2. Alex: Cheap Off-The-Rack Suit
Alex picked up this suit from the clearance rack at Macy’s a few years ago (before working at TSB), but never felt comfortable or confident wearing it.
The suit was about $80 on discount. In this case, the alterations were about the same.
Look at it this way: $160 for a well-tailored suit in your rotation is much better than $80 for a suit that sits in the back of your closet collecting dust.
Some useful tailoring advice:
- Make sure the fit is pretty close before buying. Alteration charges can add up quickly, and there’s always a limit to how much can be done. In many cases, a tailoring tweak can bring new life to an old garment. In other cases, buying a new piece is actually cheaper and more effective.
- Bring a picture of the fit you are looking for. Nothing you say to your tailor will help him understand better than a photo. This is especially important in smaller towns, where the only available tailors are older men who have been delivering loose, full-cut garments their whole lives. Rather than fighting with him about the proper length and width of your trousers, show him a picture and say “I want them exactly like this”.
- Don’t let a non-tailor chalk you up, unless you trust that they know what they’re doing. This is the problem with most large department stores that offer in-house alterations with your purchase. They typically don’t have an experienced tailor on staff full-time, so they “train” the salesperson to pin and chalk the garments for the tailor to work on later. This is a red flag that you’re probably in for something you won’t love.
- Brown suit by Alfani
- Blue club collar shirt by Michael Andrews Bespoke
- Navy stripe tie Vintage
- Watch by Timex for JCrew
- “Rust” wingtips by Florsheim