Suit retailer in Boston?
October 20, 2005 10:43 AM   Subscribe

AskBostonFilter: I want to get a new suit, a shirt or two, and some ties. I want to spend anywhere between $500 and $1000 on this, and would much rather end up on the lower end of the spectrum. That said, I understand that this is an investment worth spending a little money on. If I were a rich man, I'd be getting measured for my bespoke, but as I'm not, where should I go?

I already have a Banana Republic tan linen suit I wear quite a bit for summer weddings, but I need the necessary companion grey/black suit for the rest of the year and more formal/solemn occasions.

(Suggestions for online retailers not really welcome- I don't believe you can buy nice clothing without touching)
posted by bobot to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Benneton has fabulous mens' suits. I got two suits from them in the price range you're looking for, and I'm a very happy customer.
posted by nyterrant at 10:44 AM on October 20, 2005

I fully realize that this is kinda of like sending you to TGI Friday's when you ask "where's a nice place to take a date for dinner" but I totally recommend the Men's Warehouse. They're a good value, and their people are usually very friendly and know their stuff.
posted by rschroed at 10:46 AM on October 20, 2005

Brooks Bros.
posted by jeb at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2005

You should at least peek into Filene's Basement - The stock is always changing, and a lot of the men's clothes can be crappy, but you can find some really, really nice suits for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
posted by jalexei at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2005

Men's Wearhouse, definitely.
posted by jozxyqk at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2005

Filene's Basement. Not sure if they do on-site tailoring. They often also have a good selection of ties, belts, etc. Last week there were piles of Bergdorf Goodman belts.
posted by anathema at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2005

If you have any in your area, check the discount high-end places: Filene's Basement, Sak's Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom's Rack. You'll find the high-end brands there for pretty darn good discounts, honestly. I tend to think it's worth the $500 to get to the higher end, because a good fitting suit is well worth the money. Also: avoid pure black and/or double-breasted, and avoid the American-style urge to buy boxy-fit oversized pieces.. please! The average man I see on the street could generally size down one even if he *thinks* it looks gay/too tight.
posted by kcm at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2005

This is the Filene's Basement downtown on Washington.
posted by anathema at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2005

I third Men's Wearhouse.

I know nothing about clothes and I honestly have a phobia about shopping for them. I figured at age 30 I needed to have a real suit. I went in, said to The Guy "Hi, I need you to dress me. I need a suit to wear to weddings, funerals, and job interviews. I don't want to look like I'm borrowing my dad's suit."

He measured me up, found me a suit and a couple of ties and shirts to match. After a few days for the alterations I walked out of there about $400.00 poorer but DAMN I look GOOD.

It was quick, painless, and easy.

And I look GOOD. God damn I'm handsome.
posted by bondcliff at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2005 [1 favorite]

Men's Wearhouse has good quality in your price range.

You want a dark grey (not black) suit.
posted by jellicle at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2005

I know that old-school tailors here in the UK can do bespoke for much less than 1000usd - I've heard of less than 300ukp (but then I am in the heartland of the old garment manufacturing region). These are musty shops, managed by elderly men wearing waistcoats who oversee cavernous rooms full of people cutting cloth and hunched over semi-industrial machinery. The suits I have seen are not the world's most fashionably cut, but they are cut to fit the wearer. Which makes them look better than off-the-shelf suits twice the price.
posted by handee at 11:42 AM on October 20, 2005

Response by poster: handee- the US equivalent of this is really what I'm looking for. If it exists at all, no one seems to know about it. The pricier British shops come here, but that's.... very expensive.
posted by bobot at 11:48 AM on October 20, 2005

Men's Warehouse is good.

But if you can find a Jos. A Bank go there. The suits are reasonable priced, especially when on sale. Though some can get very pricy.

The good thing to do with JAB is sign up for their corporate account. No charge to join and you get immediate 20% off and they send you AMAZING deals in the mail and email. 50% off suits, special savings days, coupons over the holidays etc...

When you go in just inquire and they'll take down your info and VOILA. Instant hook-up.

My friends & co-workers still buy me beers for this find. People only need to mention the company name not present a member card, though you'll get one.
posted by UncleHornHead at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2005 [1 favorite]

Even without a corporate account, by being a "regular" at Joseph A. Banks, they always notify me in advance of their sales and pre-sales.

When they do have their sales you can always get a good deal.

There must be some fine men's stores in the Boston area besides Louis Boston (although they may be a place to start). Yes they are going to have high end and out of your range, but they may also have some stuff a little closer to your range.

If you want to travel to Phila, Boyd's is the place to go.
posted by szg8 at 12:01 PM on October 20, 2005

You know I had a buddy who would buy suits at all the time and would get awesome suits for like somtimes 60-70% off the actual price. Also try to hit up the deals. Sometimes local stores give student discounts and have great annual sales. There is no reason you couldn;t find a local tailor and get a fitted suits with some shirts and ties for under 1000. Just do some shopping!
posted by cdcello at 12:01 PM on October 20, 2005

Best answer: bobot, when I was at Harvard there were often fliers posted for Hong Kong tailors who came to measure law and business students for suits. This would be cheaper than British bespoke tailoring and probably better fitting than off the rack. It might be worth a sneaky swing through Harkness Commons for info.
posted by amber_dale at 12:05 PM on October 20, 2005

i know what you're saying about online retailers, but take a look at bluefly. For the amount you save, you can order a bunch of stuff and return what doesn't fit. And its really nice clothing.
posted by alkupe at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2005

Best answer: Given your angle on the question (you own one suit... and it's Banana Republic... and it's linen... and it's beige) the important thing is finding a suit salesperson who knows his stuff. So hit a store with a good staff. Try on everything the salesperson hands you until you find a suit that a) makes him go "now that looks really good" (many) and b) makes you go "now I look really good" (few). Within that you can discuss your price point and have the salesperson find the best pieces you can afford. In the hands of a good pro, you should walk out feeling handsome and wise.

As to where to go, for good selection and knowledgeable staff, Brooks Bros. is a no-brainer if you hit a sale, as is a mid- to high-end department store like Bloomingdale's or Nordstrom. Also look for a nice men's shop in your area, like Rothmans in New York; they often have great clearance sales, and they employ veterans who can size you without a tape measure. Skip the discount racks until you're an expert (I wear a suit every day to work, and even I do poorly working solo--my tailor once yelled at me for something I bought on clearance that didn't fit me to his liking).

And for what it's worth, I'd recommend navy blue for your utility suit. Dark gray is harder to wear in the summer months and black is less utilitarian.
posted by werty at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: werty- the one suit was a gift. remember, my angle is also that my dream suit is a bespoke from Anderson & Sheppard. ;-)
posted by bobot at 1:31 PM on October 20, 2005

When I went shopping for a few suits at the end of last year it turned out that the prices at Men's Warehouse were actually inferior to those at Macy's, much to my shock. You want to watch your newspaper for sales and coupons (though often they have one at the register they'll scan if you simply ask) but I strongly suggest you comparison shop before commiting to M'sW.
posted by phearlez at 2:03 PM on October 20, 2005

One warning on Men's Warehouse, once you are on there mailing list you can depend on a piece of mail from them on a weekly (and sometimes) daily basis. personally I don't mind I believe 'junk' mail helps subsidizes the rate I pay to send letters, but it drives my wife up the wall. She has called many times to get us off their mailing list.
posted by evilelf at 2:31 PM on October 20, 2005

When I lived in Boston I would go to the Filene's Basement downtown quite often and sometimes they would have good deals even for someone who's an odd size like myself. Also there are a number of second-hand shops on Newbury that might have something for you. For both of these options, it depends on what they have in stock at the moment. I got a wonderful Louis, Boston tuxedo at one of these shops, worn maybe twice, for $100. And it fit perfectly without any tailoring!
posted by lackutrol at 3:26 PM on October 20, 2005

You can sometimes get a decent suit at Mens Wearhouse, but their ties are horrible and the shirts aren't much better. Filene's Basement on Washington is hit or miss, but the hits can be pretty good, particularly for suits (they don't do tailoring, though). They sometimes have decent ties, though you're more likely to find good stuff on sale at Filenes upstairs, or Macy's down the street. Actually, that whole area can be good for affordable shopping - there's a TJ Maxx and a Marshalls there - neither can be counted on for consistency, but you can occasionally find wearable stuff there for cheap. H&M has the occasional spiffy tie, and a decent shirt from time to time. There's also a Pink store there closer to Government Center. Also, there's a Lord & Taylor near the Pru that seems always to be running some sale or other, and they carry decent ties and shirts (I haven't been impressed with their suit selection).

The tailor amber_dale mentioned is some guy named Rock; I haven't seen a flier in my Hark box for some time, and his website hasn't been updated, but you might call or send an email to get his current schedule. I cannot vouch for quality, as I don't know anyone who has ever used his services, but I seem to recall a story or two in the Crimson that were pretty favorable.
posted by dilettanti at 3:51 PM on October 20, 2005

Raja Fashions is one of the best-known 'roving' HK tailors. But if you want to support your local suit-maker (higher end of price-range) there's always Southwick of Lawrence, MA.
posted by holgate at 4:07 PM on October 20, 2005

I've not bought a suit from them but I have bought nearly all else from Stonestreets in Cambridge. They can be expensive but it might be worth a look.
posted by Dick Paris at 4:48 PM on October 20, 2005

Definitely check out Keezers outside of Central Square. They sell a lot of used stuff, but also a good amount of new, as well. The guys really know their stuff and can recommend tailors. It's a good place to go if you ever need a tux, too.
posted by jdl at 6:38 PM on October 20, 2005

I can't believe nobody recommended J. Press. They're in Harvard Square. They're at the upper end of your price range, but make great suits.
posted by MarkAnd at 6:07 AM on October 21, 2005

« Older I want to live in a house!   |   Silicon Valley business blogs? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.