[read more...]'>

$200 Suit vs $2,000 Suit

October 7th, 2013

In the world of men’s suiting, there is a dramatic price variation from one brand to another.

Suits can range from ninety dollars to nine thousand dollars, and up.

Here I try to explain the difference(s) by having Townsend model his “fast fashion” suit ($189) vs. his new bespoke suit ($1,995).

$189 vs. $1,995



The most important element of a suit, or any garment for that matter, is how well it fits your body.

The biggest fundamental difference between these two price points: on the higher end you can afford to have the suit custom made for your body, versus choosing the “closest” fit off-the-rack.

As you can see in the photo above, there are a number of noticeable fit compromises with Towni’s $200 suit even after having it altered:

  • The shoulder slopes are not adjusted for Townsend, causing a collar roll across the upper back/neck that’s so bad we can see it from the front (see the wrinkle at the top of Towni’s right shoulder, above where the lapels meet the collar).
  • The shoulders are too wide, causing that unsightly pad “cliff-dimple” (see his right shoulder).
  • The front chest is too big (notice the bulging extra fabric at right chest, where the body meets the bottom of the armhole)
  • Slight pulling at bottom of sleeves where they connect to the body of the jacket (see bottom of armhole on Towni’s left sleeve)
  • The trousers fit fairly well overall (although common problem areas are not visible: crotch, waistband, pockets…)


Fast-fashion retailers like H&M (Zara, Topman, JcPenney, etc) cut costs by ordering cheap synthetic fabrics in major bulk quantities. In this particular case, the suit is 85% polyester/15% viscose. The major downsides of this kind of man-made cloth (other than obvious look and feel) are breathability, shape retention, and reactions to cleaning and pressing agents.

For the bespoke suit Towni hand-picked a premium wool flannel/cashmere fabric designed and spun by Ariston in Naples Italy. It’s among the top 1% of the the most luxurious fabrics in the world. Ariston also produces all of their cloth in limited quantity, which means Townsend here is one of only a handful of guys in the world to have this brown flannel glenplaid with overlayed burgundy windowpane.


The $200 suit is machine made on a assembly line, where they pump out a couple hundred suits an hour. The front body (chest, collar, stomach, shoulders) is “fused”, meaning it’s literally glued together using iron-on fabric adhesive. This quick-and-dirty manufacturing greatly limits the three-dimensional shape that the jacket can achieve and can eventually cause “bubbling” (like a poorly-administered window tint) after a few rounds of dry cleaning and pressing. Fused jackets have a dramatically shorter lifespan than canvased ones.

A quality bespoke suit is almost fully handmade with roughy 30 hours of hand labor by an experienced pattern cutter and master tailor. The front body is canvassed, meaning a skilled craftsman carefully cut, shaped and hand-set a custom piece of canvas/horse hair between the front plate, lapel facing and lining. This dramatically improves the lifespan of the jacket. It will break-in over time (like a good pair of shoes), eventually molding to the shape of the wearer’s body.


The $200 suit has low-budget trims like plastic buttons, cheap linings, plastic zippers, non-working button-holes, etc. It even has fake pockets on the front.

A good tailor understands the importance of quality inputs. For example, genuine horn or mother of pearl buttons, durable bemberg linings, YKK zippers (the gold standard in quality zips), surgeon’s cuffs, etc. The pockets are also beautifully designed and can be custom sized for your gadgets (smart phone, ipad, kindle, ballpoint pen, cigarettes, etc).


When you shop at H&M (or any fast-fashion retailer) there are thousands of other guys wearing the same thing as you.

Going bespoke, you can truly create something that is one of kind and exactly what you were looking for.

Shopping Experience

At a big chain retailer you pick it up off the rack, bring it to a tailor, and hope for the best.

At a reputable bespoke shop, service is the backbone of the business. You sit down with a glass of whiskey or a cold beer and they take care of everything. From waking you through the fabric options, advising you on styling choices, handling the measuring/fitting process, etc. You don’t have to worry about anything (although you do have to be willing to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery).

Final Note

So what’s the better value? It really depends on your budget, and how often/hard you’re going to wear your suit. If you’re looking for a workhorse suit that you can rely on 2-3 times/week, a $200 RTW number will not last. You’ll end up buying a new one every six months.

That doesn’t mean you have to go the full bespoke route; we realize that not all of our readers have this kind of budget. This article was not meant as a comparison between H&M and Bespoke, but rather a discussion about the factors that account for the price differences between suits and how they relate to quality and investment.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


Take me to the Shop

  • Paul Walker

    Just go to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or simply Thailand on your next holiday and you get a cashmere suit tailored in less than 10days for 100$ inclusive the whyskey or cold beer if you want.


    You can also clearly see that the picture w/ the $200 is not edited nearly as much as the $2,000 suit. Looks like $2,000 man got a nice little tan, while the other suit looks like it was even dimmed down. Such a joke.

  • TLC

    I own several high-end and custom suits, but I must say that this is a really poor way to try to make your case. A fair comparison would show the model’s basic appearance as being equal in all photos. Showing the model with untrimmed hair, unpolished or box-toe shoes, an undimpled loose tie and carrying a bag over the shoulder of a too-big suit on the left and comparing that to a clean-cut image with dimpled tie, sleek and polished shoes and a premium bag is almost fraudulent. To me, you cheated to make your case, although it’s not necessary. I can take a lower-priced suit to my tailor and have it cut to fit me very well. Of course, the outside appearance on models standing still is just a portion of the story. It’s the construction details (fabric quality, stitching, canvass/chest piece materials, shoulder materials and construction, etc.) that are the real differentiators. Not just this basic appearance details you showed in your example. You can do better than this. Try harder next time.

  • Ronnie the Boy Wonder

    Shame about H&M, they waste high arm holes on too cheap maternals. They do cater to the Facebook generation where long term investment is not a priority, it is fashion driven, aka you going to dislike the way to look after the season.

    Throw away shoes, throw away clothing, so H&M has found a niche. Too bad it’s the very opposite behavior that defines Class. Years ago you spent money on things that would last you. In the long run it saves you money. Probably why these types had money.

    One problem I have found with high arm holes, and I do prefer them, is taking the jacket on and off. There is a reason you see in old black and white films men helping someone on and off with their jackets.

    Years ago I knew via of work an old short cigar smoking Jewish tailor. This guy look the part, he looked like one of the Pep a Boys. Guy was an acquired taste, he was no nonsense, knew what the hell he was doing and had zero tolerance for crazy request.

    All the very high ranking military officials used him. A low ranking officer pissed him off, he was ordered by someone wearing stars to apologize as he refused to do anymore military work.

    I got hold of a wool suit jacket that fit the shoulders but had an inch or more extra material in the sides. This guy ripped out the arms sleeves and took in the slack on the sides. This raised the arm holes. You can’t get a totally made from scratch jacket, but it was nice.

    Try wearing a causal slightly loose fitting pullover tee shirt, reach under the arms and pinch the extra material, you will see it raises the armholes. The more the material the high the holes can go.

    Not sure if this can still be done, i.e. talent gone, this guy I knew could make everything from scratch. Funny, he was always dress like Lt Columbo on TV.

    • Danielle Ferguson

      Great information, thank you. My husband and I are new to suits as a career change requires it. It’s hard for novice to see the difference. I’ve seen $19.99 suits. I did hear a fashion “expert” & celebrity stylist on tv recently say they recommend getting less expensive suits (likely around $300-$500) with a good tailor in lieu of getting very expensive ones – more bang for your buck and there are very good deals out there on genuine quality. I appreciate this article.

  • Seema

    Love it. Found this while trying to outfit my son when even his Brooks Brother’s jackets don’t fit perfectly for his quickly growing, athletic self. I will try Al Weiss in Los Angeles for us NY to LA types. Thank you. Now do one in women’s jackets please so I can toss out half my closet. :)

  • Tony V

    While the $2k suit does look very fashionable, the movement toward slim fit suits isn’t very practical for those of who sit at a desk most of the work day. I work in consulting for one of the big four, and while I do wear “fitted” suits, I couldn’t tolerate a suit that looks and feels like it was painted on. It is incredibly restrictive and very uncomfortable, especially when I have to immediately leave work to hop on a plane; has the author tried sitting in a plane for three hours with such a suit?

    My advice: narrow your audience. This is great advice for someone who needs to wear a suit for a wedding, an opera, a fancy date, or perhaps even a job interview. For those of us who do work in the professional world, I would advocate for a looser suit.

    • Morris

      Hear! Hear!
      My sentiments, precisely.
      That’s why I shy away from suits with an “English cut.”
      Personally, I favor trouser pleats, wider legs, and bottom cuffs that make for a nicer drape and break.
      Comfortable even after hours of sitting.

  • Reticuli

    When you rip a $2000 Giorgio Armani black label silk suit on a shuttle coming back from an arena and you want to kill someone at the charter company for like a week, you change your outlook on suit buying. That was a bad week filled with malice. Not healthy. Considering I’m spoiled with a perfect suit body for 38R 32×30 slim/tailored/trim fit in Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, and Alfani, it probably makes things a bit easier for someone like me. And they have products that are 100% wool. There’s also a huge number of used canvassed stuff out there waiting for someone to give it some love, though eBay’s loaded with d-bags who claim they will do alterations of the vintage stuff they’re selling and then vanish (along with the items) once they say months later the package has been shipped. I could swear one of the suits I paid for with alterations ended up in the movie Her. Anyway, I will probably never buy high-end luxury suits again unless I win the lottery or I find one for like 1/10 the price used.

  • Wiggidy

    The just for fun picture looks odd. The suit is way too big. You should compare suits that are at least the same color. How about two navy or two charcoal suits?

  • Twmlaus Lis

    You guys points out some good hints, but the photos it was not even a close comparison. You have the $200.00 suit guy bend his arms or carry a bag on the should pull up on the suit, while the $2000.00 suit guy have a clean shaving and stand with arms straight. Who knows if the suits are even the same size. And whether it is even the same guy that wear the suits. And it depends whether the manufacturer targets short or tall, fat or skinny people, which income level, …etc.
    Too many factors to consider. So do a good comparison, you guys need to keep all the factors the same.

  • Arthur Murat Polat

    Now the gent who wrote the article perfectly pinpointed that he is using H&M brand as an example, not to disparage it.
    I find the article very informative.
    However, there is holes I can fill in.
    * price point does not reflect quality.
    Again, as an example, when I was a kid making my way into suit business; I did use H&M suits that held up way better than $1775 Jil Sander suit.
    And yes, my mom also owns a dry cleaner. So there are no outs here.
    * most trend suit suppliers such as Dsquared, Neil Barrett, Hugo Boss, Dolce&Gabbana does blend polyester or use chemically stretched wool fabrics. We are talking about $895 to whopping $3400 range here. And those guys not idiots.
    Poly blend wool is conducive to movement, especially on trousers since they almost hug your thighs.
    As the blend fabric has superior stretch as opposed to wool; you are simply less likely blow your trousers the first time if use.
    Yet as perfectly stated above, trend suits won’t react to dry cleaning, so if we are talking about a stain, I recommend spot cleaning.
    Giorgio Armani is sucker for polyester and he also fuses his Collezioni line. He feels the garment becomes lighter.
    Giorgio Armani ( black label) is still half canvased.
    * finer fabric does not depict durability.
    Try to spill a soy sauce on a 12
    Mil Mil Zegna fabric, and have a dry cleaner try to take the stain out.
    And then dump the suit.
    * Made-To- Measure or Bespoke does not essentially guarantee the perfect fit.
    Base model has to be pleasant, so we can go ahead tweak it with minor alterations such as rotating sleeves or lowering collar when the order is taken.
    MTM must be more of a style and sartorial concern ( functional buttons, lining, ticket
    Pocket…) than a fit.
    * Finally when accessoried with taste, grace, and confidence any suit could look rich, and aesthetically pleasing to eyes.

    • Myopinionsofuckyoubitch

      I learned more from this than I did from that amateur at best article. Thanks!

      • Arthur Murat Polat

        Thank you;
        I hope my comments are helpful!

  • chief

    I bought my suits at thrift stores or goodwill for $10 or less…no complain

  • DM

    So this is interesting but the $200 suit it an extreme example to compare to a $2,000 suit. What would be more helpful is the difference of a say $500-800 suit vs a $2000 suit. Say a j.crew/bonobos/ suit supply/Hugo boss vs a more expensive one. That would help me better decide do I want to have 2-3 of those suits vs 1 of the other.

  • D

    So this is interesting but the $200 suit it an extreme example to compare to a $2,000 suit. What would be more helpful is the difference of a say $500-800 suit vs a $2000 suit. Say a j.crew/bonobos/ suit supply/Hugo boss vs a more expensive one. That would help me better decide do I want to have 2-3 of those suits vs 1 of the other.

  • Calvin McCoy

    What about long, regular, and short suits? What’s your take on them? I’m 6’2 with a 6’6 wingspan should I’m liking to buy a suit supply suit should I go with long or will regular suffice?

    • TO

      Definitely a long brother

  • AJ

    Here is an H&M suit for exactly $210 featured in GQ and properly tailored. A bit better than what you see above, huh?

    • darthvelez

      Please, put on some socks

  • David

    I think i saw that dudes head in the new Lego movie.

  • Alex

    I love the briefcase, can anyone identify it?

  • Taylor

    I would love to see an article on budget suit shopping that included a section about what you can do tailoring wise to a $200-$300 suit. Or maybe even a $500. As in, can you take a $500 suit and get it tailored to look as good as the $2000 suit, and end up paying way less then $200.

    Also, what are your thoughts on some of these online custom suit websites that are popping up?

    I have been thinking of getting a suit from indochino.com for a while. Now I don’t expect it to fit as well as a full bespoke suit, but theoretically it would fit better then an off the rack J Crew suit for about the same price.

    • AJ

      Just to let you know, GQ does that kind of thing all the time. I mean, showing how a lower cost suit can be tailored to look great. And it’s way better than what you see here.

  • http://shoplasc.com Antony Levine

    Wow..that guy cleaned up very well. The shaggy hair works and the gentlemen’s cut. Very trendy clothing for young business men.

  • Wilson

    I do not know if this has already been mentioned but that is not the best comparison as Townsend is not posing the same in each picture. In the H&M picture, he is holding his hands which actually exaggerates the issues that you point out. With that said, there is no question a reputable bespoke shop would have much better fitting suits since its customized but it better be better fitting for the price.

  • Vicente

    You could have picked a suit that actually fit on Towni for the $200 option.

  • Jerimy

    I think that the type of suit you by depends on the use. For example I’m a blue collar guy whom works in a factory, so I never wear a suit. With that being said I’ve bought a couple of suits on $600 the other $800 and I’ve paid about 150 buck each for tailoring. People notice when I wear the suits because a. I don’t wear a suit that often and be their quality. No if I worked in an office making the same amount it would be ridiculous for me to pay the amount for suits when I have to have on for every day of the week, plus no one would really care as much. So my suggestion, buy one or two quality suit to turn heads and get a bunch of cheap suits for day to day operations. That, or get a six figure job… like now!

  • http://undefined Cardion

    *Cheaper suits look worse, I should say.

  • http://anorexicecapades.com BougieHippie

    Nice post post but all this is interchangeable. Yes a 2000k suit is better than a 200 buck suit but only due to fit.

    Fit only because when shopping off the rack the designer has to include everyone (the average everyday male’s body) That’s why department store suits are big in its proportions. All suits no matter the cost is going to need some tailoring.

    Since the suit cost so cheap spend another 60-100 bucks getting it tailored to your body/preference. As far a fabrics/textiles Majority of all suits and slacks are made of wool and sometimes cashmere.


  • http://undefined Charles Patrick

    Isn’t there already enough advertising for MAB on this site? Come on guys, please don’t try to ‘subtly’ push more of it on us in the actual articles. It’s obvious that a $2k suit is going to be better than a $200.00 one but it’s a bit of a cheap shot to have Townsend that little less well groomed in the lower priced suits shots (Check-out his hair and unshaven face). Also, the rather tatty shoes and bag appear to be designed to cheapen the look even further. Dan. Please don’t underestimate the intelligence of your readers. I’m aware that you are extremely sensitive to criticism, but do try to take this one on the chin. Otherwise, nice site… and your ‘thanks for reading’ comment never fails to impress.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Once again, this was not meant as a comparison between a suit from H&M and MAB, but rather a discussion of the elements that can go (or not go) into the production of a suit at different quality levels.

      MAB does not pay to advertise with TSB, we wear their suits by choice. I wanted to share the “ad” because we helped produce it and I thought it was fun (and was upset that Mike chose not to run it).

      Anyway, thanks for reading and for your support.

      • T

        Ad probably was chosen not to run because it attacks the slogan of mens wearhouse, which can be a bit low-blow/kitschy instead of choosing a more understated adv. route. I think it was a wise choice to nix that ad from being published.

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Yea, you’re probably right.

          • http://joshua-gold.com Josh

            So crazy to me how much people hate on the site sometimes. Why are you here? Why are you trolling through every post if you hate what the guys produce? Where’s your site??? Where’s your site that draws this much conversation? What other site is there that offers so much detailed, thought out material. Show me a site that could even go toe to toe with this site? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

  • John

    There’s something about the MAB suit construction that I personally dislike in a minor way – MAB suits seems to have a certain look, and the lapels always seem to lay slightly less naturally in my opinion. When compared to a tailor like P. Johnson it just seems there’s a different ‘drapeness’ and nonchalance in the overall. Still great suits on both sides. I was wondering if this blog could possibly explore some of the more intricate nuances in tailoring – as I believe you hold a degree in the field. Differences between regional cuts, ect. Dan, what would you say the difference is between a tailor like PJ and MAB?

    • John

      I also think this post is a bit of a ‘Wow! No way!’ for the beginner readers. I would imagine most of your readers would prefer a more nuanced discussion, as there certainly are suits at the 200 mark which fit the wearer much better than h&m.

      Thanks for your time.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        There will be more posts where we compare suits. In my opinion, it’s good to start by showing the two ends of the spectrum.

        What suits do you recommend in the $200 range? And why?

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Hi John. I don’t have any experience with P.Johnson suits, but I’d love to make it down to Australia to try them! Also, the pics on their website are hilarious.

      We will be having more articles comparing suits/tailors.

      Stay tuned.


    • Gazman

      Is P Johnson Tailors a bespoke operation? I think it is MTM with its suit made in Holland and soon in China.

  • http://profblack.blogspot.kr/ Professor Black

    The 200 dollar suit also makes Towni’s hair look longer…

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Weird eh

  • Shotcaller

    I agree with some of the sentiments here: I think it’s more useful to have a conversation about the difference between higher-end MTM ($500-$1000) and bespoke ($1200+). The differences at the two ends of the spectrum are useful to know, but it’s not very actionable. Anyone considering a $200 suit is unlikely to start thinking about buying one that’s ten times as expensive. They might, however, consider a $500 suit. The middle ground is left out of this equation, which is a shame.

    Additionally, while I understand that this site has a partnership with MAB, it would be useful to know what suits outside of MAB are like. You’ve mentioned Angel Bespoke sometimes, and it’d be great if you could tell us more about their suits. The focus on MAB may potentially seem like you’re an Internet shill, which undermines your authority. I don’t mean any offense, as I’m sure that you mean well: I only mean to point out something that might damage your reputation.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      We have more suit comparisons coming.

      MAB shows up in a lot of our styling, and as a point of comparison, simply because we own their suits and have them readily available for photo shoots. We almost never suggest one brand for everybody, that defeats our messaging of finding your own style…we also have a worldwide readership, so that wouldn’t be realistic or helpful for those who don’t have access.

      The idea here is simply to educate guys about what the differences are before they invest, at any level within their budget.

      More in the series coming, please stay tuned.


  • Bob

    Something I don’t ever see come up here is how easy it is to gain/lose weight depending on the seasonal activities we are engaged in and how *that* influences choices in fit. I’m usually between 180-190 lbs and that 10 lbs makes a huge difference in how things fit, especially waist and chest. I think it’s probably pretty common for young men (TSB’s target audience?) to lose/gain a couple inches everywhere depending on their exercise regimen.

    Knowing that, it’s not super practical (even if with a great salary) to go the bespoke route, unless you can get several suits to fit you across your normal weight *range*. Otherwise it’s a lot of trips to the tailor to get that really nice suit to fit throughout the year. The alternative of course would be to just stick with the same sport/exercise routine/diet and try not to break your own mold.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier


      We talk about this all the time in the tailor shop, but haven’t discussed it much on TSB.

      For me, I try my best to remain the same size/shape year-round…and my closet full of slim-fit bespoke suits is BY FAR the most effective motivation to stay in the gym and eating lean.

      Very similarly to you, I fluctuate between 185-195 lbs throughout the year. However, I find that 10 pounds doesn’t seem to affect my fit much, since the weight is usually spread around my body (not all in one area, like the chest, for example).

      One solution would be to go a little less slim to begin with. Franky, if 10 extra pounds is making it feel tight, than it’s probably a little too slim to begin with…unless you’re making some serious gains/losses in one specific area (like thighs or upper back) and working much harder than I am…which could certainly be the case.

      Where are the problem areas? and what sports/training are you doing?


      • Brent Kuz

        I am also with Bob on this. I can go from 195-210 depending on work schedule. This is a huge issue as I seem to gain the extra weight in my stomach and thighs. Alpha khakis can get a little too slim and that great fitting blazer or suit become a little tight in the midsection.

        I’m attempting to

  • Rob

    HI there,

    thanks for this article – a great idea.

    But I think what would be even more interesting, and certainly useful for me, is what is the difference between a $200 made-to-measure suit and a $2000 bespoke suit?
    Or even a $500 made-to-measure/starting to verge on bespoke suit, and a $2000 suit?

    I have mine made to measure in China for £200 and delivered to London, with reasonable quality wool and half-canvassed jackets, so I’d be interested to know what I could gain by shelling out ten times that amount… it’s quite hard to “try before you buy” when it comes to suits!

    thanks again,

    (PS I know a few other posters have mentioned this point – it’s certainly not meant as a criticism but more as a build for a possible future article!)

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      It’s really hard to generalize for all suits, especially with comments coming in from all over the world.

      In general, lower-priced “custom suits” are going to be lower quality than their OTR counterparts in a similar price point. The made-to-order processing and individualized “pattern making” ads a significant cost to the production of a suit. Therefore, what “cheap custom” gains in the way of “measuring process” they typically trade-off on the fabric & construction side. After all, they’re doing more work but are looking for a similar profit… Again, very general.

      How much do you know about these Chinese suits delivered to London? Is the cloth genuine? If it really half canvassed?

      The custom clothing business is one of the shadiest around since you pay before you see the product. Lots of lies being thrown around…educating yourself is protecting yourself.

  • http://undefined TimL

    I say take a $200 suit OTR and show the tailored difference in price to make it a great fitting suit.

    Most people cannot and will not pay for a $1000 suit in their lifetime.

  • Aadi

    Would it make a difference to size up a bit more when purchasing a cheaper suit? This way you could have a lot more fabric to work with so when you go to a tailor he might be able to adjust the coat or trousers to fit the best they can to your own body.

    • http://joshua-gold.com Josh

      Not a great idea. As soon as you size up, the shoulders become wider and the jacket gets longer. Those two alterations (shortening a coat and narrowing shoulders) are typically the most expensive alterations.

      I’d keep searching for the brand that works for you.

  • Gazman

    I reckon many style-conscious people would be able to tell the difference between a bespoke suit from one made from synthetic fabric and costing $200 – on sight alone. But I would say far fewer would be able to tell the difference between an off-peg designer suit made from decent worsted wool costing $1,000 to the MAB suit in question – also on sight alone. Your comparison is a tad bizarre as no one in their right mind would be weighing up buying a $200 low-end suit and a bespoke one worth considerably more. If the point of this is to show the different elements in crafting a suit, then why not compare an off-peg suit from the higher end of the scale to the MAB one and thus showing whether it is really worth shelling out a further $500-$1000?

  • Nick McCann

    I’ll never afford a suit over a 600-700 dollars with my future career (I graduate next spring). I’ve heard great things about Suitsupply, and visited it a few weeks ago and loved the styles, would you recommend that? Or, a place like Indochino?

    • A

      Those are both good options for the price. Personally I would recommend Suitsupply over Indochino on two conditions: 1) You can get to one of the Suitsupply stores to try stuff on, and 2) You don’t have an odd body-type that doesn’t work well with OTR suit sizing.

      • Nick McCann

        Thanks for the advice!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        If off-the-rack fits, avoid online made-to-measure. The self-measuring process is a disaster and leaves way too many important variables unanswered.

        • http://www.pmplifestyle.com ajb240

          I’m a little late to this conversation but couldn’t one get measured by his tailor and then use those measurements to buy the suit off suitsupply or indochino?

          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            Please don’t do this. It’s disrespectful to the tailor who’s measuring you, and it doesn’t work since every suit manufacturer measures differently.


  • raj

    Hey guys, been a long time reader of the site but first time commenting. I wear suits all the time and I have suits ranging from topman (£50), zara (£180), paul smith (£500), hugo boss (£800) and pal zileri (£1k+). All my suits are of OTR but are tweaked by my trusted tailor, and look as they’re made for my body.

    I live in London so visit Savile Row to shop & browse for inspiration. I was told by a tailor at William Hunt that I am very fortunate that my body proportions are perfect for OTR so maybe that helps I guess.

    But as Dan and the team rightly point out you get what you pay for. My topman suit literally fell apart, the zara suit trousers repeatedly wear out at the groin area and the suit has shiny spots. The other suits have stood the test of time. I also feel more confident wearing them and know they look good and hold their own against much more expensive suits.

    But if your budget is limited like mine has been in the past then a high suit suit, tailored well & accessoried well can still drop like a bomb.

  • http://tsbmen.com/22971/reader-question-go-to-winter-scarf-knots/ Edgar Morales

    That’s why I’m saving enough money to get a better version, I’m tired of wearing Benetton, don’t look bad but it doen’t fit my body

  • Harvey

    Hugo Boss fits well and decent quality. But I feel they hike the prices due to the Hugo Boss name. J. Crew and Suitsupply are just as good, if not better, for around 40% less for retail. That being said I go to Nordstroms Rack, Off 5th, etc and I’ve gotten $1k Hugo Boss suits for under $250.

  • BF

    The number of horrifying suits I see on guys getting out of 7 Series Bmw’s and Audi a8’s in the gold coast of chicago daily is truly staggering.

  • NCJack

    If one is in a “suit” environment, the more money and time you spend initially really does make a difference. Whereas almost anything can look pretty good if only worn a couple of times a year, only the better materials and construction are going to hold up WELL over the long haul. A cheap suit worn weekly for two years will likely look baggy and old, but a high quality (expensive) one will still look almost new after twice that time. Been there and done that!

  • Mr E

    Isn’t it a bit ridiculous to even try to compare an off-the-rack suit from H&M against a bespoke one?

    Wouldn’t it have been more beneficial to compare off-the-rack suits from different retailers in varying price points?

    $189 to $1,995 is a chasm of difference.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier


      Again, this was not meant to be a direct comparison between H&M and MAB. It was simply meant to show the different elements that go into crafting a suit. In my opinion, showing both sides of the spectrum makes for a better conversation.


      • LouCaves

        I agree with Dan.

        This was not a “sales” comparison that tried to tell someone what to buy. It showed “how” to buy.

        I like to see comparisons that are 180 degrees from each other. It lets me know all the differences between items and allows me to make a better decision on items that more closely related. Or, to find a middle ground.

        Thanks, TSB.

  • Shawn

    While I agree that the 200$ H&M suit has it’s issues, I can tell you that it looks a thousand times better (slim, pocket square, shows a little bit of shirt sleeve, right trouser length, non-square-toed shoes) than most of the people in my neck of the wood wear. You just have to drive off the major urban centers (Montreal, Toronto, NYC, LA, Miami, etc.) and you’ll find it hard to encounter people following these fundamentals. I don’t have to tell you how the lawyers and bankers ‘dress’ around here!

  • Daniel Moretz

    Time for a MAB commercial. The Men’s Warehouse guy was fired.