How To Buy Suits Online: #1 Guide To The Best Places & Tips To Buying A Suit Online

How To Buy Suits Online: #1 Guide To The Best Places & Tips To Buying A Suit Online2018-08-29T08:47:00+00:00

Buying suits online has a number of advantages compared to going in-store. In this guide, you’ll discover best places to buy suits online and its benefits. Use the following links to jump ahead and learn more about them:

  1. Indochino
  2. Suit Supply
  3. Men’s Wearhouse
  4. JC Penney’s
  5. Macy’s

However, as the price isn’t much different to buying suits in-store, we actually we have a preference for buying custom suits online. Head to our dedicated guide to buying made-to-measure suits online to learn more.

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How To Buy The Best Suits Online

Before we continue, note that the following guide breaks down the best places to buy suits online in general. If you’re only after custom online suits, you can refer to our full guide to our guide to buying made-to-measure suits online.

Scroll down to see the best places to buy suits to buy online mentionded above. Otherwise, if you’re after advice to buying suits online, you can use the menu below to jump head:

"Very helpful!" I now feel confident in my ability to buy suits online after reading this guide.
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1. Indochino [Great Value Custom Suits]

indochino homepage
  • Type: Made-To-Measure
  • Price Range: $300 – $800
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Although offering custom made-to-measure suits, Indochino offers an excellent service with prices that compete with high-end ready-to-wear retailers. We’ve used Inochino a number of times and have been impressed by their accuracy, efficiency and service.

Furthermore, buying from Indochino online means that you can also benefit from their stores should you require any alterations.

2. Suitsupply [Contemporary Cuts]

suit supply homepage
  • Type: OTR Designer
  • Price Range: $400 – $700
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Founded in 2002, Suit Supply is a Dutch company that has taken the world by storm. Thanks to its high-quality off-the-rack garments, they’ve offered men with a reliable solution that guarantees stylish suits that fit.

Furthermore, men seeking a more customised experience can check out their made to measure service. Nevertheless, you’ll unlikely be disappointed by their ready to wear suits.

3. Men’s Wearhouse [Ideal For Suit Separates]

men's wearhouse homepage
  • Type: OTR Retailer
  • Price Range: $200 – $800
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Not only does Men’s Wearhouse stock a rich variety of designer brands but it also offers excellent customisation thanks to its selection of separates. Rather than having to buy an entire suit, men can mix and match for a more original style.

Furthermore, you have the added benefit of being able to buy only a single garment. For instance, if you’re looking for a jacket, waistcoat or even a spare pair of trousers, they have a wide choice without having to take the plunge on a new three-piece suit.

4. JC Penney’s [Most Affordable]

jc penney suit fits
  • Type: Department Store
  • Price Range: $150- $450
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A renowned retailer, the century-old department store needs no introduction. With 850 locations, JC Penney’s is a solid choice for men looking for affordable formalwear.

Like Men’s Wearhouse, their suits are also sold as separates, which means you can mix and match to your heart’s content. Furthermore, their low prices are very competitive and you’ll likely be satisfied by the value for money.

5. Macy’s [Designer Brand Suits]

  • Type: Department Store
  • Price Range: $150 – $600
  • [Shop Now]
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Although about 50 years old, Macy’s is another well-known department store of much the same ilk as JC Penney’s. Similarly, they offer attractively-priced ready-to-wear men’s suits online.

However, their range is much more focused on complete suits with an accent on designer brands. Furthermore, they often have an in-house tailor who will be able to directly any alteration needs.

Why Buy A Suit Online

guy in blue suit and brown shoesSo why would you buy a suit online rather than head in-store? Indeed, stores offer the luxury of knowledgeable advisers that can offer you counsel and ensure the right fit.

However, there are indeed benefits to buying suits online that you may feel outweigh going in-store.

Firstly, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home but most of us are familiar with that already. Similarly, one of the greatest benefits is that buying suits online is often cheaper too.

In fact, this is probably one of the main reasons many of us turn to buying suits online. Thanks to a greater buying power, it gives us access to better quality and more premium garments.

Finally, many online retailers operate from warehouses rather than stores. This allows them much greater storage, which means that there will be a better stock with a greater variety. Therefore, they’ll be less likely to run out of what you seek.

Tips On How To Buy A Suit Online

man shopping online

Even the cheapest suits can be the most expensive items in our wardrobes, so it’s important to know how to buy a suit online so you can get the best value.

In this section, we’ll offer some advice that we hope will be useful for newcomers and even help veteran online suit punters.

As such, here are some fundamental tips to keep in mind when buying a suit online:

  1. Know Your Measurements. You’ll need to know your chest, waist and inseam measurements as well as your height and weight.
  2. Be Aware Of The Fit. There are many styles of suits (slim, fitted, regular, etc.) so make sure you know what you are getting.
  3. Read The Return Policies. You may not like the colors or the fit may be way off and you don’t want to get stuck with a suit you can’t return.
  4. Use A Good & Calibrated Computer Monitor. Fabric colors can (and often will) look different in person than on-screen.
  5. Get Ready For Alterations. It is very possible that you will need some alterations done after your suit arrives so make sure you have a good tailor at the ready.

In order to determine your sizes, make sure that you read our full guide on how to take your measurements at home.

Buying Ready-To-Wear Suits Online

Suit sizing tag on hanger

Off-the-rack (a synonym for ready-to-wear) suits are sized by a number and a letter. Many of the retailers we recommended above structure their entire market around these abstract figures.

These numbers often range anywhere from 34-60 depending on the store and brand, whereas letters are S, R, L, and sometimes XL. You might see things like 40L, 54XL, 36S, and so on.

The numbers refer to chest sizes (in inches), while the letters refer to the length of the jacket: Short, Regular, Long, and Extra Long. The difference between each length is generally about 1.25″.

Consult the brand’s size chart to see how they size things for your height and weight. Remember that each brand will have subtle differences in their block patterns.

Be aware of different “fits” like Slim, Athletic, Modern, and the like. There is no industry-wide standardization for these terms, so you have to pay attention to photos the brand provides.

Furthermore, many websites also have customer reviews built into each individual item, so take advantage of that. If 96 out of 100 people say that the suit fits snugly and not “true to size,” it’ll fit you just the same.

OTR formalwear may not provide you the best fit compared to made-to-measure services. However, it does have the advantage of being much cheaper as manufacturers craft standardised sets rather than making unique pieces for their clients.

You can learn more about OTR formalwear with our dedicated guide.

Sets Versus Separates

Some suits are sold as sets while others are sold as separates.

A set refers to a jacket and trousers that are sold as a pre-ordained pair, with specific chest and pant waist sizes paired strategically. Typically there’s a six inch difference between jacket and pant sizes (for example, a 38R jacket will often come with 32″ waist pants), and this is referred to as a “drop.”

Sizing tag on grey suit

The above example has a 38 jacket with a 31 trouser waist, making for a seven-inch drop.

various suits on hangers in storeSeparates, on the other hand, is a way to buy suits that allows for more accurate sizing. With separates, the jackets and pants are sold as “à la carte” items so you can choose the sizes you need without being locked into a pre-determined drop. This is particularly helpful if you’re an athletic guy with a big chest and a narrow waist.

Like some of the retailers above, buying separates also means that you can mix and match your suits or simply buy the individual garments that you need.

A decent strategy (if your budget allows) is to buy more than one size of the suit you’re looking at and return those which don’t work.

Parting Thoughts

The men’s tailoring industry, like the rest of the clothing industry, is slowly but surely pivoting to an online model. It’s impossible to say whether or not brick-and-mortar stores will survive, but what we do know is that more and more men are making their purchases online. Should you join their ranks, be aware of the pitfalls and advantages.

suit price tags

When buying suits, it’s also helpful to be aware of your body type and your coloring. It’s one thing to know what you like, but it’s quite another to know what cuts and colors will look best on you. Click the previous links for full guides on how to determine what your body type is and what your coloring is.

What Next?

Now that you have read our guide to buying suits online, consider perusing some of our related content:

About The Author – Paul Anthony

Paul Anthony Sidebar PicPaul is a the founder and creative director of Bespoke Unit. His interests range from: suits, shoes, watches, sport, and travel. See his full profile here, and read latest articles.

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