Editor’s Note: Suitsupply is set to open two more brick and mortar stores this month. The Atlanta location is due to open April 10th, with a Philadelphia store to open on April 25th. We sent our Arts & Culture correspondent Ben Madeska to the brick and mortar store in Chicago for a look. A reminder: We don’t keep freebies in exchange for reviews. Since Ben was also testing out the in-house tailoring services (pics below) his suit has been paid for out of pocket. We really do try as hard as we can to stay as unbiased as possible. More on our policies about that kind of thing here.
Other than taking a brief look at their website, I knew almost nothing about Suitsupply before entering their less-than-a-year-old Chicago store. Located at 945 N. Rush St in a Gold Coast penthouse with an unassuming entrance, it is absolutely worth seeking out when you’re in the city.
The staff are extremely friendly and knowledgeable, offering water, coffee, or beer when you enter. They were discreet enough not to mention the salad dressing stain I had on my pants from lunch that made it look like I had wet myself just prior to coming in, though I can only assume I now have a nickname there. After looking around a bit I worked one-on-one with store manager Benjamin as he guided me through the fitting process.
Ground floor entrance for Suitsupply Chicago. Looks like there’s class behind that glass.
The store is really designed for this one-on-one shopping experience. While you can come in and look around on your own, it’s not really meant to be a serve yourself kind of place. There are many suits hanging on the racks around the store, but not all their styles, in all the fabrics, in all sizes are in stock. It is designed for you to be able to try on a variety of styles and fits, and then make choices about fabric. If they don’t have exactly what you want in stock, they might be able to order it for you.
That said, they do have many options on hand to choose from and you can certainly walk in and take home your suit that day. They have tailors on site to make adjustments while you wait, or they can have it ready to pick-up the following day, which I did. It’s also a good idea to come during off hours if you can so you may have the full attention of a stylist. The store can get very busy, a testament to the buzz it’s been generating. I came in around 5:30pm on a Saturday and was able to go through the process at a comfortable pace.
Photo provided by Suitsupply. The service really is one on one, but, y’know, not empty-the-store one on one.
Benjamin began by asking what I was looking for in a suit, and I told him I wanted a summer suit – I don’t have much need for business attire. We agreed four-season suits could work, so he pulled out a number of different fits for me to try on.
For this first step, the focus was on the fit and style. Once I had picked that out we would discuss fabrics. The first jacket I tried on was the Napoli, and it’s the one I ended up purchasing.
Other suits I tried on:
- The Sienna – Lightly padded shoulder, ticket pocket, and an eye-catching red lining. Made from finer fabrics, I almost chose this suit over the Napoli. Though that fineness does come at a price: the Sienna starts at $639.
- The Soho – A modern double-breasted suit. It looked sharp and it fit well, but I’m still not sure I’m on board for the double-breasted revival.
- The Havana – Totally unconstructed and half-lined jacket with patch pockets. Comfortable, and starting at the same price as the Napoli, but more casual than I wanted. Had I stuck with my plan for a purely summer suit, it would have been this one.
- La Spalla – At $999, this is the most expensive suit I tried on (I think anywhere, in my entire life, not just on this visit) and I immediately fell in love. The comfort, detailing, and fit are clearly a step up from the other styles, but you can also get two other suits for the price of this one.
I would like to have all of these styles in my closet. The final decision to take the Napoli came down to price and my gut. I immediately liked the silhouette and how the jacket felt. It has a modern look, but I feel it is a bit more classic than my J-Crew Ludlow and Indochino suits. I have a slim build (6’4” and 185lbs) but with my height I’m self-conscious wearing anything super skinny. There can be a fine line between “it’s the style” and “clearly didn’t have it in my size.” Compared to these two suits, the Napoli fits just a bit looser, and has wider lapels and more structuring in the shoulders. I still need to break it in, but I think I’ve found my new go-to suit.
The fit is basically true to size, with the 40L jacket fitting well. This is the same size I’ve gotten for my other suits and blazers. The only tailoring I had done was to get the sleeves lengthened ¾”($28) and of course, have the pants hemmed ($13). Once I settled on the Napoli style, I had to pick a fabric. Benjamin pulled out a variety of jackets in grey and navy. My first inclination was to eliminate the navy because I recently got a basic navy suit from Indochino. I also have a charcoal suit, so I took that out.
I was focusing on the greys until Benjamin suggested I should be wearing blue due to my complexion and eye color. I settled on the wool navy with a slight pinstripe. It’s definitely not the summer suit I planned on, but to be honest I don’t know how much demand a Chicago store is going to be getting for summer suits. I certainly don’t have much call to wear one in the Midwest.
Overall, I left with a very positive impression of the store and I recommend checking them out if you find yourself in a city with one (Atlanta and Philadelphia locations are coming soon). I was only in Chicago for one night and was glad I was able to pick out a suit and have it tailored and ready to take home before I left.
Other features of the store that I didn’t take advantage of but you should know about include their made-to-measure service, and a wide range of shirts, ties, shoes, accessories, and more casual options. Stop in and spend some time with a stylist.
Suitsupply Chicago Penthouse Exterior, photo provided by Suitsupply. If you’re interested in literature, art, food, wine, and a real perspective on the news these things make, follow our Arts & Culture Correspondent Ben on Twitter.