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Guys, how many of you can honestly tell if somebody is wearing a quality suit?

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Unless I can actually feel the fabric, or inspect it for hand-made buttonholes/sleeve head etc, I usually can't.


Sure some may point to the way it fits, but one can easily purchase a $8,000 Kiton in the wrong size, or a $150 slim fit Alfani that fits them perfectly. And quite honestly many Kitons are not very attractively cut anyway. I've heard of people saying a polyester suit's fabric just looks bad, but honestly without touching one I usually can't tell it apart from wool from a few feet away. The supposed "sheen" just isn't apparent to my eye, and who's it say it isn't a 90% wool 10% silk blend if it is shiny?

I think drape and lapel roll are the only legitimate way one can differentiate from sight. But honestly I feel like drape is such a nebulous description, and seriously raise your hand if you can really differentiate drape and aren't just BSing to make yourself sound good on teh stylefrvm.

So for me, I only look at lapel roll, and I'm not even completely confident with it. I have a Kiton with a horrible lapel roll that's worse than a $10 suit (or at least my fused polyester Armani), but I believe a really nice 3-2 roll can only be done with a hand sewn lapel and canvass.

Thoughts? Feel free to disagree

I have too much time on my hands, so just for kicks, can you guess from these photos? I realize these are static images vs moving IRL, and I'm probably making these extra hard smile.gif

<$900 (ie cheap brands)
$1k-2K (designer fused suits such as Armani, D&G (there are no Lanvin by Caruso or Prada by Belvest etc))
>$3K (high end Styleforum approved, think Kiton, Attolini)


1)


2)


3)


4)


5)



6)


Bonus)
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Edited by spidercan - 8/15/13 at 11:27pm
post #2 of 74
What if the cleaners press the lapel flat. That takes lapel roll out of the equation. :-)
post #3 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulata View Post

What if the cleaners press the lapel flat. That takes lapel roll out of the equation. :-)

 

Then I would donate the jacket to charity and set the cleaners' establishment on fire 

post #4 of 74
I agree with you in many respects. It's easy to see good fit, but that is not necessarily indicative of high-quality materials or construction (e.g., full canvas).

I think a few properties are characteristic of nice suits, and can be noticeable from far away:

1) Collar gap as a person moves or raises their arms -- I feel like only well-constructed "good" suits -- e.g., at least half-canvas -- will show little to no collar gap at all times as a person moves around. Even a well-fitted Alfani, to give one example, might look amazing when a person is robo-posing or with their arms at their sides, but will show collar gap when they reach up or even lift their arm for a handshake.

2) Lapel roll -- as you indicated.

3) Button holes or pick stitching -- It's not always the perfect thing to go by nowadays, when machines can basically emulate pick-stitching, but one still sees this more on high-end garments.
post #5 of 74
Distinguishing very cheap from expensive suits is often possible, e.g. by spotting
- Cheap plastic buttons!!!
- Bad optics of the lapel roll
- Terrible pattern matching in case of suits with stripes, windowpane etc.
- And in some cases the fabrics really look cheap

It gets tougher to visually distinguish different levels of quality once you reached a certain level, e.g. Canali vs. Zegna vs. Brioni
post #6 of 74
Thread Starter 
Nice. A couple points that were brought up that I didn't think of:
-pattern matching
-collar gaping (although I think this is more of a symptom of a low arm hole, another cheap suit indicator. Although even budget brands have been raising their armholes recently)

Seems like lapel roll is a common one.

Buttons: Can't say I completely agree with buttons, I pulled out my Isaia and Kiton suit and they both have pretty run-of-the mill plastic black buttons. Although I suppose if one were to have really nice horn buttons this would be a good indicator...but once again, I can't differentiate fake palstic horn from real horn unless it's up close (that being said I don't really have a discerning eye for buttons)

Keep it coming guys!
post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by scohrdarkshadow View Post

I pulled out my Isaia and Kiton suit and they both have pretty run-of-the mill plastic black buttons.

cry.gif I am shocked.
post #8 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexE View Post

cry.gif I am shocked.

Ha you made me go through my closet. Two Armani Black label suits, and my Lanvin by Caruso have horn buttons. The Kiton and Isaia definitely plastic. Sartorio I have for sale looks like plastic, although there's sort of a horn looking design on the back, and Givenchy looks to have horn. So horn for designer, plastic for high-end Neapolitan. Go figure. Just never checked my buttons until you brought it up, but I'll take hand-sewn buttonholes over horn buttons any day icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #9 of 74

Being surrounded by suits daily in the finance district, it's not that hard to tell after a while. Drape and fit are primarily what I look for. Most cheap suits have boxy, padded shoulders with low arm holes and are 'stiff' from the fusing. 

post #10 of 74
Are you guys sure they are plastic and not corozo? Corozo often looks like plastic, and is common for many high end Italian makers.

http://www.corozobuttons.com/
post #11 of 74
I look to see if the guy's face is blurry or blacked out. Waywt taught me that this is how to recognize the best dressed men
post #12 of 74
you usually can just tell. if you cant, you need to handle more high end suits. oh i love how snobby that sounds. smile.gif
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrybrowne View Post

Are you guys sure they are plastic and not corozo? Corozo often looks like plastic, and is common for many high end Italian makers.

http://www.corozobuttons.com/

Was about to mention this as well, can't think of any reason why a higher end maker would skimp on buttons.
post #14 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevent View Post

Was about to mention this as well, can't think of any reason why a higher end maker would skimp on buttons.
Ah makes sense. The Isaia buttons do seem to have a bit more texture up close.
post #15 of 74
This is one of the more interesting threads of late. Other than nuances of fit, I am not sure I can differentiate, to tell the truth.
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