I’m attending a wedding in just a few short months, and with the event ever looming, I was reminded of the fact that I don’t actually own a suit that fits me. One of my closest friends took pity on me years ago and gave me an extra he had, and though extremely generous of him, it doesn’t fit especially well. Who would have thought?
So I’ve had suits on my mind, and after discovering The Groomsman Suit I asked if they would be generous enough to share a bit of their time with me and do a short interview.
Here’s what we came up with…
For our readers that haven’t heard of you yet, could you tell me a little bit about your company and what you’re offering?
The Groomsman suit was founded on the belief that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a high quality, great fitting suit that you can own and actually wear again. For the longest time, the most affordable option to outfit your groomsmen was a rental. Now you can get your groomsmen suited up in a brand new, custom-like fitting suit for LESS than the cost of a traditional rental.
Renting a suit is often an annoying experience. Was there any one issue in particular that drove you to create TGS?
Yes, after having our groomsmen rent tuxedo’s from a big box store, we saw an advertised price of around $99 for a rental. It’s very common to see these price points advertised for rentals and so you have in your mind that it is a great deal. While it’s a lot to ask your guys to pay for a one-time wear, it was far more expensive to buy a new tuxedo. It wasn’t until after the wedding that I realized after all of the hidden fees were added on, they had spent $250! Realizing how expensive the rentals were was a shock. The price just didn’t make sense and was definitely the catalyst for this concept.
Second to the price was really the quality, we had guys in our wedding tell us that they had buttons fall off and that the fit was far too boxy. They didn’t feel great in the tuxedo’s we had asked them to wear for one of the most important days and that really confirmed for us that there was a serious need for something new and better.
What’s been the biggest challenge scaling up TGS? Were there any sticking points that you didn’t expect?
The great part about starting this business is that scaling has not been a challenge, but keeping up with the growth and interest definitely has. Our 2nd full year in business, our sales tripled and we were doing little to no paid marketing. Customers that came to us were finding us through organic google search and word of mouth. We had to really work fast to get inventory in stock to fill the demand and staff our customer service team to make sure we were giving our customers the best possible experience. We didn’t anticipate growing as quickly as we did but it is a testament for the need in this market and that we hit it at the perfect time.
What’s the biggest mistake that men make when choosing a suit?
With the shift to more business casual fashion in the work place, guys are not as familiar with their suit size as they were in the past. A lot of men only wear a suit for special occasions. Because of this men do make the mistake of purchasing a suit size or cut that may not be the best option for their body type. We have been very strategic about communicating fit to our customers and helping to make sure they look their very best. Since we launched this business, we have been committed to being not only a place where men can buy a high quality affordable suit but to really be a resource for men for all things suit related, from how to tie a bowtie to writing the perfect best man speech, we are here for our customers.
Given that some of us only wear suits for special occasions, what’s the best way to store and care for a suit?
Great question! Suits are surprisingly easy to care for and keep handy in your closet to pull out and wear to that special occasion. Suit pants should be folded to keep the crease in the pants nice and sharp, if you hold the pants together at the bottom, the crease will naturally fold and make them easy to hang on the hanger bar inside the jacket hanger. This will minimize any additional steaming required to get rid of wrinkles when you’re ready to wear it.
We also recommend storing your suit in a garment bag (all of our suits include one!) to keep it free and clear of dust or abrasion from other garments hanging in the closet with it. After multiple wears (think 10+) you can take your suit to a local dry cleaner for a little refresher. Overall it’s pretty simple, making it even more of an obvious choice to purchase a suit vs. renting.
So why are rented suits often of such poor quality? Is this just about creating massive profit margins? I mean, if you’re able to produce a high quality suit at a fraction of the price, I’m assuming it’s still profitable…
Rental suits are typically made of a really durable fabric quality, which can actually end up being a really great from a quality perspective. But, they do this because they have to be able to survive up to 40 wears and cleanings. Dry Cleaning a garment can actually slowly break down the fibers and cause it to wear down faster. This is usually okay in garments you own because you get multiple wears out of that suit before you have to have it cleaned, with rentals that is not the case, they need to be cleaned after every wear since they are going to be worn by someone new each time. Kind of unappealing when you think about it.
While the fabric quality on a rental suit or tux can actually be quite good, the reason they don’t always look great is caused primarily by the fit. We always say that you can put anyone in a $1,000 suit, but if it doesn’t fit, it will never look good. With suiting, the fit is everything. For rental companies the fit has to work for a wide range of body types to maximize how many times that suit or tux will get rented out, increasing the profitability. The fit has to be more general and then add on the fact that all alterations have to be “temporary” and you have a great recipe for a not-so great look.
I’m guessing this will be a little difficult to answer, but can you see men wearing suits more often if they can get high quality ones at reasonable prices? The right suit can look super sharp, but many look like drapey sacks.
That’s a great question! Absolutely, traditionally suiting has also been really unaffordable, which in a way has probably been a big reason why offices have shifted to a business casual dress code. It’s hard to ask a new employee to shell out 500+ for a suit (and you can’t really buy just one if you are mandated to wear a suit everyday). Fit is a huge factor as well, we have so many guys tell us that they don’t want to look like they are wearing their dads suit. We couldn’t agree more but the options they have had, especially for weddings, haven’t evolved with the fit trends. We know first hand how guys will transform when trying on a suit in the right size and fit. We have men visit our showroom and are trying on a suit honestly for the first time! They transform before our eyes and love how they look and feel, it really changes their perspective on suiting. While we are focused on providing great suiting options for men in weddings, we are trying to figure out better ways to make it clear to our customers that our suits are great for any occasion and at under $200 you can finally afford to have a few options in your closet ready to go when the opportunity arises.
Anything else you want to tell our readers? Also, where’s the best place for them to follow you for updates about new and upcoming products?