Top class tailoring and not a shiny fabric in sight
Money doesn't always mean a better suit. It helps. A lot, in fact. But time is just as important, especially if you're aiming for a men's suit under £500. Rush the decision (or forgo the wonders of a tailor), and you're bound to show up to the next big calendar event in something that's shiny and ill-fitting.
As with most things, but especially with tailoring, you get what you pay for. No item in a man's wardrobe is more complex, or easier to get wrong. Fit is key, of course, but so is style (do you go single- or double-breasted?), colour (safe navy or eye-catching bottle green?) and cut (trim and tight à la Fifties Don Draper, or loose and swinging, like Sixties Don Draper?). A bigger budget buys you access to the nimble fingers and baby-soft fabrics of Milan's and Savile Row's finest tailors. If you've only got £500 (or less) in your pocket, then for every great suit you can afford, there are 50 mass-produced, misshapen fire hazards.
There is a way, though, to keep a foot in both camps. Affordable suits exist that don't look so affordable. In fact, they've all the charm of a big ticket two-piece without the necessary debt restructuring. Better yet, they'll leave enough spare change for that all important add-on: alteration. That's what makes good tailoring great (and is another reason why 'quickly' is great style's kryptonite). Our edit of the best suits under £500 is a very strong place to start indeed.