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Old 01-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Starting a suit wardrobe

I think there was a thread on this a while back, but I used the search function and could not find it- I apologize. Also, I know that there are probably more relevant forums for this kind of question, but I remember reading some helpful information the last time a thread of this type was on here.

To the point, I am wanting to build a wardrobe of nicer clothing, specifically some suits. Although my work allows us to dress pretty casually (golfshirt, khakis, sperries, etc), I am considering "dressing for the job I want, not the one I have". I assume that if I want to be able to wear a suit every day, that I will need atleast 5 different suits (please correct me if there's a more sensible way to go about this). I've recently purchased a pretty basic charcoal suit at Mens Wearhouse on Harbison (in Columbia), and it ended up being a little over $300 after alterations. I asked them about their BOGO, and they said that only applies to the more expensive suits, which start around $500/suit. Does anyone have recommendations for a better value? I am looking mainly for value, not necessarily a premium suit, being as my job is not one that requires hobknobbing with wealthy executives or anything even close to that. That being said, I do want something that has a stylish/slim appearance.

So, my question is- is Mens Wearhouse the best value? Should I go Joseph A Banks? Maybe something else? Also, I already have a charcoal suit, and I'd like to add a blue and black for sure. What other recommendations do you all have? Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

My recommendations are to (1) go to a store and get measured, (2) buy online, and (3) find your own tailor.

(1) because you need to make sure you're getting the right size, obviously.
(2) because you will ABSOLUTELY find a better deal on good suits. If you're not sure what exactly the suit looks like, go in-store and make sure you like it; then buy it online.
(3) because most store tailors charge extra if you don't buy the suit there - this includes paying more for buying from their store online. If you buy a JoAB suit online, the in-store tailoring costs more than if you bought the suit at that specific location.

As a final note, when buying a suit that's lighter in color, make sure you know how light/dark it is. Some of the "charcoal" suits you see online have a lot of light on them in the picture, and you'll be disappointed when they come in looking more black than grey.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cock Kool-Aid View Post
I think there was a thread on this a while back, but I used the search function and could not find it- I apologize. Also, I know that there are probably more relevant forums for this kind of question, but I remember reading some helpful information the last time a thread of this type was on here.

To the point, I am wanting to build a wardrobe of nicer clothing, specifically some suits. Although my work allows us to dress pretty casually (golfshirt, khakis, sperries, etc), I am considering "dressing for the job I want, not the one I have". I assume that if I want to be able to wear a suit every day, that I will need atleast 5 different suits (please correct me if there's a more sensible way to go about this). I've recently purchased a pretty basic charcoal suit at Mens Wearhouse on Harbison (in Columbia), and it ended up being a little over $300 after alterations. I asked them about their BOGO, and they said that only applies to the more expensive suits, which start around $500/suit. Does anyone have recommendations for a better value? I am looking mainly for value, not necessarily a premium suit, being as my job is not one that requires hobknobbing with wealthy executives or anything even close to that. That being said, I do want something that has a stylish/slim appearance.

So, my question is- is Mens Wearhouse the best value? Should I go Joseph A Banks? Maybe something else? Also, I already have a charcoal suit, and I'd like to add a blue and black for sure. What other recommendations do you all have? Thanks in advance for your input.
I've got a couple of suits from Joseph A. Banks over the years and they have held up really well. They aren't Armani but pretty good quality for the price. I would wait until they have one of their specials on and then snag a couple.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Depends on body style. I have really broad shoulders so hard to go to normal store to buy. You might want to think about a tailor there are a lot that will come to you. A good place to go and get really good deals is Dillards. They have a sale at least once a year and some really nice suits at really good prices. Another place is Brooks Brothers and their outlet store.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

I recently had my measurements done at Mens Wearhouse (obviously), so I suppose that next time I go in there to pick up my suit I could ask them to provide me with my measurements. Hopefully they could print something off for me.

This brings me to another question... I had to get a specific suit from them because I'm in a bridal party that is booked through them. I went in to the store, they took my measurements and then had to order the suit because they were out of stock of it at that location. I went back in a week later to try it on for tailoring and the thing must have had a 28 waist on it (I'm a 32 at best). I could barely get the pants on and he said they would take it out for me no problem, but the alterations ended up costing slightly more than originally estimated. Is this normal practice? Why wouldn't they order a suit with my correct waist size? Is it a good idea to take a waist out that much? The whole thing just struck me as odd.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

I just bought 2 nice suits from Jos A Banks and am very pleased. Went to Men's Warehouse and their stuff was junk compared to JAB.

I would suggest going to their website and signing up for their email list since they have sales all the time. Just be prepared to get inundated with emails...they're a little too aggressive with their marketing and I had to unsubscribe once I bought my suits.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Also, not sure if you ever get a chance to travel out of the country, but that can be a great oppurtunity to get some quality suits cheaper than here. One of my brothers has to travel extensively in South America and has been able to get some really nice custom made suits for about $200 each.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Joseph A Bank is good because you can buy one suit for like $700, but you end up getting 3 for that price. You've seen the commercials... they have deals all the time.

I would definitely go with a black, charcoal/grey, blue, and brown/light brown colors. It's a good idea that you are thinking of getting suits because you never know when a situation will arise where you end up needing one.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Don't go with cuffed pants, go straight. Narrow lapels, but not too narrow. Slim taper ties, but not pencil straight. Straight leg style pants; Jos Bank is finally acknowledging these trends, since for so long they've only offered what I call "parachute pants" with way too low inseams and way too big of an opening and width if their pant legs.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

The key is knowing your silhouette and getting suits that fit your silhouette. Also know that getting a suit with shoulders too big means you can't alter the shoulders down, unlike other parts if a jacket. Charcoal and navy are staples, but don't be afraid to go glen plaid. Great looks to be had there.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cock Kool-Aid View Post
I recently had my measurements done at Mens Wearhouse (obviously), so I suppose that next time I go in there to pick up my suit I could ask them to provide me with my measurements. Hopefully they could print something off for me.

This brings me to another question... I had to get a specific suit from them because I'm in a bridal party that is booked through them. I went in to the store, they took my measurements and then had to order the suit because they were out of stock of it at that location. I went back in a week later to try it on for tailoring and the thing must have had a 28 waist on it (I'm a 32 at best). I could barely get the pants on and he said they would take it out for me no problem, but the alterations ended up costing slightly more than originally estimated. Is this normal practice? Why wouldn't they order a suit with my correct waist size? Is it a good idea to take a waist out that much? The whole thing just struck me as odd.
I'm no tailor or expert on the matter, but 4 inches being let out of a brand new pair of suit pants seems very extreme to me especially considering you have an average sized waist. I don't think I would accept that suit from them or at the very least would expect the alterations to be free. I think they may be trying to take advantage of the fact that you are part of a wedding party and pretty much have to get your suit there.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

They don't do odd numbers in suiting, but if you want to treat yourself to a step or two above Jo's bank, go to banana republic
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by markp_vip View Post
I'm no tailor or expert on the matter, but 4 inches being let out of a brand new pair of suit pants seems very extreme to me especially considering you have an average sized waist. I don't think I would accept that suit from them or at the very least would expect the alterations to be free. I think they may be trying to take advantage of the fact that you are part of a wedding party and pretty much have to get your suit there.
That's sort of what I was thinking. I'm not sure if they were actually 28 waist, but I could barely get the pants on and it was extremely uncomfortable, so I'm guessing something like that. Maybe 30.

I'm not so much concerned with the additional price of the alterations as I am of the pants looking and feeling right after such an extreme adjustment to the waist.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smashies_AC30 View Post
They don't do odd numbers in suiting, but if you want to treat yourself to a step or two above Jo's bank, go to banana republic
I've bought a few articles of clothing from the Banana Republic outlet in Myrtle Beach. They have some great clearance sales. I'm not sure if the same applies to their suits.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

I have about 10 suits from Jos A Banks. I have never paid their full price for anything. Usually I get them for 2 for $250 or something like that. For me anyway, they have held up very well, and I have not had any issues. I do have some fraying on one but the suit is probably 10 years old. And for my work, I wear suits 4x/week and do travel so they go in suit cases and such, so given they have held up for a long time shows the durability and quality.

I have one suit from BR, and I would not put it in the same class as those from Banks. But just my opinion. Oh and I think Mens Warehouse is being bought/already bought by Banks.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cock Kool-Aid View Post
I've bought a few articles of clothing from the Banana Republic outlet in Myrtle Beach. They have some great clearance sales. I'm not sure if the same applies to their suits.
I've seen a few nice suits at the outlets, and generally speaking they seem to sell the jacket and pants separate. Jackets usually from $199 to $299 and the suit pants between $100 to $150, and I have seen them reduced by as much as 50% off so you could get a really nice suit for a couple hundred if you hit them at the right time. Kind of hit or miss, helps if you live close by an outlet.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

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Originally Posted by TKE226 View Post
I have about 10 suits from Jos A Banks. I have never paid their full price for anything. Usually I get them for 2 for $250 or something like that. For me anyway, they have held up very well, and I have not had any issues. I do have some fraying on one but the suit is probably 10 years old. And for my work, I wear suits 4x/week and do travel so they go in suit cases and such, so given they have held up for a long time shows the durability and quality.

I have one suit from BR, and I would not put it in the same class as those from Banks. But just my opinion. Oh and I think Mens Warehouse is being bought/already bought by Banks.
Wonder if they will keep them as a lower cost alternative or convert/shut them down?
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

The Brooks Brothers Outlet is very good. BTW they make their suit pants in odd numbers.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

This weekend is BUY 1 GET 3 FREE at JAB
Of course you buy the first for full retail ($700-$800), but for four suits you get a steal!
If you have $1,000 to start your wardrobe (after taxes and alternations), I'd go there.
Don't forget….a variety of shirts and ties can change the suit. White shirt and tie on Monday and colored shirt and tie on Thursday….no one knows the difference.
Also, I pay for the permanent creases in the suits. It'll save the shape and ultimately lower the cost of needing it pressed and dry cleaned as often
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Starting a suit wardrobe

I will just add that you can wear the same suit twice in a week if you wear different shirts and tie/shoes with it. Just get a couple blue shirts and a couple white shirts and maybe a couple with a pattern of some sort. Another idea is get different cuffs/collars.

another idea is get a suit with a vest and wear it with the vest sometimes and without some.

Also if you get a pair of khaki colored pants you can wear them with just about any jacket and look good.

Just wanted to give a couple ideas to give some variety and get more bang for your buck. You don't actually have to have 20 different suits to make it look like you do.
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