Ask McArdle: Should I buy one good suit, or a rotation of cheaper ones?

...and does a spoonful of yeast before a night of drinking really prevent a hangover?

McArle being measured for a suit

(Peter Arkle)

Is it wiser to buy one good suit or a rotation of cheaper ones?

Based on your query, I deduce you are either a student about to enter the workforce, a mid-level employee seeking to look professional on a budget or one of those sad individuals who think suits are only required for big meetings and pretrial depositions. Regardless of the circumstance, it’s best to have one excellent suit, advises Nelson Hui, men’s fashion director for Hudson’s Bay Co.

“Much of what goes into the cost of a suit lies in the fabric, as anyone who’s had a custom suit made can attest,” he explains. “Apart from wearing better, the quality of the fabric and the tailoring will always stand. You’ll make a better impression and feel more confident with a well-cut suit.” Hui suggests getting a classic cut and colour—navy or grey, with two buttons and a notched lapel—and then creating “the appearance of variety” with different shirts and neckwear.

“Most importantly, get to a tailor, and have the suit tailored to your body so that you’re looking razor-sharp,” Hui says. The collar should sit properly around your neck, the shoulders should appear smooth and the waist shouldn’t have excess fabric. You might very well have just moved out of your dad’s basement; don’t make it look like you’re still wearing his suit.

I’ve heard eating baker’s yeast can keep me from getting drunk. True?

The Gardener’s Almanac of 1653 proposed a simple method to avoid inebriation—chug salad dressing. The book contended a “large draught of salad oil” would “float upon the wine which you shall drink, and suppress the spirits from ascending into the brain.” The same publication said drinking milk before a party would allow an individual to “drink thrice as much wine after.”

These anti-intoxication strategies have been passed down from father to son, Internet to frat boy. When a new tactic surfaces, as the yeast one did recently under the Esquire magazine headline “How to Drink All Night Without Getting Drunk,” it electrifies drunkards with hope of a hangover-free Saturday. The piece featured an interview with Jim Koch, co-founder of the Boston Beer Company, who claims baker’s yeast mixed with yogurt helps him counter the effects of alcohol. An enzyme in the yeast supposedly breaks alcohol down into carbon, hydrogen and oxygen before it enters the bloodstream.

I happily chose to conduct some first-person research. I started by mixing three teaspoons of yeast into a small cup of peach yogurt. Here, I offer my first observation on a matter that has been under-reported: a paste made of yogurt and yeast sticks to a spoon like industrial adhesive. And here, a second observation: it tastes atrocious. Yeast has the consistency of insect eggs (I would know) and the flavour of mushrooms and old socks—neither being complementary to peach yogurt.

Fortunately, the unpleasant appetizer was quickly chased from my palate by a delightful main course: three shots of scotch, neat. After a few vigorous jumping jacks to ensure the contents of my stomach had mingled, I felt the same brain-tucked-under-an-electric-blanket sensation that usually accompanies my scotch consumption. The yeast did nothing to blunt the effects of the booze. Which is a good thing, in my estimation. Fools looking for a miracle cure for their own weak wills get the insect egg–encrusted peach yogurt they deserve.

Somebody keeps leaving documents on our office printer for days at a time. How do I get him to stop?

After a day, move the pages off the printer. After two, move them slightly further…into the recycling bin.