Where To Look First for a Suit (Part Two)

Finding the right suit can be really difficult if you’re not familiar with the terrain. And even when you are, it can still be hard. So I’ve put together a loosey-goosey guide on where one might want to look first for a good suit, given certain budgets. Yesterday, I covered stuff under $1,000. Today, I’ll talk about brands at the four-digit mark (either on sale or at full-retail prices). Again, many thanks to my friends listed at the end of this post for helping me put this together.

For a budget between ~$1,000 and ~$2,500

  • Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren’s Polo line (also known as their “Blue Label” line) has safe, but flattering cuts. They’re made in Italy and constructed from great fabrics.
  • Brooks Brothers Black Fleece: Brooks Brothers’ premium line, designed by Thom Browne. The jackets run a bit short (some being a bit more extreme than others), but if you’re a man of slightly shorter stature, these can be a nice buy. Like with most things at Brooks Brothers, you can reliably count on their 25% off sales. Black Fleece often gets discounted even further, especially at the end of the season. 
  • Sartoria Formosa: A famous bespoke tailoring house in Naples that is now offering a small ready-to-wear line. Style is very Neapolitan with soft shoulders and wide lapels, and construction quality is very high (e.g. lots of handwork).
  • Ring Jacket: A Japanese line with a bit of Italian styling. They’re not easy to find outside of Japan, but The Armoury and Khakis of Carmel are two stockists. Cuts are slightly fashionable, but not in a way that would look out of place in an office environment. 
  • Eidos Napoli: An interesting new line designed by Antonio Ciongoli, who formally designed for Michael Bastian and Ralph Lauren. Very Italian in style, and comes in at a very competitive price point, given the quality offered. You can find a list of stockists here.
  • Sid Mashburn: Slightly fashion forward suits with a lower rise trouser and shorter coat. If you’re going for a slightly trendier look, these can be a good option. Many have also said good things about Sid Mashburn’s made-to-measure service.
  • Lots of Italian brands: There are a ton of high-end Italian brands here that can be had on discount if you wait for end-of-season sales. Try looking for Zegna (their Milano and Roma cuts are nice), Canali, Caruso, Corneliani, Belvest, Boglioli, and Sartoria Partenopea. The retail prices of some of these will be high, but you can find them on sale through boutiques such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, and Shop the Finest. You can also check each brand’s stores, as some will have their own shops. Again, the key is waiting for sales.

For a budget above ~$2,500

  • Ready to wear: The world of nice suits in this range is perhaps too big to cover. Just to start, however, you can find really great ready-to-wear models from companies such as Isaia, Kiton, BrioniAttolini, and Oxxford. All those will have good made-to-measure options too if you need something customized. If you don’t want to play the sales game, you’ll also find many of the Italian labels listed in the last category being offered here at full retail.  
  • Bespoke: In this price range, you’ll start to find some very good bespoke options. Again, that’s a topic that’s too big to cover in this post, but you can begin by checking out some of the bespoke tailoring houses talked about at StyleForum. Popular ones include WW Chan, Steed Bespoke, English Cut, Napoli Su Misura, and Rubinacci. The upside to these operations is that they regularly travel to different cities around the world, which makes it easier to get really high-end bespoke tailoring if you’re not able to regularly visit England, Italy, or Hong Kong (where these tailors are based). Savile Row tailors are also excellent, and many travel. You can find a partial list of the tailors there at the Savile Row Bespoke Association. Lastly, don’t forget to search your own local area for good tailors, as it’s not only good to support local craftsmanship, but it can be helpful to work with someone nearby. 

Ending Note

It’s worth stressing that this list isn’t meant to cover every worthwhile suit in each price tier. It’s a list of suggestions of where you might want to look first if you’re in the market to buy a suit or sport coat. As usual, fit is going to be most important, so while a $2,500 suit might be better built than a $750 one, it’s best to try on as much as you can. A perfectly fitting suit that’s fused will look a hundred times better than something fully-canvassed, but ill-fitting. Use our guides on fit and style when shopping around. Once you develop your eye, you’ll soon find what works best for you. 

(Special thanks to La Casuarina, A Bit of Color, This Fits, Ivory Tower Style, Réginald-Jérôme de Mans, and Breathnaigh for their help with this article. Also, credit to Ralph Lauren and Voxsartoria for the photos above. The Ralph Lauren photo is of a Polo suit, while Voxsartoria is wearing a bespoke 4x1 double breasted jacket by Steed, and bespoke trousers by Napoli Su Misura).

Two Closeout Sales

Two stores are having closeout sales at the moment, both with pretty good deals.

The first is at Pockets Menswear in Dallas, Texas. The owner is retiring, so everything in the store must go. Things at this point are discounted about 75% off. Nelson there tells me they have

  • Zegna shirts for about $120 (sizes 15.5 through 17, and medium through extra-large)
  • A few Incotex pants for about $70 (sizes 32 through 34 waist)
  • A couple of Boglioli sport coats for about $500 (sizes 44 and 46 in US sizing) 
  • Lots and lots of ties from brands such as Luciano Barbera, Zegna, Nicky, Seaward & Stern, and Altea. There’s also a couple of E. Marinellas left, but not many. Prices for these are about $45. For ease of ordering, I’ve included ten photos of some of their inventory. When you call, you can tell them something like “I want the brown tie on the left hand side of picture 8” (or something like that). Note, in pictures 1 and 3, those are mostly wool knits, but there are some in silk. 

When you call, ask for Nelson. He’s familiar with Put This On and the photos above, so he’ll be able to sort you out. Their phone number is (214) 368-1167. Nelson said it’s fine to call today and next week, but ideally not over the weekend, as they get super busy then. 

The second sale is at Independence in Chicago. They’re selling off all of their Swims Premium Classic galoshes and pricing them at $60. Colors available include orange and black. Again, you have to call in the order, however (the number is 312.675.2105). Ask for Timothy. 

Do I Really Have Ten Blue Blazers?
This morning, I’m spending a bit of time switching cold weather clothes for warm weather clothes. It’s a time of reckoning. And I reckon I’ve got a lot of blue blazers.
To my credit, I’ve only purchased one of them new, and most came from thrift shops. And what they say about blazers, that they’re the most versatile garment you can own, is true. But still… ten?
Here’s the rundown:
Classic Brooks Brothers. This is the blazer you think of when you think of a blazer. Brass buttons, the whole nine. Bought it at the thrift shop, and I rarely wear it… I’m not a brass button guy.
Classic Brooks Brothers (White Buttons). Another thrift store find - but I replaced the brass buttons with mother-of-pearl.
Kiton Double-Breasted. This one’s all cashmere. I bought it at a thrift store, and I think it may at one time have been the jacket of a suit. Since it’s so soft and unconstructed, and Italianate in style, it works great as a blazer. Replaced the buttons with light horn ones.
Chester Barrie Double-Breasted. I bought this one for $75 or something on eBay a week before I found the Kiton at the thrift. Put smoke mother-of-pearl buttons on it. It’s a little lighter than the Kiton, so it gets more warm-weather wear.
Polo Corduroy. This one gets out a lot when it’s cooler - and it was $30 or so on eBay.
Brooks Brothers Unconstructed Flannel. This one I found at a thrift store in Orange County. It fit perfectly off the rack, and one of the best-dressed guys I know, Elvis Mitchell, once told me it was gorgeous. Has brown horn buttons. Great for knocking around in cool weather.
Cantarelli Summer-Weight . This one’s very blogger approved - patch pockets all around, partial lining, open-weave wool. Got it from eBay for $50 or so. Couldn’t resist.
Custom Fresco Blazer. This was my first ever bespoke garment, from High Society Tailor in Los Angeles. It’s something prohibitively expensive off the rack that, living in LA, I wear all the time.
Vintage Flecked Blazer. This one’s from the late 50s, maybe the early 60s. I bought it at a thrift many years ago, and it’s a great going-out coat. Add a knit tie, a button-down shirt and grey flannels and you look like the big man on campus.
Freeman’s Sporting Club Shacket. Is this a blazer? Or a shirt? Or a shirt-jacket? It’s solid navy, so I’m calling it a blazer. A perfect thing to throw in the bag for a casual trip. Warm, fits a sweater underneath, looks great with jeans and chinos. Another $50-ish eBay purchase.
So what does it all mean? Am I a crazy person? Or do I just have the right tool for every job? Maybe the latter. Maybe the former.
(Edit: just took out my summer clothes. Blue Polo linen. That’s eleven.)

Do I Really Have Ten Blue Blazers?

This morning, I’m spending a bit of time switching cold weather clothes for warm weather clothes. It’s a time of reckoning. And I reckon I’ve got a lot of blue blazers.

To my credit, I’ve only purchased one of them new, and most came from thrift shops. And what they say about blazers, that they’re the most versatile garment you can own, is true. But still… ten?

Here’s the rundown:

  1. Classic Brooks Brothers. This is the blazer you think of when you think of a blazer. Brass buttons, the whole nine. Bought it at the thrift shop, and I rarely wear it… I’m not a brass button guy.
  2. Classic Brooks Brothers (White Buttons). Another thrift store find - but I replaced the brass buttons with mother-of-pearl.
  3. Kiton Double-Breasted. This one’s all cashmere. I bought it at a thrift store, and I think it may at one time have been the jacket of a suit. Since it’s so soft and unconstructed, and Italianate in style, it works great as a blazer. Replaced the buttons with light horn ones.
  4. Chester Barrie Double-Breasted. I bought this one for $75 or something on eBay a week before I found the Kiton at the thrift. Put smoke mother-of-pearl buttons on it. It’s a little lighter than the Kiton, so it gets more warm-weather wear.
  5. Polo Corduroy. This one gets out a lot when it’s cooler - and it was $30 or so on eBay.
  6. Brooks Brothers Unconstructed Flannel. This one I found at a thrift store in Orange County. It fit perfectly off the rack, and one of the best-dressed guys I know, Elvis Mitchell, once told me it was gorgeous. Has brown horn buttons. Great for knocking around in cool weather.
  7. Cantarelli Summer-Weight . This one’s very blogger approved - patch pockets all around, partial lining, open-weave wool. Got it from eBay for $50 or so. Couldn’t resist.
  8. Custom Fresco Blazer. This was my first ever bespoke garment, from High Society Tailor in Los Angeles. It’s something prohibitively expensive off the rack that, living in LA, I wear all the time.
  9. Vintage Flecked Blazer. This one’s from the late 50s, maybe the early 60s. I bought it at a thrift many years ago, and it’s a great going-out coat. Add a knit tie, a button-down shirt and grey flannels and you look like the big man on campus.
  10. Freeman’s Sporting Club Shacket. Is this a blazer? Or a shirt? Or a shirt-jacket? It’s solid navy, so I’m calling it a blazer. A perfect thing to throw in the bag for a casual trip. Warm, fits a sweater underneath, looks great with jeans and chinos. Another $50-ish eBay purchase.

So what does it all mean? Am I a crazy person? Or do I just have the right tool for every job? Maybe the latter. Maybe the former.

(Edit: just took out my summer clothes. Blue Polo linen. That’s eleven.)

Kiton on Vente-Privee
Kiton’s probably the world’s finest men’s ready-to-wear brand, and their goods are priced accordingly. You can easily spend more on a Kiton suit off the rack than you might at a Savile Row tailor. 
The folks at Vente-Privee are offering Kiton goods at deep discounts, at the moment, mostly about 65% off. It’s a great deal, if you’ve got the scratch. There are some suits and sport coats at just under $2000, and some cashmere at about $350.
If you haven’t got an account, try our referral link. If you do, it’s worth a gander just to see a few of the craziest retail prices imaginable. I’m trying to imagine a world where I walk into Saks and buy a pair of $1500 corduroy trousers… it boggles the mind. 
But seriously: if you’ve got the money, great deals on gorgeous stuff.

Kiton on Vente-Privee

Kiton’s probably the world’s finest men’s ready-to-wear brand, and their goods are priced accordingly. You can easily spend more on a Kiton suit off the rack than you might at a Savile Row tailor.

The folks at Vente-Privee are offering Kiton goods at deep discounts, at the moment, mostly about 65% off. It’s a great deal, if you’ve got the scratch. There are some suits and sport coats at just under $2000, and some cashmere at about $350.

If you haven’t got an account, try our referral link. If you do, it’s worth a gander just to see a few of the craziest retail prices imaginable. I’m trying to imagine a world where I walk into Saks and buy a pair of $1500 corduroy trousers… it boggles the mind.

But seriously: if you’ve got the money, great deals on gorgeous stuff.

Put This On Season 2 Episode 2 Clothing Credits

Introduction & Thrifting with Street Etiquette

Suit - High Society Tailors (fabric by Molloy & Sons)

Scarf - Vintage Brooks Brothers

Shirt - Thin Red Line

Tie - Drake’s of London

Square - Put This On Gentlemen’s Association

Shoes - Vintage Florsheim

How It’s Made: Leonard Logsdail

Coat - Vintage Kiton

Shirt - CEGO Custom Shirtmakers

Tie - Lands’ End

Square - Put This On Gentlemen’s Association

Trousers - Pro Tailor

Shoes - Vintage Alden

A Good Day’s Thrifting
After working every day for a few weeks straight, I took a few hours yesterday to pursue some hobby time. I hopped in the car and headed for the west side of Los Angeles to do some thrifting.
I live in East LA, where there are plenty of thrift stores, but precious little quality menswear on the racks therein. The reason’s simple - no rich people, no rich people clothes. There are some thrift chains that distribute across a region, rather than store-by-store, and there are always scores available everywhere, but the percentages are best in nice stores in affluent areas.
I ended up with the pile above. The Polo suit is older, probably from the 1980s, made in the USA, in a beautiful gray birdseye. Perfect fit and a very classic style, especially for a big tall guy like myself. I find myself drawn to Polo from the mid-80s and before, when it was inspired by classic styles of the 1930s and ’40s. The better-quality pieces have held up with time, as well. This suit will require a letting out in the waist and taking up in the sleeves and trousers, but both of those are easily done by my tailor. It set me back $40.
I found the pocket squares in the ladies’ scarves section of one of my favorite thrifts. It’s always worth taking a peek there - pocket squares are usually about 15 or 16 inches square, and scarves for women tend to be much larger, so it’s easy to spot the difference. Only one of the ones I picked up had a brand (also Polo), but all are great options, and they were only five bucks each.
The ties came from a Goodwill that’s been very productive for me in the past. The green striped one was the first I found - I spotted its Kiton tag from across the room. The rest are made by Paul Stuart (in England), Facconable (by Breuer, in France), Brooks Brothers Makers and Andrew of Milano. There was another Kiton, stained, that I left on the rack.
The trip represented visits to six stores, and I shopped at two of them. I spent a total of about $75 (plus another $15 on baby clothes, not pictured). Not bad for half a day’s work.

A Good Day’s Thrifting

After working every day for a few weeks straight, I took a few hours yesterday to pursue some hobby time. I hopped in the car and headed for the west side of Los Angeles to do some thrifting.

I live in East LA, where there are plenty of thrift stores, but precious little quality menswear on the racks therein. The reason’s simple - no rich people, no rich people clothes. There are some thrift chains that distribute across a region, rather than store-by-store, and there are always scores available everywhere, but the percentages are best in nice stores in affluent areas.

I ended up with the pile above. The Polo suit is older, probably from the 1980s, made in the USA, in a beautiful gray birdseye. Perfect fit and a very classic style, especially for a big tall guy like myself. I find myself drawn to Polo from the mid-80s and before, when it was inspired by classic styles of the 1930s and ’40s. The better-quality pieces have held up with time, as well. This suit will require a letting out in the waist and taking up in the sleeves and trousers, but both of those are easily done by my tailor. It set me back $40.

I found the pocket squares in the ladies’ scarves section of one of my favorite thrifts. It’s always worth taking a peek there - pocket squares are usually about 15 or 16 inches square, and scarves for women tend to be much larger, so it’s easy to spot the difference. Only one of the ones I picked up had a brand (also Polo), but all are great options, and they were only five bucks each.

The ties came from a Goodwill that’s been very productive for me in the past. The green striped one was the first I found - I spotted its Kiton tag from across the room. The rest are made by Paul Stuart (in England), Facconable (by Breuer, in France), Brooks Brothers Makers and Andrew of Milano. There was another Kiton, stained, that I left on the rack.

The trip represented visits to six stores, and I shopped at two of them. I spent a total of about $75 (plus another $15 on baby clothes, not pictured). Not bad for half a day’s work.

Put This On Episode 6: Clothing Credits

Intro:

Blazer - Brooks Brothers (Vintage)

Pants - Ralph Lauren Purple Label (Vintage)

Shirt - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Tie - Saks Fifth Avenue

Vest - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Shoes - Florsheim (Vintage)

At CEGO

Shirt One - Lands’ End

Shirt Two - CEGO Custom Shirtmakers

Pants - Woolrich Woolen Mills

Tie - Vintage (Unlabeled)

Belt - Narragansett Leathers

At Alan Flusser Custom

Suit - Brooks Brothers

Shirt - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Tie - Carrol & Co. (Vintage)

Sweater - Shetland Hand Knits

At Pro Tailor

Blazer - Kiton (Vintage)

Pants - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Shirt - Corneliani

Tie - Luciano Barbera (Vintage)

Shoes - Brooks Brothers (Vintage)

Kiton makes some of the finest (and most expensive) ready-to-wear men’s clothing in the world.  They also make these blue jeans, which apparently cost $870.  Sort of like a handmade, organic selvage Kirkland Signature.  These are like the denim equivalent of Donald Trump’s hairpiece.
And people complained about us covering Rising Sun…

Kiton makes some of the finest (and most expensive) ready-to-wear men’s clothing in the world.  They also make these blue jeans, which apparently cost $870.  Sort of like a handmade, organic selvage Kirkland Signature.  These are like the denim equivalent of Donald Trump’s hairpiece.

And people complained about us covering Rising Sun…