Your Complete Guide to Affordable Suits

by Jamie
The Best Men's Clothing Sales to Shop This Labor Day Weekend 2018

Shopping for a suit on a budget? You don’t have to be made of money to look suave. Check our definitive guide on how to wear a stylish suit for less. Whether it’s the fit, colour or fabric, it’s the small details that make your suit stand out. If you don’t know where to start then here’s our complete guide to budget suits so you can be looking fresh, regardless of the price.

How to Wear Your Affordable Suit

Black Suit & White Shirt Combination

To kick off any guide of best cheap suits, we always have to begin with the classic. Timeless and versatile between formal events, the black suit is an essential for your wardrobe. Widely available in slim, skinny and regular fits, you’re are not restricted to finding your perfect suit.

Like many (essential) black clothes, this suit is easy to mix and match with any shirts and accessories of choice. Forget the stress of finding the suitable colour as whites, light pinks and blues will always have you looking effortlessly stylish.

Black Tuxedo & White Shirt Combination

Alternatively, if your standard black suit isn’t smart enough, then consider investing into a classic tuxedo (without breaking the bank). A tuxedo is guaranteed to do the job for when you need to dress prim and proper. An easy throw-on with a white shirt, this suit is sure to spruce up your formal wardrobe.

Pinstripe Navy Blue Suit & White Shirt Combination

If you want to add a pop of colour to your look or add that extra bit of suave, then opt for a navy pinstripe suit. Pair with a white shirt and a simple tie of choice, finish the look off with some dark brown shoes, preferably derbies or brogues. The shoes will add a smartened down effect but still keep you looking clean-cut and defined.

Blue Pinstripe Blazer & White Shirt Combination

Still looking for a bit of individuality to your formal wardrobe, then don’t be afraid to go the extra mile on your print! It makes a change from the standard navy or black suit, and is sure to add a little personality to your look.

Our Editors choice is the white and navy pinstripe suit jacket teamed with deep navy chinos. While you might be tempted to finish the look with a simple smart black shoe, compliment the navy by opting for a tan pair of loafers. Lastly keep the look simple and don’t be too quick to reach for a tie. A simple pocket square is sure to do the trick of adding that extra detail needed to your suit.

Fabric

Wool Suit & T-Shirt

In terms of fabric, it’s essential to know that you get what you pay for. Splashing out, you can afford fabrics such as seersucker. But when choosing the best affordable suits, stick with natural fabrics like wool. Fabrics such as polyester are always cheaper. However, in terms of quality, wool moves better and is much more breathable than plasticized poly fabric.

When opting for the fabric, mix and match and play around with your textures. Always remember, when personalising your suit, don’t feel you have to focus on the accessories and prints.

Tweed Blazer & White Shirt Combination

If a full wool suit isn’t for you, or you much rather wear the fabric in small doses, then don’t be put off opting for tweed. Common when dressing for the smart-casual occasions, opting for a tweed blazer provides free choice of trousers. For us, at Outsons HQ we prefer to keep our look defined and match our tweed blazers with a straight leg chino.

When it comes to colour, always make sure you keep your tone consistent. By that, we say don’t go for a bright blazer and dark trousers. Instead, go for a muted grey blazer and a light beige trouser, or if you feel the need of colour opt for other neutral colours.

Colours

When it comes to choosing the colour of your best cheap suit, stick to the main four colours. These four colours are the best options as they can be used at any formal event and work, suit everybody, can be combined into any wardrobe, and finally due to their neutral colour can be teamed with any shirt and tie with ease, so you have less style stress to deal with. Our Editors key colours are:

  • Black
  • Navy
  • Dark Grey
  • Light Grey
  • Tan

Beige Suit & White Shirt Combination

A classic for the summer, a beige suit can surprisingly get you a long way. Whether you have a garden party to attend or evening drinks during mid-June, then the beige suit is your easy route a preppy look. Ideally, we recommend opting for a white classic shirt due to how much attention beige can bring. Any other colour can create unwanted clashes, especially with pastel shades such as pink and blue.

Navy Suit & Roll Neck Combination

When adding a bit of personality to your look, opt for the jumper roll neck. Clean-cut and heavily inspired by the Nordic style, a roll neck can add that little sophistication you need for any full suit.

Affordable Shirts

When it comes to shirts, there are so many options, especially when it comes down to colour, fabric and collar choice. When investing in a shirt, you want something that is versatile yet affordable. If so then always stick to these three main colours (pink, blue & white) in order to make the most of your classic suits.

All three colours are deemed formal and can be worn to both work and formal events, they match the most suit and tie colourways, so you don’t need to worry about your combinations. In addition, they’re the most basic colours, meaning again you’ll make the most out of them dressing down.

Accessories

When styling your budget suit, a great way to make it look more expensive is with accessories. Paired with the right colour tie or bow tie, you can take your look to extra formal in no time at all. If a tie isn’t for you, the best accessory you can go for is a watch. Opt for a leather strap to keep the look formal and clean. If you want to add more swag or an alternative vibe, go for a silver or gold chain strap watch in order to dress up your look and make it look more expensive.

If it’s a summer event you’re heading to, why not pop on some sunnys? It’ll add a rock n’ roll vibe to your look and make you look made up and you’ve put in the added extra effort.

Shoes

When it comes to shoes and budget suit combos, you want to go as slick as possible. Wearing scruffy battered shoes will make your whole suit look cheap, regardless of how much you paid for it. In which case, you should always opt for formal shoes, such as brogues and loafers. They finish the look off nicely. Make sure you also go for dark browns and black, as these are smart formal colours and will go with most suit colours and can be adapted into your other outfits.

Always opt  for brogues for formal events that need an extra bit of formality, such as weddings and dinner parties. However, if that’s a bit too warm for you during the summer months, then opt for smart loafers. You can ditch the hefty socks leaving you cooler and also roll up the bottom of your suit trousers for a street vibe and to show off your shoes.

Best Place to Buy a Suit

There are several places to buy a suit, from high street stores to a bespoke tailor on Savile Row. The best thing to do is try it on, to make sure the fit is perfect and it’s the style you want. When on the hunt for the best “on a bugdet” suits, always remember an affordable suit doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. You can also find reviews online if that’s where you’re purchasing from. For example, Bonobos Foundation suit review offers personal experiences of their products. All in all, finding the very best of cheap tailored suits for men shouldn’t be a challenge. 

Best Suit Brands

  • Hugo Boss
  • Selected
  • Vito

Cheap Slim Fit Suits

  • Hugo Boss
  • Selected
  • Vito

Details

Short Suit Vs Trouser Suit

Many have steered clear of the short suit, but that’s a bad decision. Fantastic for warmer months, the short suit will keep you cool while still making you look stylish and formal. We understand the short suit can seem out of the comfort zone. However, that doesn’t mean you should rule it out completely.

For more of a sports-luxe look, opt for navy or black short suit. For accessories opt for a pair of sports-inspired socks and minimal trainers. For this, we recommend the contemporary brand Garment Projects who deliver the perfect balance of casual and defined.

Double Breasted vs Single Breasted

  • Double Breasted – Two rows of buttons.
  • Single Breasted – Just one row of buttons.

When buying an affordable suit, the best option is to g for single breasted. This is because you’re able to wear the suit as separates, such as your jacket with jeans or your trousers with an oxford shirt. It also gives you the option of ditching the waistcoat, as a three piece suit better suits a double breasted jacket. Or you could scrap the jacket and just opt for the waistcoat, but this won’t get you nearly as much wear! However, the choice is entirely yours.

Lapels

  • Notch – This is characterised by the ‘notch’ or ‘cut out’ part of the lapel where the top and the bottom of the collar meet.
  • Peak – The collar peaks towards the wearer. The bottom of the collar, where the break starts, is where this peak starts and will point upwards.
  • Shawl – This has no breaks or ‘notch’, and just consists of a continuous curve, keeping the jacket clean.

Fit

This is THE most important factor when purchasing any suit, particularly inexpensive suits. If it doesn’t fit correctly, the suit can look cheap and like a hand me down, which is the opposite of what you want. A man in a perfect fit suit can look a million pounds and incredibly suave. The best way to achieve this look is to buy your suit and have it altered, but remember to buy as close to your fit as possible.

Jacket

  • Shoulder – The shoulder seam should meet at the corner of the shoulder, but with enough room for a shirt, jumper or cardigan to be worn underneath. The shoulder should be smooth, and shouldn’t have an indent (divot) below the seam when standing with your arms at the sides.
  • Sleeve – A jacket sleeve should show half an inch of your shirt cuff. It shouldn’t be so tight that it pulls at your shirt or restricts motion, or so much room that your arm moves around loosely in the sleeve.
  • Collar – It should lie close to your shirt collar. Any space between your shirt collar and the jacket collar is known as “collar gap”. The jacket collar should go about halfway up your shirt collar – showing some, but not all, of your shirt collar.
  • Front – Your lapels should lay against your chest, but they shouldn’t be tight. Some poorly fitting jackets will show space between the wearer’s chest and the front of the jacket when buttoned. The jacket shouldn’t be so tight that there is clear pulling at the button when fastened (signified by the fabric forming an X shape).
  • Sides – The sides of the suit shouldn’t go straight down. There should be a bit of taper that slims to your waist, and bells out towards your hips.
  • Back – The body of the jacket should be loose enough that you can still carry out simple tasks, such as tying your shoes.
  • Length – The jacket should completely cover your butt, and no more. The jacket should end somewhere between your thumb’s knuckle and your thumb’s base.

Trousers

  • Top – The top of the trousers should sit at the top of your hip bones, directly below your navel. Dress trousers will fit more conservatively than other pants.
  • Waist – The trousers should be slim enough at the waist that they don’t require a belt to hold them up but they should not cut into your waist either.
  • The Break – This is where the crease line of your trouser meets your shoes. Too much break can look informal. The medium break tends to be the safest bet- this is where the trousers sit just on the top of your shoe- often with only one fold of fabric. A modern approach is to have a little break- exposing the ankle.

Waistcoat

  • Body – The waistcoat is meant to sit very close to the body. A well-tailored waistcoat “skims” the torso without feeling tight or showing any fabric pulling. There’s normally an adjustable “cinch” at the back of the stomach to loosen it if you need to.
  • Length – It should fully cover the entire waistband of the trouser, and not let any shirt fabric show in between.
  • Neckhole – It should hug nicely around the back of the shirt collar, without riding up or gaping.

Style

  • Classic Fit – This cut has a clean body shape, but is cut big enough through the chest and waist, which results in less construction for the wearer. It is perfect for those who are not used to wearing suits very often or the bigger guy as it allows for more room, as it won’t enhance your lump and bumps.
  • Modern Fit – It’s neither a classic fit or a slim fit: it falls between the two. They’re not as spacious as the classic fit, or as sharply tailored as the slim fit. These suits are perfect for men who want to look sharp, but are not sure they can pull off a slim fit suit.
  • Slim Fit – This suit cut is fitted closer to the body and doesn’t have any excess fabric. Remember that if you can’t lift your arms in a suit, it is probably too small for you. Even suits with extreme slim fittings need to be comfortable and allow you to move freely.
  • Skinny Fit – New to the suit cut range, the skinny fit suit is incredibly fitted to your body, allowing you to show off your silhouette. This is a great option for those who want to show off their physique or are too slim for the other suit cuts.

Your Complete Guide to Affordable Shirts

  • Best places to buy a suit doesn’t have to be expensive and branded.
  • Always try before you buy.
  • Know your measurements – this can help you get the best out of the fits.
  • Don’t be afraid to opt for a little colour, just be careful with your shirt choice.
  • No matter the occasion, a white shirt will always be a smart and safe option.
  • Keep your patterns and prints consistent.

On That Note

Opting for an affordable suit is something you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Bought, looked after and styled correctly, it can look just as good and expensive as a bespoke suit, not solely just a cheap tailored suit. With an added bit of TLC and looked after right, an inexpensive suit can last you a good few years.

Regardless of what you need your nice cheap suits for, or whether you’re after a short or trouser suit, patterned or neutral, remember the details, like collars and cuts, in order to make it your own and suit your style. So look slick regardless of your budget.

Feature image from Pinterest

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