The pros, cons, good, bad, and ugly
BLUF: Suitsupply is a fantastic option for suits, blazers, shirts, and other tailored menswear apparel. The fit is a great mix of classic and modern. The fabrics come from highly-regarded European mills. And the prices are quite reasonable. However, Suitsupply does, in my opinion, have some less-than-desirable qualities as well.
Over the past four or five years, I have gotten so many questions about Suitsupply. What do I think about Suitsupply? Is it worth it? How is the fit? What do I like? What don’t I like? So I thought it was finally time to put all those thoughts together for you. I do own four Suitsupply jackets and one suit. I have a really awesome textured linen jacket. A brown plaid jacket. A light tan herringbone double-breasted jacket. A navy double-breasted jacket. And a chocolate brown cotton suit. First, I’ll lay out the good, then we’ll get to the not so good.
Fabrics. Suitsupply works with very well-regarded European mills. We’re talking about mills like VBC, E. Thomas, Angelico, Ormezza, Carlo Barbera. All of these fabrics are top-notch. It’s really great to see garments with fabrics like this so readily and widely available.
Accessibility. Whether it’s online or at one of the 35 brick and mortar locations that they currently have in the US, it is very easy to shop Suitsupply. I’ve done both. I have bought things right from the showroom and I have bought online. Online, especially, was very simple and I found the return process to be extremely easy as well.
Styling. Suitsupply has done, in my opinion, a phenomenal job of sort of capturing the moment that we have been having in menswear for the past five years or so. The styling of the suits is very classic, which makes them very wearable. One other general styling feature about Suitsupply that helps with its versatility and appeal is that their jackets tend to have a very soft shoulder, which makes them a bit more casual and therefore a lot more wearable.
Fit. I tend to get pretty lucky when it comes to off the rack stuff. I’m a fairly average size–5’ 9”, 155lbs. I don’t have any weird posture things or super wide shoulders, so jackets tend to fit me pretty well off the rack. The fit of Suitsupply can tend to lean a little more towards snug side, but in general, I think the cut of the garments are pretty flattering and modern, but still classic at the same time.
Reasonably Priced. Suits will start at $399, though when you get into a bit more of a premium fabric, the prices do go up. The jackets are typically in the $399 to $599 range, which, honestly, considering the fit, the fabric and the quality, is a pretty decent price.
Alterations Upsell. If you go to a Suitsupply showroom and you pick out that $499 suit, I guarantee you will probably be in the $750 to $800 range when all is said and done. I have seen this happen before, I have gone through it myself. You put the suit on, you stand in front of the mirror, and then the stylist comes and starts making recommendations. Some of them are simple and needed, like a hem or bringing the waist in or letting it out.
But then they start getting into things like tapering the pants, narrowing the jacket sleeve, shortening the jacket, getting into extremely minute detail about extra fabric on the sides of the jacket. These are all not inexpensive alterations. And listen, you are buying an OTR garment. And there is only so much that can be done to make an off the rack pattern fit your body. Sometimes there is nothing you can do.
If you are having to do so many alterations with an off the rack garment at this price, you will be much better served if you go to a good custom or made to measure program.
Questionable Fit Recommendations. I think the stylists tend to give questionable fit recommendations. Or maybe more to the point, I have seen them show more regard for a certain trend then the actual people they are styling. Specifically, I’m talking about the tapered pant leg. I think it goes a little too far at Suitsupply and I think a well-trained stylist should take into account the person they are styling more than the trend.
Pants. The pants just do not fit me well. I don’t know what it is and I know there are some people who have absolutely no problem with them, but for whatever reason they just do not work for me. And I really have tried. I’ve had alterations done. I’ve tried different sizes. They just don’t work for me.
Showroom Experience. I have been to Suitsupply showrooms in Soho, on Madison Avenue, in Georgetown, LA, Philadelphia, Boston and it is always the same. I find the people to be somewhat pretentious. It is hard to get their attention. When I do talk to them, I generally feel talked down to. I just have not ever gotten a good vibe in a Suitsupply showroom. And honestly, to me, that a huge turnoff. I don’t care how good the product is or how much I want it, if I get that feeling I will gladly take my money someplace, which is probably why I don’t have a lot more Suitsupply in my closet.
Chime in: Share your experiences with Suitsupply in the comments.
He Spoke Style