Hello MT community,


I recently moved from Europe to Bay Area.

Would anyone have a recommendation regarding where to buy and which suits and shirt brands?


rgwierman's picture
Licensee Badge

 I don't live in the bay area. But I have had some luck at Men's Wearhouse. I would only buy there if there is a sale. But they aren't bad if you are on a budget.

If Men's Wearhouse doesn't fit your needs, perhaps if you gave some more details on what precisely you are looking for and what price range.


Ron W

jinn's picture

I checked there website and there is plenty of choice. I will find find what I need for sure.


Thanks a lot for the guidance Ron!

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Buying the right suit depends on what you do, and how much you make, and where you work.  If you'll tell me that, I'll make a guesstimate for you.


Gareth's picture

@Mark - very interested in this as often struggle with knowing what to spend etc.

Typically shop in Brooks Brothers when on vacation in Florida for my work clothes.

GlennR's picture

Another factor to consider is the environment in which you're wearing your suits. My father spent more than 3 decades in the corporate world. When we lived in Dallas, he had his "Dallas" suits and his "West Texas suits." What your customers wear could be a factor as well.

I follow the same strategy and it has worked well for me.



garyslinger's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

.... but you have my curiosity, Glenn - what is the difference between a West Texas suit and a Dallas suit?   I would /guess/ "Western" vs. "Traditional", but nuance and detail would interest me (as I have a linear yard of books on the history of menswear and such topics in part of my collection).


GlennR's picture

Generally, my dad and I would wear less expensive and more conservative suits when we were out working in smaller towns. Or leave off the vest. There was a period of time back when suspenders were big. I'd wear those in the city, but not in smaller towns.

Neither of us have ever owned a "western" suit. He called them his "West Texas," suits because his territory extended out past the Pecos. Not fitting in could lose you credibility. My first month in my career, I visited someone in a small Texas Town for the first time. I was wearing a sport coat and a tie. She wanted to know why I was so dressed up. After that, I left the sport coat in the car.

This was back in the 70's and 80's where in some towns, the only ones who wore suits were local bankers, people in my profession, and FBI agents.

tplummer's picture

What's your budget and position?

For entry to mid level, Men's Wearhouse is a good place to start. Only shop here during a sale. Look for buy one get one or even buy one get two free sale events. They happen all the time. Otherwise everything in the store is overpriced. They have a good range of $400-600 suits. Given the sales, you could get 3 suits for that price. Now, these suits are decent but certainly not great. Fine for entry/middle management. Not for executives, lawyers, etc.

The same goes for Joseph A Banks. They tend to be a bit more pricey but the quality is better. So, maybe you can walk away with 3 suits for $700-900. Still a good price for a good suit.  They also have much higher price suits which push you into executive/lawyer territory. I hear they are very nice. From my understanding, JAB suits tend to be a bit roomier. You're not going to find that slim suit that's fashionable these days if that's the look you're going for. 

There's always the department store but that's going to be hit or miss given the price ranges are so different depending on quality and name brand. Again, look for good sales. Never ever pay full price for a suit anywhere!

Brooks Brothers is getting to the top of the line. I've never shopped there so I can't speak for it.

If you're looking for more modern suits, try JCrew, Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, and other stores like that. You're not going to get good sales, the prices are going to be high, and the quality probably won't be inline with the price you're paying. But you'll get a suit more like you see on tv/movies and GQ. Think Barney from "How I Met Your Mother" if you watch that show.

Lastly, if you're looking to pay a high price (maybe $1000+) you could get a hand made suit tailored just for you. It will be the best suit you could possibly buy. If you're shopping Brooks Brothers, it's definitely worth considering.

My general advice is for 90% of the people 90% of the time ;) Men's Wearhouse and Joseph A Banks are your best bets.

Oh wait, shirts! Personally, I find that Lands End (Sears or online) makes the best shirt for $55. They are way better than the stuff in Mens Wearhouse. And if you just need white and blue, check out Costco. It's even worth buying a membership for the shirts! Their Kirkland brand at ~$20 a shirt, they are actually very very good quality and last for years. I have 3 Kirklands. I finally had to retire one of them because I figured out my badge holder was actually wearing down the fabric (I switched badge holders). Otherwise, these things are great.



garyslinger's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Glenn - thanks; makes sense, and (at least to my mind) was interesting.

All -  in addition to the above from Tom, there's a growing number of mainstream [1] internet-access MTM [2] tailors, e.g. Indochino, Black Lapel or J. Hilburn.  I'll personally admit to being happy with some of Indochino's items, and I'm ordinarily a Brooks Brothers or Banks wearer for what that's worth.   Depending on your tolerance for risk (being willing to get alterations or remakes the first couple of times), you can end up with quite a deal.



[1] It's been possible for a relatively long-time to contact in tailor in Hong Kong, etc., with a set of measurements and have something made, but it was hit or miss.  By mainstream, I mean they've evolved the business model, it's stable, and doing quite well it seems.

[2] Made-to-Measure.  For simplicity's sake, half-way between generic off-the-rack, and fully bespoke.  There are entire books and websites devoted to the variances, so let's go with the simple version :)


lar12's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I"m a fan of Joseph A Banks.  Their quality is better than what I've found in the departments stores, their sales staff provides great customer service and I was referred to them by a friend.  

In Iraq in 2003, I worked with an international correspondent that spent A LOT of time on camera.  He always wore the same blue button down shirt and it always looked clean and crisply pressed.  I was giving him a hard time one day about his appearance, he was bit touchy about it :), and he told me that he was wearing the Jos A Banks Traveler shirt.  He hand washed it every other day in a bucket of water (we had no laundry service) and then allowed it to hang dry.

As a veteran, I can tell you precise measurements and spot a uniform that is off from a mile away.  With  civilian suits, I don't have the experience or expertise.  The guys at Banks were great in helping me get through a proper fit and look.  That service, plus the durability that I personally observed in Iraq is why I recommend Joseph A Banks.

It should be noted, I DON'T work on Wall Street.  I live in TX and the people that I deal with are not going to spend thousands of $$ on a suit.