sag, which is why some people keep exterior pockets sewn shut. It's especially visible on non-flapped pockets like on tuxedos. You can carry a briefcase, or a pochette if you're confident. Sized hangers are also a good idea, especially if you're an uncommon size like me (try The Hanger Project).

The one suggestion that stood out as questionable though was the cleaning. Obviously the "organic" bit (as noted by 1adam12, it's usually the fusing that's suspect, although I've heard that this advice originated in earlier decades when interfacing/fusing was much more prone to detach & bubble). Also, though, I would worry about potential fading if I was cleaning the pants three times as often as the jackets.
posted by maledictory at 6:43 PM on July 7


I'm not sure I believe this one. What is the jacket being protected from? Turning it inside out will have the folds going in the opposite direction of how they were designed.

AFAIK it's a widespread wisdom, but poorly explained in this instance. If you google "how to fold a suit for travel", there seems to be a lot of this.
posted by anonymisc at 6:55 PM on July 7


The Whelk: "That is ridiculous no nephews are beloved."

Them's fightin' words. This auntie will melt you with the power of her love should you ever dare suggest such a thing again.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:58 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


That is ridiculous no nephews are beloved.

They might be if you could replace them with the newer model every couple of years.
posted by hyperbolic at 6:58 PM on July 7


Thanks, this is useful! I'm guessing that given the author's area of interest, her attitude is more "suits are awesome, let's keep our awesome suits looking awesome!!!"; for me my perspective there is that I recently had to borrow money that I didn't have to buy My First Suit™ so I can wear it to interviews so I can get a job. I am TERRIFIED of anything happening to my cheapo Men's Wearhouse suit. Fucking terrified. Fuck having to spend money to get a job, but thanks Rachael Tutera (and Lexica) for the tips to mitigate that!
posted by threeants at 7:01 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Every time I need a suit I have to a buy a new because the old one doesn't fit or isn't in style anymore. EVERY TIME. It is basically a job interview tax.
posted by srboisvert at 7:15 PM on July 7


Extra reinforced crotches are vital for the well suited man who may have to spring over some rooftops or jump from a Fire escape from time to time.

Don't forget some stride in the crotch. It is essential for housing giant presidential balls named Lyndon and Baines which are frequently found near a Johnson.
posted by srboisvert at 7:21 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


I don't mind wearing suits but since I work in tech, I can't even wear one to interviews anymore and wearing one to the office would look seriously odd.
posted by octothorpe at 7:35 PM on July 7


Another suit-wearing tip - what to do with keys that will wear holes in linings, pockets, and fray the outer fabric? A leather key case, of course! The case also prevents jingling.
posted by Dreidl at 8:01 PM on July 7


I didn't just mind suits when I was young.

The mere suggestion of there being a mandatory societal expectation whereupon the very members of society least able to afford to do so, are required to participate in this charade; is ludicrous, absurd! My first clashes involving a vast differential in socioeconomic expectations always involved formal wear, and were always deeply, irredeemably embarrassing.

To this day any reminder of the unspoken societal requirement that an adult drop a few thousand dollars on a single set of clothing that might see use once a year without making a fuss still gives me the frothing palsies. But they're always non-negotiable occasions; weddings, funerals, job interviews. Buck the societal convention and make their event about you and suffer the consequences without changing anything, no thanks man.

My suits are far more comfortable now that I understand price and quality almost never correlate when it comes to clothing. But it took several years and a lot more money than I was willing to spend on learning the conventions and stylings of a piece of clothing I might wear perhaps twice a year.

In conclusion, all Men's Wearhouses should be burned to the ground.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 8:06 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"Yes, yes, this is all lovely advice for people who live in Cloud Cuckoo Land and float to work on a gentle zephyr of faerie breath, but here's the ugly truth: In the summer, in Milk Chocolate City, a man--well, this man--can only wear washable "durable press" trousers that will win no prizes for style or savoir-faire. So, Dockers up, baby."

I worked for Levi's at Levi Plaza where the noisy parrots fly in flocks above. I worked at the switchboard for several months and later as munger reformatting the hundreds of Monster and other internet applications we recieved daily. [PROTIP - good fucking luck] Working the switchboard I wore a headset and had maybe four databases. I was temporarily replacing a woman who was on maternity leave. Some calls were specific, some were insistent asking for "the marketing department" which was oursourced. Somehow this was unbelievable as the same people would call again and again. I was clicking through and trying in vain to process more calls per hour than my three coworkers. You learn to identify those fishing, them you send into voicemail hell, and those who are looking for a specific person that can help. I failed to become proficient but my coworkers were quite nice. It was a great place to work. They treat the employees really well. Thirty-five hours a week, paid for forty, and out by noon on Friday so early beer.

You would be amazed at the quantity of people that call having some new idea for marketing.

I like Dockers, not because I like Levi's the corporation, which I do, but because they have saved me from ironing.
posted by vapidave at 8:12 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I would add that when you buy a suit purchase two pair of pants* that match each jacket. You wear your jacket from home to work and then you remove your jacket for the duration of the day except to go out for lunch. Pants you wear all day and they suffer more wear.

metafilter: you wear all day and they suffer
posted by Greg Nog at 9:10 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'm with hobo gitano. The other thing I really despise are those little "dress for the job you want, not the job you've got" or "dress for the position above you" or even "wear a tie even though you never interface with customers and just sit at a desk all day" bon mots that get bounced around in white collar environments. I'm like, no thanks, I'll dress for the job I'm being paid for, and if you want to pay me more and give me a different job, then I'll get my fancy new clothes with my first new-and-improved pay cheque.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:36 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


metafilter: metafilter: you
posted by threeants at 11:43 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Don't put my cell phone in my pocket. Of course. I can just have my manservant carry it.

Wow you must have an impressive manservant.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:09 AM on July 8


Most days at my job a suit is overkill, but I actually enjoy having the opportunity to wear a nice suit. Sort of feels grown up.

And while not the most comfortable thing for wearing in a airplane seat for hours on end, they're very handy for travel — just need to bring spare socks, jocks and shirt (he says as he sits in Brisbane airport waiting for his much delayed flight home wearing a suit and clutching a bag containing spare socks, jocks and shirt).

I'm not sure I agree with the recommendation for turning the suit inside out to pack it though — wear it, or put it in a proper suit bag. Yes, not always convenient, but your suit will thank you for it.
posted by damonism at 1:45 AM on July 8


My main problem with suits: You have to wear proper shirts with them (yes, you do, marketing/IT dudes). And I hate, hate, hate ironing them.
posted by pseudocode at 3:25 AM on July 8


Before I started working I read somewhere you should have 10 suits, 5 for the summer, 5 for the winter, and wear a different one each day. I have aspired to that. I also read that Voltaire had a library of 4,000 books and I have aspired to that as well.
posted by Major Tom at 4:02 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I noticed my favourite pair of Diesels had a crotch-hole in them yesterday, so that's the end of those, nobody would repair crotch holes even if they could. I've got an overpriced Rodd...

Say no more.
posted by fairmettle at 4:55 AM on July 8


You have to wear proper shirts with them (yes, you do, marketing/IT dudes). And I hate, hate, hate ironing them.

Whilst you do pay a slight premium for them, non-iron shirts live up to their billing, in my experience. Wash, put on a hanger to dry, wear. I've seen some suggestions that a tumble dryer is vital to the process but I don't have one and the lack thereof doesn't seem to hurt. This is based on ~10 years of wearing shirts with suits concurrent with 0 years of possessing an iron.
posted by MUD at 5:01 AM on July 8


The other thing I really despise are those little "dress for the job you want, not the job you've got" or "dress for the position above you" or even "wear a tie even though you never interface with customers and just sit at a desk all day" bon mots that get bounced around in white collar environments.

My brother followed a somewhat more mercenary and strategic rule. Once a week, dress like you are going to a job interview . That way when you do go for an interview nobody can guess and they may actually believe the excuse you use for a half-day exit.
posted by srboisvert at 5:02 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Once a week, dress like you are going to a job interview.

Yep, wear a white shirt & tie once every third week and take a 70-minute lunch that day. It's part simply messing with people, and part looking nice (for a change in IT), and part just muddying the waters enough to keep people's noses out of your business.


One day when I was young and mouthy, and working in a decidedly non-tie-appropriate job, I was asked by the owner why I was wearing a tie. Without thinking I said, "I'm having lunch with my pimp." (I have no idea where it came from.) He blinked, squinted at me, and didn't say anything else to me the rest of the ride up to the 8th floor.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:46 AM on July 8 [9 favorites]


If I wear nice slacks and a shirt and black shoes, invariably someone will joke, "hey, you interviewing today?"
posted by octothorpe at 5:50 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I work from home and put on a crisp shirt and tie cause it focuses me into " work mode" and I can more easily pop outside to get something rather than Go thugh the UGH BUT PANTS ARE REQUIRED cycle.

I mean granted I do a lot of work in my star trek bathrobe as well but still.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


1. Protect your faceplate. Breach it, you're dead right there.

2. Make sure your IFF codes are current and span the maximum length of your EVA plus a safety factor.

3. Run the checklist, every item, in order, every time. If it's wrong, make it right before you go, even if you "probably won't need it" and it's "not a big deal".

4. Check seals, wear points and consumables before egress. Have a human partner cross-check -- AIs miss subtle stuff.

5. Test comms and HUD. Verify pressurization. Tether up unless you're rated for free flight and the job requires it.

6. Run a cleanup/diagnostic cycle after every wear, and maintenance every five or per schedule.

7. Log any malfunctions no matter how minor. Engineering can't fix it if they don't know it's broken.
posted by sourcequench at 8:52 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]


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