How an online menswear business can help you suit up
If what ZZ Top sang is true (and I never question ZZ Top), every girl is crazy about a sharp-dressed man. And, if she has her way, Concordia student Nathalie Kaprielian will be the one dressing them. Her online menswear venture, SuitingIt, sells designer suits for less, offering brand names at discounted prices to men who find themselves at the intersection of style-savvy and budget-conscious.
The idea for the business first came to Kaprielian as a case of shopping fatigue, although she wasn’t shopping for herself.
“I have a lot of guy friends who trust my taste, I guess you could say, and they have a lot of events that they go to. So every weekend I was getting bothered by them, [having to] tag along to the mall, or to wherever it is that they trusted me to take them,” she said. “And they always wanted quality products, but for less. So I kind of always knew where to go and where to find the right things without breaking their budget.”
Leveraging her fashion acuity and her parents’ connections to designer brands (they also work in menswear), Kaprielian launched the test version of the e-commerce business on Feb. 14. In doing so, Kaprielian joined sites such as Beyond The Rack and Montreal-based Frank & Oak in betting that male style mavens will be attracted by the prices and by the simplicity of buying online.
Like Beyond The Rack, the site will function using flash sales, with the selection of suits rotating on a weekly basis. If a particular model is not selling, it will be pulled off the virtual rack. And, since Kaprielian’s getting the surplus from bulk orders, once it’s gone, it’s gone. “When you buy in bulk you manage to get all these great deals. And yes, we’re getting up-to-date fashion, up-to-date designer wear, but it’s really odds and ends. That’s why we manage to sell for that low,” she said.
Even though her parents have worked in men’s apparel for the past 17 years, Kaprielian said her father had reservations at seeing her following in his footsteps.
“It kind of drains me out a little bit because it’s constantly like, ‘Oh, why are you making this move? Don’t do it that way. Oh no, this is too risky, back off’. But you know what? You have to fall in order to get back up and to do it the right way. Just like he did it back in the day, you know?” she said.
And speaking of Harvey Specter, that high-flying lawyer from the aptly named television show Suits? He’s the perfect example of that sharp-dressed man, said Kaprielian.
“The suits that he pulls off…they’re classic and they’re timeless. If an actual person like that existed, that would be great!” she laughed.
Kaprielian’s three style do’s and don’ts for students
- Don’t supersize your suit. “I mean, the shoulders have to fit. Some guys, they’re just floating in it!”
- Do wear your pants to your belly button. “I know it’s uncomfortable, but it just looks better. Or else it just ends up looking baggy.”
- Do have your suit tailored. “Usually the suit manufacturers make it such that you can either open it up an inch or take it in an inch so I think this is very important to consider and to use — you can take it to the seamstress and she will do it for you!”