The Perfect Suit – how to get the best bang for your buck

Buying a suit is a complex affair, and being surrounded by over-eager salesmen can confuse things further.. The important thing is to have a budget and a clear idea of what it is you are looking for. Here’s our guide to local stores selling quality suits, and some fashion tips from men in the know.

Shopping advice

Know what you want
Be clear on what you are buying the suit for – work, a wedding, a function etc. This will help narrow down your options .

Study the anatomy of a suit
Do your research before going shopping – and be clear on the details. Look out for:
• The number of buttons (1, 2 or 3)
• The vents on the suit jacket (centre or side vent)
• The lapel (a standard notch lapel or the more traditional peak lapel)

Get the fit right
Make sure you understand how a suit should fit your body. Azeez Jacobs, fashion and grooming editor for Men’s Health Magazine, advises, “When you try the jacket on, make sure the shoulder fits comfortably on your natural shoulder. The jacket waistline should be streamlined, but not too tight. The length of the jacket sleeves should end where the thumbs meets, no longer or shorter. Try on a few pairs of trousers until you get the waist and length right. Don’t be afraid to ask the store assistant for help – you are paying for the suit.”

To ensure you get the fit right, wear the correct shoes and shirt in the store or at the tailor when you are trying the suit on.

Visit a tailor
If the suit does not fit perfectly, get a tailor to improve it. “Not everyone has a perfect body, but a cheap suit can look like a million bucks if it has been tailored to fit you perfectly,” advises men’s style expert, Neil Doveton.

What the experts recommend

“Bespoke tailoring is the way to go,” says Azeez. “Men will get the fit, cut and style right to suit their body types. I wouldn’t recommend a budget-beater suit as it will fall apart. Rather invest in a well-fitted suit from a mid-range cost, such as Zara or House of Monatic. Their suits are on trend, with a streamline fit.”

For the more high-end options, Azeez recommends Hackett London, Tiger of Sweden and Fabiani. “The cuts are flawless and the fabrics are great,” he says.

If you’re looking to purchase an entry level suit, Doveton recommends Markham. He suggests Zara for a mid-range suit and Fabiani for an investment piece, advising specifically on a wool blend fabric.
Here’ what you can expect to pay:

Tailored suits

Maverik Style Wear (Highly rated)
Tel: +27 11 440 0915
85th 6th Avenue, Highlands North

Wool and cashmere blend tailored suit from R5000 to R7000.
Special: Purchase two suits and get 10% off.

Burger Brothers
Tel: +27 11 782 1055
189 Beyers Naude, Northcliff

Wool Tailored Suit for R2300 – great price!

Cape Town
Tidy Tucs Tailor
Tel: +27 21 6714300
Tidy Tucs – all suits made from natural fibres (wool or cotton).
New tailored suit for R3000
R200 – R300 to alter current suit

Peter Reso Design
Tel: +27 82 512 5157

New tailored suit for R5000
R300 to R500 to alter a current suit, depending on extent of work
35 years of tailoring experience is well worth mentioning!

Department Stores

Suit jackets range between R750 – R1200, depending on the material (cotton or wool).
Trousers range between R350 and R499.

Suit jackets range between R999 (Polywool) to R1,999 (Wool).
Suit trousers range between R399 and R799.
Moneybags tip – buy a cost-effective, wool suit from Woolworths and get it tailored to the perfect fit.

Suit jacket from around R699 (Polywool)
Suit trousers from around R299 (Polywool)

Budget beater
Mr Price
Waistcoats from R129.99
Formal jackets from R299
Formal trousers from R119
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*All prices and information correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.


For more tips on how to look good for less, click here.