Men's Wearhouse house brand?
November 25, 2008 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any opinions of the Men's Wearhouse house brand of suits, Primo Uomo, as compared to any other off-the-rack sub-$500 department store suit (Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors, etc.)? Primarily asking of about quality/construction/life as opposed to style.
posted by blueshammer to Shopping (18 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
They're not bad. The quality is, IMHO, sufficient for what you're paying. If you catch them during a sale, you can get something decent. Just take care of them. Don't dry clean too often, don't wad them up, etc.

The Joseph Feiss shirts they sell are excellent, though.
posted by Thistledown at 7:33 AM on November 25, 2008

One other thing...they carry another brand, Paul Dione, which is slightly better and not a whole lot more money. I have two of those and have been quite pleased.
posted by Thistledown at 7:35 AM on November 25, 2008

I've had pretty good experiences with their suits - I think I own 3 of them or so, all hovering in the $500 range and they look decent and hold up fairly well.

Maybe this is just my personal experience of the two Men's Wearhouse stores that I frequent, but I am subjected to RELENTLESS upsell pressure when I'm there. The first time I bought a suit there, before I even left the dressing room the salesguy had arranged hundreds of dollars of add-ons (belts, shoes, socks, ties, suspenders, etc) that were "must-have" accessories for the suit. When I politely declined numerous times, he looked at me as if I were some Philistine. I've had a similar experience in another store. Your experience may be different, of course, but if you are just going there to buy a suit and nothing else, be prepared to say no many, many times to the extras.
posted by sherlockt at 8:04 AM on November 25, 2008

I'm sure someone will come along with all sorts of great ideas for finding good quality suits for less than $500 (eBay! Thrift stores! Thai tailors!). But, honestly, the convenience and selection of sizes at Men's Wearhouse is tough to beat in a pinch. I bought a couple suits and separate trousers there because I was about to start a new job in a new city and just needed something quick. They've been fine for me.

The one thing I've noticed is that they do a really crappy job with alterations. I've had all the leg hems re-done by a real tailor--the original hems just came undone. If I ever bought another suit there, I'd be tempted to just buy it unaltered and take it to a decent tailor.
posted by mullacc at 8:21 AM on November 25, 2008

My husband had to get a suit really last minute for a funeral. We went to Men's Wearhouse, thinking it'd be one of the better places to get a last minute suit for a really tall and really thin man (you would not believe the trouble he has finding a pair of freaking jeans in his very tall height and skinny ass waist. He had to actually custom order a pair or two because they just don't make his waist in that height size all too often).

We had a really good experience with the two staff members who waited on us, spent maybe around $400 on a nice charcoal grey suit, two shirts, a tie, a belt, socks, and brand new shoes that he never forgives me for making him wear on occasions he needs to wear them.

He could have had the jacket pinched in just a little, but given the time constraints the only alterations he had done were on the pants. It took about half an hour and appears to have been a decent job --- at least, the hems haven't fallen apart yet.

Keep in mind, my husband wears this suit at most three or four times a year, so we expect that it will last him a good long while barring any major changes to his body. I can't speak to the quality if you're looking for regular wear suits, but if you just need to have a suit to have a suit, Men's Wearhouse is pretty decent.
posted by zizzle at 8:40 AM on November 25, 2008

Oh, forgot to add. If you are of an awkward size for clothes like my husband, Men's Wearhouse is probably a better option than a department store as they probably will have all sizes as opposed to just the most common sizes. This, too, is a problem we encounter with clothes for him.
posted by zizzle at 8:42 AM on November 25, 2008

The one thing I've noticed is that they do a really crappy job with alterations.

Just as a counterpoint, my husband bought a suit there at the very last minute and had it altered by the next day. He wears a 30x30 pant and has no ass. The woman who did his alterations was like a magician. The pants were perfectly tailored and they made him appear to have a high, perfectly-shaped butt. It was stunning.
posted by peep at 8:44 AM on November 25, 2008

I agree with everything above. When I was new job/new city, they were a life-saver on a same-day third interview.

One word of caution: Hard leather shoes are tough on any feet not used to them, but the ones I bought there were just merciless. Silver dollar sized blisters after only a few hours of wear. I went to a department store to get better ones and was much happier for it.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:48 AM on November 25, 2008

I've had great experience with them. All of the suits I currently wear are from Mens Wearhouse and they've held up very well. I thought the brand was "Pronto Uomo", not "Primo Uono", but I could be wrong. Either way, I'm not 100% that all of the ones I own are that specific brand, but I know a couple of them are for sure.

One of the "P" Uomo suits is starting to get a bit ragged, but I've had it for about four years and it got much more wear than any of my other suits (flat black three-button, baby). The material on it tends to get a the little fuzz balls in the oft-worn spots (sleeves, etc), and there have been a couple loose threads that were still, um, "attached". But it's not visibly worn, really, just upon close inspection - I'd say it's got a good bit of life left in it. And like I said, I've worn this suit a LOT, and lord knows how many times I've had it dry-cleaned. I definitely got my money's worth, and then some.

I love Men's Wearhouse. It is very pricey compared to some of the competition (S&K comes to mind, locally), but the quality and service is head-and-shoulders above the rest. I long ago realized that good suits cost money, but it's definitely worth it. If you can afford to get 4-5 nice new suits, plenty of inexpensive shirts for more combinations, and then rotate everything often, you'll get an incredible amount of life out of them, and look fantastic. It's like the commercial says - "You'll love the way you look!".

That's been true for me, so when I go to Men's Wearhouse now, I expect to spend a few hundred bucks but get something that looks great and will last. I also long ago learned that they make their real money off accessories, so as was brought out, beware of the upsell. The good thing is, the employees have no problem dropping the sales pitch if you flat out tell them when you walk in exactly what you're looking for. When I go in now, I say "I'm looking for a brown three-button suit and nothing else". They still insist on showing a few shirt/tie combos, but I remind them that I won't be purchasing any. I don't mind them showing me some combinations anyway - there's a chance I may change my mind for an incredibly unique tie or something, plus it gives me some ideas for what shirts/ties to look for at other, cheaper department stores.

I'll memorize my favorite color combinations as they're pairing them and then run to Kohl's on the way home and pick up five shirts for the same price as one or two from Men's Wearhouse (Van Huesen are great -- wrinkle free, awesome colors, killer quality - they last forever, great fit and cheeeeap! Kohl's usually has them on sale at under $20 each).

I've bought two pairs of shoes from Men's Wearhouse and they were pretty overpriced for the quality. They definitely didn't wear as long as I'd hoped for the price I paid, though they looked incredible while they lasted. I've had more success with department store brands - for the same price or less, they look good and last much longer.

So yeah, don't feel bad about being blunt with them; I long ago learned that it does NOT hurt their feelings or pride. Don't be surprised if they insist on accessorizing you anyway, but play along and be firm when it comes time to say no.

Another tip: Get to know a particular salesperson that treats you right and go back to them specifically. It makes a world of difference, and they can make your visits much more pleasant - especially if you're not in the mood to fight over accessories. Use their name when you call the store or walk in, and just get to know them - you might get perks you didn't expect. They will be your "go to" guy when you are in an emergency and need something transferred from another store overnight, or altered ASAP, etc.

Oh, and re: alterations - my experiences have been great. The tailors have always been able to size me up quickly and with remarkable accuracy, and I have a pretty unique build. I'm about 6'2", but have especially long arms; in fact, most other stores don't even sell suits that will fit me. I've always been perfectly tailored at Mens Wearhouse though, which is nice (considering the amount they charge!!). In fact, I'm getting ready to take a couple suits that were given to me in to MW be altered this week!

One last thing - make sure to get the rewards card. You get $50 back on every $500 you spend, which is a nice little bonus that can make your next suit purchase that much cheaper, or get you one of the really cool shirts or ties that they were showing off. I used my last one to splurge on a fantastic fitted shirt and very unique tie that are now my favorite pieces of my entire wardrobe. And you're gonna be spending at or around $500 on two suits anyway, so they definitely come pretty quick.
posted by sprocket87 at 9:13 AM on November 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

My complaint isn't that their alternations were wrong in terms of fit. The actual sewing was done poorly. The cuffs literally came undone. On all my pants. And this has happened on pants I bought in Arizona and in DC.
posted by mullacc at 9:55 AM on November 25, 2008

Maybe this is just my personal experience of the two Men's Wearhouse stores that I frequent, but I am subjected to RELENTLESS upsell pressure when I'm there.

This is why I go with my husband, so he can look helplessly at me and I can nod "yes" or "no." Eventually the salespeople stop hounding him and ask my permission.

My husband has two suits from there and has been pleased with how they've held up. And he's rough on his clothes - he'd toss his jacket in the backseat of the truck and forget about it for weeks. Like Thistledown said, the shirts are good quality. We also rented all the tuxedos for the wedding from MW and were really happy with the service.
posted by desjardins at 9:56 AM on November 25, 2008

I'm very happy with the two suits and sports coat I've bought at the local Men's Wearhouse.

I'm not sure I've seen better customer service and fitting expertise anywhere. Prompt, courteous, efficient and very pleasant all the way around.

In the case of the suits, I announced that I didn't want to spend a lot of money since my heavy cameras on straps ultimately destroy the shoulders of any suit I buy anyway.

They didn't try and up sell me at all.

I expect to return to this store the next time I need a suit or jacket.
posted by imjustsaying at 10:44 AM on November 25, 2008

I've been satisfied with their stuff.
posted by Citrus at 12:22 PM on November 25, 2008

I have three suits from the Men's Warehouse and they're fine after 4 years of occasional use (though now seeing daily use but still holding up well).

However, when my new job required me to expand my wardrobe with another suit I asked my (more stylish) co-workers where to look - I ended up buying from a well known eBay seller: The Wizard of Aahs (whose name is Jeff).

He sells Baroni suits as well as Marco Valentino which both get good reviews are are priced between $260-300 shipped if you email him privately. I bought a Baroni and I was impressed (so was my tailor).

I spent too much time figuring out where to get a good suit for a reasonable price and I found my co-worker's recommendation got a lot of agreement from clothing/style forums so I jumped and bought a suit from Jeff - mentioned my membership (all of 1 day) with the AskAndyAboutClothing forum and he gave me a serious discount (about 15%) and didn't charge shipping ($15 normally). He also gave me some excellent advise on suits!

AAAC gave the Baroni suits an excellent, detailed review

I got a suit I really like, which is apparently relatively decent quality, for a price lower than my Men's Warehouse suits. So I think you can do well going to the Men's Warehouse and getting a good suit, but you can do significantly better buying a Baroni or M. Valentino from an online seller - specifically the often recommended The Wizard of Aahs. I will be buying from him for now on unless I can find higher end suits on discount at stores like Jeremy's

Good luck either way.
posted by unclezeb at 12:28 PM on November 25, 2008 [6 favorites]

One plus point for the Men's Warehouse - founder George Zimmer is an interesting guy with very progressive - or perhaps old-fashioned - hiring and promoting policies.

He's not big on formal background checks and fancy degrees, and likes to have actual human beings make decisions about who they want to hire and promote. People who might have had what he would call a "rough start" in life can do well with his companies. Not sure how ragged his sweatshop cred might be, but in general his politics make me happy. So if those things matter to you....
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:19 PM on November 25, 2008

George Zimmer is an interesting guy with very progressive - or perhaps old-fashioned - hiring and promoting policies.

Heh. My mom stopped taking my dad there when she found out he was a big proponent of California's Medical Marijuana initiative.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:40 PM on November 25, 2008

I have been happy with my experiences there, but I only wear suits occasionally so don't tend to put a lot of wear and tear on them.
posted by TedW at 4:54 AM on November 26, 2008

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