Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Best $230 We Spent For Our Wedding

Mr. Octo's wedding day outfit was very nearly a disaster. We asked the men in our wedding party to wear black suits of their own choosing, with no other specifications. Easy, right? Well, not necessarily. We bought Mr. Octo's black suit months and months and months ago, in late January or early February. He actually needed a black suit for a different occasion, and we bought it off the rack at Macy's, on a big sale, at the very last minute (like, the day beforehand). At the time, I thought, "Great. Black suit, purchased. His wedding day outfit is taken care of!" Then, I proceeded not to think about it again until about four days before the wedding.

At the very last minute, I had a thought. We had bought that black suit in a huge hurry, he wore it once for a few hours, and then it hung in the closet for months. "Babe?" I said. "Why don't you try your wedding suit on? Just to make sure it looks good?"

He obliged, and as he stepped into the living room to show me, I felt incredibly dismayed. The suit was way, way too big. Given how rushed the initial purchase was, I guess we just weren't too discriminating beyond, "Suit? Black? Great, here's the credit card!" and neither of us paid much attention to how poorly it fit him. The seam of the shoulders hung way past where his natural shoulder actually was. The waist of the coat barely even touched his actual waist; it looked ridiculously boxy. He was practically swimming in the pants. Fabric ballooned out around his legs, and was saggy because of all the excess, too. It wasn't the MOST disastrous suit ever, but it was totally, totally unflattering. To use a favorite word of my BFF, Oprah, it was a schlumpadinka suit. That was four days before we needed to leave for Pittsburgh.

(Also, I realize I sound like a complete failure of a bride for totally forgetting to make sure my groom had a nice outfit for our wedding day. I think my brain was just loaded to the brim, and once I checked off "purchase Mr. O's black suit" from my mental list, it was GONE. Permanently.)

I had no idea what the best solution was. I hated the idea that Mr. Octo would be looking shlubby and ill-fitted on our wedding day (and forever in our pictures!), but it was Saturday night, and we left for the airport Wednesday afternoon. We could go shopping for a new suit, but at that point, anything we could afford to buy would probably not be a whole lot better. In desperation, I Googled "[Octo neighborhood] tailor," and stumbled across Jack. His tailoring service maintained a 4.5 star Yelp rating after 97 reviews, and most of the reviews noted that Jack's particular specialty was custom-fitting men's suits that had been purchased off-rack. Even though we would need the suit turned around with basically superheroic speed, I figured it was worth a shot. On Monday morning, Mr. Octo and I rolled into his nondescript little shop.

We explained our situation to Jack (whose normal turn-around time is two weeks), and he agreed to fit Mr. Octo's suit within 48 hours. He didn't even charge us a rush fee, saying, "it's for your wedding, and this is my job. I just like to make people happy." Jack doesn't play around, and informed us that while he always recommends that off-the-rack department store suits be brought in for a fitting (because large mass-produced garments just can't possibly fit every man's body type nicely), Mr. Octo's suit fit so poorly that if we had more time, he would have encouraged us to write that suit off as a lost cause and find an off-rack suit that fit better to begin with. Again: TOTAL bride-fail in the groom-outfitting department. So embarrassing.

Anyway, Jack shortened the sleeves of Mr. Octo's coat, detached and reattached the shoulders to fit his natural shoulder line, brought in the waist, shortened the pants' hemline, and trimmed the fit in the thighs. It was a major tailoring job. The total came to $210 (the Yelp reviews warned us that Jack's craftsmanship was not inexpensive, so we were prepared to spend that much), and Jack tried to offer us a first-time customer discount. We insisted on paying full price, and also tried to tip him $40, which he wouldn't accept. After some cajoling from us, he did take a $20 tip, but told us to use the other $20 for something wedding-related.

Overall, it was an unusually pleasant customer service experience, with great end results.

I wish I took a 'before' picture so you could see just how much better the suit fits now (Corey Ann Photography).

So, ladies: Get his suit fitted. Get. His. Suit. Fitted. GET HIS SUUUIIITTT FITTEDDDD. I can't emphasize it enough. Even if you buy a suit that fits pretty well to begin with, a custom fitting will make it look like a million bucks. GET HIS SUIT FITTED!

Did you narrowly avoid any big problems before your wedding?

1 comment:

  1. I love weddings and I love people getting wed. And looking for wonderful suits like black men suits give me happiness.