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Where to buy a SUIT

I would rather not hijack Ellen's thread so I am posting this here. I currently own 6 suits but all of them were clearly misfitted and are not very professional looking.

So I am looking for one professional looking business suit that fits well. I would like a salesman who actually knows what a suit that fits looks like. Ellen recommended Brooks Brothers or, if they are too expensive, JosA Bank. So based on the online reviews Brooks Brothers would be an excellent choice, however $1,000+ for a suit is way over my budget.

And the Jos A Bank reviews were terrifying.

So...where should I go? Anywhere in Manhattan is good but I would prefer 23rd-38th/Lex-7th Ave area. Do any of you have stores that you swear buy? Again, I am looking for excellent suit salesmen, solid tailors, and high quality suits.

Price range: $200-$500


Ken Abbott

Managing Director
Several things:
1) Who says Joe Bank is bad? The salespeople are not nearly as attentive as those at BB, but I can assure you that their suits are worn by many senior people at major firms.
2) Brooks Brothers often sells suits for under $1000. They're having their summer sale right now (I just checked).
Several things:
1) Who says Joe Bank is bad? The salespeople are not nearly as attentive as those at BB, but I can assure you that their suits are worn by many senior people at major firms.
2) Brooks Brothers often sells suits for under $1000. They're having their summer sale right now (I just checked).

Really? I went to their website and saw all suits for $1,100. They had about 3 suits for ~$500 but I don't want to go to a suitstore for a selection of 3...

JAB: Yelp reviews are frightening.
Just curious, where have you shopped previously? If you go to a place like Brooks Brothers, they have tailors on staff who you can ask for their opinion, so that is a plus. Sometimes it's just good to see what a suit that fits feels and looks like, even if you don't buy it (although I don't promote that line of thinking.) I would raise your budget for that one suit that fits you nicely, then you have a baseline to compare all other suits.
Since I taught at private elementary schools I was required to wear a suit to work every day. I bought them at local suit stores which I am realizing are just in it for the quick buck and no long term customers. I paid ~$200-$400 a suit. I would pay a bit over $500 but if I went to $1,000 I doubt my wife would be too happy...unless I raised her jewlery budget :ROFLMAO:
Several things:
1) Who says Joe Bank is bad? The salespeople are not nearly as attentive as those at BB, but I can assure you that their suits are worn by many senior people at major firms.

Senior is exactly the way I would describe their core customer base. ;) I had a salesperson at JAB tell me to come back in ten years!
Yet you would expect a store whos core base are business seniors making $150k+ to be more of "we have great service and high quality" rather than "buy one get 17 ABSOLUTELY FREE". It's kind of a turn off to be honest...
Could be worth it to check out Saks/Bloomingdales/Macys (or Boss, Theory, etc) suit departments to try on several makes and models - find what works best and then wait for the sales or local sample sales, online deals or head up to Woodbury for the day (theres a bus that runs hourly from Port Authority).

SA's will often let you know if a sale/presale/point day is coming up and if you're lucky to be an off-size, supply can be plentiful. Picking up their credit card on a big purchase on one of said says can also typically get you another 15-25% off. (little known fact: out of state(NY)/country ID will also get you a discount at the 34th st Macys - you just need to ask for it)

One caveat to Woodbury: much of their brooks brothers and banana republic outlet inventory (but not all) is made specifically for the outlet and slightly different in style, material and quality from their flagships - that said, there are still some good finds there. I've noticed this issue less with off Fifth, Thomas Pink, Boss, Theory and Burberry - they tend to carry more overstock.

Thomas Pink and Charles Thyrwhitt, if they work for you, also have great sales a few times a year - though their bread and butter are shirts.

Also, don't completely rule out the custom route. Sometimes these aren't as expensive as you might think.

(once upon a time, I used to cover retail/women's fashion securities and am still on a gazillion mailing lists... I suppose it has it's perks ;) )
You also might note that you don't need to buy 4,5,however many suits at Joseph A Banks to get the promotional price. You can probably buy just one or two + shirt and tie an still get a promotional price deal. Just negotiate.
OK, taking everyone's advice into consideration I set out this morning and made my purchase. Here is how my day went.

Stop #1: Brooks Brothers, 45th Madison. I walked in and was directed to the fifth floor. An older gentleman was about to show me some suits when I warned him that my price limit was ~$500. He told me that he only has two polyester suits on sale for that price. So I left.

Fun story. I was looking over a $1,100 suit and a customer ran over to me a whispered: "you can get that same suit at Woodbury Commons for $299. All of the surrounding employees heard and glared. :ROFLMAO:

Stop #2: Jos A Bank, 46th Madison. I was directed upstairs where I was introduced to the "Buy 1 get 2 free" sale. I told the saleswoman that I only needed one suit and was willing on paying more than 1/3 for the solo suit. She said "let me check our current sale online." She checked and sadly informed me that the absolute least I would be spending there would be $900 on their cheapest suit. So I left.

Stop #3: MySuit. The store is smack in between the other two. I nearly walked past it and then saw the banner. So I walked in. My immediate thought was that it was going to be out of my budget. I walked up to the counter and said "do you have suits in the ~$500 range? His response? "We don't sell suit; we make them."

So it turns out that MySuit is a custom suit store. For ~$500 I got to pick my fabric, have two tailors measure every inch of my body and test on 10 different pants/jackets marking away ferociously with white chalk. After this whole ordeal they let me pick my lining, designs, buttons, etc. Every single detail was customizable. I'm even getting my initials inside ;).

So, based on Tom's advice I made the right move. I will be getting a charcoal conservative suit that fits me perfectly. I will now know what a good fit means.

What you get for $500:
  • Pick fabric and design
  • They custom fit you for ~1hour
  • Set a date in 2 weeks for actually fitting /tailoring of the suit
  • All done
Side point: When the sales guy was away for a moment I pulled out my phone and googled "My Suit". 17 reviews, 4.5 stars. The best I have seen so far. Fingers crossed!
I bought mine KK in Lord&Taylor couple of years ago. Original price was 700$, the sale was 20% + coupon 25% + open credit card with them 20% so the final price with 65% discount was 245$ :) Be smart ... :)

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
gilt.com of has some amazing sales for suits. I've purchased some suits for about ~400-500, regularly priced >1000. Fitting hasn't been an issue at all.

Joy Pathak

Also, FYI when I was in the program at baruch I had a beige no name suit. I wore that to almost every interview. I think it was like $199 for the whole thing from a small store in Canada. I wouldn't have ever been able to afford $500 for a suit.
If you have the body type, go to Zara. You can get a nice fitted suit for $300-$400, plus it's Euro, so it's added style that you wouldn't get at an American place like Brooks Brothers where everyone shops. Worst thing is to wear baggy pants and look like a ninja; many people unfortunately are sartorially challenged and you see this all too often just looking around at suits in the subway.

Now, Zara is for people who don't want to spend too much. If you want style at a much higher price, shop brands like Pink, Paul Smith, or Varvatos.
I've gotten great bargains at Macy's for the price/quality of material. As long as you know what you're looking for in quality and go there when they tend to be quiet, you should be able to find something on sale for a good price.

Brooks Brothers you need to see the label on the material you're buying. If the tag says "346", it's an outlet item made only for the outlet. Sometimes it will be marked imperfect on the tag which means it's sub par in some aspect. The outlet stores sometimes have great deals with Brooks Brothers especially shirts. A few shirts I saw months prior for $150 were recently selling for $50-$85.