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Fashion Why are Men Business Suit all expensive?

brickk

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I have never been that type of guy that wears a suit and tie 24/7, I can say I was/am the opposite, the classic jeans + hoodie let's say.
Eventually, I had some Shirt that I used for certain jobs where I had to stay on computer and thus appearing like semi-professional. I was still wearing jeans and some sober sneackers but I can definitely say that the shirt, even without the tie, was a nice touch.

As of today, I decided to buy a simple business suit, you know the classic elegant man outfit, the one that you wear for a job interview, or for a wedding, or a funeral...you know.
Something like this: (Just the upper "jacket", idc about the pants)


I looked for this everywhere, even at the Chinese shops where they basically counterfeit everything and gift it to you for like $9, and surprise, this piece of shit was $84.
I don't understand this whole concept. I mean, there is literally nothing that Chinese, or knock-off brands can't counterfeit, sneackers, heels, jeans, sweatshirts, hoodies, shirts, t-shirts, socks, underwear.... I can go on forever, but guess what. This shit, even with the lowest noname brand, costs at least $60.
I first thought I was looking at the wrong places, but even on AliExpress, on F.ing AliExpress, the most basic suit (jacket only) is more than $50.

Whats the deal here, are they made with hair fibers of a blonde virgin or something, why are they so expensive, why there is literally no cheap choice?

My jeans are like $15, the shoes probably $20, and all the rest is under $15, and I don't look like a homeless person, I'm just like a normal guy that doesn't shove it the Armani logo down to your throat.
So why am I not "allowed" to buy this stupid jacket? What is this elitism?...
 

atara

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not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent
- one small part of the expense is simply that some parts of the suit are more rigid (shoulders, collar) but they try not to be tacky (like a raincoat)
- another part is that e.g. buttons/pockets are attached in a more complicated way that makes them less obvious/stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb, zippers are finer, etc.
- but probably the most important reason is that people don't respect cheap clothes. if you treat a $200 business suit like a t-shirt and stick it in the wash, it won't look good anymore within a month, if that. there's no point in selling a $40 suit because people won't take care of it and then they'll complain...
 

brickk

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Well what about the cheap knock-off Nike Air Max '97? They probably gets ripped after 1 use yet they are still mass produced after more than a decade.
I (personally) don't think it's because people don't respect cheap clothes, but rather they want a cheap alternative to look "cool", no matter how crap is the quality and how bad it is going to end after 2 usages.

So again, why they bother so much in making conterfeit Louis Vuitton Purses with amazing details, but they miserabily fail to make a simple jacket? I don't think people look for the quality, they just want to pretend to be rich without caring about the actual process or material used on the product.
 

Cheshire_Kat

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Suits are pretty labor intensive, brickk. My grandfather was a tailor and I used to watch him as he worked making suits for my father and myself (he had a little shop in the basement). A cheap suit really looks bad and I think the market for them dried up as most men stopped wearing them.

BTW, here's a great suit joke:

 

Atelier3

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$200 for a suit? $50! That’s ridiculously cheap. What’s ot made of? Polyester or some other plastic?

i mean if you only wesr it to the occasional funeral or job interview it would be hard to justify the expense - but here in Auatralia you just couldn’t buy an off-the-rack all natural fibre suit for less than $ 500.

Even then, those kind of suits only last one year. Either the fabric wears out or the style doesn’t age well.

The last suit I bought was 100 % wool and it lasted 10 years with minor alterations for weight gain and loss. I made sure to get a classic cut that doesn’t age.
 

brickk

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The last suit I bought was 100 % wool and it lasted 10 years with minor alterations for weight gain and loss. I made sure to get a classic cut that doesn’t age.

Can you share more details, like price, famous brand or random brand, where did you buy it...? If you don't mind of course.

I kinda want one just for some occasion, but I don't want a cheap plastic one, neither do I want a $1000 one that I can barely afford.

Isn't really something in between? Just like my jeans, just like my shirt...
 

Atelier3

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Can you share more details, like price, famous brand or random brand, where did you buy it...? If you don't mind of course.

I kinda want one just for some occasion, but I don't want a cheap plastic one, neither do I want a $1000 one that I can barely afford.

Isn't really something in between? Just like my jeans, just like my shirt...

I had my 10 year suit made by a tailor in Sydney. It cost $1,500 back then but he now charges $3k so I won’t be buying another one there anytime soon. Still I worked in a suit every day at the office so it worked out any $150 per year to be dressed smart which was a bargain I thought.

Do you live in the US?

In your situation I would go explore the men’s wear department of your city’s largest department store. Like a JC Penny. They’ll have dozens of different suits from all different designers. You should stick with 100 % wool. It is very durable and looks classy and keeps it’s shape very well. Ask the staff for guidance on the brands that best fit your body type. I’m a bit round and a bit short so I avoid a lot of labels that feature six footy tall models with slim athletic builds. I’m sorry, I don’t really know what brands there are in the US. But even the high end brands have end of season sales through the department stores. You could easily picky up a $1500 suit in the sales for $750. Just don’t buy one that looks to fancy as it will look out of date. Just go for classic.

A classic black suit has double vents at the back of the jacket, no more than one pleat in the trousers, goldilocks width lapels (not to skinny not to wide or it’ll date quickly).The bottoms on on the trousers should be cuffed and the jacket sleeves should stop and top knuckle on your thumb. No off the rack suit will automatically fit like that so you need to budget a bit for alterations. The most important place to get the fit right is in there shoulders, chests and belly. It should be snug there but with plenty of room for movement and no bunching.

Howe ver, one interesting option might be to chec out the charity/goodwill stores in your city and looks for. Smart suit that is within 2-3 sizes of what you need and then just pay to have it altered by a Chinese tailor. I know guys who wear $3,000 suits for $200 bucks with this strategy. They go to goodwill/charity stores in fancy suburbs where guys buy new suits every year and throw out here old ones.
 

JessFR

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Business attire, attire expectations in general, are all bullshit.

In a lot of ways I think expected women's attire is even worse. Though I wouldn't especially wanna have to wear either.
 

brickk

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No I don't live in US, im from Europe. But thanks for the detailed infos, the prices are still out of my budget (and out of my will honestly).
As already said, I try to wear normal/decent. I'm used to spend not more than $40-$50 for a piece of clothing. Probably the highest I spent was $100 for a brand new skate shoes... but that was a unique (and stupid) case, since I don't even wear them.
I 90% of times buy 2nd hand clothes, eBay mainly.
Sometimes I just go to -normal- stores and buy -normal- stuff for like $15-$20, yeah they may be not Levi's but they aren't that bad either. They are not trash, they are just...sober, normal, nothing fancy.

So yeah thanks for the clarification, I will keep in mind the wool and the confort while moving, but I guess I will put this little "dream" on standby, the price for this is way too high, considering that I don't even need it,it was just something that popped out of my mind and I said "why not?".
 

alasdairm

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where do you live and what is your budget?

i would definitely recommend starting at a big department store - they should have a huge selection so you can try on a load of styles and see what fits and what you like. they'll almost certainly have a clearance/sale rack too and you may get lucky. you may also find a suit that's close and, if you buy it in-store, they may include tailoring to take-up or let-down the pants to fit.

here in the u.s. we have discounted department stores e.g. ross dress for less, tj maxx (known as tk maxx in certain european countries). if you have that kind of store, i'd look there next - you'll likely have to dig through some crap to find something that works for you, and you may not find anything at all, but if you do, you'll get a great deal.

if you can scrape together $300 you should be able to find a great suit or jacket+pants, on sale, from a name brand (e.g. kors, ralph lauren, dkny).

alasdair
 

thujone

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I rarely ever see anyone in a proper business suit. It's just not common these days. Besides, it wouldn't do much for you if you had one proper suit that you wear once a year but live in $15 jeans the other 364 days.

If you just need to look fancy for formal occasions then the cheapest way to do it is buying a dark blazer second-hand, then look for a pair of slacks and shoes that will match it. Add a white shirt and plain tie to that and you're all set.

If you want to start dressing more maturely in general, look for some second-hand sport coats you can start to wear with jeans and trainers, then you can move into wearing it with slacks and leather shoes (a.k.a. business casual).

Sport coats and good shoes, when maintained, can last for years of regular use so you want to buy ones you enjoy wearing regularly. It's only natural you can't justify the cost of good clothes if you plan to only wear them once in a while.
 

brickk

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So basically, someone who wears a suit every single day, needs to go to special places to wash it properly, since he can't throw it in the washing machine like regular clothes?
Or he assumes someone that does the job manually, like a domestic cleaner or smth...Either way that is some rich life..
 

December Flower

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So basically, someone who wears a suit every single day, needs to go to special places to wash it properly, since he can't throw it in the washing machine like regular clothes?
Or he assumes someone that does the job manually, like a domestic cleaner or smth...Either way that is some rich life..
What. no? Do Americans do that? :ROFLMAO:

You can wash a suit at home, and you can put it in the washer, but you have to run below 30°C, 600rpm MAX, 3 items in the machine MAX, as soon as the washer is done with the spin cycle, take it out.

ONLY USE WOOL DETERGENT OR YOU'RE GOING TO RUIN THE SUIT.
 

dalpat077

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So basically, someone who wears a suit every single day, needs to go to special places to wash it properly, since he can't throw it in the washing machine like regular clothes?
Or he assumes someone that does the job manually, like a domestic cleaner or smth...Either way that is some rich life..
Well. Pretty much. Strictly speaking: good suits should be dry cleaned and pressed by professional dry cleaners. If you start throwing suit jackets into washing machines they will start losing their shape and stiffness especially on the shoulders. Suit pants may be a different story. But you run the risk then of washing the pants far more frequently and eventually the difference in coloring will show between jackets and pants.

Oh and good point: you cannot just iron a suit i.e. it has to pressed. Otherwise you start ironing a shine into the fabric. And not to mention "railway tracks" if you're not good at it i.e. multiple different lines.

Being (obviously) the old timer around here and having worn suits my entire life, daily, here's some advice based on experience (experience meaning since 1984 so do the math):

Buy the best suits that you possibly can. You don't want to hear this but you can both see, and feel, the difference between expensive suits and cheap suits. And the expensive ones can last and look good for many years.

The last suits I bought cost around $2 500 USD each (I've allowed for the difference in exchange rates using the "Big Mac Index" but based on the January 2020 proposed rate as that's the most up-to-date data that I can find) (and obviously I was doing well at the time). But they're worth every $ I can tell you. Not least of which is how you feel when you're looking and feeling good (fuck what anybody else thinks).

Not to be pedantic here: but something else to pay very careful attention to is shirts and ties. I have only ever worn white shirts with pitch black suits (became a bit of a trademark to be honest). And there is nothing worse than white shirts that are no longer (eye watering) white so you need to watch out for that. Or shirt collars that are no longer stiff i.e. the collar becomes sort of wrinkly and soft and this gets accentuated when you tighten your tie. If your shirts get like that: toss them. To make shirts last and stay white: there's some products on the market that you put into the washing machine (in sachets) with your whites and they stay white. Better though is to wash these business shirts by hand on their own. Some people use bleach and believe it or not: whites start taking on a grey type hue. And I've always used spray starch on shirt cuffs and collars to keep them stiff and sharp.

If you think the above is funny or OCD: I knew somebody that would only wear a shirt ONCE out of the wrapping (after being pressed) and then throw it away. True story!

And shoes dude. Never overlook the shoes. You can wear the most expensive suits, perfect shirts, and properly done ties. But if your shoes ain't polished: you'll still look like something the cat dragged in!

Wanna have a further discussion about the different tie knots? :ROFLMAO: Or cufflinks (don't forget those)?

And speaking of ties: for fuck make sure they knots are tied nice and tight and the tie is pulled up proper. Grinds my backside to see ties worn almost at half mast and with some type of excuse for a knot. It gives the game away.

What makes you think I'm passionate about this all (especially as this being my first post of the day)! :)

For what it's worth: I saw your thread last night but was too tired to respond. But all I can say to you is good on you my man for making the effort. We are a dying breed. I don't know what it's like in other countries. But here in South Africa there's been a steady decline in formal and work wear and people have become lax. To the extent where I've even been asked on one or two occasions to ease up on the formal wear (and which I refused/refuse to do).

And I'll tell you this too: it has a psychological impact on others in the business world. Tried, tested, and sometimes been amused. It plays itself out in business meetings all the time. People that lack confidence will not address you directly or look you in the eye because they feel intimated. Or sometimes you'll go to a meeting with somebody who is not quite as sharply dressed as you and the other parties will just assume that you're in charge or the decision maker (no matter the fact that it may not be the case) (and this even when you may be with somebody more casually dressed but also in very expensive designer type outfits).

It's all a part of the business game. And going to the trouble and effort of wearing a suit and nice collar and tie pays dividends in ways you cannot imagine or may not even be aware of. In most all cases and for many reasons: it gives you a psychological advantage. Same as the car you drive.

And not to offend anybody at all but speaking personally: this business of wearing a collar and tie and jacket and then jeans rubs me up the wrong way and in a big way too. Either go the whole nine yards or don't bother.

And I cannot believe I've just typed this all on a drug forum! :ROFLMAO: But there it is.

Believe it or not: I only wanted to say good on you for making the effort. But oh well. There it is as I said.

If all of the above doesn't put you off: we want pics. my man! :)
 

birdup.snaildown

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Got to wonder, reading all this, how expensive this shit is on a yearly basis. Like if you get paid an extra 20k per year before tax how much (after tax) do you spend on suits / shoes / dry cleaning / etc... and that's just wardrobe. I know people who earn considerably more than me yet they never seem to have that much more in the way of savings. I guess it's because the more you earn the more you have to spend to keep up appearances?

@brickk

Maybe try direct factory outlet type stores. You can get decent work stuff for over 75% off at the right time of year... As @thujone said, buy the jacket and pants separately. I'm super frugal so I'm glad I don't work in an industry that expects me to wear a suit. I literally wear sneakers until I wear holes through the soles. When I start collecting rocks in my shoes, it's time for a new pair. Finally threw away an old pair of jeans yesterday because it got to a point that people couldn't stand me wearing them in public.

I might not look the sharpest, but I don't give a fuck. I'd rather retire when I'm 50 than try to impress people. I have a "formal outfit" (no jacket / no tie) I wear maybe half a dozen times a year. Cost me about $200 including shoes, at 75% off. Should last a decade or two.

Don't listen to @dalpat077.
He's a dinosaur. ;)
 

dalpat077

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Don't listen to @dalpat077.
He's a dinosaur. ;)
Don't listen to @birdup.snaildown.
He's a philistine. ;)

Yeah alright. I'm not advocating wearing expensive suits and a collar and tie if you're doing oil changes in a automotive workshop. But if you own the workshop? :ROFLMAO:

And I will admit that I've met one or two very wealthy people in my time who ran their own businesses in khaki shorts and sand shoes and looked like they'd not seen a shower or bath in days (let alone their clothes appearing to not have ever seen a washing machine or iron)! :ROFLMAO: Maybe it'd be a good idea at this time though to advise against judging a book by its cover too (until you know the shot type of thing). Don't ask me how I know!

Car is no guarantee either. The same mentioned above would arrive in some or the other old beaten up pickup truck but meanwhile and back at the ranch: there's one or two sparkling S-Classes in the garage at home. Admittedly though: it was business type dependent e.g. construction or electrical type businesses.

Horses for courses as they say I guess.

Being the dinosaur that I am though: I just don't know any other way. On those rare days when I'd go to work casual or to my own offices or whatever: I'd feel as though I was on a holiday camp type thing (and would usually be unproductive and spend the day fucking around and talking shit more than anything else). My brain would just not be able to kick into work mode!

I suppose it'd be fair to back off from my dinosaur rhetoric and say this:

Better to do the best job that you can, even if it be casual wear, than trying to look the part but doing a half arsed job of it. The latter is by far worse.

Bear in mind of course: I come from the days where woman would go to some trouble too e.g. stilettos to work (and by "work" I do not mean a strip club just so that we're clear). You don't see them anymore. I suppose some left/liberal advocacy group on public health got together and banned them or something or issued a public health warning or some shit! Or that stockings are bad for woman (suppose they cut off circulation or don't allow the legs to breathe or that they give you cancer or something or some shit that some activist found in some dark corner of the Internet) (or maybe on the Oprah Winfrey show) (or Dr. Phil) (does this shit even exist anymore i.e. cannot bring myself to actually search for those two).

By the way: holes in any type of shoe not a good thing! :ROFLMAO:
 
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birdup.snaildown

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Shoes are an improvement for me. I spent many years walking around barefoot in a dressing gown, with long clumps of matted hair, like some kind of derelict cross between Jesus and The Big Lebowski.

Give me a break.
I'm on the up and up.

EDIT: come to think of it, Jesus wore sandals... materialistic mother fucker.
 

TripSitterNZ

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I have counterriet yezzies that have lasted through some insane walking and running put in some pads very good but not as good as actual yezzies yet they have lasted longer than my legit jordans. Chinese can make really good fakes if they want to.

I had a $300 wedding suit which was pretty good. But suits are not really needed unless you are like some board member.

Shit in my line of work you want to wear the cheapest pair of clothing you got especially cheap pants / jeans and good enough shoes but not expensive incase you spill chemicals.

I use to wear timberland boots since they were so comfortable for long standing hours alot. I have never been to a interview in a suit. Ill put on a nice shirt lol half the time the interviewer is wearing some sort of anime / sci-fi shirts so they don't really give a fuck what you look like as long as you are wearing clean clothes for lab techs here.

Tbh i dont give a fuck what people wear and the world should not either having to wear some "smart" looking shit to get a job is fucking discrimination agains't people who dont have the money to buy such things. hell for a long time all i wore was rasta attire and not a single other fucking chemist gave a fuck infact i knew a dude whos work lab coat was a psychedelic tye dye lab coat he looked like he was from 60s with his massive beard long hair and crazy 60's glasses. Really smart dude with a phd.

P.S work in science if you don't want to wear douchebag suits. People are way less judgmental.

We have been conditioned to believe we should wear unesscary expensive clothes to "important things". Why would it be assumed we have to wear suits to weddings why can't i just rock up in a hippie mf poncho and be myself.
 
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