In the professional male attire industry, two names stand above the rest due to their style and relative affordability compared to luxury designers: Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse.
Most people consider the brands interchangeable.
However, each retailer has specific advantages and disadvantages that may make one the better choice for your particular shopping excursion.
Knowing the best store for your needs can save you time and money, and you can learn the difference between the two companies in just a couple of minutes in this guide.
Introduction To Jos. A. Bank
Jos. A. Bank came onto the scene in 1905 as a single men’s apparel manufacturing company in Freemont, California.
It now boasts 200 locations.
During WW2, Jos. A. Bank stepped up to provide clothing to people, despite the limited resources.
At this time, the company changed its business model and became a retailer instead of a manufacturer.
At this time, it has outsourced most of the manufacturing and focused on the retail side of things.
Jos. A. Bank sells unique looks created by their internal team of designers and fabrics.
These looks appeal to consumers with a keen eye for fashion as the designs are made by designers with a flair for style who tend to add something a little special to each design.
Products Jos. A. Bank sells fall into one of the following categories:
- Big & Tall
Jos. A. Bank also offers custom designs tailored to fit your unique measurements perfectly as well as tuxedo rentals.
The clothier is well known for its high-quality and convenient tailoring services and creating easy-to-adjust clothing.
Introduction To Men’s Wearhouse
A significantly younger company, Men’s Wearhouse opened its first retail store in 1973 in Houston, TX.
Today, there are 1,200 store locations throughout the United States.
Men’s Wearhouse sells outsourced clothes from some of the world’s top brands, such as Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
While very luxurious, Men’s Wearhouse appeals to the average man who may not know a lot about fashion but wants to look great quickly and easily.
Men’s Wearhouse offers products in the following categories (that mimic Jos. A. Bank’s categories):
- Big & Tall
Men’s Wearhouse also offers custom designs and tuxedo/suit rentals.
The owners of Men’s Wearhouse wanted to expand, so they created a holding company called Tailored Brands in 2016 that exclusively owns brands that sell professional men’s attire but with a slightly different niche with some overlap here and there.
Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank both fall under the Tailored Brands umbrella since Tailored Brands acquired Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion due to monetary incentives.
The other two brands owned by Tailored Brands are Moores and K&G Fashion Superstore.
Men’s Wearhouse sells professional attire from popular brands.
Jos. A. Bank offers more customization options and only sells clothes they design.
Moores caters to Canadian consumers.
K&G Fashion Superstore also sells professional attire for women as well as men.
The idea behind Tailored Brands was to corner every aspect of the professional male attire market.
Unfortunately, it appears that Tailored Brands may have bitten off more than they could chew and has recently announced store closings and filed for bankruptcy.
The Decline Of The Professional Attire Industry
As recently as a couple of years ago, people worked in the office and dressed for success in a large number of industries, including finance, marketing, sales, and customer support.
Buying work clothes was a normal part of starting a new job, and people took pride in the way they presented themselves to clients and colleagues.
Then, 2020 hit. People started working from home in their pajamas.
Most employers were lucky if their employees put on pants, let alone wore a full suit.
The professional attire industry was hit especially hard since people who did find new jobs wore their old clothing since they couldn’t afford new clothes after the economy halted for months.
While the lockdown in 2020 only lasted a couple of months, businesses are still feeling the devastating effects of the abrupt change in how people go to work.
Similarities Between Jos. A. Bank And Men’s Wearhouse
Clearly, Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse share some common traits.
We will cover some of the most glaring similarities so you know what you can expect from either brand.
When you walk into a Jos. A. Bank or Men’s Wearhouse, you are shopping for something professional and luxurious.
Jos. A. Bank even has the phrase “Bank” in its name!
Both brands exude luxury with attractive displays and the quality of the products they sell.
Even the staff at both stores will look great while assisting you.
2. Similar Products
While they sell different brands, both Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse sell the same professional attire.
Start with the basics, such as underwear and a suit.
You can get a complete suit or mix and match pants, shirts, and coats.
Next, you will need socks, shoes, and a tie along with any additional accessories you like.
Finally, you need to prepare yourself for the cold with proper winter outerwear.
Both Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse offer a variety of sizes to fit just about any man.
They both have “big and tall” sections for customers who are built larger than average.
Of course, size isn’t an issue if you opt for a custom design.
While both brands emphasize professional attire, they both also provide some more casual options that still look professional and luxurious, such as sweaters and comfortable shoes.
3. Return Policy
The return policies at Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse are exactly the same.
You can return items online or in-store within 90 days of your purchase.
After 90 days, you can still bring your unwanted product into the store to see if an associate can exchange it for store credit.
Custom designs have unique return policies, depending on the item getting customized.
The tailor will go over the specifics of your purchase and its return policy during the custom design process.
4. Sports Linings
If you are a sports fan, you can also add a lining in honor of your favorite team on the inside of your suit at both Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse, giving you the ability to express yourself and support your team, even at work or a formal event.
If your team makes you so mad that you can’t support them on the inside of your professional attire anymore, you can have someone at either store replace the lining for you.
Differences Between Jos. A. Bank And Men’s Wearhouse
More important than the similarities, you need to know the main differences between Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse.
1. Clothing Brands
The main difference between Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse is that Jos. A. Bank sells its own unique designs and Men’s Wearhouse sells clothing from other designers.
Many people appreciate the creativity and skill involved in Jos. A. Bank designs and find them slightly elevated style-wise compared to the clothing made by other popular brands.
However, if you don’t like Jos. A. Bank’s unique aesthetic, you won’t have other options available.
Men’s Wearhouse sells clothing from numerous different brands, giving you more design and style options.
However, the clothing may be slightly more generic.
2. Store Locations
Men’s Wearhouse has more than 1,000 more stores than Jos. A. Bank.
Jos. A. Bank may not even be a viable option for you thanks to the limited store locations. Texas (20), Virginia (18), and Pennsylvania (17) have the most locations each, but there are 13 states that don’t have a Jos. A. Bank at all.
The states that don’t contain a Jos. A. Bank store are:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Men’s Wearhouse, on the other hand, has locations in all 50 states.
The states with the most store locations are California (64), Texas (53), and Florida (45).
Wyoming and West Virginia have the fewest locations with one store in each state.
Men’s Wearhouse is a relatively new brand, especially compared to Jos. A. Bank.
During its time as a company, Jos. A. Bank established a name for itself in American history and developed unique knowledge and skills regarding the creation and sales of men’s suits and professional clothing.
They take a lot of pride in the time they spent honing their craft.
Men’s Wearhouse, while much younger, burst onto the scene with ambition and an effective business plan that allowed it to become the powerhouse it is today.
While it focused on the business side of things, it didn’t learn how to create the clothing with as much skill as Jos. A. Bank.
Pros Of Jos. A. Bank
What are the advantages of shopping at Jos. A. Bank compared to Men’s Wearhouse?
We cover some of the exclusive benefits of shopping at Jos. A. Bank that may appeal to you.
1. Advanced Tailoring Services
Not everyone has a body that fits a suit right off of the rack.
Wearing a suit off the rack can diminish the professionalism of the look and allow the suit to wear you instead of the other way around.
Jos. A. Bank prides itself on its advanced abilities to adjust its clothing to fit you.
It also offers custom-tailored clothing created specifically for you.
While Men’s Wearhouse offers tailoring services as well, Jos. A. Bank considers tailoring a major part of its brand identity.
Jos. A. Bank tailors more items than Men’s Wearhouse and only hires the best tailors.
The 4-Step Tailoring Process is as follows:
- Step One: Expert Measurements
- Step Two: Selections
- Step Three: Delivery and Fitting
- Step Four: Easy Reorder
2. Unique Designs
Jos. A. Bank creates its own clothing lines instead of selling clothing made by other manufacturers.
The three major clothing lines are:
- 1905: “unprecedented value”
- Traveler: “pure performance”
- Reserve: “our highest level of luxury”
3. Quality Control
Since Jos. A. Bank makes its own clothes, it has complete control over the quality of all items.
While it outsources a majority of the manufacturing, it ensures that the manufacturers it works with follow a strict quality control procedure before items can leave the warehouse.
Cons Of Jos. A. Bank
Naturally, there must be a couple of areas in which Jos. A. Bank may not quite measure up to Men’s Wearhouse.
While a great store, here are some things to consider regarding what Jos. A. Bank doesn’t offer.
1. Only 200 Locations
We touched on this point earlier, but it’s worth noting again.
Jos. A. Bank only has 200 locations and doesn’t have any locations in 13 states.
With that being said, we live in a digital age that allows anyone to buy items online.
Jos. A. Bank may not have a physical store in your area, but you can buy items online. Jos. A. Bank delivers to all 50 states.
Unfortunately, you can’t get professionally measured online, so you won’t be able to take advantage of custom designs when shopping through the website.
2. Limited Brand Variety
While Jos. A. Bank offers three unique clothing lines, that’s all it offers.
Despite the high-quality designs, some people may find them rather derivative of each other after a while.
3. Slightly More Expensive
Jos. A. Bank creates unique and stylish designs you can’t find anywhere else.
If you require tailoring services, that will add to the price tag.
While both stores have similar prices, Jos. A. Bank tends to be slightly more expensive than Men’s Wearhouse.
Of course, sales and other factors can muddy the waters quite a bit.
Pros Of Men’s Wearhouse
Why would you go to Men’s Wearhouse as opposed to Jos. A. Bank?
Here are some of the reasons Men’s Wearhouse stands out in a good way.
1. Brand Variety
When you walk through Men’s Wearhouse, you will recognize several popular brands instead of looking at clothes from a proprietary brand.
Many people feel more comfortable buying from a brand they know.
The various brands also mean that you get a wider style variety.
2. Excellent Marketing
“You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.”
As soon as we hear that phrase, we immediately picture the commercials featuring the ruggedly handsome and well-dressed middle-aged man (the owner himself, George Zimmer).
We also immediately associate the commercial with Men’s Wearhouse.
Since the company ended the marketing campaign after the abrupt dismissal of Zimmer in 2013, you will not find the phrase anywhere on their website.
However, the catchy commercial already made Men’s Wearhouse a household name, so the commercials did their job.
3. Slightly Less Expensive
Men’s Wearhouse offers more off-the-rack options, so you don’t add on a fee for tailoring services unless you really need them.
Men’s Wearhouse is also known for its sales and making professional attire attainable for the average man, so it offers products that match that goal.
Cons Of Men’s Wearhouse
In what areas does Jos. A. Bank offer a slight improvement over Men’s Wearhouse?
We point out some of the reasons someone may prefer to shop at Jos. A. Bank.
1. No Control Over Quality
Men’s Wearhouse receives products from its different manufacturers the way that the manufacturer sends the products.
Men’s Wearhouse does not have any control over the quality control processes before the items arrive in its stores.
However, Men’s Wearhouse does have the ability to pick which brands it sells in its stores.
Naturally, it picks brands known for creating quality products, so quality is rarely an issue.
2. Stylish Yet Generic Designs
While undoubtedly stylish, many of the brands sold at Men’s Wearhouse create looks you see at the office every day.
You can find something unique from time to time, but many of the designs are rather generic and safe.
Keep in mind that the simple designs are still extremely attractive and luxurious.
3. Basic Tailoring Services
Men’s Wearhouse offers adequate tailoring services.
However, they aren’t as prepared to accommodate tailoring needs on-demand as Jos. A. Bank.
You need to schedule an appointment, and the tailors may not have quite as much experience and skill.
When To Shop At Jos. A. Bank
Shop at Jos. A. Bank if you want a unique, tailored look with a slightly elevated design compared to the traditional professional garb.
Jos. A. Bank is the better place to shop if you want a very unique design for a special occasion, such as a wedding or formal event.
When To Shop At Men’s Wearhouse
Shop at Men’s Wearhouse if you live in an area that doesn’t have a Jos. A. Bank and you don’t mind buying something from their numerous popular brands without getting it tailored.
Men’s Wearhouse offers clothing for special events, but it’s specifically great for the professional who needs everyday work clothing.
You can’t go wrong when you need professional male attire by shopping at either Jos. A. Bank or Men’s Wearhouse.
While very similar, they don’t create competition for each other since they both fall under the parent holding company Tailored Brands and sell products by different brands.
If you like custom designs that fit you perfectly, you may benefit from going to Jos. A. Bank, while Men’s Wearhouse caters to the man with a simpler design aesthetic.
However, if you need a suit, you can get both custom designs and off-the-rack designs at both locations.