T Nation

Shopping for dress clothes

Just curious where you fellas here find dress clothes? I have been wanting to get a nice suit, but having a 20" drop, can’t find anything in the store. As much as I would like to, I just don’t have a cool grand sitting around to get a custom made suit. Any suggestions? I live in the Midwest, but not close to any big cities. Thanks for any input.

I recommend going to a place like Joseph A. Banks and getting fitted. I’m about 5’8" with a 34" waist and a 28" inseam. Dockers are the only pants available on a mainstream basis that I can find. Banks has reasonable prices and they’ll generally hem or otherwise alter your clothes for you if you’ve just bought them there. Also, just yesterday I was in a mall department store to buy dress shirts and made a discovery. Stafford carries a cut they call “athletic cut”,where the shirt will accomodate your chest,but tapers towards the waist. I hope this helps. I’ve never really had to buy a full blown suit per se but I feel your pain nonetheless.

Try S&K Men’s Wear. I believe they have a web page also.

Try Rheingoldfashions. Their website is the same name.

I’ve been through the same thing. Trying to buy an affordable, ready made suit to fit an athletic build is fruitless. The jacket has to be so large to fit your lats and shoulders that the matching pants, designed for the average fat ass, will be way huge. I had a tailor tell me that there’s no way the pants could ever be taken in that much without ruining them.

I found a department store (I think it was JC Penney) that sells suit separates. That is, matching coats and pants sold independently. Alterations were included free when you bought both. I bought a size 48 jacket and a 33 waist pair of pants. I had the jacket taken in at the waist, the pants hemmed for inseam and it worked out great for cheap.

For dress and casual shirts, sweatshirts, etc, I take in the side seams for a custom tailored look myself. It’s pretty easy to do with minimal sewing skills. Sewing, you say? Har har har! Well, real men can sew and get away with it! <Arrrrrr! grin> Actually, wanting to have some decently fitting shirts to wear for presentations is the reason I got the darned machine in the first place. I didn’t want to pay someone else all the $$$ to alter all my shirts.

Anyway…, here’s how I did it: I took one shirt, folded over and pinned the seams until it fit just right around both the waist and lats under the arms. I took it off, buttoned it up, turned it inside out, and traced the modified, flat shape out on a piece of posterboard.
Once I did that, I had a custom template to mark and alter all my shirts in the future. Once you’ve tried on a tailored shirt you will want to have all of them done, they are great.
Don’t you just hate buying a shirt to fit your shoulders and lats and then having all that excess material flap around your waist?
OK, there are some ideas to get ya started. Good luck!


Thanks for the suggestions fellas. I just put in for a catalog from Rheingoldfashions. I guess this is the only downfall of being a recreational bodybuilder, not having the big bucks to pay for nice clothes. I just keep buying supplements to get bigger :^). Thanks again.

Hi Guys. Well, I just never buy suits. In my job, I can very easily get away with buying a sport coat and matching or contrasting dress pants. The waist of the dress shirts doesn’t bug me too much, but Nylo’s idea is really sharp.

If you need to buy something really snazzy, try this. I usually wait to shop the sales at Neiman Marcus, as the quality is the best, the selection incredible and they really take care of you. They have the best service in the world, and if you ever have a chance to stop in at one of their stores and get acquainted with the sales staff, you can just call them and tell them what you need over the phone, they’ll charge you and pop it in the mail. Most importantly, they have what they call a “Last Call” sale in January and August for the left-overs of the season. The selection is still great, and you won’t spend much more than you would at Penny’s. I’ve called the store in Newport Beach a couple of times when I really needed something and couldn’t get to the sale. They don’t have a problem finding something for you and sending it to you, and no problem about the returns. These guys are hungry for the commission. Probably, if you just call them and discuss what you need, they’ll be only too happy to oblige. And after all, you deserve the best, don’t you?