A Gent’s Guide To Buying Off The Rack

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Not everyone can afford to buy a hand stitched, pure wool, bespoke, Saville Row masterpiece. Many men will, especially in their younger days, have to resort to buying their suits off the rack, which is to say, ready made. They’ll walk into a shop find the closest approximate fit, pay and then walk out. And for most people who only wear a suit for weddings and funerals, whats the point in investing beaucoup bucks in something that’ll only be worn a dozen times in a lifetime?

So here are somethings that you’ll need to remember.

Size

The size tends to go in inches, a jacket or blazer will be measured by the full circumference of your torso, under your armpits, across your chest. Jackets will generally come in a short, a regular or a long, this refers to sleeve length as well as to the length of the overall jacket.

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Trousers will, again, be measured in inches around the waist, and also come in Short (approx 28-29 Inches), Regular (approx 31-32 Inches) or Long (33-34 Inches) and will be measured on the inside of your leg.

Waistcoats will take the same measurement as the blazer, although if sporting a larger midriff than chest, it is advised to go for a larger size as needed.

Fit 

 

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These days suits come in Three fits (for the most part) and these are regular, tailored and slim.  Slim fit suits are very form fitting, and not flattering on the larger gent. Regular fits are more relaxed, however have the tendency to look boxy on slimmer people. Tailored fits are a mix of the two, being slightly fitted, but not overly slim.

Price 

The lower end of the price scale is anything under £100, and is ideal for everyday business wear and for the one off formal occasion.

The mid range for suits starts around £150 and quality begins to show here, and run up to anything around £350 (if you’re going for designer brands, chances are you’ll be paying on the higher end of this spectrum).

The Higher cost range goes from anything above £500, and this is getting into the point where if you’re spending this sort of money on an off the rack suit, you have more money than sense, because for this sort of price, you are also looking at the middle price range for tailor made suit anyway.

If you are on a budget, an off the peg suit may be a good investment, especially if you are going to wear it, because even if it wasn’t made with you in mind, a decent one will still look sharp, and in this age of track suits and denim, a man in a nice suit will still stand out.

Suit Review: Dobell Donegal Tweed Suit

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Because I have an absolutely amazing wife, she got me a new donegal tweed suit to celebrate a recent promotion. I have to admit its a winner. For this time of year, I was worried that it was going to be too warm, but given that its a British summertime, and the lightweight manufacture of the piece as well as being half lined and double vented, I was able to walk to a meeting yesterday without so much as breaking a sweat.

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Picture Credit: dobell.co.uk

The colour is a nice sort of rust brown, and whilst it is a dark coloured suit, it doesn’t really give a dark feeling when wearing it, and actually manages to look pretty good in most lights, whether in doors or out, which is something that I really look for in a suit.

The features of the suit include a single breasted jacket, with a 4 button cuff and a notch lapel, and the trousers are complete with button/ clip fastening and can be worn with a belt, which is often an issue I have with off the peg suits, the trousers will more often than not need to be a size too big to fit over my giant backside, and then they just hang off at the waist, however in this instance, a 40 inch waist actually managed to cover my obtuse derriere comfortably.

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The only downside to the suit that I found was that whilst it fit perfectly across the chest, it was a tiny bit tight across the stomach, if you have something stashed in the breast pockets, and since I usually have a wallet, business cards, pens, handkerchiefs, lighters and various other bits and pieces tucked about my jacket, it was a little tight if I want to keep it buttoned up, or I could just distribute things about my person a little better.

But overall I would have to say that Dobell have managed to create a fine looking piece of sartorial attire, and its going to prove a mainstay in my wardrobe over the coming months, especially in my new role.

 

Suit Review: Xposed Tweed Three Piece

 

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I decided to treat myselfprobabl and get a new suit, for a few months I’ve wanted to get a nice looking tweed suit. So I shopped around a little bit and came across the Xposed fashion line on ebay, and I fell in love at once.

Now one of the things that I love about this brand is that the suits are available as separates, as opposed to the usual 8 inch difference (size 40 waist to a size 48 jacket) which is good for me as I tend to need a size 50-52 waistcoat (that’s the problem with a massive gut) but given that I could pick the size 48 blazer, the size 40 trousers and then the size 52 waistcoat to stretch across my massive stomach, this is probably one of the main problems associated with buying off the peg (but right now I’m afraid I can’t afford to buy a tailored tweed suit, but someday…someday).

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The overall fit was decent, I think the only problem that I had is that the fly gave out after a few wears, so I spent the day walking around at half mast before I could fix it. Overall though, I would probably buy another suit from the Xposed line, although I might be a little weary of buying trousers, but their range of dinner jackets looked fantastic.

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

The 20’s For The 21st Century

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I was watching an episode of Jeeves and Wooster earlier today, and aside from the sardonic wit and deadpan delivery of Jeeves, and the good natured ineptitude of Bertie, what I love most about the show is the fashion. The 1920’s in Britain were possibly the high point of the 20th century fashion wise (in the upper middle and upper classes at any rate).

Here are some of the things I loved most fashion wise from the 20’s:

Double Breasted Waistcoats: 

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Double breasted waistcoats are just so much more elegant than single breasted, from my own experience, there is less obvious straining against the buttons if you’ve had a big lunch and the symmetry actually serves to make you look a little slimmer, not to mention the cut of the waistcoat itself compliments the look of the outfit by blending into the trousers rather than leaving a little visible shirt.

Double Breasted Suits

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In general double breasted is the way to go if you don’t seem able (or willing) to shift a bit of stomach, the cut is more flattering to the larger gentlemen, but is also warmer too, and whether worn with a waistcoat or not is always a classic look that the 1920’s were really all about, because it was the decade that a lot of long lasting trends came into existence and Double breasted suits are something that seems to fade in and out of fashion over the years, but I would much rather a decent double breasted blazer than some of this slim fit crap that people try to pass off as suits these day’s.

Black Tie

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Black tie is one of those things that has never gone out of fashion, and while it was around before the 1920’s it really took off in Britain in the 1920’s replacing the more formal white tie and tails black tie is something that hasn’t really changed much in the last 100 years, collars and lapel sizes shapes change all the time and the old argument of waistcoat or cummerbund still rages on, but its essence is still the height of chic in menswear (even if the jacket and tie are velvet).

Walking Sticks/ Canes

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I sometimes carry a cane, especially if my gout is playing up, the one I use has a bronze handle, and the amount of comments I get about it are unbelievable, from asking if there’s a sword concealed within to the more personal whether I actually need it (the answer is I have a cane because I need a cane, I have that particular cane because it looks bad ass).  But for the 1920’s a great deal of men about town of my age and social standing would carry a walking stick during the day, and then have a more formal one for once they’d dressed for dinner.

White Tie 

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Although it was starting to be phased out during the 20’s for the less formal, more comfortable black tie, white tie was for the most formal occasions, and rarely exists to this day (I’ve been to one white tie event in my life) its for things like sate banquets, and formal halls and the most strict universities and is often shown on things such as Downton Abbey, and its one of those things that I hope makes a comeback.

Hats

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I like how (certain) hats look, but I cant seem to pull off any hat, and lord knows I’ve tried. But in the 1920’s every one seemed to wear hats while they were out and about, from flat cap and straw boater, to fedora and top hat, hats were well represented by men of every class. And men of all classes knew to take them off when going indoors, it really annoys me seeing people wearing hats indoors, especially baseball caps, I don’t know whats worse, the lack of manners or lack of fashion sense.

Dressing For Travel 

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This one seems like such a simple thing, but whether its because travel has become quicker and easier or just because the novelty has worn off, but people don’t dress to travel anymore, in the 20’s for a member of the lower classes to travel was a big deal, so they would dress to impress, but the upper classes, especially men would wear something that would travel well, but it wouldn’t matter so much if they go a little bit of the road on it. so something like a tweed suit would be rather practical, especially if travelling by train.

So those are some of my favourite fashion trends of the 1920’s I would like to see quite a few of them make a comeback if you couldn’t tell. Anyway I hope you found this little guide informative, or at the very least have found it entertaining.

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.