Here’s the thing: Every guy needs a nice suit. But every guy doesn’t need a luxurious suit. Unlike dress shoes like the Allen Edmonds Strands, which I make the argument that investing in a pair of well-made $300 dress shoes is a smart, life-long investment, the same can’t be said for suits. There are a lot of men out there that only wear a suit 2-3 times per year. Maybe a unique work event that happens every so often in an otherwise casual workplace. Maybe a very special date. A wedding. A funeral. A guy needs to look his best in all of these situations, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for him to spend a week's paycheck on a suit.
In many ways, its a lot like neckties. You can easily find ties for $90+, and I’m sure they’re amazing neckwear. But for a guy who wears a tie only a handful of times, it doesn’t need to be amazing, it just needs to look great. And there are plenty of places like The Tie Bar and ties.com, or at retailers like JCPenney (as well as CG) that a beautiful tie can be had for less than $25.
The surprising thing is, as common as this gentleman is, there are very few good choices for picking up a well-fitting, quality starter suit. Gents usually fall back on four places when they need a functional suit like this. Men’s Wearhouse, Target, H&M, or budget departments stores like Macy’s. On the surface, these may seem like smart options but they look less enticing once you start investigating the fit, style, what they’re made out of, and the quality of construction.
Vishall Melwani, co-founder of Combatant Gentlemen saw this huge hole in the menswear market. Following in the footsteps of web-only brands like Everlane and Warby Parker, Combatant Gentlemen cuts out the wholesale and retailer steps in the sales funnel. By doing this, they’re able to sell items with an incredibly reduced markup, while still earning a profit.
The 100% wool slim-fit herringbone suit shown in these pictures is only $200. You can't even get a suit jacket at Express for that. All of the suits are at least 100% Super 140s wool and are half-canvassed.
Melwani and his colleagues are no strangers to nice suits and fine tailoring. He’s a third generation tailor, growing up in a family that owns 17 Versace boutiques. But instead of taking that expertise and starting a company that sells $2,000 suits for $800 like so many other companies that have popped up in recent years, Combatant Gentlemen is unapologetically “every day”. These are workhorse suits, but they function: They don’t wrinkle easily (a problem with many cheaper suits, especially with polyester blends) and they look sharp and smart. The way they do this is by focussing on modern details. Lightly structured shoulders, higher armholes, slimmer lapels – all of these little design decisions combine to create a suit that is hard to believe comes in under $200.
This fusion of next-generation retailing and smart design has led to some very high-profile investors with deep expertise in tech and fashion like Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club, and Jake Bornstein of Flint & Tinder.
The exciting thing is, since launch in 2012, CG has added more products than just suits. From $40 slim chinos and shirts to $100 wool overcoats. One of my favorites is the denim line. For $70 you can get a pair of slim-straight Japanese selvedge, raw denim, cut and sewn in Los Angeles. They have a solid weight and look great with just a t-shirt or dressed up with a sportcoat. Compare that to the quality and source of jeans you can get at Gap for the same price and the value becomes clear.
Ordering any clothing online is a gamble, however. What if it doesn’t fit? What if it’s not as good as the pictures make it look? With Combatant Gentlemen not only is initial shipping always free, a return label is included with your shipment in case it doesn’t fit or you’re unsatisfied. That seems unlikely though: According to Tech blog PandoDaily there’s a return rate of just 4%.
Go check out all the goods Combatant Gentlemen has to offer.
Enter to Win
Now you have a chance to win not only a suit and a pair of jeans, but a lot, lot more. Combatant Gentlemen has given us a $1,000 gift card to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply enter using the widget below. We’ll announce one winner on December 4th. Good luck!