Best Place to Buy a Man’s Suit: Beecroft & Bull.
Gentlemen. This, above all else: To thine own size be true.
A story from Ashley Pillar, 28, who has worked at Beecroft & Bull for three and a half years, and in men’s clothing since he was 18: "I have a guy, who’s like a 38 waist. O.K., he comes in every fall and says, ‘Ashley, show me where your 32s are!’ I just hand him the 38s without any questions. One time I handed him 32s and he said, ‘These must be Italian. They’re mis-sized!’"
A man looks best in a suit, and a man looks better in a suit that fits. As soon as you walk into Beecroft & Bull, they have you sized up; head to toe, cuff to collar, make and model. They are here to help. They are here to make you look stylish, or, as Ashley likes to put it, stinky.
They will start with a suit off the rack in the right general size. They will look at your body. Forget, for the moment, what is fashionable. Pleats or flat fronts? It depends on your body type. A bit larger in the, ahem, rear? Go with pleats. Do you have high shoulders? Avoid the heavily padded Italian suits. How’s your posture? Are your hips level? See that little bubble of fabric nestled under your right armpit? Your right shoulder droops a little, but don’t worry, they’ll fix that. Got clown feet? Your pants can be adjusted to hide it. Look at your body. At Beecroft & Bull, all of its quirks and deformities can be smoothed away with the proper draping of fabric.
Ashley Pillar demonstrates the anatomy of a suit.
Let Mark Klalo, a nine-year Beecroft employee, find the right size and model suit for you and then stand in front of the triptych mirror, with Mark behind you, and let him fit you. He will look at your back, making sure the shoulders don’t extend too far out. He will examine the collar, looking for places where it rolls.
He will do this mostly with his eyes. Leaning back, head cocked and chin down. Mostly the eyes, but also the hands, tiny tugs and brief brushes across the shoulders, as if flicking away something undesirable. Look. Examine. The front panel is slightly full (Dimitri, the tailor, can fix it, taking the excess out of the front because the sides and back look so good), and the sleeves need to be shortened (Ashley will tell you that showing a lot of cuffs is very stinky).
Last, but certainly not least, the all-important break, where the pants hit the shoes. Americans generally go for what is called a full break, where the pants reach the top of the heel. Europeans, on the other hand, because they have such great shoes and stylish socks, use a very high break. You should probably go with what Ashley calls "the Mid-Atlantic solution," halfway between Europe and the U.S.
Last minute rules: A half-inch of collar, a half-inch of cuff. Make sure your jacket covers your seat. If you’re tall, go with a three-button jacket. A notch lapel is traditional, a peak lapel is stinky. Working cuff buttons are seriously stinky. Always choose side vents. And always wear a handkerchief in your breast pocket.
There (tug, tug), looks right. Looks (brush, brush) perfect. (Eyes, steps back.) Looks…