March 9, 2023

Buying Your First Suit

You may have heard the saying, “Money does not make you happy, but it quiets the nerves.” This was quoted from playwright Sean O’Casey, and it totally sums up one of my biggest purchases out of college: my first suit.

I’ve shared with you how buying a suit is a pain in the ass and it’s expensive. Yes, you can get a cheap suit at Men’s Warehouse or similar places, but a nice suit looks like a nice suit. You can just tell the difference between a nice suit and a cheap suit. But do others care about whether you have on a nice suit or cheap suit? I don’t know, but it sure quieted my nerves.

Let me explain.

Buying My First Expensive Suit

I needed my first “good” suit for a single purpose: I was going to be interviewing for the MBA program I really wanted to get into. And I cared a lot about it. I wanted to make a good impression. And I knew what I had going for me, as well as what parts of my application were working against me.

One of the biggest gaps I had on my application was my age. I had experience. I had drive. I had good stories. But would I look young and naive? I needed to make a great first impression — I needed a fine suit.

I searched all over — Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, and other places as well. I wasn’t really happy with any of them — they just didn’t look or feel right. I soon found a specialty shop that sold fine Italian suits. Finally, after a week of searching, I found a suit that really fit well and looked great. But the price? Over $1,000 . . . ouch.

Yes, I know there are more expensive suits (way more expensive suits), but for a young guy at his first real job, that’s a lot of money! But I liked the suit, I liked the feel, and it made me feel good. Going back to my quote — it really quieted my nerves and eliminated the self doubt in my mind.

Was Buying an Expensive Suit Worth It?

You know, I had my suit tailored and wore it to my interview. I felt good. The interview felt good. And in the end, I got into a top-notch business school at 22 — the youngest in my class. I held my own.

In the end, I’ll never know if it was the suit, but the experience of it worked for what I needed it to do.

It Was Totally Worth It

On one hand, I kick myself for spending $1,000 on a suit that no longer fits me. On the other hand, I got into grad school, so why should I have any regrets?

About the author 

Robert Farrington

Robert Farrington is the founder and editor-in-chief of The College Investor.

He is a student loan debt expert and loves helping millennials navigate the complex decisions that impact their personal finances.

He plays at the intersection of personal finance, marketing, fintech, and education.

He's also an occasional angel investor and startup advisor, with a focus on consumer-facing fintech and edtech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}