What does a Ready to Wear Suit Actually Cost?

For most people, finding a well-fitting garment 'off-the-peg' is challenging. Even if you are one of the lucky few who can fit into ready to wear clothing, finding something in the exact cut, colour and fabric you want is next to impossible. 

Moreover, brands keep changing their sizing, fabrics and styles, making it very difficult to find something that feels familiar. Trousers that fit your waist might hang like tents around your legs, or they sag around the seat. Alternately, the waist fits perfectly but it cuts all circulation around your massive quads and hind quarters - you live in constant fear of the sound of a trouser seam tearing.

Don't let it frustrate you; almost everyone has trouble with fit, style and/or fabric. These issues are resolvable with good advice. Let's call this Reason One to book an appointment with us; good advice.

But that isn't what this article is about. I want to talk about what your clothing is actually costing you. I'm not referring to the retail price listed on the tag, but to the total cost of your time to find and fit each garment. The calculations are pretty simple, I hope you can follow.

For illustrative purposes, let's use a fictional character named Dave. Dave is a [enter your profession] who bills his time out at $[whatever you make] per hour. Use a dollar amount that reflects what your time is worth to you.


Dave needs a new suit. He has allowed 2 hours on Monday morning to shop for his suit and has decided that he'll visit 3 stores. Let's assume that Dave is a "regular-sized" chap who finds a suit that fits (sort of) within the designated 2-hour time frame. The suit needs a few adjustments, but on the whole, it will pass. 

Let's calculate how much Dave's suit will cost him.

  • Suit Retail Price - $990 (basic merino wool suit with 2 pants)
  • Shopping - 2 Billable Hours
  • Alterations - $150
  • Alterations - 2 Billable Hours - (first fitting, second fitting/collection plus travel)
  • Travel Costs and Parking - $50

Assuming all goes well and Dave's suit shopping experience is a smooth one, his suit will cost him $1190 plus 4 billable hours of his time.

Being a [enter your profession], Dave walks to and from places quite a bit. Because of this, his trousers have a tendency to wear out at the crotch (many will be familiar with this problem). The fabric he chose is 30% less durable than what he should be wearing, but the salesperson who sold him the suit didn't correctly advise Dave. Because of this, his suit will now cost him a further $357 (30% of $1190), as it will wear that much faster than a performance fabric.

So, in total, Dave's $990 suit cost him $1547 (plus 4 billable hours).


Let's say, instead, Dave books an appointment at Beg Your Pardon. What would his experience look like?

After a brief chat to get to know him, we decide that Dave needs a half canvas, two-trouser, made to measure suit using a respectable performance merino wool fabric. 

His suit will have 2 inner chest pockets, 2 business card pockets and 2 pen pockets - Dave likes to be prepared. The trouser waistband will be layered to give it added strength and it will have double belt loops.

We will include a concealed business card pocket to the trousers for when he doesn't want to wear the jacket, and we will add buttons with tabs to the hip pockets (for security).

Dave's suit is now fit for purpose. All inclusive, Dave will pay somewhere between $1500 and $2000 for this creation. Reason 2 to book an appointment, you get a better quality, purpose-designed suit for similar money.

Because it is made to measure, there are no alterations expenses. We ensure the fit. Reason 3 to book an appointment, we take complete ownership, from start to finish.

Booking an appointment to see us would also save Dave 4 billable hours. Moreover, we will keep his measurements on file so that the next time he needs a garment, all he needs to do is pick a fabric! Reason 4 to book an appointment, it's far more efficient.

This is how Dave's journey with Beg Your Pardon begins. Over the course of his career, we will assist Dave through the many phases of his life, making clothing to meet his every requirement.

People like Dave are our purpose at Beg Your Pardon. We are here for him, as we are here for you. For the entire journey. Always ready to give you our undivided attention.

Book an appointment and see what it's all about.

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