Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Here come the men in black

First of all, if you are in the market for a suit or are just interested in an social/anthropological study of how appearances affect your perceived status, check out Dress for Success by John Molloy. A rather quirky anthropology professor recommended it, but the fundamental topics covered in the book are useful for anyone who needs to make a good first impression.

About this time last year, I was in the market for a nice, but cheap suit. I asked some friends who were in my position in years past. One of them recommended Men's Warehouse as a good place. I checked it out, and while they do have a pretty good selection, they did not have many in my size, and their prices were not as low as I expected for suits of that quality (not bad, but not great). After scouring most of the places I was recommended, I ended up buying my suit from the last place in the world where I should've bought a suit: the department store. While they have good suits, their prices are not the best, but I was also being very picky about the style and color of my suit, so I guess that's what I get.

If you are less picky about the style and color of your suit, but you need it in a hurry, the best places to go would probably be the Burlington Coat Factory or the K&G Men's Superstore(if you live in Atlanta). I was recommended Burlington Coat Factory, and after having seen their selection a few times, they have fairly good deals on some good suits. Unfortunately, they did not have the particular suit I was looking for at the time. The original K&G Men's Superstore (they have other branches in metro Atlanta) located off of I-75 in Atlanta is another great place to find cheap suits. They had the largest selection of suits I saw anywhere, and the styles ranged from "pimp" suits to more conservative styles one could wear to an interview. Many were under $200 and one could even find some as low as $100, and the quality of the suits were surprisingly good for the price.

If you want a very nice suit and have the time to wait for it, the best places to get the best deals on suits are Filene's Basement, and other discount stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshall. Filene's Basement has a selection of very high quality suits at rock bottom prices. This store literally started in the basement of a department store in Boston, but it has been slowly spreading to other cities. Think of it like an up-scale TJ Maxx or Marshalls. You can find suits from the best designers for $200-$300 when they could have been close to $1000 originally. The TJ Maxx and Marshall stores near large malls that sell many suits are also a great place to pick up a great deal. The only drawback is the selection is limited and can be hit or miss, but if time is on your side, these are the best places to buy.
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