A Basic Suit

September 27, 2010

A Basic Suit

A few people have asked me what the best suit they can buy is for the very least amount of money.  My own basic suit is a Chester Barrie in solid navy, which I bought on eBay.  Chester Barrie are the makers for Ralph Lauren Purple Label – they’re among the best ready-to-wear suitings you can buy – and I paid about a hundred bucks.  If you want to save, and have the time, I recommend bargain-hunting (as always).  The reality is that you will not be able to buy a “good” suit for $300 at retail.  You do, however, have options to buy something that’s perfectly wearable.

One of those options is the Lands’ End tailored fit “Year-Rounder."  When you’re looking for traditional clothes at full retail, Lands’ End is almost always your best bet on the low end.  Prices are low and quality is, if only rarely great, almost always decent.  You can find the coat here and the pants here.

Until the end of the day today (Monday), Lands’ End is offering a Friends & Family sale – 25% off all regularly-priced items.  Use the code FAMILYSHARE and the PIN 9392 for the discount.  With that discount, the suit is only $179.25, including shipping.  (If you miss that discount, it’s still a good value – you can also sign up for their mailing list, which has pretty regular discounts of 15-20%.)

Even the "tailored fit” at Lands’ End is pretty generous and a little broad shouldered, so you should expect (as with any suit) to have to do some tailoring when you receive it.  Similarly, the suit is pretty middle-of-the-road styling wise, more suitable for “serious suit” occasions than “nightclub suit” ones.  (If you’re looking for fashion, try Zara or H&M.)  Still, at $179, this is a great value if you need an inexpensive basic suit.

Oh, and don’t buy black.  Please, please don’t buy black.

(PS:  As The Silentist points out, they also have Allen Edmonds MacNeil longwings at $243, which is also an excellent price for an excellent basic.)