How do I buy a suit?

Only had one suit before and it was tailored for me in HK. Obviously not an option here from a $ POV so what do I do? Just go to some store like MJ Bale, get one that vaguely fits and take it to an alterations shop?

Is there any part of the suit that can't be altered or anything else I need to watch out for?

Comments

  • +4 votes

    Is there any part of the suit that can't be altered or anything else I need to watch out for?

    Shoulders and chest cannot (easily) be altered, neither can sleeve width. So I'd recommend finding a suit where the jacket fits your chest and shoulders correctly.

    You can then alter

    • The waist (belly) - you can let out a couple of centimetres usually, in case you find the perfect shoulder fit with a tight belly fit.

    • The sleeve length as long as the jacket has 'fake' sleeve buttons that can be moved up and down

    Do not buy a jacket with working sleeve buttons, i.e. buttons and actual button holes, because then you cannot alter the sleeve length (without making a mess of the armhole/sleeve joint). This is a mistake i have made and pay the price for every day.

    There's a lot more I don't know, keen to read others' replies.

    Other advice:
    Buy 100% wool for longevity, breathability and shape. Polyester suits get stuffy and have a more rigid shape. Warning if you get ultra fine wool like 'Super 120s', the fabric will wear out between your legs and result in awkward holes. A good tailor can patch that up with tougher material though. Your choice, fine wool does feel damn fine.

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    Got my last suit from Target for about $60 and pretty happy with it, couldn't find anything better that I liked sub $300. Guess I was fortunate It fitted me well straight off the shelf.

  • +4 votes

    By going to a shop

    •  

      Hello, good sir! Fine day outside, isn't it? I'm wondering, if it's not too much trouble of course, if you may consider supplying me with one of your fine suits? Of course, I am prepared to pay handsomely for such service, if only you'll do me the trouble of making it just so, that it my dear lady friends shall consider me the most stylish of gents!

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    i personally really liked my suits which I got tailor made in Singapore. My guy has my measurements and now I just order in advance when I know I’m transiting. You may be able to get one custom made if you can get your measurements done otherwise just go for a trip to Thailand or Singapore or anywhere else in Asia which makes suits.

    I used to buy off the rack from Oxford and get them altered but honestly that’s no match for a properly tailored suit and probably won’t cost that much different if you’re buying in Asia.

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      Feel free not to answer, but what’s the ballpark figure you expect to pay for a tailored suit in Singapore?

      • +1 vote

        From memory it was roughly S$500-$600 for a decent suit from a store called Men's Tradition. I didn't go for the cheapest and I chose some nicer merino wool. Extra pants were around S$120ish from memory. Prices might be a bit higher now though with inflation and all, and AUD/SGD has changed directions (it used to be A$1 = S$1.05 whereas now it's A$1 = S$0.93).

        EDIT: I should mention I got the stuff a bit cheaper than these prices because I ended up buying 5 suits so the numbers I used above are from my first order before I knew the guy.

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    Wool 100%. Accept no substitutes.

    Buy 2x pants per jacket.

    •  

      Agree with this, 2x pants per jacket will greatly increase the life of the suit. I'd also recommend that you get a suit jacket that is half-canvas. It will look better for much longer.

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    go to lowes get them to fit it on if wrong size order the right one in they can help and have a great card for suit purchases you can write off..