Ever since Mad Men made its debut back in 2007, men’s suits have enjoyed something of a renaissance.
Up until that point, casual apparel had dominated the world of menswear for decades.
But the sharp-as-hell sight of Roger Sterling and Don Draper brought stylish suits roaring into the 21st century.
(Despite the fact that the show was famously set in the ’60s.)
Suddenly young guys like me, who had only really worn a suit to prom, weddings and the odd funeral, were clamoring to trade in our hoodies and board shorts for a tailored three-piece and a skinny tie.
There was just one problem: as the great philosopher Kanye West once opined, “Suits is an expensive addiction.”
Buying a designer suit from an expensive luxury brand had always been pricey and out of reach for most of us, so this was nothing new.
But what was particularly annoying during this era was the fact that even a so-called cheap suit from popular mall stores like Banana Republic and J.Crew started at around $400, which was too much for many budget-conscious shoppers.
Enter Alain Dupetit
And that’s where Alain Dupetit comes in.
Whereas most “affordable” good quality men’s suits cost hundreds of dollars, Alain Dupetit’s start at the shockingly low price of just $49, and top out at (an almost equally outrageous) $79.
The suits look great in pictures on their website, but prices that low beg an obvious question:
50 bucks? Really??? No. Come on… REALLY???
I recently spent a few weeks wearing two different Alain Dupetit suits to find out if a suit that costs less than most men’s sweaters can really look legit.
Read on to learn the full results of my Alain Dupetit review and find out if their suits are really up to our stylish standards.
Alain Dupetit Suit Review
Can a sub-$100 suit meet real style standards?
An Irreverent Gent Investigation
Overview: Alain Dupetit
As mentioned, for years those of us who wanted a closet full of suits – without having to refinance our houses – were sh*t out of luck.
Alain Dupetit was basically founded to solve that problem.
The online-only men’s fashion shop specializes in suits, shirts and tuxedos that are well cut and stylish, but somehow cost about one tenth of what you’d pay at department stores or dedicated suit sellers like Indochino or Suitsupply.
How do they manage to keep their prices so low?
The Alain Dupetit homepage says it’s by manufacturing their own suits and selling them directly online (as opposed to brick and mortar stores), thus cutting out the middleman and keeping their overhead expenses low.
But the biggest factor that helps them keep their prices so low is the fabric they use.
Alain Dupetit eschews the usual wools and cottons that you find in most suits in favor of a blend between two synthetic fabrics, tetron and rayon, which they (appropriately enough) call their TR blend.
The synthetic TR blend is lighter and more breathable than organic fibers like cotton and wool, but also significantly cheaper, helping AD keep their manufacturing costs (and thus, their prices) so low.
But the discerning mind can’t help but wonder: is TR fabric “cost effective,” or just cheap?
The Two I Tried:
Alain Dupetit Suit Fabric
Whether we’re talking about synthetic fabrics like the TR blend or natural fabrics like cotton and wool, the three main criteria I use to evaluate a fabric are its looks, its feel and its weight.
Below I’ve evaluated each element of AD’s suits individually.
In my opinion, one of the best features that Alain Dupetit suits have going for them are their looks.
These do not look like “discount” suits.
But neither of the two Alain Dupetit suits I tried out suffered from this problem.
Both looked almost indistinguishable from wool suits unless you put your face really close to the fabric, at which point an astute observer might notice a lack of texture – but even then, only “might.”
(The houndstooth suit looks particularly great, since the black and white houndstooth pattern makes it even harder to notice that the fabric is synthetic.)
While the synthetic TR material looks almost indistinguishable from organic fibers, it’s a little more noticeable when you touch it.
It doesn’t feel quite as soft as a 100% wool suit, which might be kind of noticeable to you as the person wearing it, but will go completely unnoticed by the vast majority of people who see you in it.
For a 50 dollar suit, I was actually pretty impressed by the feel.
The sub-100 dollar H&M suits I’ve bought in the past all used a polyester blend to keep costs low.
They have a noticeably inauthentic, cheap feel to it, so I had low expectations for AD’s synthetic blend, especially since the suits are even cheaper than H&M’s offerings.
But the TR fabric is much softer and more organic-seeming than other cheap suits I’ve tried in the past.
While nothing can really compare to a high quality Bespoke wool suit with a super 100 thread count, in the world of super-cheap suits, this is easily the most natural-feeling one I’ve found.
In addition to price, the big advantage of going with TR fabric is that it’s a lot lighter than wool or cotton, making it more breathable and more appropriate for warm weather.
If you live in a hot climate or need a suit (or a couple suits) to carry you through summer wedding season, these will do the trick nicely.
They’re not quite as light as an unlined linen suit, which is kind of the gold standard for summer suits.
But the plus side is that in addition to being much cheaper than most linen suits, they don’t wrinkle like crazy, either.
Final Thoughts on Fabric
After seeing how good Alain Dupetit’s suits looked on their website, then seeing the mind-bogglingly low price, I figured there had to be a catch, and the fabric was the element I was most suspicious of.
But it turned out to be a really pleasant surprise.
I’m pretty familiar with how cheap suits usually look and feel, and was relieved to find that the TR blend was a much better proxy for natural fibers than other, cheaper-feeling synthetics like polyester.
Total Score for Alain Dupetit Fabric: 4/5
How Do Alain Dupetit Suits Fit?
Whereas the fabric was the element I was most suspicious of going in, the fit was the element I was most optimistic about.
How your suit fits is the single most important element in determining how good it looks on you, and I was impressed with the way the suits looked on the AD website—and anxious to try them out for myself.
Classic Fit vs Slim Fit
Alain Dupetit offers two fit options: a classic/regular fit suit and a number of slim fit designs.
(Some suits/sizes are available in either cut, some are only available in one or the other.)
The classic/regular fit is a little roomier throughout the whole suit, meaning both the torso and sleeves of the jacket, and the legs of the pants.
To go back to my Mad Men reference, the classic style looks a lot like the typical suit those guys wore on the show: it fits well, but doesn’t necessarily hug the body.
The slim fit is more modern, in my opinion, and the one I opted for with both the suits I tried. (Alain Dupetit has actually discontinued the regular fit for my size, 40S.)
AD’s slim fit suit hues pretty closely to the body (assuming you chose the right size, of course) and cuts what I consider to be a slimmer, more flattering silhouette.
It would probably fit a little too slim to someone from Don Draper’s generation, but is typical of more modern TV style icons, like Neal Caffrey from White Collar.
When it comes to suit sizing I’m quite lucky in that my body is pretty much a spot-on 40 short, which makes it pretty easy to buy suits and blazers off the rack.
It also makes it easy to evaluate whether or not a suit fits true, since I’ve tried on enough 40S jackets to know what’s within the margin of error.
The Jackets: True to Size
And I was happy to discover that both jackets fit damn near perfectly, right out of the box.
Again, I’m very lucky to have proportions that fit a common size for off the rack suits.
As a result, I often get away with buying jackets that don’t need much if any tailoring at all.
Not everyone is as lucky, so you may find that you need to get the sleeves shortened or the waist taken in a bit, depending on your body type.
That should be easy enough, since the sleeves sport non-functional buttons, which means it will be relatively easy for a tailor to adjust them if needed.
Especially since you’ll be going to the tailor anyway…
The Pants: Length TBD
If there’s one downside I discovered with Alain Dupetit, it’s that they don’t do suit separates, where you can choose your preferred jacket size and preferred pant size separately.
My pant length is a 30 and my waist is a 34, so when I’m able to choose a 34×30 pant to go with a 40S suit, I can get away with buying a full suit off the rack, and needing zero tailoring for it to fit like a glove.
But Alain Dupetit sells suits the way most traditional suit sellers do, as package deals.
When you select the chest size of your jacket, it comes with a corresponding waist size in pants.
The pants are unpleated and have a flat front design, which is good (I know pleats are supposedly coming back, but I really can’t bring myself to wear them), and the waist fits true to size.
But the pant length is left untouched and sports an open bottom, meaning it needs to be cut and hemmed by a tailor before it will fit.
The good news is that adjusting the pant length is probably the single easiest (and cheapest) task you can ask a tailor to do, and doesn’t take much time at all.
Prices vary, of course, but most will do it for about 10 bucks.
Is it a pain in the ass compared to ordering your perfect size straight from the website? Sure.
But you don’t need to look hard to find a tailor who can handle this kind of thing (most dry cleaners can do it no problem), and since the suit only cost 40 bucks to begin with, you should have plenty of budget left to get the pants hemmed, and still come out way ahead.
Total Score on Fit: 4.5/5
Alain Dupetit Price
(Very) Little Money, (Pretty) Big Value
In addition to the material and the fit, the other major criterion to judge a suit on is its price.
With Alain Dupetit suits the price tag is obviously low – ridiculously, incredulously, mind-bogglingly low – compared to the regular price most of us have come to expect for a suit.
But when it comes to suit pricing, the main metric you want to look for is not the price itself, but the value you get in exchange for the money.
If you’re a Wall Street lawyer like Harvey Specter, paying $5,000 for a Bespoke suit made from the finest Italian wool might be totally worth it, since you have the money to burn and run in circles in which wearing the best suit is an important part of your identity.
But if you’re a price-conscious shopper like me and you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) spend more than 100 bucks on a suit, then the question is how will your limited budget best be spent?
After my experience wearing two suits from Alain Dupetit, I can honestly say that I would much rather have a $40 suit from them than a $100 from discount brands like H&M or Zara.
With a price tag that low, maximizing the value-for-money trade off is admittedly not very hard, but AD really over delivers.
Their suits look great, feel pretty good, and while they may not be at the level of Suitsupply or J.Crew’s beloved Ludlow, they’re significantly better than the mens suits from other discount brands—even though those other brands either have a similar price, or one much higher than AD charges.
Total Score on Alain Dupetit Price: 4.7/5
Is Alain Dupetit legit?
As you’ve probably gathered, I’m a big fan of Alain Dupetit suits, and I’ve become a convert.
The fit is just as good as other modern suit brands, the innovative suit tech material is softer and less shiny than other synthetics like polyester, and the overall quality of their suits is quite surprising given the shockingly low price tag.
Sure, the fact that the pants don’t come hemmed is a little annoying.
But the truth is that you could buy an entire suit – even a three-piece suit! – at full price from AD, and still spend less money than you’d spend on just a blazer at so-called discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx, which allegedly have such great deals.
They’re a particularly good option if you’re buying your first suit and don’t yet feel confident enough to invest a lot of money into your kit.
On the other hand, if you’ve already got a few navy, grey or black suits in the closet and just want to mix things up, they carry a variety of different color options, styles and patterns.
So if you’ve ever thought about maybe trying a double-breasted suit or experimenting with an uncommon color like Burgundy or green, you can take a flyer with an AD suit and only be out 40 bucks if you decide you don’t like it.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly suit that doesn’t look like a budget-friendly suit, Alain Dupetit is an excellent buy, and probably one of the best suit options on the market.
Final Score for Alain Dupetit Suit Review: 4.5/5
More Resources ↓
More Men’s Suits Advice from Irreverent Gent:
- The Ultimate Guide to How Your Suit Should Fit
- The Best Places to Buy Cheap Suits
- How to Buy You First Suit
- How to
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