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Good value fabrics for suits?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been told by WW Chan that a suit made from Zegna fabrics will cost about HK$12,000. I'm looking for a solid charcoal suit. Is Zegna fabric worth it? I heard that for optimum durability, I should go for 120s wool? What are some of your suggestions? Thanks!
post #2 of 18
Has Chan made you anything before? Will you be making it instore or during a visit?
post #3 of 18
Zegna fabrics will start around $1500 USD w/Chan. I had a suit made w/a light gray Trofeo from their most recent catalog and it was ~$1700.
post #4 of 18
Zegna suitings have a reputation for being a bit fragile.

I believe WW Chan stock Holland and Sherry. If you are after a basic charcoal suiting, H&S would probably better suit your needs. I also suggest inquiring if WW Chan stock H. Lesser.

I would also advise going for as low a super number as possible. Unless you consider your clothing disposable consider super 80 - 100 to be your optimum fabric. The lower the super number the better the durability and the drape - you will look sharper and save money at the same time! Anything not marked as a super can be assumed to be around super 80s. Go for as heavy a fabric as your local weather will permit, preferably from 350g up to around 400g (11 - 13 Oz).
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
Zegna suitings have a reputation for being a bit fragile.

I believe WW Chan stock Holland and Sherry. If you are after a basic charcoal suiting, H&S would probably better suit your needs. I also suggest inquiring if WW Chan stock H. Lesser.

I would also advise going for as low a super number as possible. Unless you consider your clothing disposable consider super 80 - 100 to be your optimum fabric. The lower the super number the better the durability and the drape - you will look sharper and save money at the same time! Anything not marked as a super can be assumed to be around super 80s. Go for as heavy a fabric as your local weather will permit, preferably from 350g up to around 400g (11 - 13 Oz).

I'm not looking for anything too fancy. I only intend to use the suit for my university graduation ceremony and job interviews afterwards. How does H. Lesser fabrics compare to Zegna in terms of look?
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt_Strider View Post
I'm not looking for anything too fancy. I only intend to use the suit for my university graduation ceremony and job interviews afterwards. How does H. Lesser fabrics compare to Zegna in terms of look?

It is precisely in this situation that H. Lesser excel. My tailor says English for durability and Italian for colour. If you want something fancy, the Italians have more eye-catching patterns and colours. English fabrics, most notably Lesser have a more elegant and understated old-world feel to them, which most of us here greatly prefer.
post #7 of 18
Good article by English Cut regarding super numbers:

http://www.englishcut.com/archives/000037.html
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfo423 View Post
Zegna fabrics will start around $1500 USD w/Chan. I had a suit made w/a light gray Trofeo from their most recent catalog and it was ~$1700.

I got a grey pinstripe from Gordon Yao with Scabal super 130 for $US 1400. I would rather get a scabal than zegna
post #9 of 18
I just got a navy Scabal pinstripe from Gordon Yao and a solid grey Zegna trofeo from Chan. I'am satisified with both, though I prefer the Scabal hands down. Have to compare how they wear.
post #10 of 18
Go with Scabal, their fabrics are good and wear well.
post #11 of 18
Do lower super numbers also indicate a more insulated garment?

Working in the restaurant industry, I often am required to wear a suit where durability is important but breathability is paramount. In the middle of service there is nothing worse than running around bringing people food and starting to sweat because your jacket keeps you too warm. Is there a fabric that is a suitable compromise--both durable, but also lightweight?
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Do lower super numbers also indicate a more insulated garment?

Working in the restaurant industry, I often am required to wear a suit where durability is important but breathability is paramount. In the middle of service there is nothing worse than running around bringing people food and starting to sweat because your jacket keeps you too warm. Is there a fabric that is a suitable compromise--both durable, but also lightweight?

Super numbers have no correlation with the weight or breathability of the fabric. Even the weight of the wool isn't necessarily an indicator of warmth or coolness since the density of the weave greatly affects such properties. Frescos are generality the lightest, worsteds are intermediate, and flannels/tweeds are the warmest.

As far as entry level fabrics for an entry level MTM garment, I would safely recommend Vitale Barbereis Canonico among the Italians for their serviceable degree of finishing and fair retail price, along with Holland & Sherry, Reid & Taylor, and select lengths from Charles Clayton. H&S and Scabal are definitely a step up, but are often sold at a premium. Lesser, Minnis, Carlo Barbera, etc. usually add substantially to the price. I don't have any experience with Wain Shiell, and have a mixed opinion of Dormeuil. Zegna and LP are generally poor values.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I also suggest inquiring if WW Chan stock H. Lesser.
Has anyone inquired wheth Chan has access to H. Lesser and/or. requested that chan bring a lesser book on thier us tours? I have never seen one with patrick on the last couple of visits. So i dont know if its available to them in HK. Ive heard much about Lesser and would like to try it.M Maybe I need to try out tip top and ask someone for a cmt. Personally, i also like the VBC's better then a lot of the LP stuff offered. Just seems to be more durable and better value
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop24 View Post
Do lower super numbers also indicate a more insulated garment?

Working in the restaurant industry, I often am required to wear a suit where durability is important but breathability is paramount. In the middle of service there is nothing worse than running around bringing people food and starting to sweat because your jacket keeps you too warm. Is there a fabric that is a suitable compromise--both durable, but also lightweight?


As has been pointed out already, to get a fabric which breaths better and keeps you cool you should look at the way the wool is woven. "Fresco" and "Crispaire" are both trade names used for open weaves which breath well. And it is the ability to breath that primarily determines how cool a garment is. Gaberdine in lighter weight also breath somewhat better than standard worsteds.

So rather than paying zillions for super tissue paper on the (often false) assumption that it will keep you cooler, it is better to go for something that may be much heavier but with an open weave. That way you have a garment which drapes well, is more durable and keeps you cool all at the same time.

You should also consider linen suitings in an open weave for summer if keeping cool really is your number one priority above all else.
post #15 of 18
Thanks for the info, Norcal and Sator.

One last question slightly touched upon in Sator's last post:

Does the way a wool is woven (i.e. the aforementioned open weaves) affect the way the fabric is draped? It sounds like from Sator's post that the only thing that affects drape is the Super #...but wouldn't a more closed / dense weave affect the weight of the fabric and hence the drape?
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