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Hart Schaffner Marx- worth $400?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
This suit.

I'm guessing it's fused.

The only reason I'm asking is because it's available in my size which I usually don't find anywhere but Macy's or the Men's Wearhouse

The other Hart Shaffner Marx threads were no real help.
post #2 of 27
I picked up a HSM Gold Trumper suit on sale at Dillard's for around $250 -- OK for the price. Yes, it's fused. It's one of my inexpensive suits for international travel. I'd say it's about the same quality as JoS Bank. Not sure about the "Capital Collection" in your link.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twotone View Post
I'd say it's about the same quality as JoS Bank. Not sure about the "Capital Collection" in your link.

Whoa.

This is significant as JAB's "Tailored Fit" suits, which are their entry level suits, sometimes go on sale for about $225.

I was assuming that HSM was a bit higher quality.
post #4 of 27
HSM suits are "Made in USA", so most people consider them to be better constructed than suits made overseas (e.g. Jos A Bank suits). They are usually fused, though some people have commented that the Gold Trumpeter line is half-canvassed.

I don't think $400 is a great deal for an HSM suit, but if you need it in a solid color, in charcoal, and it fits well on you, then I'd say go for it.

If you can spend a little extra money, I would get a Hickey Freeman Madison suit instead, which is fully canvassed and appear to be on sale for $700 at the same store that the HSM suit is on sale.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
TTT.

I appreciate the helpful replies I've gotten but more would be good as I'm considering spending a healthy sum.
post #6 of 27
Saw this exact line in a store this weekend. Not impressed. Construction was ok but fabric was awful. The owner of the store told me that HSM has downgraded the quality of its raw materials significantly in an attempt to deal with costs.

If you're buying right now, I think you can find something nicer on clearance. Or just hit up ehaberdasher and grab a Benjamin suit.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wsblend View Post
TTT.

I appreciate the helpful replies I've gotten but more would be good as I'm considering spending a healthy sum.

I own one relatively modern HSM suit (bought in 2007,) an older one (90s ebay purchase,) and some JoS. A Bank Signature Gold Suits. I firmly believe the Signature Gold is a better suit, as it is half-canvassed versus the fused HSM suit. Both have a similar cut, the rather baggy American style with a center vent and therefore will benefit from some tailoring. The Signature Gold suit can be purchased for ~300 if you can hit the best sale. Don't buy it for anything over ~350, and then get it tailored by a professional, not the in-store tailor.
post #8 of 27
Depends on how much you need the suit. If you are going to wear it 50 times a year, I would guess you'll do better, in the long run, with better quality to start. If (like many newcomers to the site) you are going to wear it two times a year, and if the rest of your wardrobe needs work (what are your shoes), and if your funds are limited, a $400 suit in a staple solid could be a very smart use of your money. Also depends on how much tailoring is needed. If you can fit a size off the rack, predictably, you might look at Sierra Trading Post -- could be their Jack Victor suits or Southwick suits will be better or comparable and cost less (esp. with STP coupon). If you need sleeves altered, etc., etc., and the store selling the suit will do this to your satisfaction, that makes the store option more attractive. I would not buy a suit off STP and take it to a dry cleaners for alterations in the corner. The store may send out your suit to the same alterations lady, but having a salesman (or saleswoman) give a noob good advice on what alterations to request, that can valuable information. So there are a lot of variables here. If you are just starting out, it is better to start with a $400 suit with $400 shoes, in my book, than an $700 suit and $100 shoes. And skilled help in getting a good fit out of any suit, if you are a noob, is very valuable and well worth paying for, one way or the other.
post #9 of 27
Just guessing here, since you didn't say - are you a 36? I've been seeing way more stock at the outlets (NMLC, Saks Off 5th, etc) recently and there are actually quite a good number for sale on B&S right now.

If I'm way off base, sorry! I just know for smaller/thinner guys it can be hard. Plenty of large sized stuff at the outlets and B&S...
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icehawk View Post
Just guessing here, since you didn't say - are you a 36? I've been seeing way more stock at the outlets (NMLC, Saks Off 5th, etc) recently and there are actually quite a good number for sale on B&S right now.

If I'm way off base, sorry! I just know for smaller/thinner guys it can be hard. Plenty of large sized stuff at the outlets and B&S...

I'm a 38L, which is the primary reason why I'm interested in this suit as my options usually include only MW or the low-end product at Macy's or JAB.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wsblend View Post
I'm a 38L, which is the primary reason why I'm interested in this suit as my options usually include only MW or the low-end product at Macy's or JAB.

Ah, the equally dreaded "L". Another suggestion is to find a jacket that fits well and take a few measurements, that way you can keep an eye on stuff in the B&S forum - in looking for jackets I've noticed the sizing varies pretty wildly so a 40L in some brands or styles might fit you too. I always take a look at the shoulder measurement and go from there.

Good luck!
post #12 of 27
I think it's better to go the MTM route than buy crappy clothes OTR.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by acecow View Post
I think it's better to go the MTM route than buy crappy clothes OTR.

Which $400 MTM (or $250, as some previous posters have mentioned the HSM could be had for) suit would you suggest?

No experience with HSM suits, but their trousers have held up very well.
post #14 of 27
I recently ( Oct. ) purchased a HSM Gold Trumpeter, and found it to be a fine and decent suit. The fit was great for me, it was very comfortable and hung in a good relaxed way. I hit a store that was having a 50% off sale and additionally on this suit, because their stock was almost gone ( on this suit ), it also was on clearence at an additional 40% off. From HSM web site the GT is their top line and lists for $895. With the 2 discounts ran me $268 including pant alteration, all I had to pay extra was for was jacket sleeves.
That said I, myself, would never buy, without trying on a suit. Too much variation in sizing from maker to maker, and you can see and feel how the fit is. Case in point -- I was back to same store Monday to look at suits and SC's ( on sale again ), and the couple HSM's that I tried on , I didn't care for ( not the GT line ). They had a heavier padding in shoulder, and I don't spend a few hours a week pulling on cables attached to heavy metal plates and dumbells to want heavily paded shoulders. Makes it look too much like a "Zoot Suit ". The current recession is a great time to find a bargin, the stores just want to keep the cash flow moving.
And don't be dissuaded by those who claim you need to spend 3k and up on a friggin suit. There are those who could buy a custom 5K suit and look like a crumpled up dork in it, and others who could buy a tasteful $200 suit and turn all the girls heads ( unless you want to turn the boys heads ).

And one big point " MADE IN THE USA " -- as if the economy isn't bad enough-- to send more jobs and money to some 3 rd world wet spot on the world map

Roger
post #15 of 27
I have one HSM Gold Trumpteter suit that was purchased about a year ago, with VBC super 110's fabric that I really like - it's half canvassed. In fact, finding out if HSM GT was good and how to tell is what led me to AAAC and SF just about a year ago. I spent $400 on that suit, and I wouldn't do so again, but I could have done far, far worse while spending far more money, as I've learned on the fora. Honestly though, I've recently checked out some new HSM and it doesn't seem quite up to the standards of even what was on the shelves when I was purchasing - they had some higher-super-numbers fabrics, even from LP IIRC, at that time, for example, which seem to be gone now. Unless you're looking at an older model that has nicer fabric (look for a Vitale Barberis Canonico or Loro Piana label inside) I can't say that it's all that worth purchasing. I have another HSM Gold Trumpeter suit in a light color for summer wear. It's half-canvassed as well, though it's older - maybe 10 years or so. The fabric isn't as nice as the VBC 110's, but it's quite serviceable and nicely light for summertime. With recent in-store impressions in mind, including a few quick looks at Nordstroms just today, I would say you can definitely do worse than HSM GT - but don't even THINK about touching anything but the GT's, and definitely check out B&S before spending $400 or more on one! In fact, check B&S before buying one, period...
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