What went into the rankings? If a suit looks & feels B+, but it’s super cheap? Then it may rank higher than a much more expensive A+ looking/feeling suit. Cost, feel, fit, and availability all come into play, and final rankings are based on bang-for-buckitude (or, more simply, overall value). And know that we’re stickin’ with wool options here (not that a navy suit in cotton or linen is a bad idea) Leave any additions, agreements, or disagreements in the comments at the end of the post.
That price reflects a half off cut, which is a bare minimum for Macy’s (which was where it was found). Doesn’t look like it’s available online right now, but check in store if you’re really wanting it. Besides, it’s more of an example of what you can get at Macy’s (or Lord & Taylor) if you’re in a pinch. Fabric is terrific. Shoulders are a little too strong and the armholes dip a little low, but you’re gonna find that on most $250 – $350 department store suits (like Alfani RED, Hilfiger, etc…). Pants are slim, but the jacket isn’t. That’s a size 38R shown above. Sleeve buttons are non-functioning and free of any accent stitching. Overall, #10 + $325 = There are much better options out there.
But drops to $488.60 when 30% off. As outstanding as the main line of Brooks Brothers suits are, they’re just a bit too pricey for this list. They’re a great investment for those who are suited up every day, and can be had on occasion, for a discount, if you buy 2 or more. But for a one-off purchase, the Wool/Synthetic blend BrooksCool suit looks great, moves well, and really does breathe.
No, they didn’t make it that high up on this list. They’re hardly friggin’ EVER on sale. When they do get a markdown, whether by sale section + extra 30% off code (good luck there), or during a “private” Ludlow event (nope, not this time, but the navy wools did make it back in February), they drop to the mid $400s. Another couple strikes against them is the shorter jacket tail, skinny arm circumference, and too thin for some 2.5″ lapels. It also seems like J. Crew is making more and more of their suits with only a “slim” pant option, which is just too skinny for plenty. Yes, J. Crew is very popular. And many of us love their Ludlow sportcoats. But the suits? Especially in basic navy? Awfully pricey.
Would absolutely be higher… but the price. That’s on the high end (if not out of reach) for what most of us probably consider “affordable”. Was just going for $560 during their recent tiered-code sale. Marzotto wool has a great drape and certainly feels like it’ll be durable (yet still very flexible). A little short in the jacket for those who want 100% butt coverage. Nice button stance, Bonobos Ninja service, and the pants have that Bonobos-anti-frump rear. Full review can be found this-a-way. Size shown is a 38R.
UPDATE: Word is these are now fully fused? See the comments. Damn. That wasn’t the case when we gave one away last year. If that’s true, skip it at this price.
Could have ranked higher, but these things are hardly if ever on sale. Yet, they were on sale over the weekend (during the really odd no-exclusions sale) and they’re still 40% off with the 40% off $200+ / 35% off $150+ code BRKICK. This a new thing for BR? Skipping exclusions? Anyway, fused, but moves extremely well for a glued jacket. Good off the rack taper at the jacket waist. Plus, these are separates, so you can mix and match sizes of pants & jacket, instead of having to get the pants from a married suit-pair tailored. Sleeve buttons are non-functioning, but they’ve got some accent stitching around them. Size shown above is a 40R.
Look, they’re polarizing and don’t often get the measurements (or, their customers may have measured wrong) right. But they’re now using a true, half canvas construction. The fabrics on their essential line feel great and move easily. Their shoulder pads are slim. Plus, there’s all the customization options. But you’re on the hook for returns, and there are just a lot of horror stories out there. Not cheap. Yes, you can apply for a refund up to $75 if you need work done by a local tailor, so that can factor into a lower cost, but their prices are sniffing Suitsupply level.
#4. Claiborne Sharkskin Suit Separates – $111.99 w/ SAVEHERE
DIRT. FRIGGIN’. CHEAP. Oddly roomy for the Claiborne brand (that’s a 40R… the smallest size they had in store, but they get as small as 34 online) so consider sizing down. All wool fabric has a slight, & nice, texture to it. And it’s lined in acetate? Not stuffy/scratchy polyester? Nice. Sleeve buttons are non-functioning and free of accent stitching. Button stance is perfect. Lapels are just fine for width. Jacket tail doesn’t seem like it’s been shortened. A really, really solid surprise… although, I suppose we shouldn’t be that surprised. An incredible value. Extra 20% off since it’s north of $100 w/ the code SAVEHERE
Up there in price, but it’s hard to argue with half-canvas and made in the USA. Just know that most are going to need some tailoring at the sides post-purchase if you order the “modern” fit. Fabric is nice though. Lapels are timeless in width. Button stance is good as well. Buttons, while kinda cheap looking, are non-functioning at the sleeve cuffs for easy tailoring. Size shown here is a 39R in their “modern” fit. Full review over this way.
#2. JCF Wool Thompson Jacket & Pant – $256.20 w/ SHOPSHOP
From J. Crew Factory, this is the Goldilocks Porridge of navy suits. Not too expensive, yet you don’t have to sacrifice a ton in fit, details, and build either. Modeled after the (much more) expensive Ludlow line, the button stance is slung low and the lapels are a slim 2.5″. Some might want beefier lapels, and that’s understandable, but they’re not Sherlock slim either. In recent months, the Thompson suiting line has been excluded from most JCF codes, but not the extra 30% off everything SHOPSHOP code that’s running through tomorrow (7/15). $250 is a decent price. These used to dip to $200 if not under a year or so ago, but haven’t done so in recent months.
Still the champ. Yes, you could get three Claiborne suits for the price of one Suitsupply, but man, the Napoli is just something else. They’ve been getting rave reviews since they burst on the (Western Hemisphere) scene a few years back, and for good reason. The construction is terrific (half-canvas at this price point), the fabrics are soft smooth and strong, they come in a ton of sizes (short & long too), and they ship and return free. The one knock to some is that the button stance on the Napoli could be a touch lower, but it’s not awkwardly high either. Finger’s crossed that these make a return to their $399 price point. Full review over here, with a size 38R above right (and at the top of the post).
Your turn guys. Any suits get snubbed? Would you reorder some of these rankings? Remember, it’s not a “best looking” suit competition. It’s a best, all around, take-price-into-consideration too deal. Leave it all below.