Hello ladies and gentlemen,

I have a question about suit sizing.  I am an attorney and I have to wear suits every day.  I have been practicing for only a couple years, and during that time my funds were pretty limited.  Thus, I had to go with lower quality suits (Alfani/Tommy) from Macy's.  Fortunately, those brands carried my size: 38L.  Now that I am in a better place financially, I am looking at getting into the next tier for suits.

Unfortunately, I have found that finding a 38L is pretty difficult outside of those brands I cited above.  Most department stores I have searched don't regularly carry suits in 38L.  Thus my questions:

  • Does anyone know of a brand or store that commonly sells 38Ls?
  • Should I consider buying a size up (40L) and simply having a tailor bring it down?  Is this even possible?  I already have a tailor bring in the waist and do the arms on the 38Ls I buy, so I have no problem with going to tailor.  I just am not sure what their limitations are.

Thanks guys and gals.

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Altering shoulders is usually cost prohibitive, so if you try on a larger size and the shoulders are too big, don’t buy it.

Thanks for the tip!

Brooks Brothers makes a lot of 39L suits, and they have variety as far as fit, so you might find something there (for example, in their Madison fit I wear 44L, in their Milano I wear 46L).  They have quite a few suits on sale right now.  They're still not cheap, but 40-50% off isn't bad, and they sometimes drop it even more, if you are willing to wait and hope what you like is still there.

I second the point regarding shoulder alterations.  Waist, arms, etc... are all good, but if the shoulders are off there's little that can be done.

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