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Quality vs. price question

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Since most, I assume, cannot afford the 'best' of a category, I was wondering which (common) brands quality are most accurately reflected in their 'everyday' price. Also, what is most overpriced? My feelings: Tailored Clothing: Best value - Hickey-Freeman Worst Value - Zegna Dress Shirts: Best Value - Kenneth Gordon Worst Value - Brioni Dress Shoes: Best Value - Gravati Worst Value - (tie) Ferragamo & Cole Haan Neckties: Best Value - Talbott Worst Value - Burberry Socks: Best Value - Byford Worst Value - Pantherella Any opinions? Other best/worst items?
post #2 of 28
Tailored Clothing: Best Value - Oxxford Worst Value - Armani Dress Shirts: Best Value - Lorenzini Worst Value - Thomas Pink Dress Shoes: Best Value - C&J Worst Value - Cole Haan Neckties: Best Value - Marinella Worst Value - The list is long and distinguished Socks: Best Value - Dore Dore Worst Value - Calvin Klein
post #3 of 28
Tailored Clothing: Best Value - Canali, Hickey-Freeman Worst Value - Armani Dress Shirts: Best Value - Hilditch & Key, Ascot Chang Worst Value - Thomas Pink, Gucci Dress Shoes: Best Value - Gravati, Edward Green Worst Value - Cole Haan Neckties: Best Value - Dunhill, Bizzochi Worst Value - Most fashion houses (e.g. Armani, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, etc.) Slacks: Best Value: I finally broke down, and bought a pair of Incotex cords which are heavenly. Worst Value: Hugo Boss
post #4 of 28
Tailored Best: Canali, Corneliani, Hickey Worst: Armani, Dior Dress Shirt: Best: Purple Label, Lorenzini, Jantzen Worst: Kiton, Thomas Pink Dress Shoes: Best: AE Worst: Bruno Magli, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan Slacks of any kind: Best: J Crew, Polo Blue Label Worst: Armani, Incotex Keep in mind I really like and purchase things from some designers in the worst category, but we're talking retail VALUE here.
post #5 of 28
Okay, keep in mind that I am in Europe (I will limit my suggestions to brands that are available there in the States), and that this is not the "best", but "best bang for the buck": Suits/Sportscoats: Best: toss up between Ravazzolo, R. Caruso, and Belvest Worst: most designer Unlimited funds: Bespokes plus bespoke Brioni in their Roman headquarters Dress Shirts: Best: (although I haven't tried it nor seen any) Janztzen (beats everyone because you get a shirt that FITS PROPERLY, and very well priced), another would be Millerighe (Rome) just for the colours.... Worst: most designer Unlimited funds: bespoke Battistoni (really the ultimate, trust me). Trousers: Best: Incotex, Reporter Worst: most designers, Zanella Unlimited funds: bespokes, Kiton, Rota, Incotex satoriale (make sure it is satoriale: ONLY has buttons, absolutley NO ZIPPERS) Shoes: Best: Santoni (tan serrated sock, fatte a mano, andrea santoni in script going around the heel) Worst: Prada Unlimited funds: Bespokes: Lattanzzi, Lobb Paris, Cleverley Socks: Best: Dore Dore Worst: most designer   Ties: Best: Villa Bolgheri (makers of Zegna) Worst: all machine stitched ties. Unlimited: bespoke with your own choice of fabrics and construction.
post #6 of 28
Before responding, let me state up fron that I think that this type of comparison is best made between brands of similar *styles*, at similar pricepoints. Comparing Dior Homme (Cheaper, and designer) to Kiton (traditional tailor, and more expensive) gives an indication of the posters tastes rather than giving a good guide. With this is mind, I consider only "traditional" clothiers. Tailored: Best Value (In order of descending price): Belvest, Canali, Corneliani Worst Value: Brioni, Hickey-Freeman (I have no idea why you guys would consider that stuff value for money), Zegna Shirts: Best value: Any MTM service with access to good fabrics. Barba Worst value: Kiton, Borrelli, Attolini, Brioni - I love all these makers, but $350+ for a RTW dress shirt? Come back to earth people. Trousers: Best value: Incotex Worst value: Hugo Boss - not really a "traditional" clothier, I know, but the prices these days are similar ($175+ for wool), and the quality is pretty bad. Leather belts: Best value: Martin Dingman (sp?) Worst value: Ferragamo - nice styles, but really. Neckties: Best Value: Bizzochi, Robert Talbott (though I hate his patterns with a passion) Worst value: Hugo Boss - seriously some of the worst ties, for any money, that I have seen. Socks: Seriously guys, buy reasonable socks, but don't spend more that 10 bucks a pair, tops. They are socks. They get holes, you toss them. No one scrutinizes them (unless they are truly atrocious.)
post #7 of 28
My objection to the lists is that they exclude origin, vis Pantherella is bad value if purchased in a high-priced department store, but at 12 bucks per at Sierra Trading Post, I think it is fine. All my "worst"s are excellent choices, but are overpriced. A lot of my choices are based on careful reading of the forums, not personal experience. outerwear- best: Barbour, particularly from the discount site I recommended worst: Burberry, Loro Piana tailored- best: Castangia worst: Brioni or Kiton unlmited money: fly to Sardinia and get fitted at Castangia shirts- best: Land's End, Mr Harris (Philadelphia), Jantzen worst: Borelli. Battistoni. unlimited funds: Charvet bespoke, because what the Hell trousers: best: Land's End, any good local bespoke tailor with the best fabrics worst: Mr Bill's khkakis, because in the end, I think they are overpriced for what they are unlimited funds: why do I even have to get dressed? leather belts: best: Alden worst: anything over 100 dollars, anything Hermes, anything "custom" unlimited funds: I am sure there are lots of great belts, but I was just so impressed by the quality of the Alden neckties: best: Seigo Katsuragawa and Duchamps from Tiedeals worst: anything over 80 dollars, anything "custom" unlimited funds: I don't know, its just a tie....those Duchamps look mighty nice... socks: best: Pantherella from Sierra Trading Post and Shipton and Heneage, Eddie Bauer (for boot socks) worst: anything over 15 dollars per unlimited funds: Paul Smith shoes- best: Alfred Sargent premier, Knightsbridge and country, Crockett and Jones hand grade, Albaladejo worst: Lattanzi or Santoni RTW, any bespoke shoe unless necessary unlimited: Edward Green RTW or Green, Lobb or Cleverly bespoke But the initial question raised was, what is the best value, and MY answer is that the best value is the item that eliminates your particular weakness and hides it. I, for example, have a short rise and a thick neck. These two facts, plus my overweight of now 25 pounds, have collectively made me dress dumpier than I am. My custom shirts from Harris and Land's End were well worth the effort and expense, as will my Land's End pants be when they are finished. I also think that if one puts on TOO many fine showy items, one makes the unattractive impression of a dandy rather than someone who is stylish. So one expensive item that looks fabulous, a stunning coat or a fabulous pair of shoes for example, represents excellent value I think.
post #8 of 28
Posted by brescd01 neckties: best: Seigo Katsuragawa and Duchamps from Tiedeals worst: anything over 80 dollars unlimited funds: I don't know, its just a tie....those Duchamps look mighty nice.
Doc, I respect your opinion, but after buying ties for 25 years I must disagree with your $80 price cap for a tie.  Your "just a tie" opinion suggests that there are items of a gentleman's dress that can be less considered than others.  No item of a gentleman's dress should be less considered because it's generally unseen or accessory.  The ritual of dress is a state of mind.  I dress for me.  Knowing that my collar stays are of the finest MoP and that my personal linens are Zimmerli and Dore Dore make my experience rewarding.  The fact that others may never see them is of no concern to me.  If you've found a tie that is worth putting around your neck that costs less than $80 MSRP, I'd like to hear about it.  Please don't consider the tone of my response aggressive, but I'm of firm opinion that the elegant dresser dresses for himself; his appeal to others is collateral.
post #9 of 28
just want to add a categoty: Luggage Best: Worst:
post #10 of 28
Please don't consider the tone of my response aggressive, but I'm of firm opinion that the elegant dresser dresses for himself; his appeal to others is collateral.
First of all, there is nothing aggressive about expressing your opinion. And I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from. Since I purchased the nice shoes recommended on this forum (and shirts, etc), dressing is a joy in the morning, where as before it was a chore. I am sure my 80 dollar cap reflects my own lack of imagination, but for ME, the FINEST ties are WOVEN not printed and have a beautiful "hand," and above 80 bucks there are huge mark-ups by various middle men. Seigo, for example, sells his ties to other stores that charge a premium for them. Duchamps are more expensive normally than the prices on Tiedeals, but they SEEM so beautiful (I have not seen them in person but on-line they look beautiful). My FEELING is that ties are to clothing retail what concessions are to cinemas, they pay the rent, and not to be cruel, but I do not want to be the one paying the rent. My list is so littered with my ignorance that I thought not to respond, but even in criticisms I am learning a lot about clothing, so I figure what the hell. Do not take my list too seriously... The most educated remarks in my post were about shoes, socks, belts, and outerwear.
post #11 of 28
From a pure technical (quality of tailoring/consistency of fit vs. price) point of view of R-T-W: Suits/Jackets- Best Value: Oxxford - Corneliani Sartoria - Samuelsohn Worst Value: Brioni - Hickey-Freeman (pure dreck) - Hugo Boss Trousers- Best Value: Zanella - Hartz & Co. (Tallia, Lebow, Hilton,etc.) Worst Value: Brioni - Hart Schafner & Marx - Bill's Khakis Dress Shirts- Best Value: Ike Behar - Robert Talbott - FA MacCluer Worst Value: Armani - Polo Shoes- Best Value: Alden Worst Value: Cole-Haan
post #12 of 28
My list is so littered with my ignorance that I thought not to respond, but even in criticisms I am learning a lot about clothing, so I figure what the hell. Do not take my list too seriously...
Actually, I wouldn't pay over $60 for a tie, unless it was one of Chuck's. That's why I love eBay so much. You should read some of what Chuck posted a while ago on how much it actually costs to make a tie versus how much they sell for.
post #13 of 28
I agree that great ties are to be had for very reasonable prices. I have eight R. Talbott Seven-folds in my collection, all bought on ebay from the same seller, and none over $105. This is about "everyday prices", however, which I took to mean what I'd expect to pay in a standard brick & mortor establishment. As for Chuck's ties, I have several and I agree that they are simply terrific. My understanding is that he has a new batch ready.
post #14 of 28
someone earlier mentioned castangia. who carries this line in the states? thx.
post #15 of 28
I don't think that anybody carries Castangia under the "Sartoria Castangia" label anymore. But Bergdorf carries it as a private label MTM line, Barneys carries Battistoni suits made by Castangia, and Jay Kos carries Castangia suits under their own label. There could be more, but that is all I have come across.
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