Advice for a portly fellow buying a JC Penney "Stafford" suit

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Hatter106, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Hatter106

    Hatter106 New in Town

    Hi all,

    As the title says, I'm a big guy looking for an affordable suit. This has been a challenge, to say the least, especially since a tailored or bespoke suit would be far too pricey for me.

    I've recently stumbled across JC Penney's website and their large "Big & Tall" section, which includes plenty of suits for larger men.

    My problem is that their suits, even big and portly cuts, still have a "drop" from chest to waist - this is a problem for me, since my gut is a few inches larger than my chest. If I buy a suit large enough to cover my waist, the chest measurement will be off by several sizes and look ridiculous. According to JC Penney's suit size guide, I would have to get a size 56 to adequately cover my gut.

    My current measurements are: chest 49" (over-arm 56 3/4"), waist 52". Height is 5'6".

    Should I just buy according to my shoulder size and hope that the Portly cut is forgiving enough?
  2. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Coventry, UK
    To my best understanding, negative dop sizes are usually not found in inseparable pieces, so you will not likely find any, say, 48/52 two pieces suit. You may have more luck if the shop allows to choose separate sizes for coat and trousers, which was incredibly rare until few years ago even for "standard" sizes.
    However, you need to make sure that the coat you are buying is cut to accommodate a portly built with your drop, otherwise it won't fit properly. I claim no personal expertise (I'm a size 36!) but I remember when my grandmother worked in a tailoring shop and they sometimes had to order a specially made coat for portly customers as they didn't fit in the 0-drop ready made models.
  3. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Vienna, Austria
    Where I live, in some department stores it is possible to select suit trousers and coats separately on the sales floor. Also enables you to try them on. There is something to be said for old brick-and-mortar stores. Once you find something "off the rack" in this manner, alterations (if needed) at your friendly neighborhood tailor should not be very expensive at all. I'd be hesitant to try it over the internet. Best of luck.
  4. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    New Forest
    Hi Hatter, welcome to the lounge. If you buy to fit your chest size you will inevitably have the trouser waist under or over the belly syndrome. It's also worth remembering that it's much easier to alter a pair of trousers than it is to alter the jacket. There's linings and interfacings in suits that give the garment their shape, not easy to alter once made. Most trousers can be let out but no more than a couple of inches, not really helpful for your dilemma.

    You have already had some good advice, no doubt more will follow. JC Penny and others are always going to make a suit with the jacket fit as prominent so the idea of separates makes very good sense. You can find jacket and trousers that fit but it might not be a matching suit, however, you will have a comfortable fit. And here's a useful tip to make your pants hang well. We call them braces you call them suspenders, either way they hold your pants in place giving the crease to look smart.

    Don't limit yourself to JC Penny, try typing clothes for the larger guy into the search and see what pops up. Happy hunting.

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