How To Build A Well-Made Classic Suit For Under $450

So, I’m here to give you the how’s and the where’s on affordable suit buying without sacrificing the quality of the product. Undoubtedly there are many options (many from local retailers whom sell entirely offline), but I will still do my best to cover all of your options.

Let’s tackle the linkable. This grouping covers all of your prime suiting retailers that operate on the glorious Internets. Remember: if you haven’t had your exact measurements taken recently, hold off on ordering anything until that is done. Knowing what size is before you get anything ordered or tailored is essential to suiting success!


If you haven’t perused “The Tailor” by Bluefly, you’re missing out.  Here, designer labels get the price guillotine.  For instance, Ted Baker suits are priced to disappear with four designs currently at $417 (regular retail $695).  Remember that stock on this page is ever-changing, so if you don’t find something this week than you just may during the next. 


Though Topman tends to run with the trend-driven crowd, classic cut suits can still be found for about $300-400.  You will also get the benefit of the frequent “as seen in GQ” ribbon across pieces featured in the men’s mag.  Suits from Topman vary between 100% wool and a wool blend; depending on your price point.  As an added bonus, your first order’s shipping is free if you’re having packages mailed within America.


Giant retailers may be hellish to visit, but they certainly have memorable sales.  Macys has a decent selection of name brand suits hovering around $350 to start.  The most notable were the Calvin Klein suits; especially this two button CK currently on sale for $349 (regularly $525).  Don’t buy at these big box stores unless a true sale warrants, but when one comes around don’t dawdle.


Nordstrom is of course a potential goldmine for quality produced name brand suits.  I’m going to be breaking the $450 rule here; but this is such a freaking killer deal I couldn’t pass up mentioning it.  Nordstrom is currently offering a Ben Sherman pinstripe suit with a BOSS striped dress shirt anda Michael Kors silk tie for $465! Another fantastic sale would be the Joseph Abboud three button suit for $399. 

Without sales suits generally price at $500+, but if you bookmark Nordstrom you’re likely to be rewarded for being a returning window shopper.


Brooks Brothers is a highly recognized and trusted name in menswear, and has three affordable options among their usually highly priced megasuits.  For $420, you can net yourself what Brooks calls the “perfect travel suit” of stretchy wool.  That price gets you a three-button jacket as well as pleated trousers.


S|Sense typically ranges with more of a designer selection so their prices generally vary higher; but I did locate a very nice grey two-button wool suit by Drykorn currently on sale for $419. Their selections are largely contemporary and maintain a modern yet refined appearance.


Yoox currently has a 20 two-piece wool suits (of their own label) selling for $270 each, with their three-piece suits beginning at $412.  Their cuts are quite standard straight leg trousers with a two button jacket, using basic check, pinstriped or plain fabrics of gray navy or black.  One high point of note would be the C’N’C wool navy pinstripe suit on sale for $375, reduced from $938.


A few last things:

Never buy a machine washable suit! Not only will it be made out of obviously cheap materials, but the aggressive treatment of the washer and dryer will only do harm to the already strained fabrics.  Don’t cheap out too much on a suit; try to buy a designer suit on a sale over a house brand even though you may be waiting for longer. 

A few more additional things you can do to mimic a wallet-busting designer’s look:

  • Wear classic silver cuff links.  They may be minimalistic, but they show everyone that you pay attention to detail.  Everyone will assume since you cared enough to coordinate cuff links that you must have a high quality suit as well.
  • Silk ties only. Nothing screams cheap or knock-off louder than a cheap tie; keep it looking sharp with silk.
  • Have your button down shirts tailored to fit.Even if you’re wearing a button down from Topman or H&M, you can instantly kick your look a level up if your shirt’s arms and torso are tailored perfectly to fit your body.  It won’t cost as much as you may think, and it really does make a noticeable difference.
  • Ensure your kicks are in tip-top shape.  Toss any square toe oxfords you may have, and get a modern, streamlined shape (possibly like these).  Keep them well polished and in good visual order.

Good luck, and happy suit hunting!


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I would advise any prospective suit shoppers to look within their own community stores for help.

Assuming potential customers live in Vancouver, stores such as Zara and H&M are reasonably good places to find an inexpensive suit. In addition, places like Tip Top and Moore’s are viable option.

Finally, do your homeworks regarding fit and style. Magazine articles on suit fittings, books and the net have a wealth of information to help develop an eye for determining fits and styles that work for the individual wearer.

Comment by emmy

H&M definitely aren’t quality garments; I’ve seen those up close and personal. I haven’t examined Zara’s, though, I’ll have to go in for once. You can get a cheaply made suit anywhere, but it’s still going to be obvious the care wasn’t put into its creation. The bottom line is the my point wasn’t to tell people to get a cheap suit that looks OK; the point is to look good in quality pieces for a reasonable price.

Comment by Victoria Potter

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