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Thread: Joseph A Banks

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    Joseph A Banks

    This has most likely been asked before but I never found the thread. So I am asking, what do you guys think of Joseph A Banks. All the older men I talk to, talk like it was a great store. It was the first good suite chain store that they bought their clothes from and they loved it. Now with it being bought by Menswear House, all these buy 2 get 3 free sales, and from simple observation. It seems like their quality is going down. Now I haven't tired anything there for a very longtime but I was wanting an opinion for you guys. Is Joseph A Banks still a top suite store or is their being bought out by the WalMart of suite store, aka Menswear house, a death toll?

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    Super Moderator Shomas's Avatar
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    From what I've understood, the quality and (from what I've observed) the styling of their clothing was always (or at least for as long as I've been aware of them) garbage. Whether the purchase by Mens Wearhouse will further diminish that quality, I don't know, but to me it's kind of like asking if the addition of a particular sauce will diminish the flavor of a bowl of dog poop. Maybe it will and maybe it won't, but it's kind of beside the point.

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    I buy the occasional jacket there, sort of "beater" blazers. I got a jacket from there that I leave in the closet at work in case of emergencies. They do have some decent things there sometimes - like I found a great tweed jacket. Since their prices are often so low, sometimes if you're careful you can get more than what you pay for. But beware that a lot of their fabrics look cheap and some less than stylish tailoring. I try to shop there with a friend so I can get a second opinion and help digging around.

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    Pretty much whatever I've bought there fits weird/cheaply, and I end up looking at it for a week and then taking it back. Luckily, there's one right by my house. It's a good place to pick up a blazer for 100 dollars, but, at least for me, I can't really get over the cheapness factor. Some of it may be mental. I bought some slim dress chinos there and they're sort of inconsistent, buy okay; and I just bought one of their signature french cuff shirts the other day, on sale (obviously) to try. It appears well-constructed and actually looks really good.

    Folks say that if you can snag a Signature Gold suit on clearance, it's a good deal. That being said, places like Ruelala routinely sell US and Canadian made suits in the approximate price range a Signature Gold would be on clearance. I'd rather take my chances with one of those, if I was in the market for a traditional men's suit.

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    Varsity Member Lucid's Avatar
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    They're not that bad, especially if you have a bit more weight on you and don't need everything slim fit. I think it's a good store for new career changes where, on a tight budget, you need 5 suits in different colors quickly. You can slowly replace them with better quality in time. Their quality isn't "Wal-Mart," and neither is Men's Warehouse. Both stores serve a role, but if you can afford a $400-$1000 suit, you should go elsewhere. If you can only afford $150-$200 each and you need a few, it's not a bad option (assuming they fit).

    I personally prefer to wait around all year for clearance sales on great suits like Brooks Brothers or save up for Suit Supply, buying one at a time for around $400-$600. They'll last longer, look better, and fit better. But I think we should understand the role these other stores have.

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    Varsity Member Shade's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a couple hundred dollar suit that you can try on in store and get the right fit and then have it inexpensively tailored to look like a 500+ dollar suit then go for it. It will be a better suit than most of the Nordstrom and Macys offerings, much better than a Combatant Gent suit and you wont have to deal with lousy customer service and playing pot luck with shipping to get the right size. I have 9 suits from Brooks Brothers to JAB and they are all tailored, and Id be willing to bet 99% of the public and most of the suit experts on this site wouldnt be able to tell the difference. An 800-1000 Brooks suit, etc. is going to be much more durable and is in a different category, but you are also dropping a grand for a suit. JAB killed themselves with shit marketing, so so-called suit snobs feel better buying a label from a company that is either less known aka CG or something from a mall store in the same price range. Their traveler shirts for example are much better than J. Crew factory and even Banana Republic and you never hear people even talk about them. I own over 50 button downs and speak as an expert on shirts. It is all mostly public perception and JAB's blows. Youll see people always jumping on their shoe trees though, but Id imagine youd get some people that wont even buy them and will pay triple + for a Woodlore pair instead and argue that it is better cedar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shomas View Post
    From what I've understood, the quality and (from what I've observed) the styling of their clothing was always (or at least for as long as I've been aware of them) garbage. Whether the purchase by Mens Wearhouse will further diminish that quality, I don't know, but to me it's kind of like asking if the addition of a particular sauce will diminish the flavor of a bowl of dog poop. Maybe it will and maybe it won't, but it's kind of beside the point.
    I wouldn't call it garbage, but you do get what you pay for. I find their wool dress pants pretty good quality. I like their merino wool sweaters quite a bit. I have one linen/wool sport coat that is great for summers there. I also have some linen short sleeve sport shirts that I got there. It's also one of the best places to snag hangers and shoe trees. The key is the price. I never pay more than $40 for the dress pants. When they go on a sale, I pick up the wool sweaters for $20-30. The linen sport shirts I paid < $30 for. At those prices I really can't complain. The sweaters easily last 3-4 seasons, as do the dress pants. The sport shirts are around the same price I'd pay for Uniqlo and they're better than those. The blazer was around $100 and looks great with oxford, poplin and seersucker pants.

    Of course I'm also older and decidedly less slim than most of the posters here. I'm mostly buying my other clothes from Bill's Khaki's, Land's End and Brooks Brothers. I'd put the quality about on par with Land's End. I'll always prefer Brooks Brothers or Bill's Khakis, but sales there are harder to come by and when they do, you sometimes have to take what you can get. Eventually I'll replace my two pairs of Land's End chino's with Bill's Khakis, but the Land's End stuff is fine until I actually see a pair on sale. Likewise, my JAB wool dress pants will get replaced by Brooks Brothers when the right pair is on sale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    If you are looking for a couple hundred dollar suit that you can try on in store and get the right fit and then have it inexpensively tailored to look like a 500+ dollar suit then go for it. It will be a better suit than most of the Nordstrom and Macys offerings, much better than a Combatant Gent suit and you wont have to deal with lousy customer service and playing pot luck with shipping to get the right size. I have 9 suits from Brooks Brothers to JAB and they are all tailored, and Id be willing to bet 99% of the public and most of the suit experts on this site wouldnt be able to tell the difference. An 800-1000 Brooks suit, etc. is going to be much more durable and is in a different category, but you are also dropping a grand for a suit. JAB killed themselves with shit marketing, so so-called suit snobs feel better buying a label from a company that is either less known aka CG or something from a mall store in the same price range. Their traveler shirts for example are much better than J. Crew factory and even Banana Republic and you never hear people even talk about them. I own over 50 button downs and speak as an expert on shirts. It is all mostly public perception and JAB's blows. Youll see people always jumping on their shoe trees though, but Id imagine youd get some people that wont even buy them and will pay triple + for a Woodlore pair instead and argue that it is better cedar.
    I think with JAD, is there sale pricing is all over the place, it changes daily many sale items are not even on sale section. I only buy shoe trees. Combatant Gentlemen I think is way better than Macy's and most department stores (not high end), great slim fits (at least for my small body), easy to navigate website, quality good enough for the beginner or someone that only wears suits on special days. shipping and having items in stock is what they need major improvements.

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    Varsity Member Shade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiconice View Post
    I think with JAD, is there sale pricing is all over the place, it changes daily many sale items are not even on sale section. I only buy shoe trees. Combatant Gentlemen I think is way better than Macy's and most department stores (not high end), great slim fits (at least for my small body), easy to navigate website, quality good enough for the beginner or someone that only wears suits on special days. shipping and having items in stock is what they need major improvements.
    I think CG suits look cheap and made of shit materials from the ones Ive seen posted from here and their customer service is a nightmare. Their owner that comes on here apologizes ad nauseum and thats only what we see from posters on here. I can only imagine what we don't see. There was a pretty bad reddit thread about them and I just dont want to be wearing a suit labeled "Combatant Gentleman", seems cheesy to me. Thats subjective though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    I think CG suits look cheap and made of shit materials from the ones Ive seen posted from here and their customer service is a nightmare. Their owner that comes on here apologizes ad nauseum and thats only what we see from posters on here. I can only imagine what we don't see. There was a pretty bad reddit thread about them and I just dont want to be wearing a suit labeled "Combatant Gentleman", seems cheesy to me. Thats subjective though.
    A million times this.

    It's also astounding to me how so many people are just like, "Everything is great except their inventory, the way they update their inventory on their website, their shipping times, and their communication about all those things. But other than that, they're awesome!"

    So they suck at stocking product and sending product and communicating with customers in a timely fashion? For an e-commerce business, what else is there? And the after-the-fact apologizing on message boards is so hollow and corny. Words can't express how much I dislike their entire brand ethos.

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