How to save money on suits and shirts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - - Most guys own at least one suit. Many Americans have far more than that, and they can be costly to your budget.

But there are ways to save.

"Suits make a big difference because they help me feel confident. I like getting a suit, but like most guys I don't like paying a ton of money for them," said customer Jordan Meier.

If you've ever gone to a place that sells suits, most offer several options. You can purchase a suit in store. You can also buy it in store and have it tailored, or you can have it custom fit. Every suit shop is different so check out their prices, quality and service. Recently, Meier discovered he could get a custom suit for less than it cost to get something "off the rack."

"Custom can actually save you money in the long run. Every place is different. At our stores, we remove the alteration process. We take the measurements, pick the material with the client, send the information in and take care of everything up front," said Sam Nicholos, a store manager for JoS. A. Bank.

And that's actually a cheaper process at JoS. A. Bank because the suits don't have to be sent back after they are bought.

"Because it's all up front, they can go ahead and get the measurements ahead of time, customize it exactly how I want it. That's opposed to tailoring it, after you take it off the shelf. It takes a little longer, but I find the suits fit perfectly and it's less expensive," said Meier.

Whereever you buy, stretch your dollar by asking about their perks. Most places have them.

"As long as your suit is clean, you can take it to any JoS. A. Bank anytime in the country and get free pressing services on it," said Nicholos.

You also have to consider saving money on shirts. If you're like some guys, you end up tucking in a bunch of material in the back if it's not custom. But who wants to spend $100 on a shirt? There's a solution: you can buy a $30 to $40 shirt and then have it tailored. If you do it at the same place you buy the shirt, it's often a minimal charge of $10--basically a custom fit for half the price.

Like all companies, men's stores are trying to get your business. Some stores are now offering to come to you. You can pick out the material you want, get fitted and then order the suit at no extra charge.

"I even got to pick out the lining of the suit, which is extremely cool. I got to flip through the book and pick it out," said Meier.

Another related cost is dry cleaning. It adds up, so consider buying a cheap steamer. They can be purchased for $50 online. Sometimes they are a better deal than more expensive brands, which can take longer to heat up and don't work much better. Another tip to make your suit pants last longer is to hang them from the cuff when you are done wearing them. That lets the weight of the waste-band take the wrinkles out of them, which is a good way to extend the life of your suit.

Back to shirts! If you're like Meier and don't like ironing, look for shirts that don't require pressing. The materials these days are getting better and they truly are non-wrinkle, but there are keys to keeping the wrinkles away.

"Wash your shirts in cool water, on gentle. And only put four or five shirts in the load. Then, take them out, toss them in the dryer on low heat and let them dry for about 20 minutes. When you pull them out, you can simply put them on hangers, wrinkle free," said Nicholos.

That works for their "Travelers" brand. Other companies have similar products, so go with the one that works for you. Asking other guys is often the quickest way to find out what works best. Less ironing and less dry cleaning not only save you money, they increase the lifespan of the shirt.

Finally, find a balance between money and the time you spend shopping. Find a place where you feel comfortable shopping, maybe even where it's fun and where they know you, your size and your particular likes and dislikes. That can save time and make the shopping experience better.

And check this out—we have a special deal for FOX59 viewers! You can get 50% off a custom suit at any Indianapolis JoS. A. Bank location simply by mentioning that you saw this story on FOX59. The offer is good through the end of February.