My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Sportcoat Edition

February 8, 2012

A trip to the dry cleaners isn’t usually anything to get excited about, but I was geeked to go to the dry cleaners yesterday. And the dry cleaners didn’t disappoint! I wasn’t there to pick up a piece of clothing that had been cleaned. Nope – I was there to pick up an article of clothing that had been altered for me. To learn the rest of the story, we have to jump in a DeLorean and time travel 14 months into the past. Buckle up!

December 2010. My friend Laura’s wedding is fast approaching, and I have nothing to wear. I’m losing weight at a steady clip, and my one suit no longer fits. Alterations to every seam to make it fit would be costlier than buying new clothes, so I opt for the latter and hit the discount stores. With your input (thanks to a poll on this very blog), I buy a sportcoat (and pants, but this blog is more about the sportcoat). I go to Laura and Chad’s wedding, and have a fabulous time. Here I am with the bride:

Beautiful, right? And Laura looks amazing as well! HEY-O!

(Fun fact about Laura: She was one of the people who, way back in the day, encouraged me to start a blog in the first place, and for that I’ll always be grateful. I can’t wait, when I’m super famous and super wealthy, to screen her calls and pretend I don’t know her. Just kidding! Or am I?)

(Fun fact #2 about Laura: I don’t think she’ll mind me saying, but her weight has been all over the place in the past year, and that’s because a couple months ago she and Chad had a baby! Now she’s reading Keep It Up, David as a tool to help her lose the baby weight, and I have no doubt she’s gonna do it. And their baby, by the way, is adorable.)

January 2011. The ensemble in the above photo gets worn a second time, when I deliver the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral. I’m thankful that Laura’s wedding forced me to go shopping, because there was no time in my grandmother’s final days and during the prepping for the funeral for me to make it to the mall.

February 2011. The ensemble gets worn a third time, at a fundraising gala for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. I’m working the event as a volunteer, and my friend Nicolette walks up to me at the gala, looks me up and down, and says something to the effect of: “You look very nice, David, but I think your jacket may be a little big.” The jacket is two months old at this point, although I have lost weight during those two months. I take the entirety of Nicolette’s comment as a compliment, and smile. A big shit-eating grin. I love shrinking out my clothes!

We’re done time traveling. Back to present day. A full year has gone by, and I’ve had no occasion to wear formal clothes (which is not abnormal in casual Los Angeles). This year’s gala for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is approaching, and I’m volunteering again (I still have community service hours to work off for punching that cop). Last week, I take the sportcoat to my cleaners, which has a slew of tailors on-site. The tailor ends up removing a couple inches of fabric from the sides. Wanna see me in the jacket now?

This is what I’m wearing to the gala, from head to toe.

Let’s talk sizes! I’m not wearing the same pants to the gala this year that I wore last year. Last year’s pants were 40″ around the waist, but I got a great new pair as a Christmas present (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so I’ll be wearing those this year, and they’re 38″ (I fit into both 36″ and 38″ pants right now, depending on brand and cut).

Even more exciting: The jacket is a 48″ Long – although not after it was taken in! My previous suit jacket was a 54″ Long – check it out:

I hate this photo – I look like Kevin on The Office, but with more hair – but it’s the only one with that suit.

And the piece de resistance: The suit I wore at my heaviest, in July 2009, to the wedding of my friends Lisa and Matt in New Jersey. This suit is size 64″ Long, and it was ordered from a catalog – even big and tall stores don’t carry suits that big.

The number in suit sizing refers to the distance, in inches, around the widest part of your chest, doesn’t it? So, my advanced math skills tell me that a drop from 64″ to 48″ in suit size reflects a loss of 16 INCHES around my chest (and now a little bit more than that, thanks to my jacket getting taken in). WHOA!

Keep It Up, David!

Check out My Favorite Posts for all the Incredible Shrinking Clothes blogs – this is the ninth one!

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I Need Your Opinion! *AND* ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ Photos!

December 2, 2010

In July of this year, I got a new suit.  I had lost nearly 100 pounds at that point, and had a wedding to go to, so there was no way I could wear my old suit.  I ended up at Men’s Wearhouse, where I left with this snazzy number:

I had a great time at the wedding – a dear friend from high school was the bride – and felt great in my new suit.  Then, a few months later, I had another wedding – another friend, who was also my former roommate.  I took the suit back to Men’s Wearhouse (free alterations for life!) and had it taken in in all sorts of ways, as I had dropped another 25 pounds or so.  I got the suit back a few days later, and voila!  I looked good at another wedding, and got all sorts of compliments:

Which brings us to the present.  I have a third wedding next weekend – another great friend and former colleague – and so I headed back to the Men’s Wearhouse to get it taken in again, as I’ve lost around 25 pounds since the last time I wore it (and about 50 pounds since I bought it!).  As I stood in the alteration nook-thing with the mirrors on 3 sides, I was given the unfortunate yet exciting news:  this suit couldn’t be altered anymore.  I had lost too much weight.  The main problem was in my shoulders – tailors don’t mess with shoulders, and they needed to be brought in.  They could have shortened the collar and brought in another seam in the back, but the suit wouldn’t look right – all the proportions would be off.  Plus, doing all that work would constitute a suit “rebuild” – which is not a free alteration – and would cost a cool $130 or so, without factoring in the pants!

The manager was telling me all this with a ‘I’m-so-sorry-we-can’t-help-you’ tone in her voice, but I know I was beaming from ear to ear.  Yeah, it kinda sucks that I only got to wear that suit twice, but it’s also pretty awesome that I only got to wear that suit twice.  The manager asked if I was planning on losing more weight (yes), and then took my measurements so I had my correct size, and suggested I buy a suit elsewhere, where I could get one cheaper.  I liked that idea.

Yesterday, I hit up four discount-type retailers (T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Burlington, and Sears) and decided instead of buying a suit, I would buy a sportcoat and a nice pair of pants.  I came home with one pair of dress pants, and 2 sportcoats.  And now, I need your help! Which of these sportcoats do you like more?

Option #1: ($105, marked down from $175)

It has a subtle gray pinstripe:

Option #2: ($85, marked down from $180)

It has a slightly-less-subtle blue and gray pinstripe:

I’m leaning towards one more than the other, although now that I see both photos, there’s not really a huge difference.  I won’t tell you which one I’m leaning towards, because I want your opinion!  Leave them in the comments section!

Oh, and also, I will be wearing a tie to the wedding (just didn’t feel like putting it on), and and FYI about the pants, which I really like:  They were $15, marked down from $68!

One last note about sizes – the new pants have a 40″ waist.  The old suit pants were 50″ (!).  Both sportcoats are 48 Long.  I can’t find the tag in the old suit jacket, but I’m pretty sure it was a 54 Long or a 56 Long.  Nicely done, me!

Keep it up, David!