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Thread: Any last minute advice for a trip to a Suit Supply store?

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Any last minute advice for a trip to a Suit Supply store?

    It's our anniversary today and the wife has been bugging me to get a new suit for "going out".

    It's not that she doesn't like my other suits, especially my two Brooks Brothers suits, but she wants me to have something a bit more edgy or trendy for going out on the town at night. I usually do this with sports coats and blazers with different fabrics or patterns, or by wearing more colorful shirts with my suits--and then of course, putting on some great shoes.

    But today I'm going to indulge her and we're going to Suit Supply together. I've been doing very well since I left my big firm job early this year and went out on my own (now that the equity partners aren't taking 60%), so I was thinking of springing for a made to measure suit. I've always wanted something like that, but still don't feel comfortable paying for a total bespoke suit.

    I even called the store and talked to the made to measure sales person. He actually talked me off the idea of made to measure. He was sure I could find something I liked in the ready to made section and that they could tailor it just right.

    I guess this makes sense, especially if I'm going for something that is a bit more trendy, right? I don't want to drop $1,000 on a suit that will be out of style in a couple of years.

    Anyways--never been to a Suit Supply store. And probably the last five or six suits I've purchased have been from websites, not brick and mortar. And before that, from Macy's for six or seven suits. So, it's been a long time since I've actually been to a real men's store to be a suit. I'm guessing 10 years or more.

    I'm picking Suit Supply because of all the rave reviews. And the website looks like it has some suits that are more trendy or edgy.

    What should I expect? What should I look for?

    Should I let them do the tailoring or should I take the suit to my trusted tailor? I have a friend who let the in house people at a Brooks Brothers store tailor a suit and he said they did a horrible job.

    Any other bits of advice?
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    Which Suitsupply store?


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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Newport Beach, California, USA. It's the closest--about 25 miles.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    I am a fan of the SuitSupply in-store experience, and I think it's also why they've been able to steal market share from other suitmakers in the same price range for a number of years.

    The biggest advantage to their in-store experience is that you will almost always be helped 1-on-1 by a sales associate. Sometimes it may take a few minutes for someone to assist you, especially if the store is packed on a weekend, but you won't be stuck trying on anything by yourself. While not many of them are super knowledgeable about suits or fashion, they know enough (and are eager enough) to be helpful, and they usually won't try to upsell you or push you towards a suit that doesn't fit well.

    The look of each store is quite edgy and contemporary (to the point it's sometimes a turn-off to some people), but they offer a very wide spectrum from conservative basics to very bold "fashion" suits. Whenever I've walked into a store, I would say at least half of the customers are clueless 20- or 30-somethings who are looking for their first decent suit for interviews or for a job, and a sizable portion also consists of clueless 20- or 30-somethings who need a suit for a wedding (and are being escorted to the store by their significant other). You should be able to find something that you're comfortable with (whether it's something that's a little bolder but can still be worn at work, or something that's much, much more edgy).

    I think the tailoring at SuitSupply can sometimes be hit-or-miss, but unless you have a really reliable, trusted tailor, I would typically recommend just using their tailors. Because they only tailor their own products, their prices are typically much cheaper than what most independent tailors offer, and the turnaround time is typically pretty fast (i.e., a couple of days).

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Thanks @lax101

    We're off.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    SS has one of the best in-store experiences of any store ever, as you are about to find out. please report back with details

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    I had a good experience at the one in Las Vegas a few years ago. Wound up buying a Napoli. The associate who helped me was probably in his 20s but was knowledgable. Amazingly the suit didn't need any tailoring other than the pants hemmed, which they did while I waited. My tip would be to prepared for fits that are quite a bit slimmer than typical off-the-rack fits. In particular the jacket waists are basically pre-suppressed and pretty aggressively.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scofield View Post
    SS has one of the best in-store experiences of any store ever, as you are about to find out. please report back with details
    Well, we have returned and I'm $738 poorer. That includes the suit, tailoring, and the really cool three foot shoe horn I purchased.

    I'm going to rate the in-store experience fair to middling. They didn't have exactly the suit I wanted in ready to wear, as far as the cut, fabric, and lapel. So, I decided to spring for "custom". This is apparently between ready to wear and made to measure. Well, the fabric I wanted, being a new selection, wasn't available to order, even though they had it right there in the sample book. And they couldn't tell me exactly when it would be available. And whether it would be available in only a sports coat or also a suit. They said it could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of months before they could figure that out.

    As far as my second choice, they didn't have exactly the size I wanted. Oh, and also, two different suits in the same size and same cut fit me differently. So, the one that fit was my third choice. But it was a 42 R in their slimmest fit. And even though I am usually a 42 L, and I thought this super slim cut was too trim for me, Stephanie, the sales person assured me that the jacket was plenty long enough and that the other issues could be tailored. And my wife agreed.

    After a while of going through a lot of hassle of checking on what could be ordered and what couldn't be order, and what could be done, etc. etc. etc.,

    And me hating to drive 45 minutes each way for what would likely be two more trips if I got exactly what I wanted, and an indefinite delay, I just asked my wife which one she wanted me to buy, she picked the 42R in the slimmest cut of this suit:

    https://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/all_...ngton&pdp=true

    So, I popped out the plastic, and bought the most expensive suit of my life (I got my two Brooks Brothers suits on sale for about $540 each, not including tax and tailoring--so, not completely out of line), that I'm not 100% happy with.

    What I wanted would have been something similar to that suit, but with peaked lapels in a 42L. But they didn't offer that fabric/pattern in the custom line. Which seemed odd to me.

    Then, I said, "fine--can I get exactly what I want in made to measure?" And Stephanie told me that I need an appointment with NAME for that. And that's the person I spoke with on the phone and he told me: 1) That I didn't need an appointment; and 2) That he worked there EVERY Saturday.

    Okay, but you know what? He wasn't there THIS Saturday. WTH?

    Okay, so all the bellyaching aside, the store was nice, Stephanie was patient and helpful, and there were plenty of sales people there to help the customers.

    I didn't spend as much time examining the suit construction as I would have liked to, but I could tell the suits are very well made--I would say a little bit nicer than my BB suits. The fabric seems exceptionally nice.

    But I guess I ran into the limitations of brick and mortar stores; i.e., they can't stock every style in every size.

    I guess I'll pick it up next week. At least my wife will be happy. And I'll get over myself as I always do.
    Last edited by mebejoseph; August 31st, 2019 at 07:36 PM.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    @mebejoseph this is all pretty interesting and, to be honest with you, not terribly surprising. A few reactions:

    1) Had I known that you really wanted peak lapels (in a single breasted suit), I probably would have told you not to bother with SuitSupply. As you saw, the only peak lapel option they have is the Washington (other than an occasional Jort suit and their tuxedos), and it is an awfully difficult fit. It's extremely slim fitting and with very structured shoulders. I wouldn't even call the style "contemporary" -- just very different. The structured shoulders are intended to make it a bit more of a traditional, British-style cut, while most contemporary suits today lean towards softer shoulders and less lining and construction. I also like peak lapels, but for me, the wider lapels on their Havana, Lazio, and La Spalla suits are flashy enough for me (in lieu of peak lapels).

    2) Yes, in my experience, their brick and mortar stores don't have as much in stock for their edgier/trendier suits--they sell way less of these. I can't say this with certainty, but I would have to guess that they sell more conservative Napoli and Lazio suits in navy and charcoal than they sell for the rest of their suiting line, combined. When SuitSupply initially moved to the US, their business model was to open up brick and mortar stores in cheaper retail locations, in order to avoid getting bloated/handcuffed like most traditional clothing stores are (for example, their first store in the US isn't on the ground level in NY, and accordingly, you'd miss it walking on the street unless you were specifically looking for it). Likewise, I don't think they do a ton of custom suiting (because their ready-to-wear selection is quite large and already comes with fairly slim, contemporary fits), but that's not an excuse for how poor your experience was with that option.

    3) Regarding two suits fitting you differently in the same style/size: that's not unusual, for any brand. Different fabrics fit differently--especially if you were jumping between a wool suit versus a linen or silk suit, or a blend of any of those 3.

    4) You're definitely not the first person on this forum who has made a long trip to a SuitSupply store, only to be disappointed or annoyed that you'll likely have to make two more trips for fitting or stock purposes. I've been in your shoes, and there's not much that can be done about that, unfortunately. After buying my first few staple suits from SuitSupply, I've since relied more and more on buying online (now that I know what fit works for me), in order to avoid the hassle.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Yes, thank you @lax101

    I think because of the extra investment of time as compared to online shopping I set my expectations higher. The trip was still a valuable experience Stephanie was very patient and helpful and knew what she was doing. I questioned her judgment once or twice about her eyeball measurements of the result we'd get with tailoring. Then she took out a ruler and showed me the actual measurement--and it turned out her eyeball measurement was dead on.

    What's funny is that after the shopping experience, I had a better idea of what my wife was looking for. Although we've been together for almost eight years, I rarely let her help pick out clothes, have let her shop with me in an actual store only a few times, and have never let her go suit shopping with me.

    But after yesterday, we went out that night, and based on what I had learned that day, I wore my charcoal BB suit with a black shirt. All night she kept telling me how handsome I looked. Which left me wondering why I purchased a new suit when I could make the old one work to her satisfaction.

    Me, on the other hand, I kept comparing the BB suit to the SS suit as to what I recalled about the feel of the fabric and construction.

    And SS came out on top, for sure. I'm sure I will be happy once I have the suit and get a chance to wear it.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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