One For The Boys: Suit Shopping
Grooms have it easy, huh?
Here I am, meticulously handsewing tiny beads onto pieces of lace and agonizing over placement, shading, color… and I’ve really only just started. Meanwhile, Nick’s sartorial journey started around noon on a Saturday and concluded about 3 hours later.
Now, this would certainly not be the case for every man- or every woman, for that matter. There are lots and lots of brides who pick their dresses quickly and efficiently and choose not to torture themselves, and I’m sure there’s an equal number of grooms who consider every little button and stitch of their suit and spend hours picking lining colors. They probably try on every tie-and-shirt combo in the store for their waiting friends, who give them either a thumbs-down or nod their heads approvingly, movie-montage-style.
But Nick and I fall squarely into the cliché bride and groom roles when it comes to attire. I’d done my research prior to dragging Nick out to shop, and had kind of assumed we’d find him something great at the Ludlow shop, J. Crew’s suit shop in a weird corner of TriBeCa. I had already basically assembled his entire look in my mind, and I think we were both primed to spend about 15 minutes there and walk out with a perfect, chic suit. Nick even said on the way there, “I’m hoping this will be one-and-done.”
Well, that was a bust. Despite J. Crew’s rep for skinny suits, their goods do NOT fit skinny men with broad shoulders. Every jacket Nick tried made him look like a high schooler wearing a borrowed tux. It was kind of rough. Not to mention that the sales dude was super unhelpful and seemed kind of annoyed that we were there taking up space, and you know, trying to spend money.
As Nick stood there in his suit jacket that came practically down to his knees, I started running through the options in my head. Was it too late for custom? Should we try to hit up a department store like Barneys? Where do men buy clothes? As I stood in the J. Crew pondering how much prettier all the suits would all look in lace and Nick stammered over his measurements, I realized we were both out of our comfort zones.
Enter the good people at Bonobos, the men’s online retailer best known for chinos that make a guy’s booty look fly. In the past, I was always a little wary of their affection for wacky shorts and, therefore, never gave them a fair shake. But they have a showroom in SoHo, so we popped over there and gave it a shot. This was a good decision.
First off- it’s NOT a store. They, as far as we could tell, have no stock. Just sample suits in every size and most colors. You try stuff on, they put it in an online cart for you, and then you order it whenever you want. For a guy who buys EVERYTHING on Amazon, this obviously appealed to Nick. More appealing to me was that these suits actually fit Nick. Sure, they could do with a nip or tuck here or there at the hands of a good tailor, but he doesn’t look like the guest of honor at a Bar Mitzvah in these. Plus, our guide was amazing- he helped Nick find the best fit and colors, was generous with his time (despite the fact we didn’t make an appointment), and was just an all-around pleasant individual.
So the moral of the story- if you’re in the market to buy a nice, well-fitting suit, love the internet, and hate shopping, consider hitting up a Bonobos Guide Shop. They give you soda or beer, make you look fly, and placate the high-strung ladies that come along for the ride.
They also made a cute video about being a groom. Watch it here.