Where can I find a sack suit?
March 18, 2005 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get a sack suit (in the style that was fashionable around 1860) for fairly cheap?

I'm finding myself going to more job interviews and consulting gigs where I need to look upscale. I feel like a jackass in Dockers, I look like a homeless punk kid when I'm not at work and a business suit is both offensive and overkill.

So I want to get a sack suit like this. I'll look good in a bowler hat. Any ideas how I can either purchase or assemble one for fairly cheap, and how much it might cost?
posted by cmonkey to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
This page sells several patterns for 1870s-era suits.

However, unless you already know how to sew, it doesn't seem to fit the "cheap" part of your request.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:34 PM on March 18, 2005

Costume shop perhaps?
posted by odinsdream at 12:38 PM on March 18, 2005

This page sells the suits in a choice of fabrics and linings, but they're pretty expensive.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:10 PM on March 18, 2005

Brooks Brothers is credited with popularizing the "sack suit".

"...Then along came the famous Brooks' "sack" suit, called the Number One and popularly regarded by historians as the first genuinely American suit. A single-breasted and -vented suit, it was made to comfortably fit all body types with Brooks' signature sloped shoulder and soft, natural lines (1895)."

I'd peruse Brooks Brothers to see if any "fit the bill." If not, I'm sure they could suggest other venues.

Also, check out Keezer's (in Central Square, Cambridge, MA) which specializes in used and vintage men's clothing.
posted by ericb at 1:12 PM on March 18, 2005

Brooks Brothers is a long way from "fairly cheap."

Get some fashion artiste to make one for ya, cmonkey. (Do they have fashion artistes in Portland?) Starving artistes work cheap.
posted by scratch at 1:16 PM on March 18, 2005

You can get Brooks Brothers suits for around $298 when "on sale" or "clearance" - and sometimes even cheaper at one of their factory outlets.

There is a Brooks Brothers Factory Outlet near you at: Woodburn Company Stores, 1001 Arney Road, Woodburn, Oregon 97071; (503) 981-6140. To locate other stores and outlets try here.

BTW - they are having a sale which ends March 20th. (15% - 25% off).
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on March 18, 2005

I hardly think that a Brooks Brothers outlet store is remaindering suits from 110 years ago.

Bringing a printed picture to a local tailor will get you a faster quote and probably a better deal. It will also be a proper fit rather than just a random order from some interwebs site. And when you discover that the original design of the sack suit was to make your ass look huge, as was the leisure fashion of the day (fat == successful!), you will be much happier to have the person right there to take it in.
posted by nearlife at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2005

I think a better solution would be to dress 'plain', and I mean Plain, as in Amish. There are mail order places, the name escapes me, to order Amish clothes.
posted by Goofyy at 7:58 PM on March 18, 2005

I think a better solution would be to dress 'plain', and I mean Plain, as in Amish.

I kinda have my heart set on a sack suit from the late 1800s. Unfortunately, I can't sew, so I guess my options are a tailor or a starving fashion design school student.
posted by cmonkey at 8:01 PM on March 18, 2005

> J. Press, for those who think Brooks Brothers has gone entirely too modern. Founded a little over a century ago ... they have four stores on the East Coast (New Haven, New York, Cambridge, and Washington D.C.) ... Their distinguishing characteristic is that they haven't abandoned the "sack" suit, which is the undarted three-button style (top button rolled into the lapel so it is never buttoned) that Brooks Brothers originated mid-century.

Who today makes an undarted suit jacket in the tradition of Brooks Brothers?

Hmm. The Fedora Lounge might well welcome you.

posted by dhartung at 10:21 PM on March 18, 2005


you didn't ask, but a little unsolicited advice -

Skip the sartoral enhancements for job interviews and consulting gigs. Dress to fit in so people are listening to what you're saying rather than distracted by what you're wearing. Bring your self-expression to the work you do rather than what you wear, if you want any professional credibility at all.

I'm very open minded but I would have a really hard time hiring someone who insisted on dressing in a costume to the interview. Brooks Bros is fine, just don't get to weird with it. Save the costumes for your own time.
posted by pomegranate at 4:55 AM on March 19, 2005

And that would be sartorial. Scuse me plz.
posted by pomegranate at 5:23 AM on March 19, 2005

I'm digging the new Brooks Brothers viral marketing campaign.
posted by nearlife at 6:38 AM on March 19, 2005

I would recommend the Brooks Brothers outlet store for a contemporary version of the sack suit.
posted by subgenius at 1:52 PM on October 11, 2005

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