We’re all familiar with the rather unsavory term of the proverbial “stuffed suit”. For the uninitiated, this is tantamount in the field of Psychology to what is often referred to as “smiling depression”, which I suggest is abundant in local car dealership television commercials in any U.S. city. In all, the “stuffed suit” is a phony person who is selling you a bill of goods. He’s that guy who could literally sell aluminum siding inside a steel mill. Let’s move on to more substantive aspects of a men’s suit.
In the world of men’s fashion, let’s face it. This next question is for me: How many of your friends shop at custom clothier shops where you’ll be served a complimentary Scotch while you’re selecting the perfect pinstripe for your new Italian “signature” suit at $2,295? Few, if any. Granted, we men admire quality in automobiles as much as a fine suit. But unless you’re on the panel of the popular television show “Shark Tank”, I submit that you don’t need the bill or the hassles for finding a great fitting suit of quality. And this excludes the new Italian custom suit fabrics from some of the finest mills in Europe: Zegna, Dormeuil, Scabal. Great for actor Daniel Craig’s unannounced replacement in the James Bond motion picture series, but otherwise not even in the equation for the rest of us.
On the off-chance you have buddies who sincerely believe they bear a resemblance to the fictitious Ian Fleming character, it’s easy to envision a veritable army of style advisers, each one eager to “curate” your wardrobe. Ironically, this resembles a Hollywood production unto itself.
You can expect to be asked flattering questions owing to your tastes, complete strangers eager to learn your style, and “your accoutrement needs”. Dress shirts alone for these guys start at $89. This includes Egyptian cotton shirts, finished in Italy. Then there is the Sea Island cotton shirt I recently saw selling for $375. Clients can select from 20 collars, 15 cuff styles, and five kinds of pockets, among other options. Now a departure.
Comfort and Fashion Combined!
However, if a custom leisure shirt, complete with buttons or snaps is more your style, or maybe something with a safari flair (with epaulets) comes to mind, consider a pair of Authentic Denim jeans by Eddie Bauer. They are durable and “unconditionally guaranteed”. Add a pair of New Balance 993 running shoes and a pair of polarized Ray Ban sunglasses, and most of your attire conflicts and difficulties evaporate. It’s a lot less expensive and frankly, a lot more comfortable. And with the cash you have left over, you won’t feel “shaken, not stirred”.
(All Photos: Author’s Collection)