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Elastane in Suits

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in buying a new Armani suit, and I started looking at two that look very similar...one is 100% wool and the other is 97% wool and 3% elastane. I understand the benefits of elastane, but I was interested in any opinons on which of the two is more preferred/considered better and why. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 14
I'm not qualified to answer your question, but I wanted to ask what exactly are the benefits of elastane in a suit?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, the reason for my question is I have heard differing opinions - someone told me that they would only buy a suit with 100% natural fibers...but then someone else told me that the 3% elastane is not a bad thing - that the elastane allows the suit to be stretched and yet it will still always recover its original length...that it can make the suit a little more comfortable and that it makes it slightly abrasion resistant. I've also heard that in a suit with wool that is not as high quality, the elastane can help to make it look better...in this particular case the wool is exactly the same in both Armani suits and is of high quality...so I wasn't sure which would be better to buy...perhaps it doesn't matter too much either way. By the way, the price is exactly the same on both suits as well.
post #4 of 14
I think the vast majority in this forum will be against elastane, based on the talismanic aversion to synthetics. But any suit will at least have a synthetic lining. First, I would look at try both on, and see how it moves. Of course, the elastane/spandex/lycra will keep the suit from wrinkling, but at the same time I would think that the suit would wear less naturally. It might look too 'synthetic', like a lot of the stuff you'll get from Banana Republic. A harder question will be durability. Hopefully this is a suit that'll last for years. How will the elastane affect that? Can you send it to the dry-cleaners, will it hold up? Finally, comfort. Will it trap in more heat? Like George Bush, when I'm not exactly sure, I go with my gut. But I have a much more cautious gut. The safe route would be to take the wool one. The much safer route would be to skip the Armani. I'm extremely suspect of these designers, most of them are trying to hock low quality clothing for outrageous prices. But that's not always the case.
post #5 of 14
If elastane seems too much of a compromise in a wool suit, I just read in GQ (OK, not a great or regular read, but is occasionally useful when bored) that DKNY is now adding steel fibers to their linen jackets for shape and support. Be advised to pack it, rather than wear it, when flying. I don't think you could really explain those steel threads to security well enough to avoid a prolonged search and interrogation.....
post #6 of 14
I purchased an unstructured armani jacket in October. It's wool with 2% elastane or something. The wool is woven in a heavily textured weave that is also quite loose. I bought it because the jacket (more a sweater-jacket)looked pretty cool and wore like a sweater. It's extremely comfortable. However, while I can sort of understand the need for elastane in that particular fabric, I'm still not a fan of the stuff.

It does help the jacket retain its shape, particularly at the elbows. I tend not to take my jackets off when I'm at my computer and my elbows are always bent. I've noticed the elbows of the jacket get quite out of shape by the end of the day, partly due to the fact that the sleeves are quite narrow. The elastane does seem pull them back in to better shape however.

The flip-side is that the elastane threads break. I constantly have to pick at little white elastic threads that have broken and that are sticking out of the jacket. It's not going to be my most durable piece.

As a component of regular suitings, I see absolutely no need for elastane.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dare-
I think the vast majority in this forum will be against elastane, based on the talismanic aversion to synthetics. But any suit will at least have a synthetic lining.

Wanted to mention that while acetate/rayon/bemberg lining material is not "natural" (as in naturally occurring) it is also not synthetic. It is classed as a man-made fiber and is made from cellulose (wood pulp).

Most fabrics I've seen with elastane (granted, not many) look a bit cheesy. You could instead look for an all wool fabric made with high-twist yarns that can stretch and snap back into shape.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
As a component of regular suitings, I see absolutely no need for elastane.
Proponent, you mean?
post #9 of 14
Needlessly pedantic. The last two posts.
post #10 of 14
Nevermind
post #11 of 14
I'm not exactly sure what you corrected me on. I looked in the dictionary, and the meaning of synthetic is man-made. Well, thank you very much sir, for whatever you did.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dare-
I'm not exactly sure what you corrected me on. I looked in the dictionary, and the meaning of synthetic is man-made. Well, thank you very much sir, for whatever you did.
In fabrics, there are natural, synthetic and man-made fibers. Synthetic fibers are made of polymers, and man-made fibers are made from natural materials.

There is no need to be a prick because you were corrected on something. We are all here to learn and share knowledge.
post #13 of 14
my favorite travel suit is 97% wool 3% lycra. It's great because it really takes a beating in bags and luggage compartments and overhead lockers and whatever, hang it in a steamy hotel bathroom and its good to go. This suit has been with me a while now - be getting toward 8 years old or thereabouts - and I noticed something on its last outing in Hanoi a month or so ago. The sleeves were way way way long. Now like most pre-forumites, Im sure I was wearing the sleeves a little too long anyhow, but they were hanging almost at my thumb knuckle. The only reason I can think of is that with age and hanging, the lycra had really started to stretch out. No real problem of course, a corner tailor took them up for three dollars, such is life here. Still, I guess if Armani is on your shopping list, longevity and construction issues probably arent top of your priorities, but if you are looking at this as an investment in the future, do note that this may happen down the line.
post #14 of 14
One of my favorite suits contains 3% "ellasthanne" according to the label. (To further infuriate the Rules fundies, it's black.) However, that Zegna-made Gucci suit is also much better constructed than anything I've ever seen from Armani.
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