Shopping for a Suit

Lately I have been wanting to get a new suit and a blue blazer. They were old anyway, but I got attacked by moths and a lot of my nice clothes got eaten up. I think I have gotten rid of the moths now (for the most part), but now I really need a suit and jacket. The last suit I got was when I first went to work 23 years ago and got a suit from Kuppenheimer, who were eventually bought out by Mens Wearhouse. Kuppenheimer sold pretty reasonably priced suits and that suit lasted a long time. It was a dark charcoal gray which is good for pretty much anything. It saw a lot of weddings and funerals.

So I’m looking around for someplace to get a suit and Joseph A Bank seems to fill a good niche. On the internet people say “JAB” sells cheap suits that are very blocky (closer fitting clothes seem to be in right now, blocky is probably never good). Internet guys think everyone should get MTM suits (made to measure) instead of OTR (off the rack). MTM isn’t 100% custom, but it is close. But they’re spending $1,000 on a suit and I want to spend about $300. So Brooks Brothers is out along with most tailors. Jeb said he was happy with a suit he got at JAB, though lately his experiences were not as good there. I also could try Macy’s who have suits and blazers by Ralph Lauren that seem like they might be a little less blocky than some of the JAB stuff.

I went to Jos A Bank yesterday and wound up getting a shirt and boxers. I thought about trying for a suit, but the sale they had going was buy 1, get 2 free and I didn’t need 3 suits (they might give me a suit for 2/3 off, but I kind of wanted to take a look at Macy’s first). So afterwards I went to Macy’s at North Dekalb. I think they did have a Ralph Lauren blazer in what seemed like my size (42 regular), but no salesmen even approached me and the only ones I saw were working at registers. I went to the Macy’s at Northlake thinking they might have more selection and more staff. But they had no staff either and I don’t know where they hid all of their Lauren blazers because they had none. That was too bad because I was ready to buy and they had a good deal going for Columbus Day.

Today I was looking at JAB’s website and they had gotten rid of the Buy 1 Get 2 sale and replaced with a 65% off sale (or so, that’s not what they called it) and they had a coupon at checkout for an extra 25% off anything you bought. So I went over to JAB again tonight and saw the same salesman as last night. They have different levels of quality starting with Executive, then Traveler, then Signature, but it’s not a huge price difference. For instance, the Traveler suits were on sale for $275, but the Signature were $325. I told him I wanted to buy a suit and he said I was in luck because they were having a great deal for buying only one suit and I could get 25% off on top of that. So that was good that I didn’t have to haggle to get the online price. He said it was a not that well advertised one-day special for Corporate Day and they only found out about it that afternoon. I wanted a basic dark gray suit like I had before. He showed me a blue suit that wasn’t bad, a black that was too dark, and a herringbone that looked pretty decent, but it looked a little striped to me. I ended up with a dark gray with a very subtle plaid in the Traveler line in a tailored fit (less blocky! he said it was a good fit for me), but it’s kind of funny because he didn’t have exactly that suit and had to order it off the website. Then it will need to be altered because the sleeves are a little long and they will have to hem and possibly take the pants in a little bit. So that’s another $30 or so in alterations, but the suit came out to just over $200.

I said I’d also like to get a blazer, but I knew they weren’t on sale. He said he could take care of that and with the 25% off it would come out pretty cheap. Again, he had a hard time finding exactly the right blazer in stock. He actually had a blue suit jacket in the Traveler line, but I ended up with the lower end Executive blazer which has nicer buttons and is actually the same blazer the salesman had. It only came out to $112 after the discount, so I don’t know that I can go that wrong. He said blazers don’t come in different fits like suits, so it is probably a little blocky. I may need the blazer this Friday, so I will see if I can get it altered tomorrow (their in-house tailor is backed up for at least a week).

I also asked if he could pick out some ties since all my ties are really old. He picked a pretty cool yellow tie, then we got a red tie with little tiny dots on it (again, the same tie he was wearing), and then I asked if I could have a purple one and I got a light purple tie that looks pretty cool that would be good for a wedding or Easter. I think light purple goes really well with gray. I was reading an article today about Brooks Brothers and it said they introduced the pink dress shirt and it became a hit because pink went with gray so well and that’s what everyone was wearing in the 1920’s.

I won’t have the suit for a few weeks probably, but at least I have the blazer and if I can’t get it altered in time I could potentially wear it with the sleeves too long on Friday. He also pointed out I needed to get some non-button down shirts that will go better with a suit or a jacket. I already got an email saying they are back to Buy One, Get Two tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get some shirts.

4 thoughts on “Shopping for a Suit

  1. So after the unprecedented sale yesterday, today they have suits for 75% off. But that’s only 1% more than what I got mine for yesterday, so not a big deal. Tried to get my blazer altered before Friday, but that doesn’t seem possible, so my sleeves will just be a little long.

  2. I wear suits and jackets so infrequently, I was thinking about keeping them in suit bags to keep the dust (and potential moths) off of them.

    I was happy with my suits and alterations from JoS. I didn’t like the dress shirts or shorts I go there. The dress white material was thin and my dry cleaner said JoS shirts are susceptible to ring-around-the-collar (and cuffs.) Not sure why that would be.

    So of course the most curious thing here is: what happened Friday???

  3. A friend at work’s father died, so I went to a funeral Friday. I didn’t want to go without a jacket of some kind. It worked out any nobody asked me why my sleeves were so long. In fact, they may not be all that long. One of the alterations places said they only thought I needed the sleeves to be taken in a quarter inch at most. I’ll take the jacket back when I get the suit fitted and see if they think it needs to be altered.

    I’m thinking I could leave the jackets in bags to keep the dust off and maybe add some cedar blocks or something to fight off moths.

    I wonder if the ring around the collar thing is because of the fuser that holds the fabric together? The salesman said instead of dry cleaning a jacket all the time, a lot of times it should just be steamed and they could do that at the store. It seems like he was thinking the dry cleaning chemicals could leave or bring out some kind of residue.

  4. My suit came in, so tonight I went in to try it out and have it altered. The pants seemed to fit okay in the waist and the sleeves were pretty close, but I think could be a little shorter. One of the guys said one of my arms is longer than the other and I only needed to take up one sleeve (making me think of the “suit joke”), but I asked them to take up both sleeves by a fraction of an inch. I also took in my blazer and they thought it fit fine, including the sleeve length, so I’ll just leave it alone for now. I’m almost a perfect 42 regular.

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