Grey Suit Guide

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By: Dale

A close friend of mine is tying the knot in September and up until last week, they had no formal wedding party and I was simply a guest. After what can only be described as a plot twist (the groom’s words, not mine) I’m now a groomsman. The groom, requested only one thing – a light grey suit, the one suit that needs replacing in my wardrobe. I haven’t had a suit that color since my very first, you know, the one you need for interviews, weddings, funerals, graduations, celebrations, and court.

Since this expense is unexpected and I have my own tuxedo to worry about for my wedding next year, I’m going to keep this as modest as possible. After a week’s worth of research, here are five options worth thinking about.

H&M

hmprod

Pros:

  • Inexpensive. The jacket and pants will run you $200
  • Available everywhere and you can order online and return, unworn, within 30 days.

Cons:

  • It’s still $200, I thought this would actually be a little bit cheaper.
  • The balance of the jacket feels off and the shoulders are a bit boxier than I expected, the sleeves also fit me roomier than a slim fit. It just didn’t quite fit me correctly.

Indochino

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Pros:

  • They make each suit based on your body’s measurements, consider this your intro to Made-to-Measure.
  • It’s probably the cheapest MTM option you will find.
  • Large selection with customizable details, think colored button holes, patterned linings, etc.

Cons:

  • It takes four weeks from the date of order to ship the suit. This was my first stop during my in person research but since it was too close to the wedding date they couldn’t accommodate me. If you factor in another week for additional alterations you’re looking at 4-6 weeks from date of order to finished product.
  • I can’t verify how these suits actually fit since I didn’t get that far along in my appointment. I have some questions about how high the arm hole is and if that is one of the measurements you can customize.

Suit Supply

Suits_Light_Grey_Plain_Lazio_P4254_Suitsupply_Online_Store_1

Pros:

  • Well regarded, they have great reviews from word of mouth alone. They seem to have nailed the fit.
  • Very European in the way their suits are cut and styled.
  • Large selection of fabrics and styles. They have multiple fits and a plethora of fabrics to choose from.
  • They offer in-house tailoring.

Cons:

  • It’s very European. If you’re not into that you might not find what you’re looking for.
  • The in-house tailoring is where they make their money, alterations are expensive and if they talk you into adjusting every little thing you could be looking at adding $200+ to the final price tag. Before proceeding know what you want and get done what you need to get done, nothing more.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

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Pros:

  • These suits are heavily discounted right now. This label wouldn’t fit into this category if it wasn’t for the sales.
  • Due to the Brooks Brothers lineage, Black Fleece is not as aggressively designed as Thom Browne New York, these are only slightly cropped with large cuffs.

Cons:

  • Not as aggressive as Thom Browne New York. For those looking for the true TB experience you’ll have to pony up several thousand more dollars.
  • Unfortunately it’s the last season of Thom Browne heading Black Fleece, sad that they will discontinue this line. It will soon go the way of Gant x Michael Bastian, another excellent niche label that recently ended it’s partnership. Wait a minute… now that Basty is free…
  • Just like Thom Browne’s main label, Black Fleece has proprietary numerical sizing, I recommend trying them on unless you know what size your normal size corresponds to on a scale of BB0 to BB5. However, they’ve got a liberal return policy thanks to Brooks Brothers.

Gilt

Boglioli

Pros:

  • Gilt constantly refreshes their stock, as long as you have the patience and leave time for alterations you should be able to find something.
  • Obviously because of their rotating stock they have a ton of brand diversity.
  • And once in awhile they will throw members 20%-30% off for no apparent reason at all.

Cons:

  • Their biggest strength is also their biggest weakness, the selection is hit or miss, due to their rotating stock you’ll need diligence to find what you’re looking for.
  • Along with limited stock, sometimes they also have limited sizes, meaning if you’re of average build you may be out of luck on most items.
  • As with any flash sale retailer, be wary of diffusion brands, Incotex Ivory is not Incotex, Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme and Yves Saint Laurent, are not Saint Laurent Paris, etc. Diffusion brands are spin offs of the main brand and are intended to introduce some of the brands styling to customers at a lower price point. However, sometimes these brands have little or nothing to do with the parent company whose name they bare. They may have licensed that name and started slapping it on inferior quality products.

Honorable Mention:

J. Crew, they are about the same price point as Suit Supply but they are just not interesting enough for me. If you are loyal to the brand, their suits are solidly priced and you should get a few years wear out of them.


I hope to have this suit decision wrapped up before I go away for the bachelor party this weekend. I’ll update you once I do make the decision. Pray for me (for the bachelor party, not the suit, I know I’ll find a suit).

2 thoughts on “Grey Suit Guide

  1. Excellent article as usual. Great advice on the Grey suit. What about the other large box stores like Macy’s sometimes they have really gold buys and with alterations you can have a great fit for a good price?

  2. Pingback: Grey Matters: My Trip to Flamekeepers Hat Club | hommeschooled

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