Cheap Suits Reborn

— Thu, 8th April 2010 —

Man alive, we love it when deals get top billing in The Times! In today’s style section, David Colman investigates the long slighted “cheap suit,” which he says is finally brushing off its “unsuave guise.” What’s more, “In the hands of youthful designers like Billy Reid and Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos, and stores like Uniqlo and Topman, the cheap suit has become a garment that is as unfussy as jeans or chinos yet still has your back in an interview, at dinner or on a date.”

The problem with this trend is that more suit shoppers are succumbing to the whims of fast fashion. As Colman notes, “No longer is a suit always a safe, sober investment buy.” Now, we thoroughly understand the appeal of fashion and low price tags, but it’s important to remember that buying for the moment actually costs you more over time. Bearing that mind, check out The Times‘ favorite three-figure suits here, or refer to the cheat sheet below:

  • Topman shawl-collar suit with leather trim – $500
  • Paul Stuart chalk-stripe wool worsted suit – $984
  • Shipley & Halmos wool suit jacket & pants – $875 (Barneys)
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs plaid cotton suit – $656 (Barneys)
  • Shipley & Halmos two-button blazer & pants – $875 (Barneys)
  • J. Crew cotton twill suit jacket & pant – $366
  • John Bartlett Japanese denim two-button suit – $1,040
  • Billy Reid glen plaid linen suit jacket & pants – $890 (Bloomies)
  • DKNY cotton-blend notch-lapel jacket & trousers – $595 (Macy’s)
  • Topman pink cotton twill suit – $400
  • Calvin Klein Collection cotton pique suit – $895
  • Calvin Klein wool suit – $300 (Macy’s)

  1. Ha love it. How about for the rest of us where $200 is cheap and $600 is expensive?

    Anonymous

  2. Sales, Anon, sales. Every price here is retail, and every suit here will be marked down by at least 50% in about 3 months. That will bring the price of many of them to about $200. That said, we suggest that you consider investing more than $200 in a suit. It's like limiting the price you're willing to pay for apples to 2 cents. You might find a few for that price, but, most of the time, they're gonna to be rotten.

    The Choosy Beggar

  3. Thanks – I hear you. I rarely need to rare suits for anything (average – maybe twice a year) and own one nice one from Reiss (but again, that one cost about $600 and I considered that reasonably expensive).

    I know $200 is pushing it (though I do have a need for one in this range – something I can wear to dark parties and don't care much if it gets ruined), but what about, say, J-Crew, where you can get stuff for $400? I assume the quality is at worst decent there, right?

    I guess my point was I would consider a $400 J-Crew suit to be moderately expensive. Am I that out of touch? I know you can buy suits for $3000, but what do you think the average price of the average suit you see (just walking around) is?

    Thanks for the response…

    Anonymous

  4. Sure thing. Again, we'd call the suits listed in the post "average," and they'll all be at least 50% off in no time at all. J. Crew is doing some great things these days, and, again, its stuff is regularly marked down by up to 50%. Like you said, $200 is definitely pushing it for a respectable suit. Even if it's just for partying, you still want to look good.

    The Choosy Beggar

  5. antonio azzuolo's suits were listed here for $850 down from $3500 so that would make the jcrew equivalent $89.

    Anonymous

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