Here is a question I was asked recently on an online menswear forum. Jos. A Bank is a well-known chain of men’s clothing stores that also sells online. Because they often deeply discount their suits, some wonder if they offer a good value. Here’s my opinion:
Often, you get better value by buying brands like Jos. A Bank when compared to trendier designer brands.
Jos. A. Bank suits offer good value and are comparable in quality to other major suit brands at a similar retail price point. In fact, you will find that most suits that retail in the $1500 range are not constructed any differently than a top-of-the-line $800 Jos. A Bank ‘Signature Gold’ suit. Typically, they use half-canvas construction (check this page for a definition of half-canvas) and premium wool fabrics. When compared to more expensive designer labels such as Hugo Boss and Z Zegna that offer suits in the $1000 – $1500 range, you will find that the quality is comparable to what Jos. A Bank offers for around $800.
What you are paying for with brands like Hugo Boss and Z Zegna is a designer label and a more fashion-oriented cut (most of all you’re paying for that designer name). Typically, Jos. A Bank sells their Signature Gold suits in a “Buy One, Get One Free” promotion. Buy during the promotions for the best value.
Choose the Jos. A Bank Collection That Fits Your Budget
The lower priced ‘Executive’ and ‘Signature’ collection suits offered by Jos. A Bank uses less-costly fused construction like all other suit brands in the $300-$500 price range. The ‘Signature’ collection does offer premium fabrics, but not the superior half-canvas construction of the Jos. A. Bank ‘Signature Gold’ collection. The best values are had when you purchase during one of the frequent “Buy One, Get One Free” promotions held by Jos. A. Bank stores and website during the year. Take your suits to a good tailor for expert alterations with a bit of the money saved for the best fit and look.
Should You Buy A Jos. A. Bank Suit?
Often you get better value by buying brands like Jos. A Bank when compared to trendier designer brands, especially when they are on sale. Just keep in mind that the cut of the suit may be less-trendy with a brand like Jos. A Bank that caters to businessmen rather than the fashion-minded. Truthfully, since suits remain in your wardrobe longer than most items of clothing, you don’t want to buy faddish styles that rapidly lose their appeal.
Take advantage of the Jos. A Bank “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” promotions to cut the price of a new suit in half. For example, their ‘Signature Gold’ collection becomes an excellent deal in such a promotion as you are getting new premium half-canvassed (also known as canvas chest piece) construction suits for about $400 each when you buy two. That is a very good price for the quality offered!
Personally, I buy most of my suits used on eBay or at thrift shops. I consider the Jos. A. Bank Signature Gold collection suits worth seeking out. They are well constructed and offer beautiful fabrics and a premium look. I have a smart Jos. A. Bank Signature Gold tailored fit worsted-wool side-vented suit that will be featured in an upcoming post.
If you are looking for a suit for a special occasion or event and have a tight budget, you cannot go wrong with the lower-priced Jos. A. Bank collections, especially when they are deeply discounted. Their classic seersucker and cotton suits are among my favorites. They offer good quality and stylish looks at a very good price.
A good fit will make the average suit look extraordinary so paying a bit extra for alterations is a worthy investment with any suit purchase. Be aware that if you are athletically trim or slimmer than average you will most likely need some alterations to make your suit look its best. They are cut a bit fuller than European suits in general.
Determine the level of quality that best fits your budget and wait for one of the excellent promotions Jos. A. Bank is well known for. You can find a good deal!