There are a select few items that just about every man should possess, like a go-to tee, a rugged pair of boots, and a dependable watch. And one of the absolute must-haves for men, whether you like it or not, is a well-fitting suit. Even if you’ll never have to wear a suit to work a day in your life — and these days, you almost certainly do not — there are still plenty of occasions that call for a more dressed-up look. From weddings and funerals to job interviews, special events, and certain parties, you will never regret having a great suit in your closet when you need one. And although it’s true that suits can get mighty expensive, it’s also true that you can find an excellent suit for under $1,000.
We’ve gone through the collections of some of our favorite brands to come up with a list of the 12 best men’s suits under $1,000, and all of them will have you looking like a million bucks while spending a thousand times less than that. Whether you’re in the market for a solid starter suit, an affordable addition to a robust rotation, or you’re in a pinch and need to find a suit quickly for an upcoming event, any one of our dozen picks will perfectly suit your needs, no pun intended. So read on to learn the basics of men’s suiting and then discover our picks for the 12 best men’s suits to buy under $1,000.
Know Your Terminology
Lapels, & Breasts, & Vents, Oh My
If you’re shopping for a suit and you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, have no fear, we’ve got you covered. There are a lot of terms that get tossed around frequently in the suiting industry that don’t really get used elsewhere, so we’ve defined some of the most common of them for you below.
Lapels: The lapels on a suit jacket basically constitute an enlarged, fancy collar. They are the two folded flaps that frame the front of the jacket, growing seamlessly from the collar to meet at the front buttons. There are three main types of lapels you’ll find on men’s suits. The most common and least fussy is the notch lapel, which is noted for the triangle-shaped notch found on the outside of each lapel at about shoulder height. Then there’s the peak lapel, a more flamboyant style in which the bottom portion of the lapel extends past the top portion at an angle, creating a wider and more dramatic edge than what you’ll find on a notch lapel. Finally, there’s the shawl lapel, which has a notch-free rounded edge and is best suited to formal wear like tuxedos.
Single/Double-Breasted: Perhaps the biggest decision you’ll have to make regarding the overall appearance of your suit is whether you want it to be single-breasted or double-breasted. A single-breasted suit is basically the notch lapel of jacket styles in that it is versatile, common, and won’t stand out much. It has a vertical row of buttons on one side, usually two but sometimes three, and holes to fasten them on the other, creating a symmetrical look when buttoned. However, regardless of how many buttons your single-breasted suit has, you should never fasten the bottom button — just trust us on that. Then there’s the double-breasted suit. A more formal look that is often paired with peak lapels, double-breasted suits typically feature six buttons on the front, but only two of them can actually be fastened, and they are fastened off-center, usually to the right side of the jacket. This creates a less relaxed, more buttoned-up look that some prefer.
Vent: The vents are the slits in the back of your jacket that affect how your jacket moves and fits around your bottom. A single-vented jacket will have one slit down the center of the seat, while a double-vented jacket will have two slits that create a sort of horizontal flap in the back of your jacket. Single vents are considered more casual, and double vents are the more formal and traditional of the two. Both are perfectly acceptable for all occasions that require a suit, though single vents are a bit more forgiving on men who never miss leg day.
Canvas: A suit’s canvas refers to the material that sits between the outer shell of a suit jacket and the lining, and it’s what gives suit jackets their rigid structure and allows them to drape properly, and, in time, mold to your body. Traditionally, canvas is made from horsehair fabric, and jackets will utilize either full-canvas — where the entire front body of the jacket has a canvas, or half-canvas — where only the chest is canvassed — construction. But canvassing can be expensive, so many more affordable jackets eschew the option altogether and instead feature a fused construction. Fused jackets use a glued interlining between the jacket’s shell and lining to try and replicate the structure that comes from canvassing, but over time the glue can wear off and lose its effect, giving fused jackets a shorter closet life.
Know Your Materials
Pull The Wool Over Your Eyes
For the most part, when you’re talking quality suiting, you’re talking about wool. Wool is the fabric when it comes to men’s suiting, for a number of reasons. It’s soft, it regulates temperature, it’s extremely durable, and it drapes well to give your suit a flattering fit. The downside of wool is that it can be expensive, which is why many cheaper suits are made from man-made polyester instead. But you shouldn’t write off all polyester, either. While polyester suits have a mostly-deserved poor reputation, there are now suits made from modern technical polyester fabrics that make excellent wool alternatives thanks to their performance features.
Know Your Fit
Good Tailoring Is Key
You can have a suit from the world’s top designer that’s made from the most luxurious fabric imaginable, but if it doesn’t fit you well it will look worse than a dollar store leisure suit that’s been perfectly tailored to you. Fit is the number one factor that will determine how a suit will look on you, and it’s important to get it right. Most options under $1,000 are going to be off the rack (OTR), meaning they’re cut to fit a general suit size that will fit you approximately. There are also a few options that utilize a made to measure (MTM) approach, where you give more specific measurements and the suit is cut to fit you better than one would off the rack. But regardless of whether you go OTR or MTM, you’ll definitely want to visit a tailor for alterations so you can get that perfect fit.
Indochino Hemsworth Prince Of Wales Light Gray Suit
Indochino was a trailblazer in the online MTM space, and they’re still one of the best places to go for a high-quality, well-fitting suit. This light gray 100% wool suit comes in a classic Prince of Wales check pattern, also known as Glen Plaid, which is considered a men’s style staple. Like with most Indochino suits, nearly everything is customizable, from the lapels and vents to the canvassing, buttons, lining, and more.
Hawes & Curtis Men’s Navy Chalk Stripe Double Breasted Slim Fit Suit
Some men want a suit that allows them to blend into their surroundings, while others prefer something bold that puts them front and center. This is most certainly the latter. With a double-breasted jacket, peak lapels, double vents, pinstripes, and slanted pockets, there is nothing subtle about this navy suit. The quality is certainly there, though, with features like genuine corozo nut buttons and working button cuffs showing nice attention to detail.
Brooks Brothers BrooksGate Windowpane Wool Twill Suit
Brooks Brothers offers this single-breasted suit in a classy navy windowpane pattern in both their regular Regent fit and their extra-slim Milano fit, giving you more options for an off-the-rack suit. It’s made from 100% Super 100s wool twill from one of Italy’s finest mills, Vitale Barberis Canonico, and features a bunch of luxury details, including pick-stitching on the lapels, convertible flap/welt pockets, and slick silver piping on the lining.
Todd Snyder Sutton Stretch Tropical Wool Suit
Todd Snyder has shown an uncanny ability to turn just about any item of men’s clothing into something that every man wants, and that includes suits. The NYC designer’s Sutton is his signature cut that manages to be both contemporary and timeless, and it’s expressed here in classic charcoal in a stretchy and breathable lightweight tropical wool from renowned Italian mill Tollegno that’s perfect for warmer weather.
J. Crew Ludlow Slim-fit Suit in Italian Stretch Four-Season Wool
You can never go wrong with J. Crew. The iconic American brand has been the arbiter of men’s style for decades thanks to their classic style that is always evolving to fit with the times. Their Ludlow landed like a bomb when it launched in 2008, as the slim (but not too slim) cut, high quality, and affordable suit seemed to look great on everyone. And it still does over a decade later, especially this version with its added stretch and Tollegno all-season wool construction.
Ministry Of Supply Velocity Suit
If the idea of wearing a stiff wool suit makes you claustrophobic, then allow us to introduce you to the Velocity Suit from Ministry of Supply. The company known for its scientific approach to clothing has essentially reinvented the suit here, with a material that doesn’t wrinkle, looks like wool, and feels like pajamas. The Velocity suit is soft and stretchy enough to lounge around in, and it’s even machine washable, making it the easiest suit to care for that you will ever own.
Suitsupply Mid Grey Houndstooth Washington Suit
Look, you don’t call your company “Suitsupply” unless you’re good at making suits, and Suitsupply is one of the best at what they do. The brand is known for their wide and stylish selection, their great quality, and their affordable prices, and this pick certainly checks all of those boxes. Mixing traditional with modern, this three-piece suit combines its waistcoat and mid-gray houndstooth pattern with wide peak lapels and an extra-slim cut to make one fashionable outfit.
Bonobos Italian Performance Suit
Having trouble deciding between a traditional wool suit and a more modern option made from technical fabrics? Well, thanks to Bonobos, you don’t have to choose. The brand’s Italian performance suit combines the best of both worlds, as it’s woven from a special wool from Italy’s Marzotto mill that contains three percent elastane for four-way stretch and has been treated to resist wrinkles, stains, and liquids. Problem solved.
Hugo Boss Novan6/ Ben2 Slim-Fit Virgin Wool Suit
As the top online destination for luxury menswear, Mr Porter is known for their high-end offerings. But high-end doesn’t always mean high cost, as proven by this beautiful navy suit from Hugo Boss. A legitimate designer piece, this single-breasted suit is luxuriously crafted from 100% smooth virgin wool. It’s a classic look with a slim fit in the most essential color, making it an extremely versatile choice for any guy who’s looking to own just one suit.
Mason & Sons Mid Grey Sharkskin Conduit Cut 2 Piece Suit
Whether we like to admit it or not, every guy has thought he was James Bond at least once while wearing a suit. And you can do so more accurately than ever with this suit from British outfit Mason & Sons. The brand resurrected mid-century tailor Anthony Sinclair’s Conduit Cut that was used for Sean Connery’s suits in the actor’s Bond films, meaning you can get the original 007’s 1960s style in the 2020s. The 100% Italian wool construction doesn’t hurt either.
Paul Smith Soho Wool & Mohair Extra Slim Fit Suit
Mohair is the king of suiting fabrics, noted for its luxurious sheen and outstanding durability. As such, it’s almost never found in suits below $1,000, but designer Paul Smith has managed to craft one here just under the wire. Constructed in an ideal 84% wool/16% mohair blend (higher concentrations of mohair tend to be too coarse), this bright blue suit is a seriously opulent option that’s sure to turn heads — especially when you tell people how little it costs.
Sid Mashburn Kincaid No. 2 Ticket Pocket Suit
Another option that nearly busts our budget but is totally worth it is the Kincaid No. 2 from Sid Mashburn. The Atlanta-based designer calls this his ultimate starter suit, and it’s tough to argue with that declaration. It’s made from 100% Italian wool and is fully canvassed, while front darts and a ticket pocket add just a touch of flair. The jacket features genuine horn buttons and real Bemberg lining, and the trousers even boast a rare (and much appreciated) split-back waist for ease of movement. You can’t ask for much more in a suit under $1,000 — or at any price, for that matter.
The 15 Best Men’s Suits For Summer
The suits in the above guide are great all-around options most of the time, but when it’s blistering hot outside, one of the last things you want to be wearing is a heavy and constraining suit made from four-season wool. Thankfully, there are a number of summer suiting options out there made from fabrics like linen, cotton, and tropical weight wool that will have you both looking and staying cool. And we’ve gathered up a great selection of them in our guide to the best men’s summer suits.