I’ve been in the market for a simple navy suit, but have been putting it off since I had no upcoming events or parties that required such a suit. Then summer began, and again, I found myself looking for reasons to get one. I knew it would come in handy for years, and I was open to different fabrics but wanted one I could wear for all seasons.
Luckily I came across the L.L. Bean signature plain weave suiting in navy. The cotton twill fabric is perfect for summer but still substantial enough to hold its own during San Francisco’s mild winters.
I’m usually a little nervous ordering off-the-rack suits online since sizes often differ and I hate the back-and-forth exchanges I’d have to endure if I picked the wrong size. Fortunately the suit fit true-to-size, so I had no issues.
Just to be clear, the suit fit correctly in the shoulders and waist, but I wanted to go that extra step and make sure the fit was perfect. It’s difficult to tell from these iPhone photos (I forgot my camera that day), but the suit was a little too widely-proportioned for my body.
I took a trip to my local tailor, Miguel, over at Townsend Street Tailors here in San Francisco.
We slimmed down the seat of the pants, the legs, and the arms. I also had the jacket’s body taken in to achieve that more tapered look. Lastly, I shortened the arm length and the inseam to have only minimal break.
A lot of work, I know. It wasn’t cheap either… but I believe that buying the correct size suit is only half the effort. If one invests in a suit, one should go all the way to ensure the best fit. Otherwise you’re stuck with a good-looking suit that wears you instead of the other way around.
I’ll leave you with this: Be prepared to invest in some tailoring if you want the suit to fit like a glove. Know what you want before going to the tailor, or else he/she will alter it according to how he/she thinks the suit should look. Educate yourself, figure out what looks best on your body, and you’ll know how to direct your tailor.
Overall, I’m happy with my purchase and the jacket has now become my go-to sport coat, so this was definitely a worthwhile buy. If you’re in the market for a navy suit, this one should be on your short list.