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Mob-Boss Suit Fitting

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Related to Badass in a Nice Suit, Man of Wealth and Taste, and Sharp-Dressed Man — those suits have to come from somewhere. This is a scene where the boss is conducting his regular business while a tailor is taking his measurements for a new suit. Most frequent in mafia stories, though also common in corporate and political thrillers. The measurement session can take place at the tailor's luxurious, wood-paneled store, or at the Don's headquarters, but for it to qualify as this trope, The Don needs to spend the tailor session dealing with Mafia business, either directly to The Consigliere or by telephone.

This can be done as an Establishing Character Moment to depict a character as clearly being the boss, as it implies he's very comfortable with the idea of the other characters as his subordinates. Bonus points if he talks freely around his tailor about things that should be kept secret, as this shows the tailor himself may also be a subordinate — or too intimidated and/or too loyal to ever dream of betraying his client.

In the case of a villainous character (usually the Big Bad, though not always), this can also be used to show how evil he is (or at least a Corrupt Corporate Executive), ordering out atrocities with mundane nonchalance to show that these are his routine operations. For example, while The Don is having his inseam measured, he may casually tell The Consigliere to "take care of the competitors on the East Side--permanently". The likelihood of the tailor surviving this encounter is inversely proportional to how nervous he seems while accomplishing his task.

In the case of a character who is on the hero's side, the amount of interaction between the boss and the tailor will reveal much about the nature of the boss.

  • The boss pays more attention to the tailor's work (usually in a negative fashion) than the business at hand: almost always a case of Obstructive Bureaucrat.
  • The boss pays absolutely no attention to the tailor, merely complying with the necessity of standing still and moving as needed: usually a sign of Badass in a Nice Suit, and the sign of a Reasonable Authority Figure.

Note that simply having a scene where a character is fitted for a suit does not qualify for this trope. This trope is when a suit fitting is happening while the character is in some way conducting his business. As such, it's something of a subversion of Villains Out Shopping — this villain doesn't see a shopping trip as any reason to put his work aside.


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  • In an E-Trade advertisement, the E-Trade baby does this, talking to the audience while Enzo takes his measurements.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Primo Sindone is seen getting a suit fitted in Analyze This. The discussion he has with his underling starts out mundane (wanting to see a movie but there's nothing good on) before turning to the movie's plot.
  • In Payback, Carter, one of the Co-Dragons for the Big Bad who is presented as running the city where the story takes place, is seen putting on a suit as he gives orders about how he wants Porter taken care of. Clothing and its value becomes something of a running gag in the film, as Fairfax (the Big Bad's other associate) complains about the damage that Porter inflicts in his wardrobe (in luggage), and then is shocked at Porter's small demands since it's actually less than the cost of his suits.
  • Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931) may be the Trope Maker (although the tailors taking measurements, rather than Powers and his accompanying mook, discuss a certain recent liquor warehouse heist).
  • There's a scene in Snatch. in which Frankie Four Fingers talks with his boss Avi while being fitted for a suit in London. Played more for comedy than anything else, because Frankie is an underling rather than a boss, and some of the suits he is trying on are both a bit outdated and will change very quickly between takes. (For example, he'll be fully in a suit for one take, then a couple of seconds later he'll be half-dressed in another, totally different suit from a different era).
  • In The Tourist, Reginald Shaw has a Mob Boss Suit Fitting, even insisting that the tailor remain when his mooks arrive. He takes a report from his cronies and uses the tailor's measuring tape to strangle one of them when he makes a mistake. Only at the end of the scene does he comment to the tailor, mentioning that the suit fits him very nicely.
  • A variation in The Untouchables (1987), with Al Capone talking business while getting a straight-razor shave from a barber.
  • Played for Laughs in The Wing or the Thigh when the temperamental director of a restaurant guide is dictating a review of an establishment while a tailor is taking his measurements for a new suit. Of course, as he walks along dictating, he drags the poor tailor all around the office.

  • How to Succeed in Evil (the novel for sure, probably the podcast too), features, actually, many of these. Edwin Windsor's tailor is not just such a consummate discrete professional that a consulting supervillain can talk freely in front of him, he's actually one of his closest and most dependable cronies. Edwin's favored mode of re-centering himself and rebuilding his morale after any big setback is by having a new suit fitted.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Cape has a scene with Peter Fleming and Scales meeting at a tailor to discuss business. Although Scales is just there to talk, Fleming insists on buying him a suit as well.
  • In the Charmed (1998) episode "The Wedding from Hell", one scene is about a demonic being (alias Jade DeMon) having her wedding dress fitted by a tailor.
  • Daredevil (2015): Wilson Fisk has his suits personally tailored for him by Melvin Potter, who designs them to be knife and bullet resistant. Melvin's first onscreen appearance in "Shadows in the Glass" involves him fitting Owlsley for a suit (as Owlsley had recently been attacked by Matt) made from the same protective material as Fisk's suits, while Fisk and Owlsley discuss the death of Detective Blake and the effect that Matt's activities as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen have had on the syndicate's operations. In spite of the fact that Fisk is threatening Melvin's girlfriend, Fisk has much respect for Melvin, even defending him when Owlsley makes a mean-spirited insult about Melvin's intelligence.
  • Luke Cage (2016): In "On and On", Bushmaster gets fitted by renowned Harlem tailor Dapper Dan, while his uncle Anansi chastises him for letting his vendetta against the Stokes family consume him.
  • Robin of Sherwood: The Sheriff in "Herne's Son", looking over new robes from his tailor while extorting gold from Sir Richard.
  • The Sopranos: In "Pax Soprana", Corrado "Junior" Soprano, newly designated boss of the DiMeo crime family of New Jersey, gets fitted for a new suit. While he, Mikey Palmice, and the tailor are making small talk, the tailor mentions that his grandson recently committed suicide after taking designer drugs sold to him by Rusty Irish, a member of Larry Boy Barese's crew. Junior promptly has the dealer killed.
  • Played with on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in the Season 4 premier "The Way of the Warrior". Captain Sisko calls Garaknote  in for a fitting while he's having a staff meeting concerning the Klingons' plans to invade Cardassia. Garak is even mindful enough to ask Sisko if he's sure he doesn't want him to come back after the meeting instead of taking Sisko's measurements now.

    Video Games 
  • Hitman: Tommy Clemenza's clothing store. Tom keeps 47's old outfits and a weapon or two in the back room.

    Western Animation 
  • This Robot Chicken spoof of Star Wars has Emperor Palpatine flipping out at Darth Vader over the phone for losing the Millennium Falcon, only for Alphonso the barber to cheerfully suggest hiring a bounty hunter.
    Palpatine: [hangs up] I just want to sit in a hot bath and cry!
    Alphonso: You're looking for some guys? What about a bounty hunter? You know, a guy who looks for a guy for money! My sister's dating one!
    Palpatine: Alphonso, you're a lifesaver!