Do you have a "beater" suit?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Troones, May 15, 2019.

  1. Troones

    Troones Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    My job requires me to wear minimum sport coat or blazer and slacks. Two days a week I need to wear suits for greeting visitors in my office. However, my job also requires me to carry/move boxes and furniture, set up computers, get on hands and knees to plug and unplug cords under tables, etc. Days like these I wear one of my older, department store suits.

    For those who wear suits to work, do you have a beater suit? When and why do you wear it? If you don't wear suits to work, do you have one for other occasions where you don't want to wear your best?
  2. TKI67

    TKI67 Senior Member

    United States
    I had an old and beginning to be threadbare J. Press tropical worsted, 3/2 in charcoal with a pinstripe, on the back of my door with a starched white OCBD and a bright orange tie with tiny elephants printed on it hanging on the back of my office door. I ran the state housing agency in Texas and needed to look right if summoned across the street for the Lege or the Governor (hence the elephants). I also had some LHS in my credenza with navy socks. I wore it for its primary purpose, to groundbreakings, to grand openings, and more. I remember moving tables and chairs in it when setting up for meetings, ladling punch in it when folks retired, and more. I don’t work anymore, but I still have the suit. It always sponged off and shook out wrinkles beautifully, and on hundred degree plus days in Texas it had to deal with a lot! I also had a beater blazer in high school, but it received more abuse and less care.
  3. JBierly

    JBierly Advanced Member

    United States
    I have a charcoal pinstripe suit from Samuelsohn in S110. Its a nice suit but with a bit heavier fabric and it wasn't very expensive (Saks 5th avenue super sale so around 300 to 400 dollars). I wear it if I am traveling (especially on a plane) or if their is going to be poor weather. I am not sure if it really qualifies as a beater but I am certainly not afraid of wearing it.
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  4. cosmotoast

    cosmotoast Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    I have a very cheap suit by Reed St. James. Possibly Belks or J.C. Penny? I call it my "eating suit" for anytime I dine out and there's any tomato sauce based foods being served like spaghetti or lasagna.
    ran23, TKI67 and Troones like this.
  5. Tod Hackett

    Tod Hackett Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    These days I sadly have far too many "beaters" - old favorites worn well - as opposed fully respectable looking numbers.

    Frankly, the older they get, and the worse softer they look, the more I both love them and love wearing them.

    My autumn/winter go-to when I know I'll be running around all day with no chance to change before dinner is a circa '95 dark gray, heavy flannel that is now something of a shapeless, baggy lump. Yet when combined with a pair of cordovan loafers, leather braces or a slide belt, a blue OCBD, and a discreet tie is still able to make a fine, if something of a gracefully decayed, impression.

    The everyday, out-and-about suit worn almost casually and with great ease seems to be a truly endangered species...
    Winhes2, Troones, TKI67 and 2 others like this.
  6. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator

    Harmony, FL
    United States
    These days my cotton poplin summer suits would qualify as beaters. Other than occasionally showing the seersucker and perhaps Tweeds perhaps twice in a years time, the cotton poplin's are about the only suits that I wear! :icon_scratch:
    Troones, TKI67 and cosmotoast like this.
  7. TKI67

    TKI67 Senior Member

    United States
    I believe Tod nailed the essence of the Trad outlook. Suits (and shirts, shoes, and even ties!) are comfortable friends, and they age as gracefully as we do. The younger generations who were not raised with them never knew this marvelous relationship of man to clothes, and when they try on a highly fitted suit with high armholes and all of the other foibles of recent fashion they are not likely to be smitten by the experience. They will never know the pleasures of clothing that ages gently unless they are focusing on the cargo shorts and Tee shirt set aside for painting and yard work.
  8. mlenecare

    mlenecare Starting Member

    United States
    I do have a "beater" suit that I mostly wear for site visits where I know my suit is highly likely to be damaged. Some days I end up changing a few times at work.
    In any given day I might be working in my lab, at one of our pilot plants, at an industrial site, meeting with researchers, lawyers, executives, government officials, and rarely congressmen and senators. (not all in one day of course)
    I also keep a navy suit and a gray sport coat and a few extra shirts and ties in my office so that I can always clean myself up if I get a visit I wasn't expecting.
    My clothes (especially shirts and shoes) get damaged at work and so I just consider it as a regular expense.
    Troones and ran23 like this.
  9. medhat

    medhat Super Member

    United States
    Yes. I have a variety of solid blue suits, which to the untrained eye look pretty much the same, but run from cheap and fused to bespoke and fully canvassed. In my defense I'd say they're all tailored pretty well (probably the biggest difference is the armholes on the OTR vs the bespoke), and I have the fit on the OTR a touch more forgiving than the bespoke. The OTR was for workweek wear, and the bespoke is for events and things I actually care about. I suppose I break the rule for specific client engagements, but yes, I do own and wear "beater" suits.
    Troones likes this.
  10. MTM_Master?

    MTM_Master? Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    I have a beater as well, the result of a suit purchased for a wedding I was a groomsmen in. The suit qualifies as a beater in a number of ways, including fit and overall construction quality, but when one receives the honor of participating in a wedding one does not fuss over the outfit selections of the bride and groom.

    To be honest, this suit may not be in my wardrobe much longer, as I nether wear it nor can think of an occasion for which I would wear it over any of my other suiting choices...
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