Here’s how this works. Look at the options, pick your order, then leave your rankings in the comments section. Feel free to explain why you placed what where. This time around it’s three suit brands that either retail for, or with sales applied, can cost under $400. Rank them by order of preference, with write-ins if you wish. Your favorite goes #1.
1. Indochino – Essentials Collection
Indochino seems to be a divisive brand. Some guys swear by them. Some have had not-so-good experiences. Forget about the custom aspect for a second. Instead focus on the fact that they’re one of the few brands to make suits with higher armholes and minimal shoulder padding at this price. Whether they nail your fit out of the box is almost irrelevant. If it’s ball park, you should be able to get a perfect fit after your tailor’s tweaks, which Indochino will reimburse you for up to $75. Lately their prices have gone up, and codes and groupons are all but gone, but their grey, navy, charcoal, and black “essentials” suits are all back in stock for $379. Or, stand out quietly with their new, amazing looking Shadow Plaid for $399. Per their quality, there’s this: “Every Indochino suit is made with a full canvas horse hair interlining… hand stitched shoulder seams… and more than 8 hours of needle time spent on your suit.”
2. Banana Republic – Tailored fit collection
Banana Republic stumbled a few years back when they seemed to drift towards bulky sack style suits. But after a few partnerships with AMC’s Mad Men, the fit of their suits as well as the quality of their fabrics has made them a go-to for guys on a budget. They offer two styles of fit. Stick with the more contoured “tailored” fit which comes with a great off the rack shape. Some of their fabrics are sourced from Italy and they feel incredible in your hands. It’s Banana Republic, so play your cards right and you could land one for 30 – 40% off… which should be around $350.
3. J. Crew – Ludlow wool suiting & their FACTORY option
By far the most aggressive when it comes to styling and high prices. Thin lapels, a lower button stance, and a higher price makes these unique. Even during a rare 30% off sale, their Italian Wool suiting is in the mid $400s. So you’d have to find one in the sale section, and probably during a limited time clearance. Good thing their cheaper Factory option brings a lot of that Ludlow shape to the table, but sizes and color options are limited there.
Your turn. Put your ranking of each in the comments below. Explain why what went where too. Feel free to write in any other suit brands for around $400 or under that you feel are worth a mention. Are you a believer in Suit Supply? Fine with Bonobos Suiting? It all goes below. Top photo credit: Tupps
UPDATE: Guys, take a look at the variety of responses in the comments. This is a good reminder that everyone has different experiences, different tastes, and different matters of preference when it comes to what you get for what level of investment. Keep that in mind before making blanket statements about any product, suits or otherwise…