Men's Styling Tips

Read This Before Buying A Cheap Suit (Buying A Suit On A Budget)

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Last Updated on March 3, 2023 by Morah Rose

Looking to buy a suit on a budget? 

Well, you don’t have to buy an expensive suit to look good or stylish!

It is absolutely possible to look good in a cheap suit.

However, this may be impossible to achieve if you are not a smart “suit shopper”. 

And this is where this article comes in!

The article is going to give you some of the best tips for finding cheap/affordable suits that will look good and stylish on you.

At the end of this article, you will be a smart shopper who will have a better idea of how to build your wardrobe at an affordable price.

Important things to consider when shopping for a suit on a budget

1. Find out what suit purchasing choice is within your budget

Did you know that you can find a really good suit that’s within your budget if you know what purchasing choices cuts within your budget when buying a suit?

There are generally three suit purchasing choices and any of them could be within your budget.

Therefore, if it is your first time shopping for a suit, this is very important.

You need to know how much you are willing to spend on a suit!

The following are the three suit purchasing options:

  • Buying off-the-rack.
  • Made to measure or custom.
  • Bespoke.

See also: How To Measure A Suit Size (Body & Garment Measurements).

The table below shows the differences between off-the-rack suits, made-to-measure or custom, and Bespoke:

Buying off-the-rack.Made to measure or customBespoke
1.It is the cheapest option when purchasing a suit.It is more expensive compared to off-the-rack suits.This is the least budget-friendly option when purchasing a suit.

It is very expensive because you pay a premium. 
2.The suits are usually massively produced & machine-made.

That’s because they are designed for the mass market.
Made by machine but some parts are hand-made.

They are generally hand made but some programs will use a machine on some parts of the suit.
3.They come in a wide variety of qualities which varies between different brands.

This means that you will mostly have limited choice in terms of the quality of the suit and the fabrics.
You will be getting a higher quality garment compared to the off-the-rack suit.You get the best quality and craftsmanship compared to the off-the-rack and made-to-measure/custom suits. 
4.The sizes of these suits are usually standardized.

Therefore, individual results may vary.

That means, in most cases, you may need to do some alterations because it’s nearly impossible to make a suit that will fit perfectly on everyone.
They fit much better compared to the off-the-rack suits because they are custom fit.They are best-fitting suits compared to made-to-measure/custom-made suits.
5.You get what you see.You don’t get what you see, because the suits will be cut from a pre-existing pattern and you have much more control over it. That’s because programs will give you customization options for the suit.

This means that depending on the program, you can choose the fabric, pocket style, lapel style, lining, and whether you want a cuff or not. Additionally, you can choose how many buttons and vents you want, the color of the buttons, the lining, and so on. 

NOTE: Your choice will vary between different programs.

That’s because some programs only allow a few customization options while some will give you more control.
You have 100% control of every single detail you want in the suit.

That’s because it uses your measurements to create a unique pattern for you and not pre-existing patterns like the made-to-measure/custom-made suits.

NOTE: You have to do some research on the designs, style, and history of the program before you decide to work with them. 

This way, you will get programs that will have a tailor that can make your specific design suit and take into account your personal taste, and nail it. 

That’s because depending on the program, tailors are experts in specific styles and details of a suit. For example, some will not tailor soft shoulders while others will.
6.Shorter lead time compared to other purchasing choices.

You do not have to wait. 
Longer lead time compared to buying an off-the-rack suit.
You will have to wait from the time you place the order to when you finally get the final suit. This can take weeks. 

Additionally, if it ends up not fitting you right, you may need to wait another week or more for alterations to be made.
Very long lead time compared to off-the-rack and made-to-measure/custom suits.

See also:

How A Suit Should Fit (Why You Look Bad In A Suit).

How To Choose A Suit For Your Body Type (Men’s Suit Guide).

Our recommendations

If you are on a very tight budget, the best option for you would be an off-the-rack suit, but make sure you go for the best quality you can afford.

You will be surprised to find an off-rack suit that looks so great on you compared to a made-to-measure suit.

However, if your budget can accommodate a made-to-measure or bespoke I’d recommend you go for it. This is especially if you are finding it hard to get a suit that fits you right or you are interested in a very specific unique style that’s hard to find.

See also:

How To Look Expensive On A Budget (Men Styling Hacks).

How To Dress Like An Italian Man In Summer (How To Dress Sharp).

2. Always go for a properly fitting suit when shopping on a budget

You could buy a cheap suit but end up spending a lot of money at the tailor.

Additionally, what will stand out from the crowd is not the cost of the suit.

75% of the time, what will make you look stylish and confident in a suit is how well it fits you.

Our recommendations

Buy a suit that is under your budget or within your price range and put some extra cash into tailoring.

The extra that you spend on a tailor is to ensure that the suit fits perfectly.

This will make you look stylish and like a million bucks because a good tailor can easily make the suit look expensive.

This way you can be wearing an inexpensive suit and still look expensive.

“ Fit is king when it comes to suits!”

Therefore, it is so much better to put money into a good tailor and do some adjustments to get a perfect fit.

I’d also recommend finding out how much a tailor will charge you for alterations in order to stay within your budget.

A good example of suit alterations includes lengthening, hemming, and taking the waist in and out.

However, it’s worth noting that not all alterations can be made. So, be sure to consult a tailor beforehand.

If the alterations look like they will end up going over your budget, you’re best off making sure the suit fits properly off the rack.

Don’t buy a jacket that does not fit you right at the shoulders.
It will be very costly to have it altered.

See also:

Men’s Swimwear Guide: How To Look Good At The Beach For Guys.

Best Men’s Fragrance That Gets The Most Compliments.

3. Consider the cost per wear before you buy

NOTE: Cost per wear is the cost of the suit in relation to how many times you are going to be wearing it.

This is important because you don’t want to buy a suit just because it is cheap or on sale but end up wearing it only a few times/ regretting it later on.

Our recommendations:

Consider the occasions you will be wearing the suit. That’s because the cut, details, and fabric of the suit will determine how many times you will be wearing it.

This way you will end up not spending money on a suit that you won’t be wearing as often. 

For example, if you are looking to buy a suit for a job interview or to wear at work, you will not go for suits that are meant for parties, weddings, etc.

Additionally, if you are on a tight budget, you can be strategic in your outfit by doing the following:

  • Start with one good suit that is within your price range, and accessorize your outfit to make it look like you have many suits.

You can do this by wearing a suit with shirts of different colors and patterns that complement the overall look.

You can also play around with different ties and pocket squares. This will make you look stylish in one suit while on a budget.

  • Go for suits with gray, blue, and black color pallets

Blue, grey, and black suits are a good place to start when buying your first suit.

I recommend these colors because they always complement your overall outfit perfectly, and tend to blend well with many shirts of different colors and patterns.

This way you can easily wear the suit to other events other than job interviews etc. 

4. Look for pre-owned or vintage garments stores near you or online

I have always found vintage and pre-owned suits to be one of the most affordable options when shopping for suits on a tight budget.

The best places to find these suits online are on Facebook marketplace, eBay, or Poshmark.

I have in the past managed to get fairly cheap vintage suits (under $50) that look great, fit so well, and get so many compliments.

If you are looking for the best places to buy suits when on a tight budget, we have a list of the most recommended stores in this article.

5. It is easier to get a cheaper suit online than in stores

It is possible to find really cheap suits or even new ones that are within your budget online.

However, this does come with its own cons such as:

  • Not being able to feel the fabric.
  • Sometimes they might not fit you as perfectly as you want. Therefore, you may end up ordering multiple sizes to try them on and then deal with returns.
  • The price chart is not usually 100% accurate.
Make sure you read the fine print of their fit guarantee when ordering a suit online.

I hope you found these tips helpful and that they will help you not regret your next suit purchase, especially when you’re on a budget.