We know how it is. You're young, maybe fresh out of college or biz school, have zero cash--yet--and you're expected to roll into work looking worthy of a 6-figure bonus. First, you need at least one dark suit that runs you north of five hundo, for interviews, client meetings, boss lunches, etc. Try Brooks Brothers. Crisp. Solid. A bargain. Next, swallow your snobby pride and hit the discount shops, like Syms and Men's Warehouse. To make sure no one ever knows you paid $180 for your workweek suits, find a tailor and peep this:
1. Better than you think
These days, technology and synthetic fabric make it pretty damn hard for anyone to notice your garb came from the bargain bin. The only downside to downmarket: It will fall apart faster, but who cares, you¹ll be bankin' by then.
2. Join the dark side
The lighter the fabric, the more the shoddiness will shine through.
3. Size matters
Go a size shorter in the jacket. This applies to every guy, no matter his tax-bracket. Your jacket doesn't have to be hipster tight, but it should hug your body. The top front button on a two-button suit should close and be snug, but not uncomfortable. Bonus: Ratcheting down your fit will make you look thinner, taller.
4. Drop your shoulder
Many jacket shoulders are stuffed with thick-ass padding that makes you look like you're going to a zoot suit riot. This padding is a costly bitch for tailors to nix. Pick a jacket that has ultra-thin stuffing or none at all.
5. Stand up to your tailor
Most tailors are stuck in the 80s and 90s and will tell you need more room in your jacket, you need a bigger break in your pants, etc.--in short, that your suit should look just your dad's. Noooo! Don't back down. Be firm and tell him this: (A) You want your suit taken in so it hugs the middle. (B) You want your wide-legged pants narrowed so they are just a bit wider than jeans. (C) You want no (or very little) break.