Chinese Work Ethic Sunny Fong

Men's fashion carnage etcetera in all its naked glory…

Tag: suits

Louis Purple

Okay, I’m not sure why but I’ve recently received a barrage of messages and emails from friends looking for suiting advice. I’ve even had a few people referred to me to do some wardrobe overhauls. I don’t really consider myself an expert but I guess I do know a good suit when I see one. I recently helped a friend buy a really expensive Hugo Boss suit from Harry Rosen and though the salesperson was super accommodating and somewhat knowledgeable, I find most people on the floor of menswear stores to be quite mediocre and lacking an understanding of what looks modern. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing to want to look like every other Joe Shmoe banker on Bay Street. Well, if you want to look like the 1%, it’s certainly a good idea not to dress like the 99% (I’m referring to the office people, not the impoverished of course).

I appreciate classic tailoring and timeless options too but the fact is, we’re young guys looking to make a splash with not a lot of cash. There are numerous things you can do to a suit that will jazz it up without having to go the uber-edgy (and pricey) Dolce & Gabbana route. Who wants to pay $4000 for something that will look like it’s from the 80’s by next season. Or lowering yourself to enter an H&M for anything other than discount basics. The loud blaring music alone makes me want to hang myself with a cheap skinny tie.

One of my biggest tips for younger guys looking to purchase a good suit is to go to a menswear store, get someone to measure you to figure out your measurements and then write it down. Then start shopping for a custom tailor once you’re comfortable with the idea of stepping it up a notch. Say goodbye to Maxwell’s twice a year offering of lineups, rushed service and being elbowed by Project Managers with whiskey breath and let me introduce you to Louis Purple.

Louis Purple offers traditional suiting with a contemporary twist. You won’t find big shoulder pads, horribly inappropriate breaks or poorly fitted jackets here. It’s about modern, fresh, colourful, classic and chic. Yes, suits can be all those things, Stuffy McStufferson.

I had an amazing online experience getting myself a custom Louis Purple shirt for a wedding I recently attended. Not only did store owner Charles Brunold make it easy for me to fill out the form, he Skyped me personally to show me fabrics. I wonder what if my grandfather imagined that suiting would ever take place over the internet! Charles at the Lafayette store is not one of those inexperienced on-the-floor vultures waiting for their next lunch break and a quick sale.

And he’s not so bad to look at either. *wink*

Anyway, I asked for a blue gingham cotton button-down. Louis Purple let me choose everything from the seam to the pattern to the placement of buttons to the collar size to the beautiful yellow monogram of my initials on the cuff:

I recently wore it to a lively wedding reception (with a Topman white trim navy blazer and a purple vintage Ralph Lauren linen tie) where it was the perfect fit. I got a lot of compliments on its brightness but it also remained formal enough without being too stuffy:

Wearing a shirt that is perfectly tailored to your body can bring out… A certain kind of confidence:

From now on, fellas, when you ask me where you should get a shirt or suit, I will be sending you to Louis Purple. Get your measurements done and send them over to these guys. Even though it’s not in Toronto, it’s worth the purchase and experience. You will not be disappointed. The French label opened its first North American store in NoLita this year with 300 fabrics, 80 linings, 1000 patterns to choose from including Loro Piana, Dormeuil, Holland & Sherry. A Louis Purple custom shirt is $130-$170 and a custom tailored suit starts at $700.

Louis Purple
323 Lafayette
New York, NY
(212) 219-8559


Suits and Rape

I’m not sure what I think about this advertisement for Duncan Quinn’s suits other than the guy isn’t hot enough for me to believe that that chick would be all sprawled out like that for his rape fantasy role playing session.

Just sayin’.

I’m lame

I don’t even watch Mad Men. Haha.

Suits – 2

Some tips and things to think about when buying a suit:

Notch lapels are conservatively classic:

While peak lapels are fashion forwardly formal:

Don’t mind the broad.

I’m a small guy so whenever I go to look at suits, I always wish I could magically slim down the lapels. I don’t want to feel like a cast member of Designing Women.

The solution? Slim them down! It’s totally possible if you’re getting a made-to-measure or bespoke suit. This is a good example of a slimmed down lapel.

It’s fashion forward, subtle and youthful at the same time. If you’re a thinner guy, think about a slimmer lapel.

Standing straight up, put your arms to your sides and cup the bottom of the suit by closing your hand. A proper jacket length is when the bottom edge of the suit grazes the palm of your hands. Use that as a guide and then go from there if it still looks too long or short.

Leave about 3/4 of an inch for the dress shirt. When you it on, try it with a dress shirt. Not a t-shirt. Or a sweater.

You need a sliver of the dress shirt to show. It is a must. Why buy French cuffs or wear a Breitling if you’re going to cover it up?

Make sure you bring the shoes you’re gonna wear the most. Different shoes will give you different lengths. A half break or a cuff is nice for a tall guy. Again, a full break would warp the silhouette. I’m not a fan of a full break on anyone but different strokes. Or you can try the Thom Browne length:

Only if you’re Thom Browne because I think it looks like shit on 99.99999% of guys.

The shoulder seam should be exactly where the apex of his armpit is (arm meets shoulder). It should cross your shoulder bone, not sit off of your body. When it doubt, try on a half size smaller.

Go behind him in the mirror and get someone to clench the fabric from behind while the jacket is buttoned. That is generally how much fabric should be taken out. I find the salespeople or tailors will never clench as much as they should. Bring me. I will clench the shit out of the back. The jacket should follow a man’s torso. Ask the tailor for a “modern fit” if you want a slimmer look. Or a “slim suit.”

Buttoning rule from top to bottom: always, sometimes, never.

Don’t worry about looking funny when you lift your arms. I’ve seen guys in stores lift their arms and go “I need a bigger size!” WRONG. Smaller armholes will make you have a sleeker, British look. And really, the only time you’re going to lift your arm is to raise one for a toast (hopefully your jacket is unbuttoned or on the back of your chair by then) or doing the YMCA (in which your bf will be drunk and could care less if he had his tie around his head)

The inseam (from the ankle to the crotch) should just touch your balls slightly. Sit down in the pants and cross your legs. They should not bunch up like you have an erection.

There SHOULD be pockets. Make sure there are FOUR pockets. I can’t stress this enough. If it has no back pockets, it’s a woman’s suit.

Take a look at the pockets of the pants. They should lie flat on your side.

Make sure there’s lining in the suit. You’ll be much more comfortable as, ahem, your ball sweat won’t leak through and of course, it keeps your legs from chafing if you have to sit at a conference the whole day.

Don’t take any advice from a sales person if you don’t trust them. I never do. Go with what YOU want. Do your research first. Bring photos of suits that you like.

Jil Sander

Prada khaki suit – $1795

When Syler’s not cutting people’s heads off, he’s wearing smart black suits to award shows:

And just cuz:

Takashi, Jet and Cokington here look like they might’ve had a little too much Castel del Monte…

Toronto Fashion Week – Bustle 2009 – #2

Maxwell’s Clothiers – The Greatest Deal Known to MEN

New Maxwell’s shirt + cotton $10 vintage tartan tie + new cashmere sweater = ridicule at the restaurant.
I don’t know, I thought it looked pretty good!

Maxwell makes very affordable, made-to-measure dress shirts in any kind of style. You choose the fabrics, prints, sizing, details. They even offer free monograms on the sleeve which I absolutely love.

I’m a big fan of the first one on the bottom row with one giant cursive letter.

For $135, you get three beautifully-made dress shirts that actually last in the washing machine. I’ve washed my favourite shirt at least 10 times and it still looks brand new.

A basic suit cut to your body in any fabric you’d like goes for around $600 and that includes 3 shirts. The best deal for a custom suit outside of Vietnam.

You can check out Maxwell’s travelling schedule here.

For you Torontonians out there, he will be making three stops:

MARCH 5TH, 6TH, 7TH, 8TH 2009
Westin Bristol Place Hotel (Airport)
950 Dixon Rd.
Tel: (416) 675-9444

MARCH 9TH, 10TH, 11TH, 12TH, 13TH 2009
123 Queen St. West
Tel: (416) 361-1000

MARCH 14TH, 15TH, 16TH, 17TH, 18TH, 19TH 2009
600 Hwy 7 East
Tel: (905) 881-2121

It does get overwhelming and it’s best to go in the morning and not during the lunch hours or after 5 PM. Expect to line up and bump elbows with douchebag bankers if you do go during peak hours. It’s also a great place to witness older white guys act like total assholes to the Maxwell staff. For example, the last time I was there, some big wig came in and ordered the staff around like they were his personal shoppers. Meanwhile, it’s a self-serve style shopping experience but he wasn’t having any of it. As a result, all these first-timers with questions had to wait patiently. I mean, if you’re going to be a douche, go and get a bespoke suit done. It’s a $500 suit, not Armani’s atelier.

Expect about $12 per shirt in taxes or shipping fees. The delivery takes 6 – 10 weeks but can come earlier if you’re in a rush situation. I emailed them a month in before an unexpected summer wedding and I got mine immediately.

The customer service line is incredible and if you are not satisfied with the fit, you can go get your suit or shirt redone at various high quality tailors around the city, free of charge. They tend to do suits that are slightly bigger than what I normally prefer but after a tailoring by Paul’s, I was completely satisfied. So you don’t have to worry about what you’re getting as it can always be rectified later on.

I’ve ordered the shirts three times now and they need no alterations. They come perfectly cut to your body.

There are literally 1000’s of swatches to choose from but they have a very organized system for making your selections.

Happy choosing! And I might see you there.

A great suit for a great price!

Looking for a great suit? I found this exact Calvin suit pictured (plus a whole variety of greys in pinstripe and solids) at the Winners at Bay and Bloor.
calvin klein suit

And not only were the suits well-constructed, they had tons of sizes (I tried on a 38S that fit like a glove) and were all slim fit.
But despite the fit, never buy a suit without taking it to a proper tailor. And don’t think that a frou-frou ritzy tailor does magical things. I have no patience for places that spend more time on shop renovations than perfecting their craft.

Need a suit tailored? Go to Paul’s on Bathurst. A shitty dry cleaning shop with horrible air circulation. But you’ll be greeted with a smile and two brothers who know contemporary suits.

Colour and Pajama Pant Predictions

For suits, I definitely think navy. But I also think this olive cotton for suits will be huge for Spring:

Take note!

And even though I posted this as a joke on Chictopia, people didn’t get that the outfit was a joke and a stab at Chictopians.

Why did no one on Chictopia get the sarcasm in my comments:
Dinner with the parents is always a daunting experience. You never know if they’re going to judge you or criticize you from salads to dessert so it’s best to keep your attire neutral, no?

Mom had crabcakes. Dad had too much wine. And I wore plaid pants.

The scarf is an old silk blend paisley scarf I found in my grandfather’s room after he died.
The cardigain is from Primark on Oxford Street. My first purchase from my London trip this year.
The shoes, again, are my grandfather’s never worn boat shoes from Sears.
The bracelet is a Mexican bangle thing made out of bone or something.
The pants are Yohji Yamamoto.

No socks of course.

Vivienne Westwood meets Rupert Everett in the looney bin?

EDIT: this was a joke outfit. I’m waaaay too intelligent to wear my dirty $3 pajama pants out in public [I convinced people that they were Yohji Yamamoto!].
This is totally made up just to test the fashion waters. Looks like I’m an idiot savant style-wise.

Who in their right minds would wear this to have dinner with their parents? The scarf would get all in the soup and the pants would get all bunchy and your legs would get cold etc…

Now my one big prediction for spring:

Imagine these:

…with these (Lanvin high tops btw):

Are you ready?

%d bloggers like this: