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Logsdail: Target suits good value per WSJ

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Len Logsdail reviews cheap/mid range suits in in Sept 2 Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, the online WSJ requires a subscription and I won't violate SF rules in reprinting it here.
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragdoll
I won't violate SF rules in reprinting it here.

post #3 of 24
A brief quote certainly does not violate fair use.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragdoll
Len Logsdail reviews cheap/mid range suits in in Sept 2 Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, the online WSJ requires a subscription and I won't violate SF rules in reprinting it here.

That's an AAAC rule. Doesn't apply here.
post #5 of 24
Are you talking about the Merona suits? Those are utter garbage, however that wool tweed jacket from last season wasn't too bad.
post #6 of 24
Meh. I tried some Merona suits on. They're not horrible, but they're very polyester-laden.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, here is a quote from the WSJ: "Curious about how someone in the garment business would compare a $300 suit with one that sells for $700, we asked Leonard Logsdail, a New York custom tailor, and Salvatore Cesarani, a menswear designer who teaches at Parsons, The New School for Design, to look over a selection from each price range. The first group included suits by Chaps, Target and J.C. Penney, at prices ranging from about $140 to $300; the other had suits from Joseph Abboud, Hart Schaffner Marx and Brooks Brothers, for between $598 and $750. Mr. Logsdail thought the traditional suits were overpriced. "It's well constructed. The stitching looks good," he said of a $695 Hart Schaffner Marx suit. "But for $600? If this cloth were in the Target suit, there would be no difference." (See chart for more from their critique.) Hart Schaffner Marx said it is surprised by the comment: "There was additional cost to upgrade and add more details," says Mr. Jones. That "justifies the increased retail price." As for the less-expensive suits, Mr. Logsdail thought they were good value, especially the Target suit. Mr. Cesarani, who remained partial to the pricier suits, said the lower-priced offerings were good enough for someone who didn't want to spend a lot. The Target suit, he said, looked and felt cheap. Target declined to respond to Mr. Cesarani's comment."
post #8 of 24
The target suits look ok as long as you don't get too close, but they definately do feel cheap. They have their place, I had cheap suit like that when I was in jr high/high school from JC Penny, but I wouldn't currently buy one for myself.
post #9 of 24
Just read this article in today's Journal.

I think Mr. Logsdail is just saying what must of us on this forum have figured out already, that while the better made and more expensive suits are definitely higher quality and look better, it's not worth paying full retail for them.

As an example, I own two of the suits mentioned in the article, the $750 Joseph Abboud suit and the $695 Hart Schaffner & Marx, however, I only paid $180 for a NWT Joseph Abboud on Ebay and $120 for the Hart Schaffner & Marx at the Dillard's Outlet that used to be here in Phoenix (although I believe I actually purchased the HSM before this forum started).
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
Just read this article in today's Journal. I think Mr. Logsdail is just saying what must of us on this forum have figured out already, that while the better made and more expensive suits are definitely higher quality and look better, it's not worth paying full retail for them.
Tell that to the guys on the 'in praise of full retail shopping' thread.
post #11 of 24
If WSJ and others keep doing articles like this, it's going to take all the fun out of paying full retail.
post #12 of 24
From same article WSJ 9/2/06 Officewear Economics What you get with the different options. We also asked two specialists-Leonard Logsdail, a New York custom tailor, and Salvatore Cesarani, a menswear designer who teaches at Parsons, The New School for Design-to assess the construction and quality. JOSEPH ABBOUD CLASSIC $750 WHAT YOU GET: Three-button suit made of soft "super 120s" wool -- which none of the other suits we looked at have. The jacket's armholes are finished with hand stitching, which can make them more durable. COMMENTS: "It's beautifully made -- that's why you pay," says Mr. Cesarani. But Mr. Logsdail says the details don't justify the cost.The company says the extra detail is what sets the suit apart, and its customers understand that. BOTTOM LINE: A suit with lots of extras that you might not want to pay for. BROOKS BROTHERS $598 (jacket and pants sold separately) WHAT YOU GET: The two-button jacket has an extra piece of fabric sewn inside the front to give it more shape. The jacket also has piping on the pockets and underarm sweat shields. COMMENTS: "There's not a thing that distinguishes this, apart from the Brooks Brothers label," says Mr. Logsdail, who adds that the fabric is OK and the construction adequate. "It's not worth $598." Company says the experts overlooked a number of elements, including the suit's durability. BOTTOM LINE: A basic suit for a premium price. CHAPS AT KOHL'S $275 (jacket and pants sold separately) WHAT YOU GET: The fit is classic and conservative. The jacket has a special pocket for theater tickets, and a double layer of fabric in the crotch so it won't wear out. The jacket is put together in China, the pants in India. COMMENTS: The jacket's chest piece is lightly fused, meaning it will move more naturally with the coat than one with more adhesive, says Mr. Cesarani. Mr. Logsdail likes the construction, but says the fabric feels limp and the pant zipper is sewn poorly and bubbles. BOTTOM LINE: A decent suit at a good price. STAFFORD AT J.C. PENNEY $300 WHAT YOU GET: This two-button conservative suit, made of 100% wool in Mexico, has darts on the inside of the chest to provide the wearer more room. The jacket also has underarm sweat shields. COMMENTS: Fabric feels softer and is higher quality than the Target or Kohl's offerings, our experts say. "Plus, they added some extras," says Mr. Cesarani. But Mr. Cesarani says the cotton lining in the pockets will start to pill after dry cleaning. BOTTOM LINE: Good fabric and value but don't expect friends to think it's a $600 suit. HART SCHAFFNER MARX $695 WHAT YOU GET: Three-button suit, whose jacket has lots of extras, including a ticket pocket and "pick stitching" that looks like hand- stitched edging. The pants have a change pocket and extra lining that expands to give you more freedom of movement. COMMENTS: "Just feel the luxury of this fabric. This suit will last you a long time," says Mr. Cesarani. Mr. Logsdail likes the "clean" look of the suit, but can't get his head around the price. "It's too much for what it is," he says. BOTTOM LINE: A well-made suit, a nice fabric -- and premium price. TARGET MERONA PREMIUM WOOL SUIT $139.98 (jacket and pants sold separately) WHAT YOU GET: Three-button jacket whose front pieces are attached with adhesive, rather than sewn in, which is how more expensive coats do it. The buttons are plastic. COMMENTS: The jacket lining is so tight that if the wool or the lining shrink in dry cleaning, the jacket could pull up at the bottom, says Mr. Cesarani. And the seams on the lining of the pants could unravel, he warns. The custom tailor, Mr. Logsdail, calls the fabric "not great, but not bad." BOTTOM LINE: Good value for the money but not a suit for the long haul.
post #13 of 24
I saw the Target suits today...I'm not sure I agree with Leonard on this one but his knowledge is far deeper than mine.

One wonders what Costco could do if they did jackets based on their pants...

I think the WSJ blew a chance to bring some knowledge to its audience. C'mon the WSJ reader isn't buying from Kohl's or Target are they? Isn't that the USA Today audience? Seriously, I would have liked to have them educate the audience on the better brands like Zegna, etc.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
I saw the Target suits today...I'm not sure I agree with Leonard on this one but his knowledge is far deeper than mine. One wonders what Costco could do if they did jackets based on their pants... I think the WSJ blew a chance to bring some knowledge to its audience. C'mon the WSJ reader isn't buying from Kohl's or Target are they? Isn't that the USA Today audience? Seriously, I would have liked to have them educate the audience on the better brands like Zegna, etc.
You might be surprised who reads WSJ and their clothing choices... My uncle has been reading the WSJ ever since I can remember. He does a lot of investing, but he is neither rich nor poor. I would classify him as upper middle-class. He lives very comfortably in a very nice house. But where does he shop for clothes? Target. K-mart. He'd rather drop his money on his various car projects than his clothing.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
I saw the Target suits today...I'm not sure I agree with Leonard on this one but his knowledge is far deeper than mine.

One wonders what Costco could do if they did jackets based on their pants...

I think the WSJ blew a chance to bring some knowledge to its audience. C'mon the WSJ reader isn't buying from Kohl's or Target are they? Isn't that the USA Today audience? Seriously, I would have liked to have them educate the audience on the better brands like Zegna, etc.

I can recall seeing a pile of cashmere blazers piled up on table at my local (Signal Hill) Costco. They weren't cheap--$275 (as I recall), but I suppose that's not bad for cashmere.

Many rich people are surprisingly stingy about their purchases for clothing and other items, which may partly explain why they are rich. My wife's niece sold shoes at Nordstrom's, and she had a regular customer who was extremely wealthy who bought numerous shoes from her. I expressed surprised that a man of his means would patronize Nordstrom's so much if he had such a taste for shoes, thinking that he would want marques like EG, JLP, Lattanzi and the like if he were such a rich shoefan. She informed me that while he bought a lot of shoes, they were all just cheap, sub-$100 crap. Curious that!
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