Would I be better getting a new suit in Seattle or London, and where would you recommend?
August 20, 2006 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm going to a wedding in a few weeks, and this has prompted me to get a new suit. The question is where.

I'm willing to spend up to $700, and intend to use it for work after the wedding is done. The wedding is in Seattle, whereas I live in london, so I need to decide where I'd get the most out of my money. The pound is pretty strong, and London is pretty pricey, so I'm inclined to buy it out there; however, I haven't bought a suit in a while and don't know the US market at all. Do you have any thoughts on where would be better, and any specific recommendations within either city?
posted by mywinningsmile to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you want to spend that sort of money you're likely to do a lot better in the US because of the economic conditions you mention, although.. a Marks and Spencer suit is as good as any other off-the-peg suit so don't think you need to spend big bucks (this was advice from Tom Mahon, a bespoke tailor on Savile Row!) So if you can pick up something you think looks good at M&S for, say, £200, then quality-wise it's no worse than any other off-the-peg suit in that whole price range.
posted by wackybrit at 5:30 AM on August 20, 2006

M&S. Or possibly Next. Both have the advantage of selling the individual bits separately.

One problem you're likely to face in the US is that the cut at that price point is often quite different to what you'll find on the British high street -- and I've never found it flattering. Your mileage may vary.

If you go to M&S and find that it doesn't wear well, you can always take it back. Not so easy if you buy in Seattle, especially if you're pressed for time. I suspect you'll also find it easier to shop in London than in a strange city; if Oxford Street is too much for you, then try the ones at Covent Garden or Finsbury Pavement.
posted by holgate at 5:55 AM on August 20, 2006

Seattle is the HQ of Nordstrom, which you will find has a very nice selection of suits in the price point mentioned. Make sure you'll have a day or two to allow time for the tailoring.
posted by MattD at 7:20 AM on August 20, 2006

Banana Republic has nice but affordable suits for men.
posted by milarepa at 8:21 AM on August 20, 2006

I highly highly recommend Nordstrom. Especially since you'll be in their headquarters city. I have suits at that price point from them, and I love them all.
posted by raf at 8:39 AM on August 20, 2006

if you have the time i very highly recomend you get a full custom job from baron boutique. i got the suit i was married in from them and i was estatic about it. i needed to have some very very slight alterations done to it to make it perfect, but it is the best fitting suit i have ever worn.

its a lot cheaper than the price point you mentioned, so maybe you can find someplace fancier, but just the idea of a full custom is awesome.
posted by teishu at 9:46 AM on August 20, 2006

I wonder how many times we can write "price point".

Regardless, I third the Nordstrom recommendation for the suit alone. Get your shirt(s) and tie(s) elsewhere, though, as Nordstrom is absurdly expensive for accessories.
posted by ryanhealy at 10:03 AM on August 20, 2006

Hmm, I don't have time to get something remotely. Nordstrom has some nice options, and I should have enough time to try it and have alterations done before the wedding. But I may make a trip through a few of the UK options first - if I see what I want, then I'll be happy.

Any more recommendations welcome!
posted by mywinningsmile at 10:10 AM on August 20, 2006

Here's my specific recommendation. The last suit I bought here in London was from a tailors in Pimlico called Volpe. It was not terribly expensive, and it still wears me very well five years on.

I also believe that the owner started his sales this week, but am unsure as to whether or not they are still on. Still, I would highly recommend you check it out if you have time. You should be able to find a nice suit that's not high-street mainstream and they also have some great shirts and ties. I personally don't go anywhere else to buy mine.

Here's a link to the yell.com page with the location etc, hope you find the time to check it out.
posted by jim.christian at 1:44 PM on August 20, 2006

Do let us know what you decided on!
posted by oxford blue at 6:25 PM on August 20, 2006

What about Raja Daswani? I got my suit from "Hong Kong's premier tailor" for a wedding last year. You go to one of their regular and scheduled measuring sessions at hotels in major cities, choose your fabric, choose your style and get measured up. They take digi photos of you, and so they say, work begins on your suit back in Hong Kong. Daswani is a big operator and has frequent adverts in the UK press. I'm a big fan of the suit I bought, and you can ask for little extras like a fountain pen pocket in the inside of the jacket. Your name is also sewn in. Mine cost about £350. If you decide to go for this, tell him who sent you and I might get a discount the next time I order something!
posted by dance at 12:26 AM on August 21, 2006

If there's one in your area, I'd suggest Nordstrom Rack. Suits there are priced at 40%-60% less than retail price. You'll likely have to get the pants tailored elsewhere for a nominal amount.
posted by gnutron at 12:53 PM on August 21, 2006

Regardless, I third the Nordstrom recommendation for the suit alone. Get your shirt(s) and tie(s) elsewhere, though, as Nordstrom is absurdly expensive for accessories.

Actually, you can have your cake and eat it too, sorta. It's a bit of a schlep, but you can get your suit at the flagship store (6th and Pine) and then hit Nordstrom Rack (2nd and Pine) for the shirts/accessories. You can do the same with the Alderwood Mall Nordstrom -- there's a Rack on the other side of I-5. You'll have to drive between then, though, and I don't know if the Alderwood Nordstrom has as quick a turnaround with their on-site alterations.

I get all my dress shirts at the Rack. Same things they sell at Nordstrom, only half off -- or more.
posted by dw at 11:05 PM on August 21, 2006

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