Never underestimate the power of a good suit. A bold, well-tailored suit and tie can turn even the most casual worker-from-home into a suave, professional gentleman. But can you afford a good suit without breaking the bank? Of course!
Don’t buy into the myth that a suit has to be expensive to look good. At the same time, don’t go to discount stores offering impossible pricing — like 3 suits for $99; the quality is going to look cheap, feel cheap, and end up falling apart. You won’t really save money on a suit with that approach.
Keep reading to find out how to make the best of your budget when assembling a suit.
Invest in Wool
These days, you might not be going out as much as you used to. Whether you’re working from home or just have fewer social events to attend, you likely don’t need an entire closet full of jackets and ties. And that’s a good thing.
The truth is, you probably only need one or two good suits, so make an investment in a classic! Paying good money for a single, well-tailored ensemble will definitely be worth it in the long-run.
The best investment is in a wool suit. Though heavy, wool actually breathes quite well, and is far more durable than artificial fibers. That means your single suit will last you for years to come.
Avoid Designer Labels
That interior tag that says “Dior” will explode the price of your suit, but do very little else.
“Often times those [designer labels] are the least worth it,” says Jesse, a New York-based menswear designer in an interview with The Plunge. “They’re much more expensive than a brand like Bonobos or J. Crew, but the quality does not reflect that.” In reality, you’re just paying for the famous name and the cost of marketing.
The best way to gauge the quality of a suit is to feel the material, ensure that it doesn’t contain artificial fibers and note the country of origin. Suits made in Italy or England are typically top-quality, even if they’re not attached to a designer name. Once you get your wool suit tailored, few will be able to tell that it doesn’t carry a fancy label.
Know Your Measurements & Preferred Fit
You don’t want your suit to wear you—you want to wear your suit! That’s why it’s imperative to know your measurements and fit preference. Custom-tailoring your suit will lead to the best look, but paying a tailor can be expensive. Instead, use a tape measure to learn your shoulder, chest, and waist measurements. From there, you can peruse the racks at an outlet store or the online marketplace to find a suit that already fits your body. If you need adjustments from there, most local dry cleaners have someone on hand who can do quality adjustments.
Additionally, you should know your preference in terms of suit fit—slim, classic, or modern. A slim fit will hold close to your body, while a classic fit will offer more slack. Meanwhile, a modern-fit suit will fall somewhere between slim and classic, offering just a little slack to frame your body. Knowing your favorite fit will help narrow down the options and save money on custom tailoring.
Look for Sales!
Perhaps the best way to save is to keep your eye out for sales. Department and suit specialty stores alike offer great promotions throughout the year — usually once a quarter when they’re clearing out old selections. There are also online designer stores that can offer great deals if you just need to get that label on the inside of your coat. Some sales will promote buy one/get one deals, while others will mark-down quality suits for clearance. Either way, your best chance for buying at the right price is to buy during a sale.
Some of the best places to look for periodic promos include: