It's also a number that makes all business professionals squeamish. After all, a good tux is necessary for daily life (okay, maybe the diamonds go a bit overboard). It shows professionalism. It demonstrates ability and affability.
And a quality tux is really, really expensive.
Good news, gentlemen. No matter where you're at salary-wise, there are several ways to trim the costs associated with custom suits.
Yes, we're saying you can feel and look fabulous all at an affordable price. Read on to find out how.
Why Buy Custom Suits?
Ready-made tuxedos just don't compare.
Custom suits have more advantages than you may realize:
They last. Made-to-Measure suits are brand spanking new, and they are crafted with precision. You get to choose the material yourself, and if the clothing is taken care of, it could last over a decade. To get a long-lasting tux, avoid synthetic blends. Instead, search for 100% worsted wool with a Super 110 to 120 thread count.
You create your own style. Off-the-rack tuxes rarely have the combination of trendiness, comfort, and durability you want and deserve.
They can feel like air against the skin. Seriously. After all, they are literally tailored for you. That means it hugs or doesn't hug in all the right places.
Less money. Yes, less. In the long run, you'll have a suit that will last many years, that you won't cringe to wear and that you'll be comfortable in. You'll wear it time and again on multiple occasions instead of having three inexpensive suits for three different events.
One custom suit is worth ten off-the-rack ones.
Curbing the Expense
A low-end custom suit can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,800. If you'd like a quality suit, that number gets exponentially higher.
Breathe easy. There are ways to reduce the expenses.
A little bit of haggling comes a long way.
Give yourself ample time to purchase the suit. Request quotes from multiple tailors and search for bargains.
Reliable tailors desire long-term relationships, and that's exactly what you want, too. Therefore, don't be afraid to negotiate pricing.
Trends come and go, but you want a suit that will last its lifetime.
Go for the dark grays, blues, and blacks, and be leery of graphics and multiple colors.
Do Your Research
Know what you want before you walk into the shop. Research fabrics, buttons, and looks.
There are many factors to consider. In addition to overall style, at least ask yourself which you would prefer of the following:
A two or three-piece suit
Natural or padded shoulders
A single or double vent jacket
Peaked or notched lapels
Don't forget to consider how often it will be worn and on what occasions.
Don't Be Swayed by Options
Adding all the extra bells and whistles can be costly when there is no real need for it. One simple addition can add flair.
When you're shopping, you might have salesman exuberantly detailing the newest fashion, trying to get the price of your custom suit a few added zeros.
Don't be persuaded. A good tailor will give you solid advice and take your desires into consideration.
Have a Budget
Did you know the average American man over 18 will spend about $85 a month on their wardrobe?
It's okay to come in with a budget. In fact, having a solid spending range can save you tons of cash later.
Let your tailor know your budget and ask for advice. They do this for a living, and they will be upfront with you in terms of what you can or cannot afford.
If you're just starting your wardrobe and you need several suits on the fly, buy one or two lower quality suits and use alterations to your advantage. These will work as temporary fill-ins until you're ready for the top-notch stuff. In the meantime, work on getting one suit that will make you look like you just walked off the set of a James Bond movie.
If you only need the one suit, it's time to strut like Bond himself; spend the money and get a suit that will last.
Who You Gonna Call?
Who makes the custom suits you desire is more important than anything else.
Know your tailor. Investigate his or her experience and ratings, and see if your personalities line up. Most importantly, of course, take the time to browse through samples of the tailor's work.
There are several signs that indicate you have a good tailor on your hands:
He or she can shorten a jacket sleeve from the shoulder. This is a difficult alteration that many inexperienced tailors can't accomplish.
The store is clean.
The tailor may recommend a few (not too many) alterations to achieve a better look.
After a few visits, he or she remembers your name.
Nothing is worse than anticipating the perfect suit only to find it doesn't fit right. Time is money, and in these cases, you lose out on a whole lot of time and possibly even more cash.
Tip the Tailor
Yes, it means paying more money up front. However, in the long run, it provides a better relationship with your tailor.
And that means better suits, better quality, and future discounts.
According to Henry Poole managing director Simon Cundey, "We don't call a customer a customer until they've been back a second time."
It's not unusual for repeat customers to receive discounts, free merchandise to go along with their dapper new suits and other benefits.
Recycle Your Suit
So you have a five-year-old suit and you've gained just a few (ahem) pounds since then. It doesn't mean you have to throw that suit out.
Instead, take it to your tailor and ask for alterations. You can save hundreds and thousands of dollars this way.
Technical consultant and tailor Ken Grippi provides costs on common alterations, and guess what? They are all under $100.
Alterations are one of the best ways to lessen (or avoid entirely) the costs of custom suits.
Are you ready to suit up? If so, get started on your wardrobe today by calling LS Mens clothing at (212) 575-0933 .But before you begin purchasing, be sure to check out our article on fashion offenses.
Trust us: no one wants to go into a board meeting with these crimes.