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Buying a suit and need advice

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I’m looking for some input on buying a new suit, and if I can get some honest feedback I’d appreciate it. 


I’m 10 years out of college and I’ve more than worn my way through the 3-Button suits my parents were kind enough to buy me upon graduation. I’m 33, 5’9 and 170 lbs.  I live in New York City and have plenty of options as far as where to shop or have a suit made.


I work on the Technology side of legal matters, so while I occasionally make law firm visits, and have to wear a suit on those days, my usual work attire is slacks and a button down shirt, with Fridays being jeans and a polo. I’m looking for something “modern”, a two button fitted look, without being ridiculously trendy and therefore out of style in 3 years.  I’d like to wear it on business visits as well as the occasional wedding or party.


My budget is $1,000 - $2,000, and I’m looking to make a purchase in Dec / Jan.  I’d like to think at this point in life I could go beyond the Men’s Warehouses of the world when it comes to buying a suit, and the Ralph Lauren / Tom Ford boutiques I walk by when heading home from the office seem pretty enticing (if not totally out of my price range).  And I have no idea what kind of bang for your buck those suits will offer, or if the $1,000 MTM special that Brooks Brothers is running right now is worth it.


I really have no idea where to begin.  If I can get some feedback on suggested brands, cloth types, taylors, or stores to visit in NYC I’d be grateful. 





post #2 of 34

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Can you expand on yours answer?  Reviews online are mixed, love or hate. Can you tell me a bit more?

post #4 of 34
New York Ranger gets some very nice bespoke from Ercole at the upper end of your price range. A search on here for "New York tailors" should turn up quite a few more options, including some very mixed reviews for Mr. Ned. Some here have had good experiences going directly to Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn who does (did?) the MTM for BB.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 

I take it that the look / quality of mtm at my price range is superior to off the rack Hugo Boss / RL black / Tom Ford / Brioni / Zegna?


 Btw I get these brands from GQ suit guide. I realy have no idea what the difference is

post #6 of 34
5' 9" 170 doesn't sound incredibly difficult to fit. Is there a certain reason you would like MTM?
post #7 of 34
Originally Posted by Bryan101 View Post

I take it that the look / quality of mtm at my price range is superior to off the rack Hugo Boss / RL black / Tom Ford / Brioni / Zegna?

 Btw I get these brands from GQ suit guide. I realy have no idea what the difference is

Not necessarily. Why don't you go to RL and try on some suits and see what you think about the fit, fabric, etc.
post #8 of 34
Originally Posted by tullytra View Post

5' 9" 170 doesn't sound incredibly difficult to fit. Is there a certain reason you would like MTM?

I agree. Probably could get away with most 38 or 40 R or S.

I think the OP should check out OTR Samuelsohn and Hickey Freeman on sales.
post #9 of 34
Look at what your peers wear and what people with whom you meet wear. get some concept of this in your mind then go and look around shops and determine what you like and what you think is right on you.

That way you will not go wrong. No one who does not know you, your firm, your circle of friends colleagues and acquaintances can possibly decide what is right for you to wear.
post #10 of 34
Originally Posted by tullytra View Post

5' 9" 170 doesn't sound incredibly difficult to fit. Is there a certain reason you would like MTM?

This. Go to BB during a sale and check out the Fitzgerald with Saxxon wool.
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input guys, when I get back to NYC after Thanksgiving (and hopefully not 10 pounds bigger) I'll post again with my findings.

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 

Just thought I’d do a follow up post:


The wedding is Feb 11th in Miami, I’ll be making the purchase in a week or so, before Jan 10th.


So far this is what I’ve done:


  • Hickey Freeman: Walked into the Madison Ave store.  They have a 50% promotion.  I was sized up as a 44R, which surprised me as I thought I was a 42R. I was told that since I want a “slimmer” suit I’d need to size up.  They did not have a suit on sale in the color and size I was looking for, dark Navy, but did have a very nice dark grey suit for 3K.  On sale for 1,500.  It was a good fit in the shoulders and chest (I am barrel chested), but would have to be tapered in at points in the waist. 


  • Brooks Brothers: Was given a lackluster greeting in the store, explained what I was looking for to the salesman, who grabbed a “demo jacket” in the size and style I wanted.  Put it on, and was not in love with the look.  He also sized me up for a 44R, Fitzgerald cut.  It wasn’t bad…just “Meh”. If I needed a normal every day suit it probably would be fine.  Salesman didn’t offer any feedback on changes he would make to the suit to fit me, or different fabric options.   Didn’t show me a suit in the color I was looking for, just said “we have plenty of Navy options I can show you when you’re ready to make a purchase”.  Price was $800+ on sale at 50% off, so $400+.


  • Bergdorf Goodman:  I knew it would be out of my price range, but what the hell I had an hour to kill.  Walked into the Men’s store, and was helped immediately by the staff.  Was sized up visually as a 44R again, but since the sizing was in Euro I didn’t catch the exact number.  I was escorted over to  the mainline Ermenegildo Zegna section.  While they were running a 40% off promotion on these suits, the selection was limited and the Zegna he picked out was not on sale.  It was a very dark 2 button Navy suit.  Salesperson stated it was half Navy half Grey.  Put it on… home run.  Great fabric and the look was fantastic.  Fit fine along the shoulders but would need other adjustments… move the buttons, my right shoulder apparently “Slopes” (never heard that before) so they would adjust that, he grabbed the seat of my pants and said they would take it in on the waist but let out the bottom because they need to make room for my “tush” … hilarious.  I have a sloped shoulder and a big ass…who knew?  Price… if I remember correctly it was a $2,300 suit.   I’m trying to stick in the $1,000 - $1,500 neighborhood.


  • Which leads me to the Ermenegildo Zegna store on Madison.  Just curious to see if there was a price difference.  I was shown the same suit, and was told that this was a “Mainstay” color & style for Zegna and they never go on sale, so Bergdorf wasn’t trying to pull anything. Price was about the same.  Also the suits they did have on sale, of which there were many options, were 30% off.  The salesperson again sized me up, but this time he took a step down from the Zegna equivalent of 44R to 42R (measurements were euro so I didn’t catch them) saying that he thought I’d look better in the smaller size.  He was right, and the suit fit perfectly along the shoulders.  Not so much across the chest, but he claimed they could make the right alterations and it would be fine.





So there you have it.  I’m going to look at a few others like Canali and Isaia.  I was also thinking about Brioni and Tom Ford for the hell of it…I’m sure they are above the 2K price as well.

Any other suggestions or stores to check out in NYC to would be appreciated.

post #13 of 34
Would it be possible to get a decent bespoke?

I am slightly taller and roughly same weight

The decent mid range bespoke fits better, no joke
post #14 of 34
GOOD Bespoke fits better than GOOD MTM which fits better than RTW naturally since the garment was made specifically for you in case of bespoke or fully adjusted to you in case of MTM. This being said it often happens that you reach the perfect fit only with the second bespoke suit after you worn the first one and figured out where some deficiencies are. Since you have very little knowledge about / experience with suits you should make sure that you find a tailor who you really trust to get guidanceshould you decide for going straight to bespoke / MTM.

Nevertheless your body proportions sound like you might also get a good fit from RTW with alterations. Maybe this would be the best first step into buying suits. Once you figured what you really like you can still move on to bespoke. With you budget you can get good quality stuff and you should make sure that you buy a fully canvassed suit. Some options are:

Paul Stuart or Phineas Cole at Paul Stuart
Canali in their own store or at Saks
Corneliani at Saks
Golden Fleece at Brooks Brothers (unfortunately most GF stuff is in the bulky Madison cut)
Black Label at Ralph Lauren
Ermenegildo Zegna (but a bit above your range as you already discovered)
post #15 of 34

Hate to say it, as I think some Brooks casual items are fine.  However, I think their suits are generally kind of dumpy looking and good for guys in their 70s.


Canali and Corneliani are both very nice quality, not cheap, but not insanely expensive.  They are both have cuts that are young enough that it won't look like you robbed an old age home for a suit.


Ralph Lauren has some nice suits, there are different cuts, Black Label is very trim, Blue Label is a bit more traditional in proportions.  But the Blue label offers several different suit cuts such as 2 button (which I think on theirs the button stance is too low...unless they changed that for this year), and in the past they offered 3 button single breasted with peaked lapels that looks sharp, 3 button SB notch lapels, and variations such as flat front or pleated pants, and single or double vents.  I hate single vents.  They also have Purple Label which is their top of the line...suits are about $5,000+. 


Brioni suits are going to be out of your budget $5,000-6,000.  But no harm in going in and trying one just to see what it feels like, and what you do or don't like about it compared to other brands.  Kind of a yard stick by which to measure some other brands.  Isaia makes very handsome suits too.  Less in price than Brioni or Kiton, but still I think approaching $4,000 last I looked at one.


I think you could do very nicely going with something by Canali or Corneliani.


Good luck and have fun shopping.   

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