Max in a Suit!
That's a fine lookin' suit, yo.
If (when) I host my own late-night talk show, that's totally how I will dress. When the networks can no longer ignore my billions of readers, I will wear a suit on my TV show. You bet.
Ever since I graduated from college, my parents have occasionally brought up as a point of conversation whether I'd had to wear a suit anywhere. Point being, I ought to go drop $250 because I might need one someday on short notice. My argument was always that if something came up, I would go to like JC Pennys or Mens Warehouse over a lunch and just buy a damn suit. Not that difficult. Little did I know shopping for a suit is not like buying a shirt. Confusing as hell, it is.
Besides, I don't generally hang around a crowd that does "suit things". I don't have to wear one to work. I don't like going to restaurants that make you wear one and try to avoid them. I have never never had a relationship long enough to have to go on some fancy anniversary dinner where I might need one. I have never been invited to anything, anywhere, that required me to wear a suit. And Saints be praised for that.
Matter of fact, I can only recall three times in my ENTIRE LIFE that I have worn a suit-and/or-tuxedo.
-Senior Dance in High School
-Usher in my uncle's wedding
-Best Man in my brother's wedding
And that's about it. Now, I've worn ties plenty -- I worked at Hy-Vee for three years back when they made all guys wear a tie to work. But never a suit. Never.
I thought there was a chance I could get away this weekend without one too. But as the week drug on and I slowly realized I would need one to go to this super-fancy wedding, I relented and decided a suit would be purchased. Problem was, I was busy all week, and I was unwilling to sacrifice plans with friends to go suit shopping. A man has got to have his priorities in order, and shopping for suits ain't high on that list, bucko. Thursday night was looking to be the only free night, so Thursday became Suit Shopping Day on my nighttimer, much to my chagrin.
Several of the women in the office thought it was pretty hilarious that I could be almost 28 and not have a suit, and a couple of them even offered to go shopping with me. I declined their help. I'm a pretty independant guy and dammit, I was gonna figure this out on my own. Plus, I don't need no middle-aged women crimping my suit style.
The goal was to go to the stores, pick out a suit and a suitably Awesome looking shirt/tie, and be out of there inside of an hour so I could resume being Awesome.
Then I got to the store, and was flabbergasted inside of two minutes.
What happened to M, L, XL, and other standard sizes? Apparently suit manufacturers don't know how to use these. 42R? 42S? 46T? What the hell is all that? Is that a pant size or a jacket? I was under the impression that there would be no math...
So I just started trying them on, one at a time. It was 6pm on a weeknight, and the crowds at JC Penny's were nonexistant. So were the sales clerks. This was great, because I literally tried on like 26 suits with no meddlesome clerks to interfere; just me looking in the mirror-covered support post at myself in a suit. Nothing seemed to be just right, and I didn't know how it was supposed to look or feel anyway, so I started looking at the giant posters hanging in the store, and at the manniquins to see how the suits fit them. That provided some insight that guided me in the right direction, sorta.
Eventually, a clerk caught on to me and came over to ask if I needed help. It took every ounce of strength in my Awesome self to admit that yes, I needed help.
"To be honest, I need a sportcoat and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. HELP!"
With that admission of guilt out of the way, the clerk, a guy about my dad's age, was surprisingly willing to help me out. He explained the number/letter system -- apparently the number is your chest size, the letter your height (42R is 42 Regular). For the record, I'm a 42S, and because I keep myself in such tip-top physical condition, needed no alterations! Straight from the rack baby.
I knew I wanted a black shirt -- designers always wear black -- but had no idea on the tie. I thought I wanted a solid color; there's nothing worse than one of those ugly-ass ties with geometric shapes and 3D globular things and UFOs on them. Don't even get me started on the ones with cartoon characters on them.
He actually dug through every tie rack in the store, and we spent probably 20 minutes holding ties up the coat and shirt. One after another, until I found the right match: a 70's stiped tie, in gold, brown and baby blue. The hotness. And under the jacket? Fabulous. Didn't matter that it was some French brand I couldn't pronounce. Didn't matter that it was $40. When its the hotness, it cannot be denied.
The clerk then let me try everything on to make sure it fit -- I wasn't positive the shirt collar size was right. It was a slow night, I know, but he didn't have to spend so much time helping me out. Its rather sad in this day and age that we expect terrible customer service, and are so shocked when we receive good service. That's why I'm still blown away at receiving EXEMPLARY service. I mean, this clerk spent a half hour helping me out. I almost wanted to tip him even though I knew that is a faux pas in retail.
If that guy is ever one of my Billions (of readers), and comes across this post well, thank you sir. I will look like $218.62 at the wedding (the cost of this stuff) thanks to you.
I will now be needing the stick, Cliff.
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