Looking for an inexpensive suit in Chicago
November 27, 2007 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy a reasonably priced suit in Chicago that I need to wear on Monday and Tuesday?

I am a grad student who just found out that I have my first job talk + interviews (for an assistant professor position) on Monday and Tuesday. I need a suit pronto.

Please help me.

Crucial details: I live on the North Side (Andersonville). I don't have much money. Because I've eaten too much lately, I have something of a belly, so some tailoring will probably be required.

I've heard suits 20/20 (Lincolnwood) is good for price and selection but that the people there are difficult to deal with. It's also a pain to get to. I don't need a lot of stress right now, 'cause I need to work on my presentation.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!
posted by rbs to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to need tailoring anyway just go to the consignment stores or nicer used clothing stores, get a nicer suit than you could afford otherwise, and spend the money you have on tailoring. US Cleaners on North and Damen has turned a suit (from recycle on Damen) around for me in 24 hours before - I assume most good neighborhood tailors will do that as well.
posted by true at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2007

true: Any used/consignment stores you'd recommend?
posted by rbs at 6:33 PM on November 27, 2007

I've had that quick a turnaround from Men's Wearhouse. Definitely pricier than a consignment suit though.
posted by mkb at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2007

I went here and found a nice suit and a really nice full length wool coat. There are probably a ton of others though.
posted by true at 6:43 PM on November 27, 2007

Hey RBS,

I live in Aville too. Have you looked inside the Brown Elephant? Also, Sims is usually a good place for suits.
posted by moooshy at 7:01 PM on November 27, 2007

Your first step should be to check out Filene's Basement on State Street. Take a few hours, try on suits and see if anything works. You can take it to a tailor and get it altered in ~24 hours and the amount you save at FB will make it worthwhile.

If you draw a blank, go to Men's Wearhouse, decline their in-house alteration & have it done yourself. The result will be pricier, but still worth it.

Do not buy a suit second hand. I'm sure you're very smart & very accomplished, but it's simply not worth it to take chances when you're on the market for an academic job. Wearing a good suit that fits you well removes one potential negative variable. Even if you have to borrow money to get a decent suit, it's well worth it. Spend the money, work on your job talk & go in there and kick ass. You've already beat out 95% of the field by getting this invitation, so make sure you do what you must to distance yourself from the other two candidates.

Good luck.
posted by felix betachat at 7:10 PM on November 27, 2007

nordstrom rack is good too if you ahve time to dig. tailors on staff, skillful and reasonably priced.
posted by patricking at 7:27 PM on November 27, 2007

rbs, if this your first grown-up suit you're probably going to need more guidance on what to wear than you'll find at some thrift store.

Please go to a place like Men's Wearhouse. Yeah, you'll pay a little more, but the guys there will set you up with a professional looking suit. I think you can get in and out for around $300 - maybe catch some sort of sale for less.

Don't forget the accessories: belt, shoes, shirt, tie.

You can add to your wardrobe later by working the second-hand, thrift, and consignment shop circuit. Right now you need to look sharp.

Good luck.
posted by wfrgms at 8:15 PM on November 27, 2007

Well, first define "reasonably priced." Suit prices have a very wide range.

Also recommending Men's Wearhouse. Not upscale, but good quality, and they do a good job of finding you what you need.
posted by chundo at 10:03 PM on November 27, 2007

I used to buy my suits from M Hyman & Son up near Old Orchard, don't know if they're still in business, a cursory Google didn't find much on them. They were quality clothes, though.
posted by pjern at 12:22 AM on November 28, 2007

Thanks, all. I'm gonna hit the Wearhouse this afternoon, then the used stores for a nice belt and whatnot.

If I get the job, we're all gonna have to get some beers!
posted by rbs at 6:49 AM on November 28, 2007

Well make sure you come to the Chicago Meetup on the 12th.
posted by wfrgms at 4:02 PM on November 29, 2007

I'll be out of town, thanks, though.
posted by rbs at 6:46 PM on November 29, 2007

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