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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I've posted in other forums, but I've not received much advice on this issue. This forum looks more oriented toward suits and tailoring, so I hope you'll be able to be of some help.

I'm in my early 20's, and I live in London. I am starting my own web development business in the beginning of next year, and will need some suitable clothing to meet with potential clients and other professionals.

As a new business owner, I'll have to keep costs low. So, until I build up some clientele, I'm going to need a relatively low-priced, but not cheap, suit. And some shoes.

I was thinking of investing in a pair of seconds Church's shoes, as they can basically last forever, from what I've heard, for £200. But if you've got comparable suggestions, for even less, I'm open ears.

Now for the suit. I visited the new Westfield shopping center on the weekend, and popped in a suit store to try some things on. I'm looking for a charcoal suit.

The salesman seemed more interested in selling me 3 suits for the price of 2, than whether the suits fit me, or were right for me. This will be my first suit, I don't know what a proper fitting suit is - so I declined to buy.

T. M. Lewin seems to do some nice stuff, at good prices. I want something around the £250-300 price range. Basically, spending £400-500 total, including the shoes.

Your recommendations would be most helpful. I'm wanting to convey a professional image. Thank you!
 

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Wait until next month and get new pair Church's on sale.

This year I got Church's and Cheaney's on sale from the Holborn Church's shop. The former was half price for £100 and the latter 25% off (down to £150).

In my opinion, if you are getting shoes from Church's you will not be doing it justice by wear a Lewin suit.

In terms of your suit budget, have a looking at Cordings on The Piccadilly near the point it connects with Regent Street. They are selling suits for £295 or two for £500 - better quality then Lewin. I think the trousers are free as part of the deal.


Budget:
£295 for suit
That leaves up to £205 for shoes, you may be able to get Church's that normally sell for £295 for under £205.; even their £200 is quite good, which may go down to £150.

So far £295+£150, leaves £55 - enough for a few shirts from Lewin.
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum.

Investing in the church's is a good idea, also look at Cheaney, Loake, Barker. Any shoe/brogue made in Northampton should last you a while.

I wouldnt buy a suit from Lewin, they aren't anything special. Pretty poor actually.

Given your price range, I would say go to the Marks and Spencer HQ in London (Oxford Street i think, possibly Regent). At the higher end, M&S do a very good suit. They even do a pure cashmere one now which is quite nice. Some of their collections are 'designed' by SR names (eg. Timothy Everest). These are in the 250-300 price range. Have a browse of their website.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice! So, Lewin is out.

@Tory: When does the Church's sale begin, do you know? And is it nationwide, in every store? Also, I visited the Cordings site, and I can't find any information in there about suits.

If any of you know, what do you think, do the M&S suits match the quality of Cordings? Others have brought up M&S to me before, but it just never struck me as a place to get a good quality suit; but then, they are focussing more toward quality these days.
 

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Cordings: I work near The Piccadilly and have seen the sign on their shop window. I have looked on their website and think it is a store only offer; I can double check for you, as I normally walk past the store on my way to lunch - give you an update tomorrow.

Church's: Pre x-mas sales and if you can wait, January sales.
Austin Reed on The Piccadilly sell Church's, Barkers, Cheaney's and Loake's - that may be a good place.

Fenwick on New Bond Street have a sale on some Kurt Geiger shoes now - I think they have a sale on some suits as well, so worth a look.
Then the usual Harrods, Selfridges and even Pal Zileri opposite Harrods. In 2006, I purchased Pal Zileri shoes for £75 and boots for £65 and both retail for over £200. I recently got the heel repaired for the shoes £24, the leather has aged well and can probably last at least another 2-4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cordings: I work near The Piccadilly and have seen the sign on their shop window. I have looked on their website and think it is a store only offer; I can double check for you, as I normally walk past the store on my way to lunch - give you an update tomorrow.

Church's: Pre x-mas sales and if you can wait, January sales.
Austin Reed on The Piccadilly sell Church's, Barkers, Cheaney's and Loake's - that may be a good place.

Fenwick on New Bond Street have a sale on some Kurt Geiger shoes now - I think they have a sale on some suits as well, so worth a look.
Then the usual Harrods, Selfridges and even Pal Zileri opposite Harrods. In 2006, I purchased Pal Zileri shoes for £75 and boots for £65 and both retail for over £200. I recently got the heel repaired for the shoes £24, the leather has aged well and can probably last at least another 2-4 years.
Cheers, Tory! Yes, I would appreciate your confirmation on the Cordings suits. Perhaps I'll go up there this weekend. Do they do charcoal/dark grey suits, do you know?
 

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From what I remember, they have the tweedy stuff on display; however, I am sure it say 'city suits for £295 or 2 for £500', so they have dark grey suits available as part of the offer.

As I have said, I can confirm this for you tomorrow, it will only take a few minutes of my time.

If you are going to W1 on the weekend, you can get the suit and shoes for under £400 depending on the price of the shoes.

That would leave at least £100 for shirts and ties. There is a place near the F1 shop, again on The Piccadilly that is selling silk ties for £6, worth a look and they have a sale on shirts too. You could go for Lewin, but I think Jeff Banks from Debenhams would be better quality or places like Next might be better then Lewin.
 

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For your first suit you should pick one that will match with a wide range of dress shirts and ties. Solid color charcoal gray or dark blue suits are great.

Also, stay away from polyester and polyester-blends as they can be quite uncomfortable to wear.

I actually published two articles recently on men's suits. The first one is a suit buying guide that discusses what to look for when buying a suit. The second one is about buying a business wardrobe on a budget.

https://ezinearticles.com/?Mens-Suit-Buying-Guide&id=1531804
https://ezinearticles.com/?A-Businessmans-Wardrobe-For-Under-$800&id=1634669

I hope you find the articles helpful.

HP
 

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If you are going to the West End to look at shoes pay a visit to John Rushton in Wimpole St. On the left of the shop is a random assortment of shoes from various Northampton factory shops at an average price of £95 (some more, some less) and on the right he has the full Alfred Sargent range with a few extras. You have to be lucky with the £95 shoes but you can be very lucky. And John is such a gent - always a pleasure to pass the time of day with him.

While you are up in that neck of the woods it may be worthwhile looking in House of Hanover in Hanover St. Last time I was there they had Aquascutim and Oswald Boateng for under £300 each.
 

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Crombie in Jermyn St are worth a look as they have a pre-relocation sale. They seem to make for a similar sized frame to Oswald Boateng which might work at your age - doesn't work for me. They have their sale range in the basement which is reached by an easily missed door in the corner of the shop.

I also chanced upon the Suit Supply Co in Vigo St for the first time yesterday and I was fairly impressed. I read about the de Jonke chap a few months ago without connecting that particular shop to him. The cloths were really quite nice and suits start at £259. I am trying to stop myself from buying a check number I tried on.
 

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For the Budget mentioned... for certain go to shipton and heanage.. great looking hard wearing shoes that will save you a few decent pounds compared to churchs.
For suits I would go to Cad & The Dandy.

Regarding lewins... I would def stay away from... their shirts other than the price no one seems to rate and their suits are pretty much a box standard
 

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I popped into Hanover at lunchtime - suits are in the basement. Quite a few Boateng, very few Aquascutum. Lots of Ungaro and a few of a make called Label which were OK for £99 but not really the thing. Lots of other crud.

They do have a small number of Aquascutum shoes on the ground floor near the stairs to the basement at £125 - in limited sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I popped into Hanover at lunchtime - suits are in the basement. Quite a few Boateng, very few Aquascutum. Lots of Ungaro and a few of a make called Label which were OK for £99 but not really the thing. Lots of other crud.

They do have a small number of Aquascutum shoes on the ground floor near the stairs to the basement at £125 - in limited sizes.
Thanks! I'll add it to the list of shops to visit.

Welcome to the Forum.

Regarding your first suit, would you be considering an off the rack garment, or a made to measure article?
I would presume OTR, considering my budget.

I have a Panerai Luminor Marina (pictured below), do you think it will go okay with my suit?
 

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I popped into Hanover at lunchtime - suits are in the basement. Quite a few Boateng, very few Aquascutum. Lots of Ungaro and a few of a make called Label which were OK for £99 but not really the thing. Lots of other crud.

They do have a small number of Aquascutum shoes on the ground floor near the stairs to the basement at £125 - in limited sizes.
I did that today, some of RRP they were stating were silly, but some good buys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi guys,

Update: yesterday I went up the West End, and popped in various shops. Cordings was one: they had a nice charcoal suit, however it didn't seem they had it in my size.

After going in various other stores, I've discovered my size is either 38 regular, or 40 short in the jacket. I prefer the 38 regular, as it's a slimmer fit.

One store I went into had 100% wool suits, but looking on the label, they were made in China, which miffed me a bit. So no purchase there.

I went into Selfridges, and looked at their Aquascutum suits. I found 2 I liked, however, again, not in my size. I was willing to buy one of those.

Speaking of Selfridges: wow do they have some awesome stuff! Some of their casual suits were just amazing, the fabric and all, but expensive. I tried on a £900 overcoat that was so good, I'd definitely be willing to buy it at some point.

Harrods also had some great stuff. But not within my price range.

I looked in a bunch of stores for shoes, Austin Reed (Piccadilly), various Russell & Bromely's, and Harrods, Selfridges, etc. but couldn't find any Church's on sale (I think I'm looking for Oxfords).

I found some Barker shoes that I liked, which were around £120, but I do really like the feel of the Church's I tried on. Perhaps I should go for the seconds from herringshoes, but that's going to set me back £200.

Thanks all for your continued advice.
 

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I purchased Barkers Oxford's for £115, to try them out. Although my Church's are better quality, but I cannot say a bad thing about the Barkers.

The £120 shoes would leave you £380. House of Hanover have Boateng suits for £300 and Aquascutum for a similar price, as well as Boateng shirts for £40.

There is also a discount store on Bond Street. Next cater for smaller sizes, not sure of quality though.
 
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