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How do you buy a second hand suit online?

ponch10

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Hi All!

I see many good opportunities on Ebay and on forums in regards to second hand, high end suits, and I wonder: how do you know if that suit is going to fit?

Sure there are measurements (which are pretty standardized anyway), but how do you make sure that the particular garment will fit as it should?
If you are spending £1000 for a suit that retails for £5000 is surely an amazing deal, but it is also still a grand and you want to make sure it fits like a second skin - or is it just me?
 

Phileas Fogg

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If you are spending £1000 for a suit that retails for £5000 is surely an amazing deal, but it is also still a grand and you want to make sure it fits like a second skin - or is it just me?
Wrong, wrong, wrong! It’s not an amazing deal. It was $5k when it was new. That assumes the value was there in the first place. It’s now a used suit.

Anyone paying that much for something used should have his head examined. If the suit is new, unworn, unaltered and with tags on, then perhaps an argument could be made for value.

That still doesn’t answer your question as to fit, and the short answer is that beyond the measurements offered there’s really no way to know. I suppose if you own a suit from the same label and the same model, then that’s a starting point but some brands tweak the fit to accommodate for the prevailing style.

Don’t get suckered into the perceived discount. Your buying a used garment. For all you know the guy enjoyed frequenting the red light district and acting out some “boss bangs secretary in his office” fantasy while wearing that suit.

Find a reputable mens store. Try on a suit in person and have them finish it for you.
 

breakaway01

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You’re correct. Buying any suit online has the pitfall of not being able to try it on. At least if you buy it new, you know it hasn’t been altered, which is not necessarily the case with buying used. I have not purchased any pre owned suits online. It only makes sense IMO if you know the make and model of suit and if the seller accepts returns. I would never buy a custom or bespoke suit online without being able to return it.
 

suitedcboy

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Get your best fitted suit and measure it to death. There are somewhat standard measurements good sellers will list and if there is something not described then ask. The pants waist is important as suits tailored for someone with much muscularity will get the pants tailored to 8 inch or more drop from chest size. If you do not know the brand and their models and the fits of those models then you will make mistakes. Ask fr additional photos if you do not see something you would like to see. There are certainly some well worn suits out there but there are also many that are little worn. I think the little worn category is up due to WFH trend causing a lot of wardrobes to be revamped.
 

TheShetlandSweater

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Hi All!

I see many good opportunities on Ebay and on forums in regards to second hand, high end suits, and I wonder: how do you know if that suit is going to fit?

Sure there are measurements (which are pretty standardized anyway), but how do you make sure that the particular garment will fit as it should?
If you are spending £1000 for a suit that retails for £5000 is surely an amazing deal, but it is also still a grand and you want to make sure it fits like a second skin - or is it just me?
Don't spend 1,000 on a suit on ebay unless you really know what you are doing or you are some vintage enthusiast. A lot of the suits on ebay are strange. The fits are outdated, the sizing is strange, the frabrics are peculiar or not very versatile, etc. Unless the item is nwt, you also don't know what condition it is. Don't think the stuff on ebay is a good deal. It rarely is. I have few items from my ebay days that I still wear.

You're much better off putting that money to get something new from a trusted retailer who has put some thought into their product and isn't trying to sell of something that couldn't sell. Go buy a suit from the Armoury or Anglo-Italian or No Man Walks Alone X Sartoria Carrara or Cavour or Ring Jacket from some other retailer, or (if you really want secondhand) from a trusted retailer like Drop93. For less than half that price, you can also get stuff from Spier and Mackay and you will likely look better in something rom them than a discounted purple Kiton jacket. There are also plenty of good mto and mtm makers in this price space. I can almost assure you that you'd be happier getting something new and useful than something heavily discounted, used, and strange.
 

comrade

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"Get your best fitted suit and measure it to death. There are somewhat standard measurements good sellers will list and if there is something not described then ask."

Then there are the idiots who do not know how to properly measure their own merchandise.
I have successfully purchased NEW suits and sport coats online. In two instances
I had tried on the exact model the season before at a local retailer. Other times I took a
chance because the prices was very low for what was offered. And then there was time
I made the mistake of buying a non refundable garment at a great price and in a cut
I liked. The measurements were very much smaller than the one's posted on the site.
The dirt bag merchant would not take a return, nor did eBay, nor my credit card co
back me. One of these days I'll take the trouble to sell it online.
 

ponch10

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Sounds like a bad idea to buy suits online.
But how about the Buy&Sell corner on this forum? It seems pretty active and yet the problem remains - you don't know for sure until you try it on?
 

dieworkwear

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eBay used to be a better proposition ten years ago before there were brands such as Spier & Mackay. Back then, you couldn't really get a good suit under $1,000. Almost everything was just a different version of bad, so taking a chance on eBay was an attempt to buy something that was better than what you could afford at full retail.

Nowadays, there are more options for affordable tailoring. The fit and styling below the $1,000 price point are much better than it once was. So if someone is working on a smaller budget, I'd recommend they try those brands first.

You can still buy a good suit on eBay, but as others have noted, it helps if

1) You've tried on that fit and model before and know it works for you.
2) You have good measurements
3) The seller allows for returns if things don't work out
4) You have a good local alterations tailor
5) Far down the list, it's sometimes good to buy higher-end brands because they have more inlays, which allows for a greater degree of adjustments. This can include bespoke if the person is near your size.

Barring these things, it helps to have some acquaintance with ready-to-wear tailoring, such that you know X brand is known for Y styling, or A brand is known for B styling. Measurements don't always tell the whole story, so it helps to know a bit about the company.

As ever, it helps to know a bit about your own fitting issues, so you know whether eBay is even a good bet for you. Having all this knowledge (your fitting issues, your garment measurements, brands on the market, models that may work for you, local alteration options, and so forth) increases your chances of getting a good suit on eBay.

However, it's also worth checking out some of the RTW options nowadays below $1,000. Some of them are quite good.
 

Stylewords

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One advantage of buying an older suit or sport jacket on ebay is jacket length. Modern jackets, even in "long", are often too short for taller people. Get an older jacket and maybe even the regular will be long enough - that really widens the options.
 

Aloysius16

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One advantage of buying an older suit or sport jacket on ebay is jacket length. Modern jackets, even in "long", are often too short for taller people. Get an older jacket and maybe even the regular will be long enough - that really widens the options.
That's one of the main attractions for me. I'm 6,1 and somewhere between a regular and a long fitting. Older regular fits are often good (around 31" centre back length on a 40R), particularly as long fit suits are almost impossible to find these days.
 

Stylewords

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Absolutely. I need around 31-32" BOC and even with long sizes in some brands you don't get that. And just about every jacket I've bought is shorter than the size guide by 1/4-1/2 inch. At least with ebay, you can get a real back measurement and, as you say, old regular 40/42 can easily be 31" or more.
 

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