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Expensive Suits - Can anyone tell - Page 9

post #121 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brovsko View Post
 

I think you have to consider value rather than price. Something might be in a price range one would consider 'expensive' but it offers value far superior to even higher priced items. This is how the majority of the members here judge their purchases (I believe).

 

A perfect example is a pair of shoes. Sure, you can get a pair of Florsheims but once that sole wears out, the shoes are trash. Alternatively, you can spend $500 on a pair of Carminas that will last you 15 years and multiple resolings if you care for them properly. You spent more upfront but you got a lot more value out of the item over time.

 

If you're implying that higher end suits will outlast cheap suits, my understanding is that fusing has improved to the point that any bubbling is very rare on modern suits, which seemed to be one of the main durability problems with cheap and fused suits in the past. Hence, the benefits of a fully or even half canvassed suit being primarily comfort to the wearer and any improved appearance, if any, to other observers.

post #122 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post
 

 

If you're implying that higher end suits will outlast cheap suits, my understanding is that fusing has improved to the point that any bubbling is very rare on modern suits, which seemed to be one of the main durability problems with cheap and fused suits in the past.

 

I guess it depends on what part of suits wear out on you. For me I destroy the trousers with "thigh rub" and its always the part that fails first on suits. The last RTW suit I bought the trousers were circa $200 a pair and I could go through 3-4 pairs a year. Given RTW change seasonally the overall lifespan of my suit was effectively fixed by the number of trousers I purchased on day 1.

 

My first bespoke suit was circa $1,500 with 2 pairs of trousers and I wore it 4-5 days a week exclusively for 2 years and neither pairs of trousers showed significant damage. I now have a few "work" suits so judging how much I've worn the original one is more difficult but its still going very strong and still no notable damage.

 

To me the question of "value" can be tricky to measure. For a start at the point of buying you dont know how well something will wear - indeed that last RTW suit I bought was the worst I'd had for durability despite being the most expensive. Secondly, when you look at things like shoes then the cost of resoling a decent pair of shoes is probably in the ball park of buying a pair of average (by office workers not SF standards) pair of shoes which themselves could have their life extended partially with cheap glue on extra soles. So on a pure cost over time consideration at best I've found C&J etc break even with high street brands and probably are more expensive but then there is the highly subjective element of the "value" which is the look of the item both when new and at the point of needing (each) resoling.

post #123 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Reeves View Post

Fit costs real treasure, skilled labor and the time and QC to fundamentally put garments together correctly. This is actually 80% of fit, thats why if you put on a Tom Ford suit or a Brioni or a canali even you will see that it seems to fit better than a lot of suits, this is because usually the sleeve is put in correctly and the garment is made (or tailored) well.
 

 

I agree the better brand names have better quality and are made better from better tailors, but it doesn't always equate to a better fitting suit on every person.  Most of my better OTR suits don't fit me as well as the lower end ones because I'm a regular guy 40+ year old who could lose 20 pounds and get back into the gym a lot more.  Seems like lower end suits are made with less aggressive cuts and styles that just seem to fit the average joe better.  Now if I was in my 20's and was in great shape like I used to be the higher end suits with slim cuts would be a much better fit.

post #124 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LGHT View Post

I agree the better brand names have better quality and are made better from better tailors, but it doesn't always equate to a better fitting suit on every person.  Most of my better OTR suits don't fit me as well as the lower end ones because I'm a regular guy 40+ year old who could lose 20 pounds and get back into the gym a lot more.  Seems like lower end suits are made with less aggressive cuts and styles that just seem to fit the average joe better.  Now if I was in my 20's and was in great shape like I used to be the higher end suits with slim cuts would be a much better fit.

Not to be combative but thats to do with style, not QC or construction, Im sure there are some brands that are high end that would fit you very well, Canali for example. The patterns of these brands you are talking about by your own admission just aren't made for you.
post #125 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post

I guess it depends on what part of suits wear out on you. For me I destroy the trousers with "thigh rub" and its always the part that fails first on suits. The last RTW suit I bought the trousers were circa $200 a pair and I could go through 3-4 pairs a year. Given RTW change seasonally the overall lifespan of my suit was effectively fixed by the number of trousers I purchased on day 1.

My first bespoke suit was circa $1,500 with 2 pairs of trousers and I wore it 4-5 days a week exclusively for 2 years and neither pairs of trousers showed significant damage. I now have a few "work" suits so judging how much I've worn the original one is more difficult but its still going very strong and still no notable damage.

To me the question of "value" can be tricky to measure. For a start at the point of buying you dont know how well something will wear - indeed that last RTW suit I bought was the worst I'd had for durability despite being the most expensive. Secondly, when you look at things like shoes then the cost of resoling a decent pair of shoes is probably in the ball park of buying a pair of average (by office workers not SF standards) pair of shoes which themselves could have their life extended partially with cheap glue on extra soles. So on a pure cost over time consideration at best I've found C&J etc break even with high street brands and probably are more expensive but then there is the highly subjective element of the "value" which is the look of the item both when new and at the point of needing (each) resoling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post

I guess it depends on what part of suits wear out on you. For me I destroy the trousers with "thigh rub" and its always the part that fails first on suits. The last RTW suit I bought the trousers were circa $200 a pair and I could go through 3-4 pairs a year. Given RTW change seasonally the overall lifespan of my suit was effectively fixed by the number of trousers I purchased on day 1.

My first bespoke suit was circa $1,500 with 2 pairs of trousers and I wore it 4-5 days a week exclusively for 2 years and neither pairs of trousers showed significant damage. I now have a few "work" suits so judging how much I've worn the original one is more difficult but its still going very strong and still no notable damage.

To me the question of "value" can be tricky to measure. For a start at the point of buying you dont know how well something will wear - indeed that last RTW suit I bought was the worst I'd had for durability despite being the most expensive. Secondly, when you look at things like shoes then the cost of resoling a decent pair of shoes is probably in the ball park of buying a pair of average (by office workers not SF standards) pair of shoes which themselves could have their life extended partially with cheap glue on extra soles. So on a pure cost over time consideration at best I've found C&J etc break even with high street brands and probably are more expensive but then there is the highly subjective element of the "value" which is the look of the item both when new and at the point of needing (each) resoling.

I agree with not knowing how something will wear. I make a lot of clothes for myself because I just like them, but I also use them as samples to test wear of cloth, I don't know anyone else who actually does this. Invariably I have a lot of my own clothes on the rails, clients even though they are buying bespoke still like to buy what they can see, so they are a good selling tool.

I nearly own a garment made of cloth from each book I have in the shop. I think you can make a 100 + H lesser suits in a 16oz weight and that gives you experience, but until you wear them yourself in real life, how can you know how they really feel to wear? Its like a chef that doesn't taste his own food. Often times I will get enthused about a cloth and say yes, I have worn this all last summer it was amazing and conversely I could say, yeah I didn't reach for that piece so much, or I though it was too delicate or too heavy. Its all so I can give better and real advice to my clients.
post #126 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Reeves View Post

I nearly own a garment made of cloth from each book I have in the shop.

 

Ah, the life of a tailor... :slayer:

post #127 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post
 

 

If you're implying that higher end suits will outlast cheap suits, my understanding is that fusing has improved to the point that any bubbling is very rare on modern suits, which seemed to be one of the main durability problems with cheap and fused suits in the past. Hence, the benefits of a fully or even half canvassed suit being primarily comfort to the wearer and any improved appearance, if any, to other observers.

I've read and heard the salespitch on modern fusing and Im not convinced in the slightest.  I've recently seen some absolute atrocities from bubbling on lapels and chests that make me want to cringe and I genuinely feel bad for the wearer as Im certain it has a lasting impact on public perception of that person in a business meeting as well as on a date for example. To me it is akin to showing up with a moth eaten hole in your suit jacket.  If possible within budgetary constraints I would avoid a fused suit at all costs to avoid the potential bubbling not to mention the difference in appearance. I consider it a very poor value and a means for manufacturers to boost profits at the expense of the consumer.  And, if it happens, a suit that has to be thrown out is rather expensive and not a very good value.  As has been mentioned fused suits are stiff and lifeless, the shape and movement of floating canvas is distinct as is the lapel roll and shoulders of a higher end garment.  I find it really disturbing that some high end RTW have started using more and more fusibles/ half canvas and still charging big $$$ for what to me is an inferior product relative to their previous seasons garments that were full floating canvas.

 

To the OPs question I think it is obvious and I really don't think it's the suggested 98/2 ratio of people who will notice.  The average person might no be able to tell you why but they know within seconds of seeing it, somewhat to the "Je ne sais quoi" point above.  And women notice whether they mention it or not, they are certainly looking, in NYC they definitely can tell.  From my experience if you are standing in a large conference for example you can tell immediately across the room who is wearing a nicer suit, it is usually the fabric that stands out first from a distance. Typically the texture and color are distinct and not similar to what you would see with off the rack stuff so they stand out and not in a flashy "pimpish" way, it is subtle but nonetheless obvious. The fabrics are more unique and not mass produced on a level that a full production run of a large RTW brand. Usually higher end suits fit better if you are talking RTW it will involve seeking a good alterations tailor and purchasing the right size and brand for your body, which people are generally more motivated to do when they spend significant amount of money.  Spending more money doesnt ensure you will look better but it is generally correlated.  I have a Brioni suit which is very nice and I wear it and enjoy it but the fit is no where near as nice as bespoke and therefore can never be as good to me regardless of handwork and quality of fabric but it is still obvious how much nicer it is than Canali for example.  RTW is a compromise because I am not the fit model.

 

If you are talking bespoke the fit should always be better than RTW although Im willing to concede this is not always the case.  When it is done right, the fit and fabric standout to a level that I believe the average person whether they care or not will notice.  They might not appreciate the level of workmanship and fine details but they will notice the difference.  And the more handwork that is involved tends to lend itself to being noticed even by the average person because the garments move more naturally rather than stiff and constricted which is usually the case with tight machine stitching.

post #128 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYDRH View Post
 

I've read and heard the salespitch on modern fusing and Im not convinced in the slightest.  I've recently seen some absolute atrocities from bubbling on lapels and chests that make me want to cringe and I genuinely feel bad for the wearer as Im certain it has a lasting impact on public perception of that person in a business meeting as well as on a date for example.

Have you ever personally experienced bubbling with one of your suits and how long ago was the suit purchased?

post #129 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYDRH View Post
Typically the texture and color are distinct and not similar to what you would see with off the rack stuff so they stand out and not in a flashy "pimpish" way, it is subtle but nonetheless obvious.

I don't see how the color could be distinct, at least if you stick to conservative business dress. There's only so many possible shades of dark navy and charcoal grey, and I'm sure they've all been done before by a variety of manufacturers at a variety of price points.

post #130 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post

I don't see how the color could be distinct, at least if you stick to conservative business dress. There's only so many possible shades of dark navy and charcoal grey, and I'm sure they've all been done before by a variety of manufacturers at a variety of price points.

This is where you are a bit wrong. There are many shades, and if you add texture, light reflexion, hand feel etc there are many ways something is great, or OK, or meh...
post #131 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post
 

Have you ever personally experienced bubbling with one of your suits and how long ago was the suit purchased?

Yes, maybe 4 or 5 years ago. Im not a glue expert but I would be surprised if anything has changed since then.  Very disappointing, I would have been even more disappointed had I purchased it at full retail (~$2000) but ultimately a complete waste I don't think I had it a year before that happened.  I thought it was a good fit at the time and I liked the style, I assumed it was full canvas given the price tag. It was actually that experience that prompted me to learn more about suit construction and ultimately go bespoke, and at this point as long as it is financially feasible I cant imagine going back to RTW but if that is the case I'll keep my eye out for heavily discounted Kiton, Partanopea or Attolini possibly Brioni if they figure out wtf is going on over there(their latest instagram post is something else).

Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post
 

I don't see how the color could be distinct, at least if you stick to conservative business dress. There's only so many possible shades of dark navy and charcoal grey, and I'm sure they've all been done before by a variety of manufacturers at a variety of price points.

All I can say is, it is. My assumption would be the quality of the dye/pigments and the material taking the dye make the difference much like high end indigo in denim. Im sure someone more knowledgeable than I could chime in. The wool or other base material(s) is of better quality and it has a different texture, sheen and feel and with that holds and shows color differently. You also see more interesting weaves which have an impact on all of the above where generally alot of RTW has that super 120 thing going on where everything has a generic feel to it which is why I believe the higher end stuff tends to stand out more and makes it easier to spot. For example, Zegna has many lines (tiers) of fabric and while each line might have a navy if you were to compare the swatches you can see how different they are when comparing them.  If you could get your hands on a high end swatch book and take it to Saks, Barneys etc and compare the fabrics, I think you would see what I am referencing. As you go into the higher levels there is definitely diminishing returns but there is a distinction.  Im not saying this is 100% the case as some higher end RTW use the same fabric but more often than not the distinction is fairly obvious.  Tom Ford uses Mohair blends in some of his suits, it is very unusual to see mohair in RTW(I remember Prada using it), and it is very easy to spot. Kiton uses alot of exclusive and often interesting unique fabrics, the textures standout and in my opinion are very nice but at full retail you can get high end bespoke and choose your fabric.

post #132 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs77 View Post


This is where you are a bit wrong. There are many shades.

Not really, if you're going for a dark navy. If you have too little luminosity, you get something that looks almost black. If you have too much luminosity, you get a medium blue instead of a dark blue. If you have too much red, you get a purplish tinge. If you have too much green, you get a turquoise tinge.

post #133 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post

Not really, if you're going for a dark navy. If you have too little luminosity, you get something that looks almost black. If you have too much luminosity, you get a medium blue instead of a dark blue. If you have too much red, you get a purplish tinge. If you have too much green, you get a turquoise tinge.

Here is the simple test (well, not that simple). Get an ordinary navy sport coat. Then go to tailor that stocks many fabric swatches, or department store stocking many dress pants. Try to find trouser fabric that matches the coat so that it can pass as a suit. Next to impossible.
post #134 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs77 View Post


Here is the simple test (well, not that simple). Get an ordinary navy sport coat. Then go to tailor that stocks many fabric swatches, or department store stocking many dress pants. Try to find trouser fabric that matches the coat so that it can pass as a suit. Next to impossible.

 

The human eye can detect up to about 256 shades in each color component(R, G, B) in well lit conditions, so you might notice very slight differences in color when two swatches are placed side by side. However, the human memory, unless you're very exceptional, doesn't store color information with anywhere near that level of resolution. So if you saw, but didn't touch, a solid navy wool suit jacket, then went to a bespoke tailor the next day who had a matching swatch in a book mixed in with many other solid navy swatches from different mills, which you could look at but not touch, I really doubt anyone not in the industry would be able to pick out the correct swatch from memory.


Edited by recentgrad - 8/18/16 at 9:17pm
post #135 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by recentgrad View Post

The human eye can detect up to about 256 shades in each color component(R, G, B) in well lit conditions, so you might notice very slight differences in color when two swatches are placed side by side. However, the human memory, unless you're very exceptional, doesn't store color information with anywhere near that level of resolution. So if you saw, but didn't touch, a solid navy wool suit jacket, then went to a bespoke tailor the next day who had a matching swatch in a book mixed in with many other solid navy swatches from different mills, which you could look at but not touch, I really doubt anyone not in the industry would be able to pick out the correct swatch from memory.

Are you computer scientist? 256 corresponds to 8 bits for each component.

Anyways... I meant where you take that jacket with you to compare but let's assume your tailor doesn't have the exact same cloth. Would you be able to find something that matches...

I also mentioned other parameters, such as light reflection, texture, drape.... It all plays a role in what a someone passing by will recognize as a nice fabric (or not)
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