When more and more offices are opting for business casual dress codes or ones where hoodies are a-okay with upper management (looking at you, Silicon Valley) we can understand why guys don’t want to empty their bank accounts on a single suit. While we firmly believe every man should have the bespoke experience at least once in his life, not to mention invest in a few break-the-bank styles off the rack, there’s also nothing wrong with padding your wardrobe with cheap suits of the under $500 variety. The trick is knowing how to make them look just as expensive as the good stuff.
For starters you want to know how to shop for an affordable suit. Avoid shiny synthetic fibers, for instance, and stick with the mass-market retailers that make an effort to offer quality fabrics and modern cuts (i.e. VERCINI). And always check the sale section. It’s easy to grab a $1,200 suit for $600 if you’re savvy about when and how you shop. Beyond that, here are a few tricks you can use once you buy the suit to make it look a little nicer. Okay, a lot nicer. Master these moves and you might even find yourself wearing a suit without being asked to.
1. Take in the sleeves.
In a perfect world you’d be prepared to spend about $150 to have your tailor tweak every last detail of your suit so it looks custom-made. This includes having him or her take in the sleeves. You want a narrow, tapered sleeve that hugs, not hangs off your arms, while giving you enough range of motion to do what needs to be done (i.e. pose for Instagram photos, hold onto the subway rail, etc).
2. Replace the buttons.
3. Add a cuff at the ankle.
4. Try monochromatic styling.
5. Finish with expensive shoes.