Last week I went to Men’s Wearhouse to buy a suit for my cousin’s upcoming wedding. I ended up getting this light grey number, minus the vest. But I didn’t get dress shirts, even though I could really use a new dress shirt, because of a potentially silly oversight by the sales guy.
It’s been about 10 years since I bought a suit. I’ve also lost about 40 lbs over the past year, and none of my clothes fit anymore. I figured the upcoming wedding warranted a new suit. So last Friday, I went to Men’s Wearhouse to try and buy a new suit.
When you go to Men’s Wearhouse and tell them you are a generally casual dude and don’t wear or buy suits often, they take this as a sign that you are some kind of rube who will pay whatever they ask, and take you through an entire ritual of showing you the suit, and oh check out the matching vest that goes with this suit, and here are some shoe options, and do you have socks to match this suit, and what about some dress shirts with ties and coordinated pocket squares, and did you know you really need a tie bar to hold your tie to your shirt so it doesn’t end up in your soup at that wedding you’re going to, and you absolutely must buy this $15 cedar hanger because the hanger this suit comes with is totally not up to the task of being a hanger for this suit.
I was having none of this. I just wanted a suit, and maybe a dress shirt or two since I don’t really have dress shirts in the right size. Each time the sales guy would come up with a new thing to show me, he said “I’ll present you with this ___,” and that makes it sound fancy, I guess.
We got to the part of the ritual presenting of the superfluous items where the sales guy lays out your chosen suit on a table, and arranges it with combinations of dress shirts, ties, and pocket squares. What, you don’t always coordinate your tie with a pocket square?
I told him I was pretty much set for ties, but since I lost weight I could use some basic white and light blue dress shirts. He had me try on this slim fit, skinny spread collar shirt where the collar was both too slim to conceal all but the skinniest of ties, while also the gap at the front of the collar was so wide that you needed to make a huge, Merril Hoge-ian knot to fill the gap.
The shirt fit me alright, but the collar looked like crap. I did not want a shirt with this type of collar, and the sales guy told me this shirt was $90. Oh hell no.
I told the guy I really hated the collar style he
showed presented me, and asked for a dress shirt with a normal collar. “Oh, but that spread collar is the style now. Pretty much all of our shirts have that kind of collar on them.” Ok fine, if all of your shirts have collars on them that I hate, then I will not be buying any shirts, thankyouverymuch.
Today, I looked at the Men’s Wearhouse website for dress shirts. They have several of them on sale, WITH NORMAL COLLARS, like this one, this one, and this one. Even the dress shirt in the catalog photo of the suit I bought has a normal collar. Are you telling me that absolutely none of these shirts are available in the store?
Oh well, maybe I’ll have to find a dress shirt at Kohl’s instead. Because I’m fancy.
UPDATE: I went to JCPenney and found an acceptable light blue dress shirt with a normal collar in my weird size: 17 neck, 32/33 sleeve, slim fit. Not that I’m particularly slim, but I have a thick neck and stubby arms so non-slim shirts in this size fit me like a tent. The available color selection in my size was slim pickings, but they ordered me one that will arrive in time for the wedding. Total cost: 18 whole dollars.