Advice needed on buying suits...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gregl6981, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. gregl6981

    gregl6981 Member

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    Gentlemen,

    I just started a new job where I will have the pleasure of wearing a suit every day. The problem is, I only own one suit right now: a medium gray with light gray pinstripe Southwick made from a pretty heavy wool. I'm thinking that I should get four more suits, and I'd like to keep it under $2000. I'm working for a small law firm dealing with some very high-profile clients, kind of a young and modern but still conservative workplace, if that makes any sense. My instincts are to get four suits all priced around $500, a navy, navy with pinstripes, dark charcoal, and dark charcoal with pinstripes. I'm not sure if I should do it differently with colors or maybe get one nicer ($800ish) suit and make the other ones cheaper.

    A major plus is that I live in Manhattan and make frequent trips to Boston, so I'll have access to both C21 and Filene's Basement.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
     
  2. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    Well, it all depends on your body type.  If you can fit in RTW suits nicely then your best option is eBay, otherwise try local discount men's clothing store.

    On eBay, you can find new Canali suits for real cheap.  You can do Ermenegildo Zegna suits around $300-$600.  I would personally stick with those two label for elegancy and quality.

    You can also try American made suits such as HF and BB.

    But, either way, I'll buy canvased suits since they appear more natural when you put them on.
     
  3. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    You're a Manhattan lawyer. Pony up and spend more than $500 a suit. I mean, spend less if you can find good stuff for less, but don't restrict yourself to $2000. You should take a trip to the outlets that are about 30 miles from NYC. They apparently have a Zegna outlet with great prices.
     
  4. gregl6981

    gregl6981 Member

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    Let me clarify: I'm not a lawyer, just an analyst. I'm just out of college, paying sky-high rent, so 2K seems like a pretty good budget for me.
     
  5. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    chech out virtualclotheshorse for pretty good deals too
     
  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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  7. Vespa

    Vespa New Member

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    Hi: I am in a similar situation and plan to take advantage of Brooks Brothers semi-annual sale and get some of the Brooksease in the colours you mentioned N NPS C CPS they are Southwick US made suits of reasonable quality of good 100s wool and will wear very well over the mid-term. Â You can then take your time and fill in with better "opportunity" buys over time. Brooks Brothers On sale are worth about 450 USD all in avail as seperates Regards
     
  8. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    If you need 4 suits right this minute, and the budget is 2K, I guess I would go to Filene's or C21 (I assume its similar to Filene's) and get 4 Hickey-Freemans that originally retailed over $1000 in the color/patterns you suggested. 2 button or 3 button suits. I believe they're canvassed (jn3 - can you back me up on this?) and should run in the 400-500 dollar range at Filene's or C21. And you'll have flexibility to spruce them up with shirt and tie patterns.

    FYI, I don't have any Hickey Freemans.

    Virtualclotheshorse.com looks good, if you know your fit. I'm a fan of Belvest in general, and he has some at around $600.
     
  9. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    The Hickeys that say "Hickey Freeman LTD" on the tag are fused. These are about the same quality as the 1888 suits at Brooks Bros. (the $798 ones).
     
  10. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    greg: I bought two Palasso suits on ebay for < $600 total, including shipping. They probably still have the liquid black one with cranberry pins. Very nice. Here's the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....67&rd=1 And, he probably has other sizes and color combos. For ties, I really liked the service and selection of eclass. Good deals on Zegna ties and Villa Bolgheri. In fact, I'm wearing a villa bolgheri today at my law firm. It's a silvery grey with some sky blue dots in it. Very nice.
     
  11. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    Aside from Brooks, I would recommend LS Mens Clothing on W. 45th St. (closed on Saturday, open Sunday).

    LS has close-outs of Hickey Freemans and H. Freemans in your price range. They can also do MTM through H. Freeman (full canvas) for about $700.

    Both Brooks and LS have tailors on the premises. This is of paramount importance since fit is most important. Going to an independent tailor for alterations can be expensive, and there is a great time saving in having everything done under one roof.

    In comparison, running around to Century 21 and Filene's is a waste of time IMHO. You'll have no saleshelp and no tailoring department. You'll be trolling through the odds and ends that retailers could not sell, such as the navy pinstripe suit with a purple stripe. You might buy a better constructed suit than you will at Brooks in that price range, but you will be engaging in a hit and miss game, and it is likely that you will not wear 50% of your &quot;bargain&quot; purchases. This is one reason why I avoid Barney's Warehouse Sale.

    Also, don't proceed with false expectations. At the price range that you mentioned do not expect to purchase heirloom quality suits.


    Good luck.
     
  12. caledoniasoul2

    caledoniasoul2 Well-Known Member

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    LS is a good rec'd . They are reliable and have been there a long time. Just dont buy any extra pants.

    I would also think about jonathan at fih.com. I have yet to buy one of his suits but they come highly rec'd on this board-but note they may be a bit fashion forward. I will try one soon..

    Believe it or not if you have 30 mins. see if syms has any Hart Shafner and marx in your size. Not the greatest but they look ok for a fused job at usually less then 300 bucks. Stay away from the other no name crap. Then take them to a good tailor. Just make sure the shoulders line up well.
     
  13. gregl6981

    gregl6981 Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I picked up a Gieves and Hawkes navy three button at C21 last night for $400. I really like the fit. Everything else there was pretty much crap, though. I might make a trip to Boston this weekend to check out Filene's. I've always thought they had a much wider selection at much better prices than C21.
     
  14. yanks2182

    yanks2182 Senior member

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    I would have to disagree with you about the discount stores having nothing worthwhile. I picked up a beautiful charcoal HF Hand Tailored suit at Filene's for $450 2 weeks ago, and a Grey Corneliani with a light Blue Windowpane. It is a hit or miss game, but certainly worth the trips.
     
  15. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    I'm in a bit of the same situation, except I live in Asia and have access to cheaper tailors (but no good suiting material), but $2000 is even more of a stretch for me. How exactly do you evaluate the quality of suits and sport coats? I've asked about this a couple of times before, but haven't really figured it out yet. For example, my father has some suits here made by a local tailor who's considered high end for my city, but I have no idea how to evaluate them. I don't even have any idea how to take useful photos of them to ask people to help me evaluate them.
     

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