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Vitale Barberis Canonico vs Lessor?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I wonder if you had some thoughts on this?

I'm planning to have a suit made by a local tailor -- a 3-piece charcoal pinstripe.

He is strongly recommending fabric from Vitale Barberis Canonico Revenge 4. Specifically, a wide spaced, grey pin stripe on charcoal -- V-5833466. He gave me an estimate of $1400.

Then he also mentioned a super 120 from Lessor #705-18 "˜for a little more money' but didn't give an estimate.

I came across a thread on SF from 2005 that suggests that VBC is inferior to other fabric mills. If I understand the thread, the VBC is actually a 2 x 1 weave but the others, such as Lessor, are a true 2 x 2.

What do you think of VBC versus others such as Lessor?
What are the ramifications of selecting a 1x2 over a 2x2 weave?

Regards
Coburn
post #2 of 18
go with lesser. some VBC stuff is made in England and very good, 98% of it is not so good. It is also relatively cheap, which is why so many mid tier tailors push it, high margins on it.
post #3 of 18
while lesser markets fine products I would argue that ed's dismissive response to the quality of VBC's goods is misplaced. They are at the top of the food chain of Italian producers. Products are made in Italy, not the UK. The US distributor, Gladson, marks up the material in an excessive way.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
go with lesser. some VBC stuff is made in England and very good, 98% of it is not so good. It is also relatively cheap, which is why so many mid tier tailors push it, high margins on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carpediem View Post
while lesser markets fine products I would argue that ed's dismissive response to the quality of VBC's goods is misplaced. They are at the top of the food chain of Italian producers. Products are made in Italy, not the UK. The US distributor, Gladson, marks up the material in an excessive way.

So, Ed says that VBC is cheap to Tailors allowing a high markup to customers.

But, Carpediem, seems to be arguing that Gladson has a high markup to the tailor.

Also, I was under the impression that VBC was a 2nd tier Italian mill. not the top of the food chain?

Thank you both for the help

Coburn
post #5 of 18
All my first suits from Chan are VBC Canonico (both 120s and 110s) but I don't know if they're from the Revenge Book, simply because I think at $1100-1250, it's a good price point. But TBH, I'm not too impressed by the fabrics and wished that I had ponied up a couple hundred bucks more for my last two basics (navy and gray) to get what appears to be nicer fabric from Harrison's Frontier or Scabal. Lessor looks to be good as well. I suppose if it is your first suit, and you're still getting your pattern down, you're better off going the less expensive route and save for the better fabrics after your pattern is set, assuming we're talking an appreciable difference in price.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddieriley View Post
All my first suits from Chan are VBC Canonico (both 120s and 110s) but I don't know if they're from the Revenge Book, simply because I think at $1100-1250, it's a good price point. But TBH, I'm not too impressed by the fabrics and wished that I had ponied up a couple hundred bucks more for my last two basics (navy and gray) to get what appears to be nicer fabric from Harrison's Frontier or Scabal. Lessor looks to be good as well. I suppose if it is your first suit, and you're still getting your pattern down, you're better off going the less expensive route and save for the better fabrics after your pattern is set, assuming we're talking an appreciable difference in price.

Yes, this is the first suit. On the other hand, he's made two pairs of odd trousers and I'm going to ask for a Navy blazer before I ask for the suit. So, I have a chance to get the measurements tweaked before the suit.

But, If the difference in fabric quality is that noticeable, I'm willing to pay more. I had the impression that the Lessor was not that much more -- maybe an extra $200.

If it turns out I don't like the fit, saving $200 won't make be feel any better. On the other hand, if I got a well fitting suit but disliked the fabric, I'd be annoyed every time I wore the suit.

One thing I've learned from SF -- it's better to pay full price for what you really want. Trying to save a few buck here or there usually ends in disappointment.

Thanks, that helps.

Coburn
post #7 of 18
Don't get me wrong. VBC isn't a bad fabric, but I already had 2 suits in that fabric, now I have 4. I don't know which Lessor you're fabric you're referring to, unfortunately, so can't knowledgeably say if they are that much different.
post #8 of 18
VBC is an excellent fabric, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
post #9 of 18
I would change tailors judging from everything I have seen you wear.

FWIW - VBC is great ROI.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coburn View Post
* * *

I came across a thread on SF from 2005 that suggests that VBC is inferior to other fabric mills. If I understand the thread, the VBC is actually a 2 x 1 weave but the others, such as Lessor, are a true 2 x 2.

What do you think of VBC versus others such as Lessor?
What are the ramifications of selecting a 1x2 over a 2x2 weave?

Regards
Coburn


Lesser is a 2 x 2 cloth. I believe that Barberis is 2 x 1.

Generally, 2 x 2 cloth is stronger, lasts longer, and is more wrinkle resistant. It has more body since it's two strands of thread wrapped together in each direction. That is why the best English cloths are more expensive than the Italian cloths which tend to be 2 x 1.

Of the Italian mills, Barberis is considered to be the most "English-like." It is considered an excellent cloth at a slightly lower price than English goods. But if it is indeed 2 x 1, then you will not be getting the same construction.

The tailor might prefer Barberis for any number of factors, such as lower cost, ease of obtaining, etc.

My suggestion: go with Lesser, Smiths, Harrisons, Minnis, or Holland & Sherry.

Good luck.
post #11 of 18
I am surprised that a bespoke tailor would even carry VBC. It is generally regarded as a weaver for the RTW industry. They are a huge maker that churns out industrial volumes of cloth. Their retail prices, especially to the industry buyer, is a fraction of what the British merchants sell at. One industry person confided in me that "you get what you pay for".
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by carpediem View Post
while lesser markets fine products I would argue that ed's dismissive response to the quality of VBC's goods is misplaced. They are at the top of the food chain of Italian producers. Products are made in Italy, not the UK. The US distributor, Gladson, marks up the material in an excessive way.

Carlo Barbera is top of the Italian food chain, as far as I know. I don't think any other Italian producer comes close.

All the good Italian tailors I have met prefer to use English cloth. That says something, I think.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I am surprised that a bespoke tailor would even carry VBC. It is generally regarded as a weaver for the RTW industry. They are a huge maker that churns out industrial volumes of cloth. Their retail prices, especially to the industry buyer, is a fraction of what the British merchants sell at. One industry person confided in me that "you get what you pay for".

Pretty much all the mtm tailors (the guys that do "package" deals) and all the hong kong guys carry the stuff. I think they weave some of the Drapers stuff, which is a bit better. If the OP likes the fabric and the pattern, he should get the suit. Assuming he is not going to wear it daily, the suit will serve him just fine and he'll get tired of it/his tailor before anything happens to the suit. This thought though, that VBC is good relative to the Harrisons, Minnis, Barbera's of the world is rather silly though. I know very little about cloth but I have recently embarked on a venture that has had me try a lot of fabrics and the VBC and Biella stuff is just not in the same league as the English stuff. Not even close and the price reflects it.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman View Post
Lesser is a 2 x 2 cloth. I believe that Barberis is 2 x 1.

Generally, 2 x 2 cloth is stronger, lasts longer, and is more wrinkle resistant. It has more body since it's two strands of thread wrapped together in each direction. That is why the best English cloths are more expensive than the Italian cloths which tend to be 2 x 1.

Of the Italian mills, Barberis is considered to be the most "English-like." It is considered an excellent cloth at a slightly lower price than English goods. But if it is indeed 2 x 1, then you will not be getting the same construction.

The tailor might prefer Barberis for any number of factors, such as lower cost, ease of obtaining, etc.

My suggestion: go with Lesser, Smiths, Harrisons, Minnis, or Holland & Sherry.

Good luck.

I don't wear suits very often so, durability and longevity is secondary. I'm buying this suit for me. I'm more interested in the richness of the experience -- the body, texture, look, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I am surprised that a bespoke tailor would even carry VBC. It is generally regarded as a weaver for the RTW industry. They are a huge maker that churns out industrial volumes of cloth. Their retail prices, especially to the industry buyer, is a fraction of what the British merchants sell at. One industry person confided in me that "you get what you pay for".

This not bespoke, it's MTM. He does the cutting and major assembly in his shop. I think he outsources some of the stitching to local seamtresses. He's been doing this for 40 years, and I know he sells a lot of suits with VBC fabric.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Carlo Barbera is top of the Italian food chain, as far as I know. I don't think any other Italian producer comes close.

All the good Italian tailors I have met prefer to use English cloth. That says something, I think.

And, as I understand the situation, Lessor is the merchant for the Carlo Barbera mills.

So, here are three negative opinions for VBC. So, is Lessor a good alternative?
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
I think they weave some of the Drapers stuff, which is a bit better.

I have a length of VBC for Drapers that appears to be pretty solid.
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