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Best way to spend $400-500 a suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Sanchez14, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Sanchez14

    Sanchez14 Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 29, 2011
    So I am graduating from law school in a couple months and am going to need to buy a few suits. I'll be an associate at a big firm that is business casual everyday, so I'll really only wear them in court, depositions, and client meetings. I've decided that given the amount of school debt I need to pay back and other goals, interests, and ways the wife and i want to spend/invest our money that I'd like to spend $400-500 per suit.

    So I'm wondering what everyone thinks is the best option given my budget. Below are the options I'm considering, but feel free to suggest others.

    1. Buy something off the B+S forum. I've seen Hickey Freemans and other good suits in my range there.

    2. buy off ebay - again there seems to be a number of decent suits in my range there.

    3. My wife and I are going to China for a post-bar trip for 3 weeks in August. I could get something in either Hong Kong or Shanghai. It will be our first time in China and neither of us speak any Chinese, so I'd want to find some good options that speak English before leaving.

    4. Keep an eye on Off Saks and last Call for when they put their stuff at 40% off. Off Saks is 40% off this week. When on sale, this puts a lot of their stuff in my range.

    5. Go with one of the online or US based MTM places like Thick as Thieves (I'm from LA so could get measured by them) or indochino or someone else.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as everyone here and just want to give myself that little bit of edge by dressing well. Lawyers, at least at my firm (which is a well-respected firm), are generally not great dressers so I don't think it will take a Kiton or Brioni to make a good impression.
     
  2. Simon Radash

    Simon Radash Active Member

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    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    India
    3. My wife and I are going to China for a post-bar trip for 3 weeks in August. I could get something in either Hong Kong or Shanghai. It will be our first time in China and neither of us speak any Chinese, so I'd want to find some good options that speak English before leaving.



    I think you could get pretty impressive suits while in China for very nice prices and with great quality. In fact with greater quality than you can ever imagine. As for speaking Chinese, if you need help with that, then let me know. I can give you a couple of lessons on the basics.

    Or I could just teach you how to say I want to buy a suit.[​IMG]
     
  3. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    Location:
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    um... NO. I strongly suggest against option #3. I think a guy from India (ahem) or China will probably think that's ok but they don't know any better. Either find something at Saks that works or or go to retail and fit stuff on and find what works for you then find for cheaper online but do NOT buy something you've never fitted on before or go get something quick and dirty from people who don't know you, care if it fits or not, don't speak your language, have any sense for your needs and style and especially because you're all about budget and don't really sound like you have a strong idea of what to even ask for... Option 4 is your best bet, otherwise option 1 if it's possible considering the earlier point.
     
  4. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    1. Buy something off the B+S forum. I've seen Hickey Freemans and other good suits in my range there.
    ^^This. You routinely see $1500 suits go for one or two hundred dollars. I've never bought one -- yet -- but to me, it seems like a better deal than overpaying for a new suit you're less excited about.
     
  5. Hadrian

    Hadrian Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend eHABERDASHER'S Benjamin Suit for such a price point.

    One of the best RTW values out there, IMO.
     
  6. nelly

    nelly Senior member

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    I would consider these options:

    1) Brooks Brothers clearance or semi-annual sale where you can get 2 for around the price of one.
    2) Warehouse sales (like Barney's in LA). Get there early and patiently sift through items.
    3) Ebay...word of caution... lot's of fakes and I would highly recommend finding a seller that is known for selling quality used suits in great condition. My personal experience is that there are far fewer used items that are fake.

    Also, if your firm is large, they will most likely have a corporate discount with a suit maker like BB (check with HR). Since you're not spending a lot, fit will absolutely be key to make up for any lack of quality. Good luck!
     
  7. Sanchez14

    Sanchez14 Member

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    Jan 29, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Nelly: My firm is a biglaw firm and I'm pretty sure it has discounts with BB and a few other places. Thanks for reminding me to check into that.

    I do have a very good tailor and have bought used sport coats and pants off ebay before that he has made fit perfectly. (Canali sportcoat in great condition for $60 ftw) Also, I'm not totally unknowledgeable as to what to look and ask for on fit, just unknowledgeable on going through an entire MTM process, so that may be enough to turn me away. I know my measurements, what changes to each measurement will do to a suit on me and know what types of cuts generally tend to look best on my frame.

    Does anyone have any recommended sellers of good used suits on ebay?

    Also, does anyone think I've set the price too low?

    I set my prices based off what I've seen on the B&S forum, ebay and Saks sales for good middle of the road options. I want to get quality and definitely want the suits to last a while. I can definitely afford to spend more if I need to, but law school is very expensive and my wife and I want to stay as frugal as possible for a couple years to pay off the six figures in loans.

    Also, I will be practicing in Dallas (though I go to school in another state), so if anyone has any suggestions for places to go once we get there in May, that would be great. I'm assuming the Neiman's Last Calls in Dallas will be great. Does anyone know if they have a warehouse store or something since they are based there? I know some other companies have places like that in their headquarters' cities.
     
  8. forex

    forex Senior member

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    I recommend the Brooks Brothers way,you can score nice deals from them,sometimes Golden Fleece suits go down to $599,which is a good deal for full canvass suits. Also,check out their other lines. Their return policy is good so if you don't like it,you can always return it.
     
  9. aj_del

    aj_del Senior member

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    um... NO. I strongly suggest against option #3. I think a guy from India (ahem) or China will probably think that's ok but they don't know any better. Either find something at Saks that works or or go to retail and fit stuff on and find what works for you then find for cheaper online but do NOT buy something you've never fitted on before or go get something quick and dirty from people who don't know you, care if it fits or not, don't speak your language, have any sense for your needs and style and especially because you're all about budget and don't really sound like you have a strong idea of what to even ask for... Option 4 is your best bet, otherwise option 1 if it's possible considering the earlier point.

    What is that supposed to mean ? Why would a western person know more about a suit than an Indian or a Chinese ? [​IMG] . Leaving Indian aside, there are several gentlemen of eastern asian origin who dress impeccably and you yourself have put up their pics several times.
     
  10. ALFAMALE

    ALFAMALE Senior member

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    Location:
    London, UK
    ebay, nwt zegna mainline 450ish
     
  11. Grey

    Grey Well-Known Member

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    Feb 10, 2011
    I got suits made in HK when I was there way back in 2001. I was also there a lot longer than 3 weeks.

    You definitely shouldn't have a tough time finding a very good English-speaking tailor. Call the Concierge at The Peninsula or something and ask them to refer you to someone.

    WTF @ "guy from India" comment, btw.
     
  12. Sanchez14

    Sanchez14 Member

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    If I were to go to HK, how long would I need? We are going to China mainly to travel, backpack, and experience Chinese (mainland and HK) culture. So while getting a suit while I'm there would be fine, we won't be in any one city more than 5 days or so. I looked at out dates again and it will actually be closer to 4 weeks, beginning and ending in Shanghai.

    Totally off subject, but it is awesome for traveling in China that domestic flights are so cheap. Even cheaper than the European airliens like RyanAir and Easyjet.
     
  13. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Sounds like you don't need anything before fall. Yes?

    Don't rush. Spend your time cruising the outlets plus other shops in your area. Get to know the staff a bit. With luck you'll find out when stuff goes on sales.
     
  14. Sanchez14

    Sanchez14 Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 29, 2011
    Sounds like you don't need anything before fall. Yes?

    Don't rush. Spend your time cruising the outlets plus other shops in your area. Get to know the staff a bit. With luck you'll find out when stuff goes on sales.


    Ya, I'll probably start in mid September, so I've got plenty of time.
     
  15. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    What is that supposed to mean ? Why would a western person know more about a suit than an Indian or a Chinese ? [​IMG] . Leaving Indian aside, there are several gentlemen of eastern asian origin who dress impeccably and you yourself have put up their pics several times.
    WTF @ "guy from India" comment, btw.
    Explanation: I'm pointing out that there are masses of average Joe's walking around India and China who order and wear cheap and nasty MTM suits but they either don't know any better because everyone does it, or they don't care because they're not interested in looking up to SF standards and their tailors don't care to help them either. Plus I've seen and heard the horrors of Americans going over there for something cheap and coming back with something worth only as much as the few pennies they spent. The shops there are generally designed to put out something that's generic, simple/fast to make, and cheap. Not only that but the kind of style and quality that someone working at a big law firm in the USA and who frequents SF is probably far removed from what these shops work towards. The poster above me, a new member from India recommended going with a MTM in China and my opinion was that it was a bad idea for the reasons I've listed above, and I pointed out that the poster might not have known any better becuase of the environment he lives in and my assumption that he is unfamiliar with what the OP is really looking for / what's acceptable and that he's maybe one of the Average Joe's I mentioned earlier. Plus I have a bias because I assume he's a new member and doesn't have a strong sense for what SF's all about. AJ_del - you've pointed out the extreme exception to the rule. Several eastern Asian posters (and zero Indian posters I might point out) who have impeccable taste (agreed), but they're even more so well regarded because of their below average brethren. They're praised because it's almost expected that they'll be poorly dressed. How many Italians post here? Not that many because what the American's and Asians do on their best days, the Brits and Italians do on an average day. still think I'm being unreasonable?
     
  16. TheBurnOut

    TheBurnOut Senior member

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    Location:
    St Petersburg
    Look up Ying Tai at the Peninsula Hotel- they'll do you right.
     
  17. DoTheGrownup

    DoTheGrownup Senior member

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    Jan 30, 2007
    4. Keep an eye on Off Saks and last Call for when they put their stuff at 40% off. Off Saks is 40% off this week. When on sale, this puts a lot of their stuff in my range.

    I think this is a good option, as long as they have something basic. The Off 5th here often has Isaia and HF suits that would probably come into your price range with the 40% off.
     
  18. johnvw

    johnvw Senior member

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    Jul 19, 2010
    Option #1 you mention is good. You may also want to check out JAB Signature and Sig. Gold suits during one of the 60-70% off sales.
     
  19. phxlawstudent

    phxlawstudent Senior member

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    Dec 6, 2009
    I would go with the Jab Sig Gold suit for $250 ish. Lawyers don't typically dress very well, and unless your putting on trials (which I can more or less guarantee a large firm will not trust a new associate to do), theres not really much point in dressing to the nine's. Unless your doing it for yourself, which is reason in and of itself.

    Or, if your okay with used, scour ebay. Use terms such as custom, bespoke, zegna (make sure its mainline), freeman, etc. There are plenty of Hickey and H. Freeman suits. Don't buy used Brooks, people are willing to pay way too much for that stuff on ebay. Anyway, Hickey Freeman used on ebay is a great place to start, I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something close to your size. Its a very popular suit to sell.
     
  20. jhva3

    jhva3 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 1, 2010
    I would go with the Jab Sig Gold suit for $250 ish. Lawyers don't typically dress very well, and unless your putting on trials (which I can more or less guarantee a large firm will not trust a new associate to do), theres not really much point in dressing to the nine's. Unless your doing it for yourself, which is reason in and of itself.

    Or, if your okay with used, scour ebay. Use terms such as custom, bespoke, zegna (make sure its mainline), freeman, etc. There are plenty of Hickey and H. Freeman suits. Don't buy used Brooks, people are willing to pay way too much for that stuff on ebay. Anyway, Hickey Freeman used on ebay is a great place to start, I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something close to your size. Its a very popular suit to sell.


    Lawyers don't dress well? As opposed to whom? There are a ton of lawyers on this board. Lawyers often wear suits and work with others who also wear suits. Sure, not everyone looks great, but if anyone is going to notice a cheap suit, it is a lawyer.

    If you're going to be making six figures, buy a decent suit. If you know your measurements, you can get good deals on this board, especially if you have a great tailor.
     

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