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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I will be buying my first suit for my summer job this year. I'm interning at a consulting firm (think McKinsey/Bain/BCG) in San Francisco and need a proper suit for the summer. I interviewed wearing a sport-coat with dark tan trousers, which in retrospect, might not have been the best move. Fortunately, I still got the job. But it's about time that I plunked down the cash for a decent suit. I've read Andy's job interview page and I kind of know what style I want: classic 2-button (hate those 3 buttons) in charcoal or dark blue, probably 100% wool since I don't like synthetic fabrics (I take it this won't be too warm for SF weather?). I love linen and it would be great from a summer suit but from what I've heard it is very high maintenance and will probably run more expensive. On fused, full canvas, etc. I don't really know the difference and I'll go with whatever I can afford. I doubt I can afford MTM on this budget so I will probably go with OTR.

Anyway, since I'm travelling a bit over the next month I have multiple options where I can buy my suit and thought maybe some of you could help me in deciding where I will get better quality/bang for the buck. I'm in Munich right now but will be in London next week and then I go back to Palo Alto (where I live). In Munich, my options are the big department stores like Karstadt and Galeria Kaufhof. In London, I've been advised to go with Marks & Spencer by some relatives who live there but am open to other options. In San Francisco, my options are Macy's, Jos A. Bank and Nordstrom Rack. There's also Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales but they are too expensive (online at least). I'm leaning towards buying in San Francisco right now as my preliminary research indicates it is cheaper and I'm more familiar with the brands. But if M&S is a lot better than Nordstrom Rack, I'll go with that. I'm also open to buying at thrift stores, but have zero experience doing that! In case it matters, my size is 38R, but my waist is around 30 - so from what I've read here I would need special tailoring for the pants since they run 6 inches lower, i.e. 32 inches.

Being a junior in college, I am on a tight budget so it would be nice if you can keep that in mind. As such, I would like to keep it under $300. At the same time, I don't want to buy junk.

All opinions appreciated!

Thanks :)
 

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Not even being sarcastic, H&M and Express have suits under the $300 mark you may want to look into. You can get them slightly tailored, and I think, because they tend to be more modern, they will be a slimmer cut anyways. And they come in separates if I remember correctly.

If you move your price point more toward $500, the options open up significantly.
 

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Welcome.

If you're going to be working someplace where a suit will be expected every day, one won't be enough. Even if you figure on a mix of suits and sports coats, more than one suit would be more practical.

At your price point it's definitely worth checking the sales at Joseph A. Bank. They just had a sale that ended yesterday, which means that they probably won't have another sale until . . . um, let's see . . .

today.

Their sales tend to rotate, and sometimes you can find very good prices on suits that will bring them well within your budget.
 

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Hello,
I will be buying my first suit for my summer job this year. I'm interning at a consulting firm (think McKinsey/Bain/BCG) in San Francisco and need a proper suit for the summer. I interviewed wearing a sport-coat with dark tan trousers, which in retrospect, might not have been the best move.
Did they tell you you needed a suit, or you just assume it? This *IS* San Francisco you're talking about. The clothes you wore to the interview are sometimes called a "Silicon Valley Tuxedo".

That said:
Fortunately, I still got the job. But it's about time that I plunked down the cash for a decent suit. I've read Andy's job interview page and I kind of know what style I want: classic 2-button (hate those 3 buttons) in charcoal or dark blue, probably 100% wool since I don't like synthetic fabrics (I take it this won't be too warm for SF weather?).
In the immortal words of Sam Clemens, "The coldest winter I every spent was a summer in San Francisco". Depending on what part of the city you live in, and work in, Summer can mean VERY different things.

I love linen and it would be great from a summer suit but from what I've heard it is very high maintenance and will probably run more expensive.
Linen is not really a business fabric, outside of the tropics and the Southern US.

On fused, full canvas, etc. I don't really know the difference and I'll go with whatever I can afford. I doubt I can afford MTM on this budget so I will probably go with OTR.

Anyway, since I'm travelling a bit over the next month I have multiple options where I can buy my suit and thought maybe some of you could help me in deciding where I will get better quality/bang for the buck. I'm in Munich right now but will be in London next week and then I go back to Palo Alto (where I live). In Munich, my options are the big
Wait until you get back to PA.

There is a Jos A. Banks in downtown PA that always has a sale of some sort, then you can wander up to Menlo Park and get it altered by a guy who knows what he's doing.

San Francisco, my options are Macy's, Jos A. Bank, Nordstrom Rack and Brooks Brother.
The Rack is a great place to buy clothes, but you're going to have a hard time finding a basic suit there. Most of the stuff at The Rack is leftovers from the main Nordstroms stores.

have zero experience doing that! In case it matters, my size is 38R, but my waist is around 30 - so from what I've read here I would need special tailoring for the pants since they run 6 inches lower, i.e. 32 inches.
That's not really "special" tailoring. It's normal to have to take in or let out the trousers a bit.
 

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In the UK M and S remains a consistent performer with suits at various prices. Clearly the more you pay, the better cloths and greater detailing you get. £ for £ this shop is your best bet.

Thomas Mahon - for what little or much it is valuable - does commend them in his 'English Cut' blog. That is decent praise for a Saville Row bespoke cutter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did they tell you you needed a suit, or you just assume it? This *IS* San Francisco you're talking about. The clothes you wore to the interview are sometimes called a "Silicon Valley Tuxedo".
Assumption on my part. But I think a fair one. While I may not wear it everyday, I got to have one at least in case there is face-time with clients (it's possible - has happened before).

That said:

In the immortal words of Sam Clemens, "The coldest winter I every spent was a summer in San Francisco". Depending on what part of the city you live in, and work in, Summer can mean VERY different things.
I love Mark Twain too. But he never said this one - https://www.snopes.com/quotes/twain.asp

Anyway, wool will be fine I think.

Linen is not really a business fabric, outside of the tropics and the Southern US.
Good to know.

Wait until you get back to PA.

There is a Jos A. Banks in downtown PA that always has a sale of some sort, then you can wander up to Menlo Park and get it altered by a guy who knows what he's doing.
That's what I'll do I think. I've walked past the Jos A. B several times but never stepped in. Any suggestions on tailors? I take it I shouldn't let the store guy do it, right?

The Rack is a great place to buy clothes, but you're going to have a hard time finding a basic suit there. Most of the stuff at The Rack is leftovers from the main Nordstroms stores.
I think I will still give it a shot. If I can find something, I think the quality will be better than Jos A. What I'm not sure abt is pricing since I can't check online...it would have to be at least 50% off Nordstrom retail to be in my budget. Oh, and BTW, the Rack is seconds or just leftovers?

Thanks for all the replies everyone! Keep 'em coming.
 

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The Rack is leftovers plus "special purchases." Here's the story, which says nothing about "seconds," unless one views special purchase in that category:

"History
Nordstrom Rack, the off-price division of Nordstrom, Inc., first opened in the basement of the Downtown Seattle store in 1975 as a clearance department. Since that time, it has grown into its own division. Currently there are 56 Nordstrom Rack locations in 20 states.

Savings and Service
Nordstrom Rack carries merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50-60% off original Nordstrom prices. Plus, you'll find an incredible selection of brand-name apparel, accessories and shoes for the entire family*-from contemporary fashion to quality basics-purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack at savings of 30-70% off, with new merchandise arriving daily. We offer petite and plus sizes in select stores.** We also offer a broad range of accessories, bath and beauty products, as well as home accents."

From: https://shop.nordstrom.com/c/6016616/0~2377475~6016611~6016616?origin=Header
 
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