By Haider Mushtaq
A good suit is a modern man’s Swiss army knife. It’s a versatile piece of clothing that can be dressed down for casual occasions and dressed up for more ritzy appointments. A good suit is especially important for us university students, who have interviews, presentations and meetings filling up our calendars as our semester goes by, requiring us to look as sharp as possible to land that grad position you’ve been stressing over for weeks.
FABSOC, we will help guide you to make the best decision possible of where to
get one of the most important and versatile pieces of clothing a man can own.
However before you can start browsing for the perfect suit, you need decide which of the three tiers of suiting you’ll be interested in:
Of these three categories, this guide will be focusing on the first, most common and affordable tier; Off-the-Rack.
This is the suit the average university student is most familiar with. An Off-the-Rack suit is exactly how it sounds, an unstructured ready-made suit designed to accommodate as many sizes and figures as possible. In fact your parents probably helped you pick this out for High School formals and family weddings when you were younger, and that’s okay. For many people, especially university students who sometimes end up living with double digits in their bank accounts by the end of each month, an Off-the-Rack suit is all you need to look both classy and professional, as long as you shop smart.
One of the big benefits of Off-the-Rack suits is their price range, which can start from as low as $100. Furthermore, due to the fact that they are ready-made, you can shop around easily for a great range of styles and designs that can leave you looking sharp without breaking the bank. Finally, grabbing an Off-the-Rack suit and getting it altered at a tailor can provide you with the premium and expensive look of a made-to-measure suit while saving you hundreds of dollars.
If this sounds like the best type of suit for you, here are my personal recommendations for stores to purchase the best off-the-rack suits in Sydney.
These recommendations are on the pricier side for good ready-made suiting, however they are my primary recommendations for anyone who can afford to spend a little more for some of the best quality suits on the market.
MJ Bale is a fantastic store that boasts shopfronts all over Sydney. They’re use of Australian merino wool in their half-canvassed blue label range is fantastic for the seething Australian climate and their adoption of the slimmer and more modern form-fitting cuts of Italy creates a premium looking piece of clothing in both material and design.
Price range: From $500
With Suit Supply having recently opened up a brick-and-mortar store in Martin Place, you’re completely covered on a great range of trendy and fashion forward cuts that don’t sacrifice the feel or construction of a quality suit. They cater to an extremely large range of styles at some of the most affordable prices that can be found in Sydney for quality craftsmanship and are a trustworthy choice for a great looking and feeling suit.
Price Range: From $450
These recommendations are aimed towards the sensible spender. If your interests don’t lie in being as fashionable as possible, and you simple prefer function over form to get the job done at the best price, then the following stores are the best fit for you.
With suits that start at $350 retail and can drop down to as little $200 during sales, T.M. Lewin offers some great pieces that compliment style with quality materials. While there are more luxurious brands at certain price points, this store offers a great range of styles, such as traditional single-breasted blazers, to the more sartorial double breasted coat, that creates an effortless premium look that can make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Price Range: From $350
The most important thing to understand about the lower-tier suit stores in this guide, is that lower-tier does not mean necessarily mean bad. While the craftsmanship and quality of the suits sold at these stores can be found wanting, lower-tier suits, and the fast-fashion stores that sell them, have a fantastic advantage in the general market. These stores can offer a great range of bombastic and unique designs and patterns that more traditional suiting boutiques would balk at, while retaining generally cheap and competitive prices to be accessible to everyone.
Politix, yd., Zara, H&M etc.
A lot of the fast fashion stores that most people are familiar with boast some sort of suit collection as part of their label. Stores like Zara and Politix have a great range of trendy and stylish suits at sometimes insanely low prices when on sale. These stores are a great option for the person whose priority is buying a good looking suit at the cheapest price possible. While the quality on some of these pieces may be inferior to or overpriced in comparison to other brands, they are an affordable and reliable option for anyone in the market for a suit.
Price Range: From $150
Now, after going through this guide and selecting the store you vibe with the most, you may think that that’s all there is to it.
However there is a crucial step that I recommend all students who are purchasing an off-the-rack suit take, and that is getting your suit altered.
The reality is, that as nice as a suit can be on the shelf, unless you have been blessed with the perfect body type, your chosen suit will not fit you perfectly. The sleeves might be a little too long, the chest might need to be drawn in, the shoulders will be just the tiniest bit too large, and finally, the pants might be ballooning at your feet like it’s the 80s. These slight imperfections can all add up to making the perfect suit look just okay by most standards.
The solution to this problem, are alterations and tailors. There are many tailors in Sydney that offer alterations for reasonable prices, and this can be just the step you need to transform the figure of your suit into a sharp and cutting piece of premium clothing, with as little expense as possible.