What to do with this suit?
February 21, 2012 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Two years ago I bought a $500 business suit for use in my mom's wedding, job interviews, etc. It's a pretty nice suit and all, but I've lost almost a hundred pounds since then. What should I do with this suit?

My first impulse is to donate it to charity, it's just that the suit was such a huge capital outlay for my (previously broke) ass that I (selfishly, I know) feel like I should get something out of it.

There's also the issue that it really is a very nice, relatively new suit and would look a little out of place in the tattered aisles of Goodwill or Salvation Army. Is there some other kind of charity I can donate this suit to that specializes in really nice clothes?

Any advice is welcome.
posted by Avenger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total)
Since you've lost weight, take it to a tailor and they should be able to refit it to you. That is, if you don't want to donate it.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:24 PM on February 21, 2012

There's Career Gear, for one. They don't necessarily specialize in nice clothes, but they are specifically for business wear for the underprivileged. It's basically a men's version of Dress for Success.
posted by griphus at 5:24 PM on February 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

You could consign it if you want to get SOME money. But likely, the amount they will be willing to give to you will be so small that it will feel like cheating you out of it. If I were in your shoes, I'd donate it to a local org for women getting out of the "system" (incarcerated/halfway houses/recovery/homelessness/etc.) who are in need of a nice suit for interviews/court appearances.
posted by Betty's Table at 5:25 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Derp, sorry - confused on your gender there. Dress for Success is exactly what I was thinking about, however.
posted by Betty's Table at 5:26 PM on February 21, 2012

You could consign it, obviously, if there's a men's business clothes consignment around where you live. We have one in our smallish city area. It's hard to find nice used clothes in plus sizes so it might either sell quickly because of that. Craigslist is another option.

Otherwise, without knowing where you live, there is the National Suit Drive. Or you could look for a local program assisting people who are unemployed (with job interviews, training, and such) to see if they know where you could directly donate it within your community.
posted by flex at 5:28 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can really only take tailored clothing in a maximum of three sizes (probably closer to two for a suit). There's a point at which you just lose the actual lines of the garment in the excess fabric.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:29 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you are anywhere near a Buffalo Exchange, they might give you some cash for it if it is indeed a nice, modern suit. The aisles of Goodwill and Salvation Army are not "tattered". That's a little offensive, honestly. However, a better use for it might be to call your local community center and ask them if they are in need of suits for the people in the community. It's pretty common.

I'm not sure if you could tailor it; 100lbs is a lot smaller.
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:29 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Your nice, hardly-used suit would not be terribly out-of-place at any of the Goodwills where I have recently shopped. I've picked up immaculate Brooks Brothers shirts and a lot of other nice things there. Sometimes, they still have the tags on.
posted by gauche at 5:34 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Goodwills tend to have a lot of decent things if you take the time to poke around. I recently picked up a maybe-worn-once $300+ J.Crew coat at the Goodwill for ten bucks. Take it there! They'll appreciate it -- and so will the dude who snags it :)
posted by jabes at 5:37 PM on February 21, 2012

If you donate it to Goodwill, Housing Works, or any other not-for-profit, you can claim the replacement cost as a donation.

A $500 donation isn't a bad thing to have come tax-time.
posted by swngnmonk at 5:38 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

My husband found an Armani coat at Goodwill and it really made his day. If you donate your nice suit it won't be out of place, and a person of larger size might be really, really grateful to be able to get such a nice garment at a bargain price.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:41 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

$500 is no great loss in the grand old ripoff of men's suits. You probably spend almost as much or more on one pair of shoes, right?

Anyways, I too lost a great deal of weight (from 284 pounds to 214 pounds... still on the heavy side but pretty amazing loss in one year), and I kept the jacket, it fits disturbingly well. The pants are laughably oversized, though. I really should give them away or sell them... I can't imagine a tailor could do anything to salvage them.
posted by Yowser at 5:48 PM on February 21, 2012

Also, what a Goodwill has depends on the location. There's one in Harlem in New York and my coworker would regularly score Coach/Prada/Gucci stuff there because that's where the rich Upper West Side people donated their clothes.
posted by griphus at 5:53 PM on February 21, 2012

Although charities like transitional employment programs, etc., are often deluged with women's clothes, they have a chronic need for men's clothes. And charities especially welcome large sizes!
posted by jgirl at 5:54 PM on February 21, 2012

Agree with Betty's Table: what you could get for it used will make you feel squished, because it won't be near the original cost. Giving it away will make you feel expansive and abundant.

That said, I would encourage you to give it to somewhere that will give it to someone in need, rather than provide a cool bargain for a shopper. If your town has a mission, or any kind of place that helps the homeless and down-and-out -- which is probably every place these days -- please consider giving the suit to them. They hang on to nice clothes, and give them to individuals who are trying hard to pull themselves out of homelessness. Having a suit to wear to a job interview, even a temp job, is a tremendous boost.
posted by kestralwing at 6:00 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

swngnmonk, unfortunately you don't claim replacement cost but something closer to 10% of the retail value. From here.
posted by monkeymadness at 6:41 PM on February 21, 2012

Hey everybody, sorry if my question came off as a little offensive and classist. That wasn't my intention and I could have worded it better.

I guess I was really looking for a charity that wouldn't just throw my suit in a pile with tube-tops and leg-warmers, and so far I'm excited about some of the suggestions! I'll give them a call tomorrow and then maybe I can get rid of this suit.

Again, apologies and thanks!
posted by Avenger at 7:02 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pad it up and wear it.
posted by flabdablet at 2:56 AM on February 22, 2012

Although charities like transitional employment programs, etc., are often deluged with women's clothes, they have a chronic need for men's clothes. And charities especially welcome large sizes!

Oh yes! If you donate this suit to a charity providing clothes for low-income men who need them for work, you will make some lucky man's day (not to mention help him get a job). Business clothing charities like Dress for Success and Career Gear are positively crying out for large sizes - there's often a real mismatch between what's donated and what their clients need as far as size is concerned. A nice larger size suit will be so welcome.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:25 AM on February 22, 2012

If your politics are not hard-right, do NOT give to the Salvation Army.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2012

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