How the Wizard of Aahs saved my life. Now if I only had a brain.

Now, I don't know about you, but the thought of buying ANY suit sight unseen sounds a bit crazy; but add to that the fact that I had one week from the day that I placed the order 'till I had to climb onto the plane for Germany.

The suit had to arrive quickly, it had to fit, and I would also have to get the pants hemmed. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking that there was no way I was going to pay $300 for a Chinese suit, which was all I could find locally in my size.

With that I sent a message to the Wizard Of Aahs, which is run by a guy named Jeff Thomas and I asked him what he thought about my time schedule. We discussed the style and with Jeff’s input I decided on a black Mantoni suit. Jeff confirmed my waist measurement to make sure that the pants that he sent would only need the length altered, and with that he said that he had the correct size on hand and that if I sent my payment that evening that he would rush it out first thing the next morning via 2nd day air. The suit was reduced to $150, so with the rush shipping the total was $184.95.

Jeff suggested that I call around to a few dry cleaners to see if they could recommend someone local would could do a high quality yet fast alteration. Three calls later I made a quick stop by a local alteration shop and explained my time schedule. They said that if I could bring the suit in as soon as it arrived that they could have it ready for me at 5pm on Saturday. My flight was at 8am Sunday!

Like clockwork two days later the box from “the Wizard” arrived .
I grabbed the box from my bride and immediately my heart sank. Jeff must have either sent only the pants, or perhaps he shipped the jacket separately. I opened the box and was shocked to find that it contained both the pants and the suit coat! This had to be the lightest suit I’ve ever held in my hands, and of course I equated weight with quality. I started to freak-out, but my wife suggested that I try in on to see how it looks and felt. I love that woman.

This suit was the best fitting, lightest and most comfortable suit I have ever had on my body! With the exception of the length of the pants, everything else fit me like glove. I took the suit off and ran it over to the lady that was going to hem the pants.

She had me try it on and after a little tugging here and cupping there she stepped back and said simply: “That’s a nice suit”. She noted that the sleeves could use about ¼” removed, but explained that we didn’t have the time for that. She pinned the pants and handed me a ticket and I was off.

On Saturday at noon I received a call saying that my pants were ready, so I dropped everything and ran over to try them on. I’m not kidding when I say that these pants felt like all I had on was a pair of boxer shorts. They draped perfectly. They feature a liner that offers just the right amount of additional fabric just where you need it. After my research I learned that the “trousers” had a 3 button closure with tab “in the fashion of” Zanella.

I asked the lady to give me some feedback on the suit and she pointed out a few things that I would never have known, such as:

The sleeves have four non-working buttons with faux buttonholes. Many suits simply have three buttons sewn directly onto the sleeve, not even attempting to mimic buttonholes. She said this was a nice touch.

The lapels have pick stitching, which she mentioned could either be done by a skilled hand or by machine. At the price I paid I’m sure it was the latter, but at any rate she said this too was a nice touch.

The lapel has a non-functioning Key Hole buttonhole. I learned from my Googling that a “key hole” buttonhole can be a sign of lower quality on a suit/sport jacket lapel. When mass producing a garment for sale at a low price it doesn’t make sense to make two kinds of buttonholes, which would only add to the final cost. A round or rounded end button hole is the kind of button holes that are used for lapel buttonholes on most suits, since the function of pulling lapels across the front of you and buttoning them as protection against weather is no longer a practical function. The lapel buttonhole has been converted to a decorative function, or a place to put a flower.

The seamstress offered a suggestion on how I should pack the suit for my trip and I was out the door $15 poorer. (What a bargain!) I was looking at $400+ for a similar sit from S&K or the Gentleman’s Warehouse, and here I was with an excellent suit and $200 still in my wallet!


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I love the Black Mantoni Suit. Buy one like that at a local cheap suits for men store.

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