How many suits do you own?

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Red Leader, May 3, 2012.

  1. The Good

    The Good Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,363
    Location:
    California, USA
    Congratulations for your kids! I completely understand what you mean. I do not wear a tie on most days, although I often make it a point to mention it over at the ties thread, when I do. For me, part of the experience of collecting vintage ties is having them around, if not wearing them so much. They're nice and interesting to look at in the closet, if not being used for anything else. I do not in fact have any particular obligation by others to wear a suit, except perhaps during those rare weddings and funerals that turn up every once in a while. However, a part of the reason I do it, is because it has become a part of my hobbies. I was becoming interested in wearing suits, ties, and sports jackets around the same time I became interested in fedora hats, but both of those interests mix well.

    As for how many suits I own, I would say that I have two well-fitting wool modern-made suits (taupe and mid-grey, both of which have been altered somewhat by a tailor recently, especially concerning the waists, backs, and the pants lengths taken up a little bit to about a quarter break), a dark brown striped mid-1960s Yugoslavian suit in my closet that is a size or two too large, and another early to mid-1960s charcoal with burgundy stripes suit from Yugoslavia that my grandfather wore on his wedding day, both of which have pants that are too short for me, yet the latter jacket mostly fits, although somewhat short. I also own three sports jackets, a mid-grey tweed overcoat, and a London Fog beige raincoat.


    That seems to be a good idea, especially for having more closet space. My closet is full now, so I think I will be wearing my same suits and sports jackets for a number of years ahead, with my collection frozen in place and with very few further additions. I believe that I have the more essential elements of a suits, jackets, and ties wardrobe, with perhaps more boots and shoes to buy, eventually. My black chelsea boots are finally showing a little bit of noticeable wear, as are my reproduction WWII U.S. Service Shoes Type II and brown suede desert boots. For the most part, though, I'm finished with buying clothes any bulkier than ties and the occasional new shirt and chinos.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  2. Gin&Tonics

    Gin&Tonics Practically Family

    Messages:
    899
    Location:
    The outer frontier
    How many suits do I own? Hmmmm let's see....it's not many...

    I have a navy blue three piece in gabardine that was made-to-measure (my favourite suit), a three piece POW check that dates from the 1970's but is the spitting image of a 1940's suit owned by Splintercellz (probably my second favourite suit, but very heavy and therefore only wearable in late fall, winter and early spring), a modern but nicely cut black pinstripe 2 piece, a lightweight grey-with-a-touch-of-olive 2 piece italian made suit, and I suppose if you want to count it as a suit, a 1960 vintage tuxedo. Other than the super skinny lapels, I love it and it fits like a glove, but I've yet to have an occasion to wear it.

    I also have several odd jackets, a navy blazer with brass buttons, and various trousers. I really, REALLY need some summer suits, the kind that can be tolerably worn in 30 degree heat by a fellow who has little tolerance for being sweaty and uncomfortable.
     
  3. Evan Everhart

    Evan Everhart A-List Customer

    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    I have all of my old suits, shirts, trousers, and topcoats still, stored away in bureaus and in steamer trunks, however my currently used wardrobe consists of the following items (sans dress shirts and topcoats and other wardrobe items which cannot be considered as a component of either a suit, or an ensemble which resembles one); slate blue with pearly-ivory pinstriped 3 pc. single breasted peak lapel suit, dove gray with charcoal variegated pinstriped 2 pc. 4x2 DB suit with self belted waist, dove gray shark-skin 3 pc. single breasted peak lapel suit, charcoal gray with ivory pinstriped flannel 2 pc. single breasted suit, charcoal gray cashmere worsted 3 pc. single breasted peaked lapel coat with notched lapel vest suit (custom made for me), chestnut brown pinstriped 2 pc. 2 button suit, 1 black dinner suit with actual braid on the trouser seam and classic in all other details as well, with square bottomed U curved DB 6x3 ivory full backed vest, money green and goldenrod micro-herringbone tweed 2 pc. 3 button suit, 2 navy blue hop-sack DB 6x2 blazers: 1 with silver buttons, and one with gold buttons, ink colored hop-sack sport-coat single breasted with 3 buttons and peaked lapels, mid-gray with with cadet blue and red and charcoal windowpane plaid lambswool single breasted 3 button sport-coat, sage gray mid-sized herringbone tweed single breasted 3 button patch-pocket sport-coat, gray flannel trousers, tan flannel trousers, olive green flannel trousers, putty canvas trousers, POW gray odd trousers.

    7 Suits, 2 Blazers, 3 Sport-coats, 5 Trousers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  4. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,166
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    My wardrobe's changed a lot in the last couple years. Currently 7 suits, 4 tweed jackets, and two odd pairs of trousers. 2 of the suits are summer only. I've been working on building it back up, especially since I wear a suit or coat and tie at least five days a week.
     
  5. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,016
    Location:
    East Sussex, England
    does that include suits you've made Nick ?
     
  6. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,166
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    Yes, three of the suits, one jacket, and both odd trousers were made by me. The rest are vintage.
     
  7. brendanm720

    brendanm720 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    The Torrid Zone
    Here is what's in my closet now...

    2 Suits (1 modern brown 2 piece with blue and gray pinstripes, 1 vintage 50's/60's Dark navy 3 piece with charcoal pinstripes)
    5 Sport Coats (Mostly tweed, mostly vintage)
    4 pairs of slacks
    5 Dress Shirts
    3 Bow Ties
    8(ish) Neck ties
    1 Topcoat (SB Tweed Chesterfield)
    1 Summer Trilby

    I don't wear suits to work very often (casual dress code) but the sport coats and dress shirts do get a workout. I most likely won't add too many more things (aside from hats, ties, & bowties) to the wardrobe, but I am missing a charcoal suit (everyone needs at least one) and if I find something else vintage and neat in my size that I can't pass up, I'll probably snag that too.
     
  8. Mitchell

    Mitchell New in Town

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Canada
    1 vintage Shawl tuxedo from the early 60s
    1 vintage tweed sport coat
    1 vintage mint blazer late 60s
    1 vintage Norfolk Jacket (1930)
    1 vintage set of white tie apparel circa 1920
    1 vintage blue DB suit 1960
    1 vintage ascot
    1 vintage walking stick 1920
    1 vintage top hat 1910

    Everything else is modern
     
  9. brendanm720

    brendanm720 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    The Torrid Zone
    I just picked up two more suits. I have a mid 60's medium gray summer-weight 3 piece, with light gray and burgundy pinstripes, and a charcoal gray herringbone tweed two-piece, probably mid 50's.

    I probably will get rid of the modern light charcoal brown pinstripe suit, seeing as it fits so poorly (I bought it before I understood some key points about fit).
     
  10. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    1 early 1930s suit in very thick black wool;
    1 dated 1938 american drape suit in blue serge with fine red stripes;
    1 mid 1950s bold look double breasted in a beautiful gray heavy wool;
    1 lighter blue 1970s suit I use only beacuse of its freedom of movement (has very high armholes)
    The rest is modern and not very well fitting.
     
  11. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,497
    Location:
    Germany
    A belated addition to the above:

    I've come across numerous references to the sizes of 1920s-40s wardrobes, and without wanting to make this appear as a survey, I got the impression that a wardrobe of 20-24 suits at a time was generally considered to be a full wardrobe for any man who could afford it, with no need for further expansion, just replacement. Wardrobes considerably larger than that would have been rather unusual.
    As a matter of fact, I found plenty of references for wardrobes of wealthy men who owned far less than that - including members of the English nobility. Wardrobes of 10-12 suits, even down to 6-7 suits, were quite common. Wardrobes of 3 suits at a time would have been considered extremely frugal.
    Some of the best dressed men of their time owned no more than 7-10 suits, although it's usually left open how many odd jackets there were to supplement the suits.

    Of course, the frequency of replacement kind of blurs the picture. For instance, Marcello Mastroianni, the post-war Italian actor, was known to order 12 suits each year from his tailor, replacing his old ones.

    Also, I've found more references to very large wardrobes (much more than two dozen suits) in the 1950s-60s than before the war. The nuttiest wardrobe I ever heard of is that of Jerry Lewis in 1965 (mentioned in his 1965 interview with David Susskind), which he roughly estimated to be around 400 suits, 200 pairs of shoes, 200 shirts at the time.

    It also depends so much on how you do the counting. Take Astaire's inventory, for instance - he casually mentions 12 odd jackets plus odd trousers. The above quoted interview is from 1957 when he had firmly established the sporty look of his older days (he preferred sports jackets, knit waistcoats etc. by then).
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  12. Eddie Derbyshire

    Eddie Derbyshire Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    Riddings, Derbyshire, UK
    Hope folks don't mind me coming late to this thread. Here's my stats:

    Suits: 15+. All British and all in a pre-1965 style if not actually made then. Highlights include a 3-piece DB in green, charcoal chalk-stripe SB peak lapel 3-piece (made for me), grey belt-back tweed 3-piece (made for me), 1960s deadstock thornproof 2-piece, London-tailored 3-piece in grey, and a very nice 2-piece POW recently acquired.
    Overcoats: about 10, including a Burtons DB belted overcoat from 1951, a 'Burleigh' DB overcoat from 1930s/40s with that fantastic high button-stance, and a couple of belted Harris Tweed numbers.
    Shirts: About 50, and then about ten tunic shirts for collars. Have about 30+ collars and around 30+ collar clips and pins.
    Odd jackets: around 20, including a Welsh Tweed Norfolk from the 50s, a 1950s navy DB blazer by Alexandre, loads of tweed, and not enough summer-weight ones!
    Pullovers: about 20 - nothing really special or vintage though, apart from one my Grandma knitted me ;)
    Shoes: about half a dozen that I wear on a regular basis.
    Ties: approx 200, including about 10 bow ties.
    Dinner Suits: 2, one SB peaked lapel from 1931 (lacking waistcoat if anyone has one going), another DB article from 1960
    Formal Wear: 2 Tailcoats, one from 1929, another from 1959. One pair of striped morning trousers, and a couple of DB waistcoats in grey.
    Hats: About 6 flat caps, 4 felt hats (bowler, homburg, grey trilby and brown trilby) and a couple of straw ones. Plus a modest collection of military caps/hats/berets.
    Slacks/Trousers: About a dozen or so, not including rough ones

    Recently had a large clear-out of the suits, overcoats and ties that weren't the right 'look' for me, so there's room for more!
     
  13. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,456
    Location:
    London, UK
    I like to think your suit collection will be growing soon.

    PS. you need to post more photos of the suits.
     
  14. Eddie Derbyshire

    Eddie Derbyshire Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    Riddings, Derbyshire, UK
    I've a feeling it will be growing yes... ;)

    I shall try to do so! I'll pester my wife into photographing.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  15. fashion frank

    fashion frank One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Woonsocket Rhode Island
    I currently own 19 suits, 10 are J.A.B.'s and the rest are vintage that I've aquired over time .

    All the Best,Fashion Frank
     
  16. fiftyforfifty

    fiftyforfifty Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    NY
    I have 5 suits and 3 tweed jackets
     
  17. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,311
    Location:
    New York City
    This strikes me as an incredibly un-fun way to experience clothes / a way where a lot of money undermines one enjoyment.

    Sure it can be fun to buy new clothes, but the most enjoyment I've ever gotten out of clothes is from the ones that I've loved for years (even decades): The suit that I've had relined, re-tailored over time to bend a bit to the current style, etc.; the one that has molded to my body over time / that feels like I'm putting on a second skin because it fits so perfectly so comfortably; the one whose fabric is aging in a way that enhances it beauty (think of a great tweed) or the one that has so many wonderful memories associated with it that just seeing it hanging in the closet makes me feel good - the one that is no longer just a suit, but is an old friend.

    No matter how wealthy I was, I can't image getting rid of my suits once a year as I'd be missing out on all the above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  18. Eddie Derbyshire

    Eddie Derbyshire Practically Family

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    Riddings, Derbyshire, UK
    I agree FF. Maybe that gentleman saw clothes as a function rather than a passion. Keeping up appearances and staying in with the 'it' crowd.

    Sent from my GT-I9195 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,311
    Location:
    New York City
    There a passage in "The Great Gatsby" where Gatsby tells Nick and Daisy that he gets a selection of new shirts (the implication being all his clothes) sent over from England each season which gives the impression that he, too, replaces all his clothes every year. This is done well in a scene in the '74 version of the movie where he throws all the shirts up in the air and they open up and cascade down around her. That said, while I remember being impressed with that when I first read the book in high school (wearing one of my five shirts, one of my three pairs of pants and one of my two pairs of shoes that day), it now would truly depress me to have to do that.

    But we know Gatsby was, as you said, all about keeping up appearances. It's kind of funny as he wanted in with the old-money crowd, but he didn't understand that his wardrobe would be viewed as vulgar by that crowd (which is alluded to when Nick derisively comments on Gatsby's pink suit).
     
  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,497
    Location:
    Germany
    I feel the same way, and I guess that as 30s/40s vintage dressers, most of us do. But Marcellino was, well, Marcellino. He didn't exactly follow the old money approach. His acting career spanned the decades after the war, you know. His approach to clothes was more akin to that of Jerry Lewis in the 60s.
     

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