I haven’t bought a new suit since I was 12. The last time I went to a wedding, it was in a suit I got from a thrift store for $7, and it looked pretty good. Or so I thought.
When I voiced my reluctance to pay much more than this to Michael Burton of MB Styles, he was not exactly on board. Burton, who has been one of the city’s top style consultants for four years, specializes in suits and other formalwear.
“Every man should have one properly fitting suit.,” he said. “You never know when you’re going to have that special occasion you’re going to need to go to.”
When I asked him if the average person can tell the difference between a cheap suit and an expensive one, he did not hesitate to say yes.
“The first thing people notice is what you’re wearing, and they make a judgment based on the first couple seconds. If someone’s in the business world and they wear a suit every day, they’re going to be able to tell if it’s a nice suit or not.”
So what are you actually paying for? “The price tag on a suit translates into the fabric, fit, and quality of the suit. The more expensive the suit, means it’ll look nicer, feel more comfortable, and last longer. But it’s not money that makes a well-dressed man. It’s understanding.”
For the price conscious, Michael recommended shopping at Nordstrom Rack or getting an entry level made-to-measure suit, which will start at around $300. He also stressed, and then stressed again, the importance of tailoring.
“Finding a good tailor is everything for men’s clothing. It’s a guarantee you have the proper fit.”
He recommended Picasso Tailoring (La Jolla) and Nick’s Tailor Shop (UTC area).
Whatever your price point, just make sure it fits.