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Joseph A Bank Review
I've had a few suits from Joseph A Bank for about two years now. I bought three when they were doing one of their "Buy 1, get 2 free" sales. I knew I would need more than just one suit for my upcoming legal career, so I couldn't resist such an appealing sale. I went in being warned of the quality and the design, but I must admit, neither warning has held true. What follows are some key points I discovered in my Jos A Bank shopping experience.
A cheap can end up costing you $200, or a relatively expensive suit can cost you thousands. The Platnium Collection is one I have never visited myself. What I paid for my first three was $700 plus tailoring for three two-piece, two button, suits, of various colors and patterns. The tailoring I kept to a minimum to avoid digging too far into my student budget at the time. The second set I bought was three suits, each three piece of various colors and patterns. The second set cost me $1,000 plus $250 in tailoring. Let me tell you, the quality is probably not that much higher in the second set, but the tailoring makes all the difference. When I get around to it, instead of buying new suits, I'm going to re-tailor the first three I got. I've had weight distribution that makes them feel less than optimal in the last two years. When you look at it, I only spent a couple hundred dollars on each suit and I was able to tailor them as well. So, for the cost, the are exceptional for lower income, just starting out, or those who do not want to spend a fortune on a "nice" suit.
I have very few other suits to compare quality to, but compared to department store suits and the older suits I've found at thrift stores (great place to find ties, btw), Joseph A Bank suits are top notch. The material on each of my suits is wool, and I've worn each one at least 12 times. Apparently you have dress up a lot as a lawyer? I do have a favorite suit that has probably been worn at least 30 times since I bought it last year. None of my suits has had a loose string, ripped pocket, popped button, or any sort of issue with the quality. For that alone, these suits are impressive. I've never had a suit hold up as well as these have for as long as these have. I am certainly more cautious in suits though, so who knows how they will hold up if I were to start becoming reckless. (I'll let you know if that happens).
The suits have a certain feel to them. Like most suits, the inside material is soft on your skin and slides nicely over your shoulders and arms. The pants are lightweight and don't rub uncomfortably. Overall, the suits do not feel restrictive, but the ones that are more recently tailored feel like they fit properly.
The tailoring was great, but I realize this probably varies by location. The tailor I had was an elderly man who was extremely helpful. I didn't know how long I wanted the sleeves or the pant legs. I really had no idea what I needed, and he worked with me to make me look good. It's as though he took the Men's Warehouse slogan and ran with it. It took a couple of weeks to finish the tailoring for the first set because it was around Christmas and I got a discount for being willing to wait forever. I was quoted at 4-5 weeks, but received the suits in less than 4. The second set, I paid the normal price and had the suits back in less than 2 weeks. You can pay extra to have them finished very quickly, but that also probably depends on location and the workload.
The Customer Service
The customer service was not what I was expecting. Most suit or fashion stores I go into I feel like the employees are judging me. Perhaps I'm shopping at the wrong stores, but when I walked into Jos A Bank, an employee greeted me and did not leave my side. I was able to tell this guy every detail including my desire to be cheap yet look lawyerly. He not only met my needs, but he explained to me the current fashions of the legal community in Philadelphia. That's something I should have known, but I didn't. I prefer to study the law, not what the lawyers are wearing. The employees are paid on commission, so that explains why he never left my side; however, he wasn't so pushy as to make me feel uncomfortable. I was actually in the store twice before and spoke with the same employee without buying anything. Even knowing that I might not be a sale, he was eager to help.
Beyond just buying the suits, I've been in the store many times to exchange items I bought online, return other items or browse. I've never had a poor experience, though I have read many online.
Buying Online with In-Store Trade Ins
I accidentally bought two of the same suit when I ordered online and my third suit didn't even fit me. Dumb right? Well, fortunately, I was told by the store manager that it was company policy to exchange the suits so that I was completely satisfied. I was surprised because it was an online only sale, and it cost me nothing extra to exchange the suits. That's one of those little tidbits that it's nice to know about and every store should do.
In conclusion, I would rate Joseph A Bank exception. I don't feel that they're hiding anything, nor is their product over valued. As long as you shop the sales, you're getting a great value for your money. I haven't had the chance to buy any shirts or ties from them, but their suits, sweaters, and sport coats are great. Their accessories are over priced, so if you're in the market for socks, shop online. A nice 3 pack of Dockers socks costs $11 on Amazon and they are the most comfortable dress socks I've ever worn. Ties, tie-clips, cuff links and other accessories are also much cheaper when bought elsewhere. I'm sure that's where they make up for their sales, but I'm frugal and assume many of you are too.