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Looking for some great formal wear? Are you getting ready for an interview? Is it prom season already? There are plenty of reasons why you’d be looking for some formal attire. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a big occasion too; you could just want a nice dress shirt and a tie to feel and dress professionally for a day!
Regardless of your reason, you’re going to need to find an adequate store to purchase your formal clothing. You can’t just go to any retail store either; there are lots of things to consider! Price, fit, and quality are some of the biggest driving points when it comes to deciding between different retailers. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
For now, let’s take a look at these two retail stores that excel with their formal clothing supply: Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse, who are both under Tailored Brands.
Jos. A. Bank
Who is Jos. A. Bank? They are an American retailer store for men’s clothing and accessories who became popular for their off-the-rack and custom-made men’s suits. They were created in 1905 with their headquarters in Fremont, California, and hold over 200 locations, 3 distribution centers, and 6 tailoring centers.
They first started off as a men’s clothing manufacturing company. After World War II, there was a shortage in men’s tailoring companies, so they decided to move towards selling directly to consumers rather than wholesale.
They quickly gained momentum opening several more stores and eventually grew to have franchise expansion publicly traded stock through NASDAQ. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers eventually outsourced their manufacturing division to focus more on their retailing side.
In the end, they end up merging with Men’s Wearhouse due to financial reasons.
You probably have seen this name around. Men’s Wearhouse was founded in 1973 as a retail men’s clothing store with headquarters in Houston, Texas, and became so successful that they kept acquiring several competitors and eventually created Tailored Brands as a publicly traded holding company to handle all the different chains, including Jos A Bank back in 2016.
Their specialty is men’s formal attire that ranges from dress shirts, pants, blazers, and suits to ties, tuxedos, shoes, and some more casual wear like jeans, t-shirts, polos, and other accessories. It’s quite a big variety!
After their consumption of several other labels, Men’s Wearhouse also stocks clothes of different trade names such as Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein. However, most people head to Men’s Wearhouse when they’re looking for a suit or any component of a full formal attire, not so much for casual wear.
Tailored Brands was established in 2016 once Men’s Wearhouse transformed into a holding company. Currently, there are a couple of subsidiaries of Tailored Brands which includes Men’s Wearhouse, Jos A. Bank Clothiers, Moores, and K&G Fashion Superstore and they have over 1200 stores under their control in the United States and over 100 in Canada.
Though they are all under the same fashion of formal wear attire, they have to have their own unique traits to stand out, attract, and maintain their customer base.
For instance, Jos. A. Bank only features their own unique collections by sourcing their textiles internationally and fabricating their suits only for their own retail locations. Most of them can be altered due to the creative design of their dress pants and jackets.
On the other hand, Men’s Wearhouse stocks outsourced brands that offer a variety for customers to choose from and brand names that they may be familiar with such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
Regardless, both of these brands are under the same umbrella and owned by the same company, so there won’t be too much of a difference when it comes down to quality and management.
What To Consider
If you’re looking into Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse, you’re obviously looking for formal attire and these are some of the best stores with great selections! However, there’s always the question of “Which one of these brands are better?”. There’s plenty of reviews online, but here are some key factors that we think you should consider when you determine which store you should shop at.
When you’re shopping for formal clothing, you know you’ll have to dig deeper into your wallet in order to purchase a suit or a great pair of pants, or a nice dress shirt. They’re definitely worth a lot more than your library of casual clothing like a pair of jeans or a t-shirt. That’s okay though since you should be investing a bit more money into these clothes so that they’ll last longer, fit comfortably, and look extremely well.
For both of these stores, it’s best to shop when they have good sales going on. If you don’t, you’ll be paying a substantial amount for clothes that aren’t necessarily the most top quality and long-lasting. Personally, you should definitely wait because if you purchase their clothing at their regular prices, you’ll be spending easily over $300 or more for a whole outfit.
Men’s Wearhouse sales are quite decent as well when you can get 3 dress shirts for $59 and there’s plenty of clearance sales such as up to 80% off. In addition to Men’s Wearhouse’s diverse collection that includes casual clothing, you'll be able to fill up your cart with many more items that are on sale!
Jos. A. Bank isn’t a stranger to sales either; they have pretty great deals such as dress shirts for $29 each when you purchase 3 or more and decent prices for their outerwear and suits. They also allow you to lock in on prices when you’re planning to purchase some suits and they’re flexible if you’re planning to switch deals for betting pricing. There’s also room for bargaining too! (Though that might just depend on your skills and the manager at the store)
However, don’t be too surprised if you see their prices to be a bit higher than Men’s Wearhouse since Jos. A. Bank does design some of their clothes specifically to be altered more easily, hence their price tags may be marked a bit higher.
Sizing is especially important when it comes to more formal clothing and when it’s much more expensive than other styles. If the fit isn’t comfortable, then it’d be a waste of your investment! It won’t even matter that the price was cheap because you dedicated time to find reasonably priced formal clothing, but doesn’t fit the way you’d like it to.
When it comes to dress shirts, suits, and pants, you should definitely have the fit as one of your main concerns, if not the most important criteria when shopping. When you want to look professional for your business meetings or formal for weddings, you want to feel comfortable as well, especially if you’re going to be in that suit the whole day with some dancing involved!
Men’s Wearhouse fits do vary quite a bit since they do carry multiple brands in their inventory like Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, and more for your business casual and professional needs. They won’t stray off too much from the general sizing, meaning that they usually have the pleated fronts and generally more baggy. If the fit isn’t as pleasant as you expected, getting them adjusted may cost you a bit more.
Jos. A. Bank shirts, pants, and suits may not fit perfectly off the rack as they’re similar to Men’s Wearhouse in the fact that their general fits are more baggy, but they provide excellent tailoring and alterations for a decent price too. This is great especially for those people who have trouble finding clothing that fits adequately. Humans are all born into the world differently! Not everyone with a 33 inches x 33 inches pant size will fit comfortably in a 40-inch chest size shirt or blazer. Jos. A. Bank will fix up most of their clothing that they sell so they’ll for sure fit great on you.
Sometimes you may need to look for a fit that works well for you. Nimble Made has special sizing standards that provide a more customized slim fit. Along with Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse, there are plenty of other alternatives that may fit your body type better. I found that even though some styles can fit, there are other designs that fit better and can be more comfortable to wear.
The quality of your formal attire is quite important as well. If you’re spending a good amount of money on your clothes, you’d expect them to last longer too right? You wouldn’t want your shirt to easily rip after a few wears or the fabric to start degrading after a few washes. The quality of the clothing also affects the maintenance of it too. Easier to wash and iron are great qualities that have the best user experience.
The quality of Men’s Wearhouse clothing depends on the brands that they carry. Usually, you can expect average quality from Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein. They’re not the most modern or trendy styles, but they give a good classic vibe. A majority of the clothing that they stock is made with a mixture of cotton, polyester, and wool, but the more expensive options are 100% cotton or wool. You’d typically shop at Men’s Wearhouse when you need a suit that’s for a sudden occasion perhaps an interview or a wedding. It wouldn’t necessarily be the suit you’d wear on an everyday occasion for work.
For Jos. A. Bank, you can say their quality is a bit better in the sense that their clothing is able to be altered. They specifically design parts of their sleeves, shirts, pants, etc. where there will be more layers of fabric so it’s easier to make alterations. This definitely increases their quality since it’ll be cheaper for customers and it’ll already feel a bit more tailored even before any alterations occur. Most of their suits and pants are made of 100% wool too so you’ll be very comfortable.
Shopping for formal attire isn’t that simple eh? You should definitely take some time to research and try on different brands since they’re all made differently and with different materials. Some fits may vary depending on the brand too! A Calvin Klein slim for dress shirts might be more of a Jos. A. Bank regular or relaxed.
Don’t be too afraid to invest a little bit more in your suits! They are something that’s worth the money in the long run to last multiple occasions, present yourself in a professional manner, and just look very clean! This also goes into tailoring services. It’s never a bad idea to get clothing to be the right size and comfortable.
If you’re unsure about what kind of fit you prefer or more comfortable in, you should try a slim fit. Slim fit is the best balance between skinny and relaxed fits. Nimble Made is an online store that focuses on slim dress shirts that can be a great alternative to going into stores. With slim-fit shirts, you’ll have room to move around and not feel trapped or stiff plus you won’t look like you bought oversized clothing or it might be hand-me-downs from a relative.
Hopefully, this review has helped you discover what it is you’re looking for when you’re shopping for formal attire. Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank is both great stores to shop at for suits, dress pants, dress shirts, and more.
The main takeaway would just boil down to these few points.
Men’s Wearhouse would be the place to go if you want to take a look at a variety of designs and fits since they house several other brands. They have average quality, but it’s not a bad place when you’re looking for a suit for a specific event or occasion.
Jos. A. Bank is the store you’d want to go to if you’re ready to invest a bit more into your suits. Their ability to do alterations easily will definitely help people find that comfort that they dream about when trying on formal wear. This makes them on the pricey end, but they have good quality too.
At the end of the day, you should go and try on both of their clothing. That is the best way to determine what is best for you. Also, keep in mind, don’t limit yourself to only these two stores. There are also convenient online stores like Nimble Made where you can get quality formal shirts from the comfort of your own home. There’s probably the perfect option out there waiting for you to find it.