Suit me up
May 31, 2007 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Los Angeles Interview Suit— I need to find something cheap for interviews after finding my last suit had irreperable moth holes in the pants (yeah, you can tell that my last couple of jobs haven't really required dap to the tap sartorial sense). Where in the LA area can I get a cheap (nice) suit fairly quickly?

In addition— what should I be looking for as flattering on a slightly chubby, taller man? What will hold up well for years? What kind of stitching and tailoring should I be looking for? How much should I expect to spend? How long will it take? I guess more salient than "cheap" is "deal" or "bargain," if you catch my drift. Value is ultimately more important than price, but the price should be as minimal as possible.
posted by klangklangston to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You might try Three Day Suit Broker. It looks like they have locations in Los Angeles. I always thought their prices were fair. If you're looking for value, I recommend this place.
They are only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (hence the name), so hopefully that will work for your schedule.

My sales guy was never pushy, and the styles they had in stock were pretty nice. I walked in with a desire to buy one suit, and the prices were low enough that I walked out with two suits (custom hemmed and all that) within about two hours (I'm a slow shopper).

As far as fashion advice, IANA fashion expert, unfortunately. I think there are other threads on here about what to wear. The sales guy might also be able to talk to you about what is the best look to get rid of the chubs. From what I've heard, go double-breasted if you're thick at the waist.
posted by blackbeardrrr at 11:29 AM on May 31, 2007

If you can wait a day or two for rush shipping (I couldn't see any outlet stores near LA, I could be wrong) ... Land's End produces surprisingly nice suits on the cheap.

I really, really enjoy Burberry's suits on the best price/value ratio. They'll set you back around $1000, but will definitely last for years. Land's End suits, God bless them, probably aren't going to last you as long.

I would stay away from continental European suits as they are currently priced at a premium, above the shitty exchange rates. Hugo Boss, Prada and especially Salvatore F are going to be great, classic suits but I tend to stay away from them.

I am also a fan of J Press which give a great value, but you'll end up spending a bit.

I don't know what industry you're looking in, but unless it is something entertainment related I would recommend going for classic American suits. Stay away from Brooks Brothers (their best suits are expensive and the low-end are too expensive). J. Crew looks nice, but is cheap.

Look into Land's End and a good tailor to make it look crisp. You'll probably set yourself back $500 but it'll look better than an $800 suit with not tailor. Another trick I have had (yeah I've been needing suits and not wanting to spend money on them) is to splurge on the tie. Something like Hermes will set you back $100 but look nice on a boring Land's End suit. Even go for some cuff-links that are a little flashy on a boring suit. It looks understated and makes the suit look more tailored.

I have a friend in the fashion business in LA, but he pushes out new American designers and fashionable European ones (D&G, etc.) that are, in my opinion, too flashy for most industries. I can put you in contact with him if you wish, he works in one of those West Hollywood boutiques and has a lot of William Morris like clientele. I would no recommend it unless you are going into the industry and need to look that way in the interview.
posted by geoff. at 11:36 AM on May 31, 2007

I've had a pretty good experience with getting a reasonably cheap suit from a Brooks Brothers outlet ($300). Saved a pretty good amount of money from their regular price, and the suit is definitely better than something from a Sears or something like that.

I think you'll have a tough time finding a decent suit to wear for under $200, and I'd say spending the extra $100 in my case was definitely worth it. You should probably also budget another $40-80 for tailoring to get the fit perfect.
posted by I like to eat meat at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2007

You can get bargains at outlets like Nordstrom Rack. There are many in the LA area. It might be a good way to figure out what you like by hitting more than one of these, since their stock will vary.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2007

I've been happy with my suits from Nordstrom Rack, but I also got them significantly altered and just considered that part of the deal.
posted by mdonley at 12:24 PM on May 31, 2007

Maybe Glendale Suit Outlet? There's another similar "Suit Warehouse" like store on E. Colorado St. also in Glendale, but I can't think of the name.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:29 PM on May 31, 2007

For quick, I'd second 3 Day Suit Brokers. If you've got a little time to search, you might want to try the Fashion District downtown. Lots of wholesale and low dollar retail stores in that neighborhood, but you'll want to take some time to make sure you're getting decent quality for the price.

A good fit is essential for us chubby guys in a suit, more so than the cut, so spend the money on a good tailor. That's another advantage to 3 Day, they have people on site to do same day alterations.

I don't like double breasted suits, they're too formal for me and they make it hard to do that casual, suit jacket unbuttoned thing. I'd go with a two or three button suit in dark blue or charcoal grey, which will look classy but not uptight.

Welcome to LA!
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:40 PM on May 31, 2007

The other thing you can do is head to Macy's and put together a good looking suit with Donald Trump Suit Separates. I just had a friend do this when he was in a pinch for a wedding last week, and truthfully he looked great.

The obvious benefit of this is no tailoring required, so the whole routine takes about five minutes. I could never pull this off because I wear an Extra Long coat, but they do have both Longs and Regulars in stock.

I think the coat and pants will run you about $400, which isn't CHEAP per se, but it's certainly very reasonable for a decent suit.
posted by fusinski at 12:40 PM on May 31, 2007

This place was mentioned in the Bargains LA newsletter this very week. Might be worth a look.
posted by Scram at 12:44 PM on May 31, 2007

I got a great deal on a nice Zegna suit from Neiman Marcus last call in Dallas a few years ago $1000 marked down to $350). My wife the shopper swears by the place. It's the Nieman's outlet type thingy. Looks like there's one in San Diego if you're in the area...
posted by space2k at 12:48 PM on May 31, 2007

I know this may seem cheesy but Men's Wearhouse is a decent place to go for a suit if you don't plan to wear one all the time. If you need a suit for daily work wear go straight for the highest quality you can afford. The plus of Men's Warehouse is that their staff are willing to spend a good deal of time showing you cuts and fabrics that are flattering (you will have to practice saying "no" when they start laying out accessories for the suit you have chosen). I know several guys who have switched from jobs that required daily suits to occasional suit events and both have been happy stepping down from Nordstrom to Men's Wearhouse.
posted by rosebengal at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2007

Isn't there an H&M in LA? If you're not too beefy, their inexpensive suits are pretty nice looking, but not tremendously sturdy.
posted by luriete at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2007

I know several guys who have switched from jobs that required daily suits to occasional suit events and both have been happy stepping down from Nordstrom to Men's Wearhouse.

I'm one of those guys for sure. Truthfully, they have some really good suits... and can usually turn around the tailoring on a suit within a day or two if you have an emergency. Good luck with that at Nordstrom's.
posted by fusinski at 1:05 PM on May 31, 2007

Best answer: get a single-breasted, two-button (avoid three button since you're tall and chubby) charcoal grey or midnight blue (really midnight, the darker the better) suit. you can get lucky at Salvation Army type stores but you'll need alterations at a local place, not a good idea if time is a factor. H&M is a good idea if you're not too big. outlets are a good idea too but I don't see how you could spend less than, say, 300 bucks for a suit there. is there something like Filene's Basement in the L.A. area? Google them, you can find a nice deal there.

get the job first, you'll get a nice suit (the above mentioned Zegna is excellent, Canali is even better) at a outlet in the desert (there's a great one close to Palm Springs) after you get a couple paychecks and you'll be financially more viable.

check out the stitching in good strong light, bad stitching are evident even if you're not a tailor and not an expert on men's fashion. check out the buttons, too, if they're really cheap plastic or somewhat better made -- the telltale signs of a well-made suit. more often than you'd think, cheap doesn't mean necessarily assy, but there a lot of lemons out there in the cheaper stores.

Also keep in mind that a somewhat boring design is good because boring means it won't go out of fashion quickly, avoid strange lapel designs or too-slim-pants designs. you can always liven things up with a nice solid-color tie and a subtly striped shirt, even a nice perfectly ironed cotton handekerchief in your breast pocket (white, or powder blue if it goes with the rest of your outfit).

Even if they kind of slim you down, I'd avoid pinstripes: you're not in the City of London, and pinstripes been done to death anyway. get a solid charcoal grey, really. black's cool but cheap black polyester suits really make you look like a bad Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs impersonator. Avoid.
posted by matteo at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2007 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Cool, thanks. I've gotten a few call-backs today, so I'll be setting up interviews soon.
I'm looking at magazine jobs, mostly editorial assistant sort of jive, so it won't be really formal once I get the job (unlike a newspaper, where it seems every time I've been in a newsroom, everyone's been in arm garters and vests and shit). I'm not sure if LA's more informal, but $3-500 is about my budget.
posted by klangklangston at 1:55 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Friends in the UK have just hired a suit for the interview. Don't know if it is possible in LA.
posted by Idcoytco at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2007

When I needed a same-day suit, I hit Macy's (which was having a sale) and picked up a sports jacket and chinos that matched. The combo was pretty cheap (under $300). Not sure if that's quite formal enough for your needs – but this is LA, where my bosses used to razz me for wearing neckties.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:41 PM on May 31, 2007

Three Day Suit Broker is a great place for cheap suits.
posted by HotPatatta at 6:02 PM on May 31, 2007

I got two great suits that I love for under $150 at the H&M in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. That said, my body type is just right for H&M (I'm 5'8" and wear a size 36 jacket) - as stated above it can be hard for larger guys to find a suit there.
posted by puppy kuddles at 10:10 PM on May 31, 2007

Response by poster: I got a suit for $172 including shirt and tie at the three-day brokers. It was cheaper than anything they had at Men's Wearhouse, and looked better.
Hopefully, I'll have a job after Monday, so I'll be able to get a better suit soon. Went dark charcoal, no stripes, but got a three button (since it fit much better than the similar two button).
posted by klangklangston at 1:32 PM on June 3, 2007

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