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Help purchasing a suit in NYC for $1000-$1400?

Xct999

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Like the title says, I'm looking to buy a suit in NYC, and it seems like the options I have right now are slightly more expensive off the rack suits or above-average made to measure suits.

Quick background: I've gone through a lot of suits in the range of department store off the rack suits and a few indochino "beater" suits for daily wear. By far the best suits I own are Zegna, Corneliani, and Hickey Freeman suits I got for relatively cheap. I'd like to step it up slightly.

It seems like the options in NYC are slightly higher end off the rack stores like Drake's or slightly higher end MTM like Hall Madden. I definitely can't afford Bespoke. HM looked good until I saw it was manufactured in China just like indochino, which is garbage quality.

So to my sartorially inclined New Yorkers: what is my best bet?
 

EdT

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Try 845/846 Madison Avenue !
When I visited there for the first time in the mid 80's I went to Alfred Dunhill's for some cigars and met Pierce Bronson having a cigar break from Broadway and then headed over to 845 Madison Avenue. When I entered the store a lady presented me with her business card and asked if she could be of any assistance, she then remarked that we (me and a friend) had good taste because she saw the cigars in our breast pockets ...LoL Then a couple years later the film "A Scent of a Woman" came out and man could I relate to exactly what Al Pachino's Lt Col. Slate character was talking about when he tried to send Chris O'Donnell's character Charlie down to Alfred Dunhill's to get him some cigars ! ...LoL

 
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Xct999

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Doesnt look like there are any mens stores remaining on that block. Any other ideas? Thanks.
 

breakaway01

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I think he must be referring to Alfred Dunhill, which has been closed for some time now. Mainline Zegna and Corneliani are pretty good quality; it'll be difficult to find 'a step up' at your price point. At a similar or slightly more expensive level, I'd suggest Paul Stuart and the Armoury for RTW.
 

Xct999

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I think he must be referring to Alfred Dunhill, which has been closed for some time now. Mainline Zegna and Corneliani are pretty good quality; it'll be difficult to find 'a step up' at your price point. At a similar or slightly more expensive level, I'd suggest Paul Stuart and the Armoury for RTW.
Well, a step up from where? I'm looking for a step up from dept store and cheap MTM. Would you recommend the slightly more expensive MTM (~1200) over OTR stuff from zegna and hickey Freeman? Enzo and black lapel looked sort of good in that range but again, manufactured in China

Edit: not to sound ungrateful for the advice. I checked out both websites, maybe I'll save my money and buy one in a month or two.

Edit#2: Would you recommend the CHEAPEST armoury or PS suits over one of the brands I mentioned? I can afford entry level armoury and PS.
 
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Xct999

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I think he must be referring to Alfred Dunhill, which has been closed for some time now. Mainline Zegna and Corneliani are pretty good quality; it'll be difficult to find 'a step up' at your price point. At a similar or slightly more expensive level, I'd suggest Paul Stuart and the Armoury for RTW.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of suits do you wear? I'm wondering what your reference point is/what I should aspire to.
 

Ben W

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If you want Hickey Freeman it might be worth a trip to their outlet store in Rochester NY. It's a little bit of a hike from NYC but the discounts are generally really good.
 

breakaway01

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Well, a step up from where? I'm looking for a step up from dept store and cheap MTM.
Sorry, by "a step up" I thought you were referring to Zegna/Corneliani/HF. Those are IMO very good RTW suits.

I'd suggest trying on a few different suits in person and seeing which ones fit you best. Fit is the most important parameter and impossible to tell without trying on. In NYC you have a number of options e.g.

SuitSupply: better than department store/cheap MTM and the top lines (La Spalla and Jort) are quite good, though perhaps not quite as nice as mainline Zegna (though significantly less expensive at retail)
Paul Stuart and Armoury as listed above
Polo Ralph Lauren
Brooks Brothers

Just out of curiosity, what kind of suits do you wear? I'm wondering what your reference point is/what I should aspire to.
I don't have to wear suits to work so I don't have many. They range from inexpensive (Spier and Mackay) to Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece and Ravazzolo, and a couple of suits I had made by Luxire, but all fit me quite well so I'm happy with each of them. Your reference point should be fit above all else. If you can wear standard RTW with minimal alterations then the benefit of MTM is questionable -- unless you want fabrics or styling options that are not available RTW. My experience may not be so relevant to you since what fits me well may not fit you well (and vice versa of course).
 

EdT

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Correct if it fits you OTR then Brooks Brothers seperates like their BrooksEase, BrooksGate or whatever they call it now can't be beat for $500/suit. Its always good to have two trousers to one suit jacket or their higher priced non seperate Madison line for around $1000/suit.
 

EdT

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Doesnt look like there are any mens stores remaining on that block. Any other ideas? Thanks.
Is Sulka still in business ? That was the place Hollywood celebs shopped !
 

Xct999

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Thanks everyone. This has given me a lot to think about. I can ask questions forever so feel free to ignore. Outstanding questions:
1. Are the $800-$1000 Italian suits e.g. zegna, brioni, Corneliani essentially equivalent in quality?
2. How can I tell mainline suits of those manufacturers from economy? So I know I'm getting fully canvassed etc.
3. Putting aside style and fit and focusing on quality, do you suggest American brands (BB, HF) over the aforementioned Italian brands?

THANKS! This has been very helpful. My regret has been that I purchased a lot of cheap suits earlier in my life and should have bought less but higher quality suits. I don't want to keep making that mistake. I think I will buy a PS suit for a wedding at the end of this year but purchase one of the suits I'm asking about now for interviews and/or important appearances in my current job.
 

Xct999

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This is one of the reasons I got some indochino suits. I dont need MTM for sizing issues, just neat customization and extra pants.

Correct if it fits you OTR then Brooks Brothers seperates like their BrooksEase, BrooksGate or whatever they call it now can't be beat for $500/suit. Its always good to have two trousers to one suit jacket or their higher priced non seperate Madison line for around $1000/suit.
 

breakaway01

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Thanks everyone. This has given me a lot to think about. I can ask questions forever so feel free to ignore. Outstanding questions:
1. Are the $800-$1000 Italian suits e.g. zegna, brioni, Corneliani essentially equivalent in quality?
2. How can I tell mainline suits of those manufacturers from economy? So I know I'm getting fully canvassed etc.
3. Putting aside style and fit and focusing on quality, do you suggest American brands (BB, HF) over the aforementioned Italian brands?
1. At retail these brands are significantly more than $800-1000. Brioni starts at $4K and Zegna at around 3K. If you can find either of these at $800-1000 in a versatile fabric I'd say that's a good deal. Corneliani is a step below but still good quality if you get mainline (not diffusion)

2. Read up some more at StyleForum. The 'pinch test' is good for identifying a full canvas but you can't use it to tell the difference between half canvas and fused construction. Mainline Zegna (not Z Zegna) and Brioni (there is no diffusion line AFAIK) are fully canvassed. Corneliani mainline is fully canvassed I think, but they have diffusion lines (Corneliani CC and ID) that are not. If you are buying in person it's easy to tell, if you're buying online then you have to do your homework.

3. "quality" is such a difficult term when it comes to clothing. Style/fit are so different depending on manufacturer and model. Plus 'quality' varies from model to model within a brand sometimes. Some BB is half-canvassed, some is full. Same with HF. The better BB/HF suits are similar enough in quality to Corneliani and possibly Zegna for all intents and purposes. Not as nice as Brioni but Brioni has a fairly different silhouette than the other makers.
 

EdT

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Thanks everyone. This has given me a lot to think about. I can ask questions forever so feel free to ignore. Outstanding questions:
1. Are the $800-$1000 Italian suits e.g. zegna, brioni, Corneliani essentially equivalent in quality?
2. How can I tell mainline suits of those manufacturers from economy? So I know I'm getting fully canvassed etc.
3. Putting aside style and fit and focusing on quality, do you suggest American brands (BB, HF) over the aforementioned Italian brands?

THANKS! This has been very helpful. My regret has been that I purchased a lot of cheap suits earlier in my life and should have bought less but higher quality suits. I don't want to keep making that mistake. I think I will buy a PS suit for a wedding at the end of this year but purchase one of the suits I'm asking about now for interviews and/or important appearances in my current job.
Quality is the least expensive suit that will fit you is Quality in my books. Just make sure it is 100% wool an not wool blends or polyester. Either it is Italian, British or American is more a style thing than real quality. Italian suits have more unconventional quirks like heavy on shoulder padding, double vents or ventless etc, British more stiff and cardboard like and the American is a more natural drape with little or no shoulder padding.
 

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