Reader Question

Reader Mailbag: Finding a Tailor, Fall Coats, and Suiting Up in LA

Hey guys!

Digging into the SG mailbag this week for some great questions from readers.

Today we’re focused on finding a good tailor, a great fall coat, warm weather suit, and maybe, just maybe, a little extra help in the wardrobe department.

Nate asks:

I have decided that I want to start changing my style from my high school/undergrad look of ill-fitting skate/surf brands, as I do neither of those activities. I am in grad school now and will be twenty-five in a few weeks, so I want a more stylish (but still casual) look to accompany being an adult in a professional field. My question is about winter coats. The one I have is about four years old and needs to be replaced anyway. So what are some good options? I like pea coats and top coats, but worry that they may be too dressy to wear with jeans and a t-shirt. Also, still being in school I don’t have a lot of money to spend on things like this. Any help would be great. 

Great question, Nate! I commend you for realizing your full style potential and making the effort to dress in a way that’s more appropriate for your current lifestyle.

There are tons of great brands and stores that offer coats at reasonable prices. Coats are a great way to add to your personal style and to evoke a more professional, put-together look. Peacoats and topcoats are both great options. The peacoat is extremely versatile and simple yet elegant. If you’re worried about appearing too dressy at your age (which I totally get), why not try a nice nice field jacket or barn jacket? Or this Vans toggle jacket. Reasonably priced, and fashionable without being too flashy.

This Jeremiah Twill Jacket is great as well:

Both of these would look perfectly stylish topping a casual outfit. When you are dressing up, a peacoat really is timeless, so don’t rule it out entirely. And investing in a nice topcoat to have in your closet for special occasions will be worth it in the long run (maybe when you start interviewing for post-grad positions!).

JOSEPH ASKS:

How do you find a good tailor? I’ve realized that I would look infinitely better if my clothes were cut to fit. (I have great proportions, but I’m 5’7″ (and a half :P)) so I always look like I’m swimming in my clothes. I have never had a tailor or used one but I’m in the market and don’t even know where to look or what questions to ask when I find one.  

If only all guys had this same moment of clarity! Clothing tailored to your specific proportions is a beautiful thing (no matter what those proportions are). Clothes that fit – really truly fit – make you feel like you’re getting the most out of your purchases. And obviously you feel your best in them, too.    

I would first suggest you simply ask around. Maybe the sharply-dressed guy at the office or a family member that always looks great has a tailor they love and would recommend to you.  If not, go to a high-end department store such as Bloomingdales or Nordstrom. They’re sure to point you in the right direction; they may even have a tailor on staff.  You could also search online for tailors in your area; people are extremely vocal and opinionated from behind their computers screens. Look for the ones with high review ratings and no horrible “They ruined my wedding tux and wouldn’t fix it!”-type customer service disasters.

Once you do find someone you’re comfortable with, chances are you won’t have to do much else. Their job is to tailor YOU. They’ll know what needs a nip there or a tuck here.  But don’t be afraid to tell them which aspects of a garment bother you and what you think needs fixing.

OSCAR SAYS:

I’m a 21 year old living in the Los Angeles area. Now that summer is over it’s a bit easier to suit up in LA. So my question, what would be a recommended color scheme for wearing a blue suit with dark brown lace ups? I know the early 20’s are a time to experiment but I find it easier getting a female’s perspective than to go in blindly.

Great question! I love when guys your age already understand the merits of a suited-up look. And it sounds like you’re on the right track – a blue suit with dark brown lace-ups is definitely sharp. Just so long as your shoes are as dark as your suit. Paired with a crisp white shirt, you’re nearly good to go. Ties are a fun cherry on top to any outfit – a deep burgundy color would be great this season, or a grey or blue color that’s lighter than your suit. Go crazy with a print, or keep it straightforward with a solid hue.

Just don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, especially when it comes to suits. It’s a perfect opportunity to add your personal style into an outfit.

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