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RattlerRyan
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I've never worn/owned a suit in my life, and now I need to buy one for a professional setting. I know nothing about this subject so any knowledge will be helpful. Budget: preferably under $300 locally in the triangle

Advice?

3/11/2013 6:41:10 PM

shoot
All American
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Never? You r 27 already? Unbelievable.

3/11/2013 6:42:23 PM

dtownral
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pro-tip #1, a cheap suit that fits nice and is tailored to fit you looks a lot better than an expensive suit off the rack that is too boxy with poorly fitting shoulders.

If you are only getting one suit it would probably start with gray

if you are getting multiple suits hit up Jos A Banks multiple suit sales. Their slim cut suits look pretty decent, their regular cut is really dated. Get them tailored.

Oh, and whatever you do, have your suit tailored

3/11/2013 6:59:34 PM

Steven
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I took advantage of the BOGO from Mens warehouse.

I paid around 400-500 but I got two suits and free press anytime.

3/11/2013 7:04:36 PM

mrfrog

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^^ there are no tailored suits < $300

That doesn't excuse not getting one. I'm just sayin...

[Edited on March 11, 2013 at 8:04 PM. Reason : <]

3/11/2013 8:04:21 PM

dtownral
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i'm not talking about a bespoke custom tailored suit, just having it adjusted. you can have the suit heavily altered for under <$100

http://putthison.com/post/11863953233/what-should-suit-alterations-cost
you are going to need the pants hemmed (although this might be free), the waist may need to be adjusted, and I'd probably expect about $50 for some basic coat adjustments.

A Jos A Banks suit will be ~$250-$275, then tailor what you need. You should be able to get away for not too much over your budget, or at budget if you don't mind looking frumpy.

[Edited on March 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM. Reason : .]

3/11/2013 8:13:17 PM

Kris
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I bought a Ludlow from J Crew, a bit pricey, but has a better fit off the rack than most of my tailored suits.

3/11/2013 8:19:18 PM

ncsuallday
Sink the Flagship
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go to Tangier Ralph Lauren outlets - you can get great suits for cheap. There's a Brooks Brothers outlet in Myrtle too iirc

3/11/2013 8:21:45 PM

FuhCtious
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Conveniently, one of the tailors I use will be in Raleigh next weekend. He's out of Bangkok, and comes here once a year.

http://www.samsurin.com/

These suits are Made-to-Measure, which is what a lot of people actually mean when they say bespoke. A true bespoke suit is built from the ground up in every way, and requires multiple fittings. They cost $Texas.

Essentially, with MTM you get all of your measurements done and then choose whatever style and design you want, and then make any sort of other adjustments you like as well, and pick out your fabric, lining, stitching, etc. Men's suits start at $385. The thing that makes a suit cost more is the fabric, everything else will not affect the price much. So it really comes down to fabric choices.

They will then send all your measurements back and make your suit, and ship it to you in about 6 weeks.

I got three last year, one of which was a three piece suit, for $1500. I took a friend and he had a few made as well, and has been super satisfied.

[Edited on March 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM. Reason : cv]

3/11/2013 8:23:50 PM

jbrick83
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http://www.tomjames.com/

Got a package deal with this company a few months ago and I couldn't be more satisfied. A couple suits, some shirts, and some ties....I think it cost me around $1,500. Best $1,500 I've ever spent.

I still have a "tailored" Jos A Bank suit in my closet that feels like I'm wearing a cardboard box compared to my most recent suits. I have a couple Brooks Brothers that are decent as well.

It really depends on what you're using it for and how much you value a good fit. If you're just wearing a suit because you have to...then go to a Brooks Brothers outlet. If you really don't give a shit...then do Jos A Banks...but they really are poor quality.

3/11/2013 8:52:20 PM

nacstate
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http://www.suitsupply.com

I'll probably look into this place soon. They have a couple stores you can get measured in, but otherwise you just get measured according to their guide and send them in. Good prices for good fabrics though.

3/11/2013 9:20:04 PM

Slave Famous
Become Wrath
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I'm interested in getting a set of custom suits like jbrick alluded to...my problem is that I'm rarely the same size for very long. I'll typically fluctuate 15-20 pounds over the course of a year, and its the same cycle every time. Get nice and lean from March to May, stay relatively thin thru August, then slowly turn into Porky fucking pig over the course of football season and into the new year. I look like a marshmellow by the Super Bowl. My waist only goes up half an inch, but my suit goes from 38R to 42L. Now the easy thing to do would be to stop this whole process and just stay within a five pound range all year, but I love nachos. Hopefully when I turn 30 my metabolism slows and I just stay fat forever.

So for something like this, I'd have to order three different measurements, one for skinny, one for fat, and one for inbetween. That would get expensive quickly. So for now, I'll just continue to buy quality suits for < $500 , get them tailored, and not obsess with the 'perfect fit' until my body decides to cooperate.

3/11/2013 9:37:14 PM

Netstorm
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Quote :
"I bought a Ludlow from J Crew, a bit pricey, but has a better fit off the rack than most of my tailored suits."


Fucking quality suit, even from J Crew Factory which is rather low quality usually. They have a great priced Ludlow that is very sought after.


My suit advice: Charcoal. If you're new to suits and you can only get one right now, get Charcoal. Not gray either, actual Charcoal. It's classic and it can be stretched into more situations than even a Navy suit (though people endlessly argue about this, both are great). Both are conservative choices but that's generally what you want it for in a professional setting.

I would buy from http://www.suitsupply.com if your have a good idea of fit with your clothing and your body. If you don't, go in person and get measured and helped by someone who DOES know what they're doing, at least for your first time. Brooks Brothers is one of the better ones, but I would only ever go there on a friend's and family sale personally, just because I have a small budget. You could also do what was recommended earlier and go Men's Warehouse as they are constantly having a sale, just don't buy their add-ons. Their suits are cheap but their shirts and shoes are not.


For $300 as a first timer, I would go to Men's Warehouse in Crossroads, tell them you want a charcoal (or a Navy... honestly whatever the fuck you want, it won't matter too much for you probably) suit. Have them take your measurements, et cetera, look for sale options. They can do alterations for you, usually for free, but they all kinds of fucked stuff up for me once, so I tend to go to an actual tailor.

Keep in mind I personally avoid Men's Warehouse because they're low quality, but for a first-timer they have good service and will at least set you straight if you know NOTHING.

3/11/2013 10:36:51 PM

Netstorm
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jbrick83 fucking ballin' over there. Sounds like a sweet package deal.

3/11/2013 10:38:10 PM

TreeTwista10
Forgetful Jones
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my Jos A Bank suits fit me just fine...granted they feel more constricting in your armpits if you have to do jumping jacks or something, but when they have their buy 1 get 2 free deals, its tough to beat for the price...get a black, a gray and a tan and you're good

3/12/2013 12:15:10 AM

RattlerRyan
All American
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any thoughts on getting a tan/brown suit? I look better in brown

3/12/2013 12:23:23 AM

TreeTwista10
Forgetful Jones
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most places you go to have hundreds of colors/shades of suits

try on pants and jackets in front of full length mirrors in the store...they wont be tailored to your exact cut, but you can get a good idea of how the color looks on you

and as far as tan vs. brown...wherever you go will probably have like 50 shades of tan through brown

3/12/2013 12:26:38 AM

Netstorm
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^^For your first suit ever you should really get a basic color, navy or charcoal. A brown suit is... all I'm saying is I'm sure you'll look fine in navy or charcoal.

3/12/2013 3:33:53 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"any thoughts on getting a tan/brown suit? I look better in brown"


Agree with the people saying black/gray/charcoal...but if you really like brown so much, try a Taupe suit. I just got a darker shaded pinstripe taupe colored suit that looks similar to this:



And Slave...

I feel you on the different sizes. Although when I fluctuate, it's only the waist, it's still a pain. I got my most recent suits tailored when I was at my peak over the winter and I told the guy, "look, this isn't my ideal size...I plan on losing 7-10 pounds in the next couple months." I'm sure he was like "yeah right". Lo and behold, they fit perfectly when they were finally done, but now they are too big. But he picked the pants up a week ago and they are fixing them for free.

So that's something to thing about if you're looking at Tom James. They're really high on the service and basically want you to buy every single item of clothing from them. I don't plan on doing that, but I will be purchasing a lot of my pants/slacks from them. My dress shirts fit like a fucking glove as well...it's taking everything in me not to throw out every Brooks Brothers/Jos A banks shirt and buy 10 custom tailored shirts.

3/12/2013 7:30:16 AM

richthofen
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Another option for a reasonable suit would be to go to Belk. Pretty good selection, they often have sales (in the fall I got a $700 suit for $300 on clearance) and they can do tailoring in-house if you're so inclined (though whether or not their advice will result in a fashionable suit may depend on who's doing the measuring/appraising). At the very least it will fit properly.

3/12/2013 1:50:49 PM

Netstorm
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^This. Basically any department store honestly, just depends on which ones have staff in the formal wear area in my opinion (this guy needs some assistance for sure).

^^Taupe is a good idea, definitely way better than straight-up brown anyway. Really fucking jealous of the Tom James stuff, but it's not a viable option for me as I'm on a weight loss diet (that's been successful) so I'm going through business wear at Target clearance speeds.

3/12/2013 2:10:52 PM

BobbyDigital
Thots and Prayers
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I kinda want to buy a suit from these guys: http://www.combatgent.com/

after reading this:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lydiadishman/2013/01/31/e-commerce-newbie-combat-gent-heads-into-battle-for-a-piece-of-the-menswear-market/


but, I rarely am doing anything that dictates a suit. but for $160, it's probably worth the risk.

3/12/2013 3:43:08 PM

richthofen
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If you do, let us know how it turns out. I also rarely find myself suited, but the three suits I have don't exactly cover all occasions.

3/12/2013 4:21:53 PM

slaptit
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Banana Republic tailored fit suits are good at your price point

3/12/2013 5:55:36 PM

jwb9984
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Quote :
"a cheap suit that fits nice and is tailored to fit you looks a lot better than an expensive suit off the rack that is too boxy with poorly fitting shoulders. one that isn't"

3/12/2013 7:05:49 PM

smc
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Exactly. The fit makes the suit, not the brand. It's so easy to spot someone that doesn't wear a suit often. If you don't look comfortable in it, a suit can create the opposite impression from what you're trying to achieve.

3/12/2013 8:10:03 PM

NeuseRvrRat
hello Mr. NSA!
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i don't trust fuckers in suits

3/12/2013 8:21:44 PM

Steven
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dress pants, dress shirt and a tie. top it off with a northface jacket and you are looking professional for the Pacific NW.

3/13/2013 12:04:55 AM

slut
All American
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Yuck. I refuse to put on a tie without a jacket.

[Edited on March 13, 2013 at 7:30 AM. Reason : P]

3/13/2013 7:29:59 AM

jbrick83
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I can't find a fucking belt to fit me. My waist is so damn small, that I'm still on the last hole on the belt and the "leftover" flaps around like the tail of a Great Dane.

I need to go serious belt shopping. I'm holding onto a reversable belt that is threads away from falling apart.

3/13/2013 7:47:20 AM

RattlerRyan
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So the recurring theme is the fit is the most important thing. As someone who has no idea about how a suit should fit or look and nobody to go suit shopping with, I guess I will have to rely on the person at the store picking it out for me and trusting what they say. With that said, which stores have the most knowledgeable/fashionable staff, and does anyone have an actual person to recommend at a particular store?

3/13/2013 8:23:58 AM

jbrick83
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I wouldn't trust someone at a store telling me how it "fits"...unless it was a swanky, local store that will tailor it to you.

Too often in my younger days I would go to a Jos A Banks and have one of their salesman/tailors give me some spiel on how it should feel and look on me...then when I put it on for the first time after it's tailored...it feels and looks like shit.

My two best suits prior to going the Tom James route were two suits I got from a Brooks Brothers outlet and THEN took them to a tailor to get altered. Because those guys don't care about selling you the suit...they want to tailor it to fit so you'll keep coming back.

The guys at Jos A Banks are just trying to get you in a cheap suit and get you out so they can move on to the next guy.

3/13/2013 8:34:22 AM

dtownral
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checkout putthison.com, they usually have good advice

http://putthison.com/post/543170264/fit
http://www.esquire.com/style/tips/suit-fit-0708
http://putthison.com/post/19955659382/how-a-suit-jacket-or-sport-coat-should-fit-a

the only thing i would let the store tailor is hemming pants, so just buy the suit and take it to a tailor like ^ recommended. some stores probably are just fine at getting measurements and pins for tailoring, but i've had enough bad experiences to just now go straight to the tailor.

3/13/2013 9:40:52 AM

DamnStraight
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I found good work with Indochino, though its obviously not local.

3/13/2013 9:46:37 AM

RattlerRyan
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Are there local suit tailors anyone can recommend?

3/13/2013 11:03:19 AM

slaptit
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Lee's Tailor in Crabtree took in my suit (sleeves, pants and pant waist) about 4 years ago and everything is still good. I remember their prices being very reasonable as well...

3/13/2013 1:41:40 PM

Netstorm
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^Seconding, affordable and good work.

But yeah, but off the rack and then tailor. In-house alterations for hemming is fine, most people could hem if they took the opportunity to learn, so I would never feel bad letting someone do that much. Messing with the jacket, go to a different tailor.

PutThisOn has awesome stuff for pretty much everything.

Indochina seems great and a lot of people love it, but it's definitely a long process of getting everything just right, and it's probably not meant for a first-time suit purchaser.

3/13/2013 2:10:19 PM

RattlerRyan
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bttt

Going shopping for the suit in the next week. A friend of a friend got a suit at the Banana Republic at the Tanger Outlets in Mebane last week so I'm gonna go there first. Anyone know of any current sales or deals? Not interested in BOGO deals. I only need one suit and ya'll have me sold on charcoal or dark taupe.

4/24/2013 9:20:47 AM

jbrick83
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Be careful with the suit at the Banana Republic outlet. Their outlet clothing material is hit or miss...and usually miss. I've lucked out on a few jackets from there...but a lot of their stuff is Aeropostale quality (that's a guess...don't really know what their shit is like). They do offer a slimmer-fitting suit, but I'd check and see if they have a sale in their regular stores first.

If you're at the outlets, might as well check out the Brooks Brother's store. Their outlet suits are actually pretty decent.

4/24/2013 9:24:10 AM

mofopaack
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Men's Warehouse suits are complete crap, even if you rarely wear them they fall apart. This includes their shirts and ties.

I have one Brooke's Bros which is nice, but old man'ish

I got one from Macy's brand "Alfani" and it is the best fitting suit ive ever gotten and paid ~$200 on sale. It is more fitted and casual, good for weddings. They are constantly having sales so Id recommended checking them out.

4/24/2013 9:34:40 AM

Jeepin4x4
#Pack9
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^^is their outlet stuff not just past season's left overs? is there actually a difference between regular store and outlet store quality? is that the same for Gap?


^i got a navy Jones NY suit from MW a couple years ago that has held up great. It was their modern/slim cut and it fits really well with nice lines. Definitely one of the better purchases from MW, you have to be choosy with what you want there. A lot of times the sales people try to push stuff on you that is complete crap.

4/24/2013 9:58:38 AM

MaximaDrvr

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Banana outlet is lower quality production. It is not the leftovers from stores.

4/24/2013 10:01:06 AM

mrfrog

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Did BobbyDigital ever try Combatant Gent? I want to get some customer stories from people who've used it.

It looks like some self-service size measurement stuff here

http://www.combatgent.com/pages/the-perfect-fit

But I haven't seen anything about putting in one's sizes when making an order. I want to find out how this has been working for people.

[Edited on April 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM. Reason : ant]

4/24/2013 10:15:10 AM

synapse
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4/24/2013 10:22:44 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"^^is their outlet stuff not just past season's left overs? is there actually a difference between regular store and outlet store quality?"


Most "nicer" outlet stores (BR and J.Crew as examples) produce lower quality clothes for their outlet stores. They might randomly have a few overstock or "didn't sell" items...but I think it's about 90% completely different shit that you can't find in their regular stores.

I still get shit there...but you are essentially getting what you pay for.

Just did a little research and found this. Didn't know it was this specific, but its definitely something to look for:

http://stackingpennies.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/not-impressed-by-outlet-malls/

Quote :
"At BR outlet, things made for the exclusively for outlet have 3 dots on the tag beneath the label of “Banana Republic”. Last weekend, I did not find a single item in the outlet store without three dots on the tag.

The styles are often very similar/identical, but the quality and fabric is often not the same. I noticed this when I was drug to a BR outlet shortly after being in the real store. This is OK if you judge the material to be sufficient for your needs, but be an educated consume and know what you are getting. It is NOT the same dress you saw in the BR store."


Also looks like I was pretty close with my 90% guess:

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/style/buyer-beware-the-truth-about-outlet-malls/

Quote :
"n the past, outlet stores mainly carried merchandise that was originally made for the retail or department store but was unfit for retail sale. Today, only about 15 percent of the merchandise in outlet stores actually comes from the retail store. The remaining 85 percent of the merchandise are goods the manufacturer made specifically for the outlet store. While the merchandise may carry the same brand name as the retail merchandise, straight for outlet goods use lower quality fabrics and construction techniques."


[Edited on April 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM. Reason : .]

4/24/2013 10:39:27 AM

Jeepin4x4
#Pack9
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i read those two articles after posting also. it's funny, i just picked up a few things from the Gap Outlet yesterday after work. I remember a "3-diamond" tag on a couple of them. but it was mostly just summer shirts, pair of lightweight khakis and a pair of slim cut jeans which were $25. The jeans may go back, but the other stuff, for what it is and what I paid will be fine for the season.

4/24/2013 11:29:48 AM

nacstate
All American
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regular BR stores (and I assume all Gap brands) won't even accept returns from their outlets.

4/24/2013 1:14:54 PM

Netstorm
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Keep in mind that while a lot of the factory outlet equivalents of these brand names can be lower quality on flagship product lines, they still have some "nicer" products (more akin to their brand name) and are still worth looking at when on sale. Basically it just comes down to being selective and aware of quality / what you're paying for. And of course it probably depends on what you're buying.

4/24/2013 2:47:47 PM

jaZon
All American
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This thread is relevant to my interests

4/24/2013 3:07:02 PM

BIGcementpon
Status Name
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4/25/2013 12:06:14 AM

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