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Need lots of suits on limited budget -- advice?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I just discovered styleforum and I think it is going to be an enormously useful resource for me -- but man is there a lot read!

 

Anyway, I recently started a new job in the HQ of a very large corporation. I need to wear a suit or sportcoat every day, but at the moment I have only two suits (ok, nothing special) and one very cheap sportcoat. The job pays well enough that I will be able to afford quality suits in the future, but at the moment I urgently need about 3-5 additional suits and 1-2 additional sportcoats. The problem is that I only have about $2000 to spend right now.

 

I've done a bit of shopping around and at the moment, it appears to me that my best options budget- and fit-wise would be either the Brooks Brothers outlet near where I'm staying right now or the dreaded Jos. A. Bank. I can find some Hugo Boss in my price range, but the fit is terrible. I live near a Charles Tyrwhitt store and their prices look good online, but I am traveling for awhile so I cannot go there anytime soon.

 

If anyone can make some suggestions to get me through the short-term in style, I would appreciate it! (And if anybody can recommend a good tailor in Paris, that would be helpful too!)

post #2 of 17
I would avoid BB Outlets. I just don't like their suits at all. How about SF affiliates? There are also tons of threads of online MTM.

Ricks KC - $450
http://www.rickskansascity.com/

ehaberdasher has Benjamin suits - $500
http://www.ehaberdasher.com/servlet/StoreFront

Ultimately just go for what fits you best. If it turns out to be HB, so be it. They can be had a good prices. Make sure to find a good tailor in your area as well.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks! At that price, the Benjamin looks like a real find -- they seem to get really nice reviews! I'm less convinced about the Ricks KC, it's hard to tell without seeing them in person but the photos on the web site aren't doing them any justice. I'm almost certainly buying a couple of Benjamins, though.

 

Oh, and being new here ... what does SF stand for (besides styleforum)?

post #4 of 17
SF = Style Forum
post #5 of 17
+1 for online mtm. You can get a suit starting at about $300. However, you have to take your own measurements, so if you're not careful and you don't communicate what you want with customer service, it can be a disaster. If you do a good job, then you'll get a great suit, and IMO, the value is better than most physical retail outlets.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster View Post

SF = Style Forum

 

Yeah, I realized shortly after I hit "submit" that you were referring to the site affiliates ... sorry 'bout that!

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

+1 for online mtm. You can get a suit starting at about $300. However, you have to take your own measurements, so if you're not careful and you don't communicate what you want with customer service, it can be a disaster. If you do a good job, then you'll get a great suit, and IMO, the value is better than most physical retail outlets.

I have plans to give it a try, but I'm traveling and don't have a fixed address for the next couple of weeks so I'm a little worried about the communication with customer service bit. I'm thinking about going for 3 decent suits and a sportcoat, getting a tailor to take my measurements when I go for alterations, and trying one of the MTM vendors in Europe. It will probably be a bit more expensive that way -- clothing is generally quite a bit cheaper in the US -- but that might end up being the best balance of quality and quantity for me.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

+1 for online mtm. You can get a suit starting at about $300. However, you have to take your own measurements, so if you're not careful and you don't communicate what you want with customer service, it can be a disaster. If you do a good job, then you'll get a great suit, and IMO, the value is better than most physical retail outlets.


maybe he should pay a tailor for measurements to get it exact

post #9 of 17

You might want to look at Suitsupply.  I'm going to need a couple more suits next summer and I'm planning to try out Suitsupply...

post #10 of 17

I do not believe that you urgently require 3-5 new suits. Providing that (a) you have a spare pair of trousers for your current suits, (b) your current suits are charcoal, dark grey or navy, and (c) providing that they fit, I would slow down and buy only 1 suit and 1 sports-coat. You don't need to spend silly money either on an expensive suit right off the bat or online MTM. Unless you really cannot find a suit to fit you RTW - even then, MTM online or otherwise, doesn't lend itself well to urgency.

 

Suit Supply is a good choice both in terms of quality and value for money. Although I do not own a Suit Supply suit, I've tried a fair few on, and for the price level, they are better than Charles Tyrwhitt. The Sales Advisors - at least in London - are informative, customer focused and genuinely want to help you look good in their suits. Suit Supply are a good yardstick to evaluate other offerings in the price range.

 

As an aside, do you have two pairs of appropriate CBD [conservative business dress] shoes i.e. plain-toe oxfords in black and/or brown? Do you have functional ties i.e. navy repp? Also, do you have a couple pairs of various blue shirts? No point discussing the above, only to render the suit irrelevant by pairing it with horrid shoes and/or a shirt/tie combination that isn't CBD.

 

Once you get your first paycheck, you can buy another suit and/or a sport-coats, and build up your business wardrobe over time, without making expensive mistakes in haste.

post #11 of 17
B&S is your friend.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, Putonghua73, it seems very sound. I definitely do not have enough trousers, but it's a lot cheaper to buy those than to buy suits and they're definitely going on the shopping list. My current suits do fit, but one is black and the other a dark grey birdseye. Navy and charcoal are the highest on my list. I'm good on shirts, shoes, and ties, it's really only suits and sportcoats (and I guess pants) where I am lacking.

 

Suit Supply keeps on coming up, and they're one of the few that would be cheaper for me after I return to Europe (not to mention that I'll be in Brussels soon and could actually go into a store to try them on). So I think at this point I've modified my strategy: a navy and possibly a charcoal suit plus a sportcoat while I am in the US, and delay all further purchases until I can check out Suit Supply.

 

Thanks for all the advice -- you guys are awesome! I'd love to hear further comments and ideas.

post #13 of 17

thrift shop till you save enough for bespoke if your job really pays 'well enough' to afford quality.  should only be a couple paychecks away.

post #14 of 17

H&m has a few suits that are well within your budget.

jcpenny too.

when you have $$ then you can upgrade to something else.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Putonghua73 View Post

I do not believe that you urgently require 3-5 new suits. Providing that (a) you have a spare pair of trousers for your current suits, (b) your current suits are charcoal, dark grey or navy, and (c) providing that they fit, I would slow down and buy only 1 suit and 1 sports-coat. You don't need to spend silly money either on an expensive suit right off the bat or online MTM. Unless you really cannot find a suit to fit you RTW - even then, MTM online or otherwise, doesn't lend itself well to urgency.

 

Suit Supply is a good choice both in terms of quality and value for money. Although I do not own a Suit Supply suit, I've tried a fair few on, and for the price level, they are better than Charles Tyrwhitt. The Sales Advisors - at least in London - are informative, customer focused and genuinely want to help you look good in their suits. Suit Supply are a good yardstick to evaluate other offerings in the price range.

 

As an aside, do you have two pairs of appropriate CBD [conservative business dress] shoes i.e. plain-toe oxfords in black and/or brown? Do you have functional ties i.e. navy repp? Also, do you have a couple pairs of various blue shirts? No point discussing the above, only to render the suit irrelevant by pairing it with horrid shoes and/or a shirt/tie combination that isn't CBD.

 

Once you get your first paycheck, you can buy another suit and/or a sport-coats, and build up your business wardrobe over time, without making expensive mistakes in haste.

I agree with this. You can easily get away with 3 suits and 2 sportcoats/odd trousers (total), especially if the suits are conservatively styled and patterned (solid navy and charcoal are good to start). Most people in your office will not even know you are wearing the same suit week after week. You just have to mix up the shirt/tie combinations to keep things looking different.

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