Should I buy a custom suit or a suit from a reputable store like "Brooks Brothers?"

I am thinking about purchasing a custom made suit from "Balani," a tailor shop here in Chicago. The cost for suits start at $800 on up. I looked up the reviews on yelp and these guys have good ratings. I took a look at the Brooks Brothers and Nordstrom websites and noticed that their off the rack suits are much more in price than this custom tailor charges. Boss suits begin at around $800 on average while the Brooks Brothers suits start at over $1,000. I am a bit perplexed as to why these off the rack suits cost more than this custom suit will. I don't want to go out and get that custom suit if I am missing some information here. Are Nordstrom or Brooks Brothers suits that much better than even the suits from a custom tailor shop?


I bought a Navy suit from Macy's this past summer for only $230, but the tailoring turned out to be horrible and I don't know if I can trust buying suits off the rack anymore. I am wondering if the experience at a place like Brooks Brothers is different though.


I have an athletic build with a developed chest. I am tall, 6'3 and 230lbs, so finding a good fitting suit is difficult for me.

Views: 9965

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


 And let them know where you got the link

If you're going to go off the rack talk to a tailor before you buy the suit.  Ask what they can do and what you should look for.  From what I understand too big is much eaiser than too small, and a good fit in the shoulders is important.
If you weren't such a rare size (in terms of suits) I'd recommend diligently searching thrift stores until you find a suit you like that is a close fit (just right in the shoulders, pants fit will, may need some tailoring to match the suit to your build. If the shoulders don't fit perfectly, move on) and having it tailored. You can often find suits that are much higher quality than the off the rack $800 suits by only spending ~$120 this way. If you're interested in this, check out The author there is the king of thrift store finds.
I was at a 46L when I purchased the suit at Macy's. The problem is that the bottom has too much fabric and it makes me look like I weigh 300 lbs. A 44L feels ok, but the chest/shoulder area is a little tight. I was told that a good fit meant that there was supposed to be some tightness, but I don't know if that is true. I've heard that Brooks Brothers has tailors, but I don't know if they are good with measurements. Macy's had tailors on site, but they have done a poor job.

I've bought suits at Men's Wearhouse, and been completely happy. However, as others have point out, you're a slightly odd size (I'm guessing fairly athletic?), which means that a paired suit combination is going to be even more difficult to come by. 

I'd honestly follow much of the advice here, use your personable skills in store, be nice, build a rapport fairly quickly with someone on staff, and work to make everyone happy. I know that in my own case, the Men's Wearhouse definitely lived up to their motto, and I'd definitely be getting some more from them.

I am 52L and have decent luck buying suits of the rack from tux shops, the former rentals are good enough me and with a little tailoring the look good. And they are normally lower in price, which is a bonus these days. Just an idea to think about.

First, I think it is important to examine terminology.  Balani touts their custom suits, but they do not appear to be bespoke.  This does not mean that they aren't good suits, they may be, but it does narrow the difference between their offerings and those of Brooks Brothers, which offers a good selection and off-the-rack as well as made-to-measure.   Note also that BB's made-to-measure offerings are also customizable. 

Brooks Brothers' retail line suits are good, made in the USA, and the tailors at their stores are competent, in my experience, though the level of service varies from store to store (for instance, in the DC area, I've found the downtown store to be quicker and more likely to offer alterations or repairs for free than the Tyson's Corner store, though both get the job done).

As for buying new vs. thrift shopping, if you have the money there's nothing wrong buying new.  Yes, you can save money at the thrift stores or on eBay, but it takes time and it can be hard to find exactly what you want (though you'll sometimes find some gems among the refuse).  I do some of each.  If you'd like a new suit from BB and aren't in rush, you can always wait until they have their big sale after Christmas.

I have been buying suits from Nordstrom for as long as I can remember, having grown up in the Pacific Northwest. When they came to Dallas, maybe 15 years ago. I was thrilled. Fit is good, as is selection. They will also custom order for you. The key to Nordstrom is establishing a relationship with a salesman who will take care of you over the years. HE will let you know when a shipment of lines you like are coming in, get you in pre-sale for half yearly, and Anniversary Sale. Plus if you are not happy, they will work with you. It's great. I also have had luck finding good pieces at Nordstrom Rack.



I would lend my vote towards an off-the-rack suit with custom tailoring.  Jos. Banks here on the east coast has been my go-to place since I started in suits, and I haven't been led astray yet.

Until you can verify the quality of a custom shop, I'd stay away.  See if you can find other people who deal with that shop and get their take on it.

Of course, if you do go off-the-rack, do it at sale times.  No point in paying $1000 for a suit when a month down the road, they'll run some promotion and have a 2 for 1 or similar deal.

The thing with Boss suits (and probably BB as well) is that you do pay for the brand. Sure, they are great suits, but expect to pay quite a bit for the name. They are confection, which is to say they are made for standard measures. There is a lot of play in the pants and the 'fittedness' of the upper, but you simply can't change the build of the shoulders. If you find a suit where the shoulders fit perfect, all the rest can change a bit. 

As said before, there is a great difference between a bespoke suit and a custom suit. A custom suit allows you to pick your fabrics and measures. A bespoke suit will be made for your body and all it's quirks and flaws (things like a difference in muscle-build on the left and right). 

As you are pretty tall, chances are confection suits will not fit you quite as well as a custom suit. The jacket will most probably not be long enough.  For me it just makes more sense to make a suit to your measurements, than to adapt an already built suit. 

Still, large men like you and me are much more common here, and my adapted confection suit is just fine (as it is confection for large men), but I did stretch the possibilities of tailoring. It's on the edge. 

Hi All

I am Auredry

I think u must go with custom made suit, because they are exactly like the way we want like the style, the fabric, the perfect fit. Some time ago i always thought that if i buy a suit from reputable store then that is good but himark tailors proved me wrong and now i always prefer customized clothes always.

Friend i think you should bu custom made suits, because they are always exactly as we want. As the word bespoke describe itself its meaning "Bespoke" refers what we speak about our order. But the custom suits should be from well known tailor as DAVID-FASHIONS.


Latest Activity

Shane replied to Pale Horse's discussion They Who Shall Not Be Named in the group The Great Debate
"The neo-nazi element was nearly overwhelming. Luckily there was some strong young lads there to help out."
26 minutes ago
Shane replied to Pale Horse's discussion They Who Shall Not Be Named in the group The Great Debate
"Periscope of the speeches."
4 hours ago
Shane replied to Pale Horse's discussion They Who Shall Not Be Named in the group The Great Debate
"For those of you who showed such concern, RSB is running all the live streams they can find of the Boston Free Speech rally today. For those who don't know, this was organized by the "alt-lite" who were…"
6 hours ago
Daniel Rodriguez posted a status
"Drunken Peasants"
17 hours ago
Shane replied to Daniel Rodriguez's discussion Should we move to discord or at least to another 'free' forum template site?
"LOL I just looked it up."
19 hours ago
Shane replied to Daniel Rodriguez's discussion Should we move to discord or at least to another 'free' forum template site?
"Is that Yiddish?"
19 hours ago
R. Max 2.0 replied to Daniel Rodriguez's discussion Should we move to discord or at least to another 'free' forum template site?
"You wasackly lil' nudnik. "
19 hours ago
Shane replied to Daniel Rodriguez's discussion Should we move to discord or at least to another 'free' forum template site?
"I didn't tell you to stop talking."
19 hours ago

© 2017   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service