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Best store to buy a suit in Washington DC?

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    Best store to buy a suit in Washington DC?



    Hi everyone, I live in the DC area and need a suit for job interviews, career fairs, etc. Where is a good place to buy one if you have no idea what your sizes are/what looks good? Basically a friendly place that will help you out and not just try to get you to buy something expensive that may not look good.


    Thanks for the tips.


    PS. if it adds anything to your advice I have about a 300 budget.


    #2


    I'm a DC resident myself. If you're looking for a sharp suit on a budget, keep your eyes open for big deals at Macy's or Nordstroms. I'd stay away from places like J. Crew and Men's Wearhouse for now-- especially if you aren't sure what your size is or what looks good. I have horror stories about Men's Wearhouse.


    In my opinion, your absolute best bet is to go to Jos A. Bank. If you're looking to spend ~$300, you'll have to call in and see if they are running a half-price special, because the suits I've bought there usually run around $600. There's a reason, though-- these suits are the real deal. The staff is super professional and will make sure you fit perfectly. The'll alter it to your perfect specifications and the suit itself will last for years. That said, don't buy your shirts and ties there-- that's a quick way to sink a few more hundred dollars.

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      #3


      Let me chime in here - I am in DC as well, but the way this discussion is going we might as well be anywhere. Yes, stay away from Men's Wearhouse. I shamefully admit I went there at the beginning of my suiting education and spent too much money on suits way too big - they don't know what the hell they're doing there. I have never bought anything from Jos. A Bank, but I think their suits look like they're for old men and from what I hear they are usually overpriced even with their stupid sale extravaganzas. I went in there once and knew right away it wasn't the place for me - even without knowing much about suiting. But it doesn't hurt to look - maybe you'll like them. If you do go there, see what you can do about at least getting flat front pants. I've only ever seen pleats at JAB.


      I think you should definitely check out the department stores as Eddy says (Macy's at Metro Center is easy) - not even necessarily to buy anything, but just to try some stuff on (if you do that at Men's Wearhouse you'll get hounded by salesmen who will try to pressure you into buying much more than you want). If you see something you like but not in the color/pattern you want, check out the website. Remember pants can be brought in or taken out about 2 inches at the waist - so concentrate on getting a good fit in the shoulders and have the bottom of the jacket (not the sleeves) end close to around your thumb knuckle - almost anything else can be fixed up by your tailor (I think dappered has a good post on this topic so maybe search for that - Joe also has reviewed a good number of suits available at Macy's so check those out too).


      Get yourself a solid navy and/or solid charcoal (NOT BLACK) and you'll be good to go. GOOD LUCK!

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        #4


        Thanks for the tips guys. Finally made it out to the macy's today and unfortunately their selection was too slim. I am a size 36R-37R and they onyl ad 5 suits in that size. Do either of you have any thoughts regarding K&G or SYMS ( i believe owned by K&G )? They seem like a more warehouse-y type of place, will i get a decline in quality there? Or do you have any other suggestions.


        Thanks

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          #5


          There are some very nice haberdasheries in DC. But on the affordable side, I would check out SYMS or Filene's Basement, which are under the same ownership now. They both get nice suits in and run good deals on them. I wear a 41R/42R so I am not sure about the selections in your size.

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            #6


            negative on the syms or filenes basement. the size selection was low and I was not terribly impressed with the styles, most were boxy. Some great highly expensive suits at the neiman marcus next door though! Seeing as it is proving difficult to find smaller suits (if it helps im 5'10" and 145lbs) would it be best to go with a tailor and get something from scratch? any recommendation?

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              #7


              If you can afford to wait, Filene's does a huge suit sale at the end of the summer. Tailoring will be even more essential, but the discounts are there.

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                #8


                Does anyone have a good tailor in DC/NoVa? I have tried several places but have not found one with which I am completely satisfied.

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                  #9


                  I get my suits tailored at American Valet in Tenleytown. Very friendly, family run place that gets the work done quickly and professionally. No complaints.


                  For reference, I had a pair of suit pants taken in and cuffed in less than 24 hours at $27.00.

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                    #10


                    @benny: I use Luis Tailoring in Old Town Alexandria (on King Street, about 6 blocks from the Metro station there). If that's close to you in NOVA, I would highly recommend him. I've gone to him for several things and have been impressed. He does good work, isn't too costly, is not offended by modern fashion preferences, and is candid about what can/should be done to items.


                    He did recommend me checking out Filene's Basement, which I have yet to do. Does anyone have any opinion on it? Good/bad experience? I recently bought a great "tailored fit" navy suit from Banana Republic but am also in the market for grey, charcoal, or black.

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                      #11


                      @mrd: Thanks for the tip. I actually just moved to Old Town so this is great. I will definitely give him a try next time I am need of work done.


                      @EddyTeach: Thank you as well.

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                        #12


                        Benny: I used to live in Old Town, and have used Luis before.


                        Here are my DC tailor experiences:


                        Suh's Tailoring in Old Town - don't waste your time. He argues with you if you want to show a little cuff, and is pretty expensive.


                        Luis Tailor - very friendly guy. The big downsides: (1) He never finishes anything when he promises he will. You'll always get bumped later than expected. So, you can use him, be make sure to leave a LOT of time before when you need it done or make it very clear to him that it HAS to be done by that day. (2) I've struggled to get cuffs right with him. I always ask for 1/4" to show, and every time without fail on the first try I will see zero cuff. He'll redo it, and I'll end up with 1/8" or less cuff just barely showing.


                        Baytok - in georgetown - had him take in the collar on a suit I had. Very professional, and quick. He's my new go-to tailor.


                        As far as suits go, for $300 you could try the Alfani Red suits at Macy's, as they run pretty slim. I'm about your size - 5'9, 150lbs, and ended up going with a a Benjamin suit from Ehaberdasher.com. For $500, it's a fully canvassed suit and awesome. Runs very slim.

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                          #13


                          Zerostyle is right about needing to plan ahead before taking a trip to Luis. He is popular in Old Town, so always has a lot on his plate. He has, as I understand it, recently hired an apprentice to help with the workload, though I may be mistaken. (The last time I was there, a younger guy was sewing something and Luis would occasionally pop over and give him some guidance.) Luis will usually give you a two-week window in which he expects the work to be done. Once he finished an item of mine far ahead of schedule and another time it came down to the wire - though to his credit he did stay an extra 45 minutes after his shop closed to finish up the piece. But definitely not your go-to place for something you need done on a very short turnaround.


                          What is your impression of ehaberdasher.com? I've never tried them. The thought of buying a suit online without first trying it on in person slightly scares me, though they have some impressive deals.

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                            #14


                            MRD - A few months ago I was looking for my first "real" suit. In the past I've had all kind of poor fitting sizes and cheap suits from Macy's.


                            I'm also frugal as hell, and did a lot of research. Most people on StyleForum will tell you to check thrift stores, ebay, etc, but finding suits in 38 short (or a slim 38 regular) proved to be damn near impossible for any big brand names.


                            The Benjamin suit I bought ran really nice and slim. Compared to the suits I tried on in retail stores, I'd say it was closest to a Hugo Boss for fit.


                            That said, it's WAY better constructed for the price. The Hugo Boss's are cheap fused glue-job suits that, even on sale, or at outlets, was going for $600-$700.


                            Basically, I went with ehaberdasher because:

                            1. The suit was fully canvassed, dual vent, 130s wool, high armholes, etc.

                            2. The suit was very slim fitting which is hard to find

                            3. The customer service was top notch. I returned a 38R for a 38S with no problems despite the fact that I had taken the tags off.

                            4. The price was really good - $500 shipped free with a coupon code.

                            5. Everyone claims that outlet stores are good for bargains, but I always found that they only have odd sizes or weird patterns. Trying to find a staple solid navy or charcoal suit in a nice brand just didn't happen.


                            If you don't like it, they will let you ship it back for only $10, so that's the most you'd be out.


                            I'd highly recommend. The biggest downside to their suit IMO was that the button stance felt high to me. Apparently they just released their updated line and the jackets are slightly shorter and button stance has been lowered, so they might be even nicer now.

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                              #15


                              Oh,


                              For a cheaper suit, I've also heard very good things about this guy on Ebay.


                              http://stores.ebay.com/The-Wizard-of-Aahs


                              Apparently they are canvassed suits in the $300 range. Not as nice as a $500 suit of course, but still supposed to be good for starter suits.

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