1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Good value fabrics for suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lsquare, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. lsquare

    lsquare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    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!
     
  2. Matt

    Matt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,179
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    Sunny Saigon
    Has Chan made you anything before? Will you be making it instore or during a visit?
     
  3. sfo423

    sfo423 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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.
     
  4. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    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).
     
  5. lsquare

    lsquare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    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?
     
  6. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    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.
     
  7. olemungu

    olemungu Active Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
  8. dragon8

    dragon8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,613
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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
     
  9. AMC

    AMC Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    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.
     
  10. passingtime

    passingtime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Go with Scabal, their fabrics are good and wear well.
     
  11. bishop24

    bishop24 Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    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?
     
  12. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    NYC/Brooklyn
    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.
     
  13. kbuzz

    kbuzz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    603
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    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
     
  14. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    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.
     
  15. bishop24

    bishop24 Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    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?
     
  16. lsquare

    lsquare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    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


    Chan doesn't use Lesser fabrics.
     
  17. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,083
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    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?

    Yes, you are dead right. The way a fabric is woven does affect how the fibres performs. A faille weave, a pick-and-pick or a flannel for instance does drape somewhat better than the grammage would suggest. Still, when the mill sets the machines to make the weave much tighter that naturally tends to make the final fabric denser and gutsier - with better drape and durability. Excessive sponginess from loose weave settings is something that is undesirable in a weave - irrespective of the weight of the fabric - yet is done to seduce buyers who ooh and aah at the subjective softness it produces. The ideal fabric is a carefully woven fabric combining the intrinsic tensile strength in the weave, with sufficient grammage to give it the fullest body - or 'guts' as Manton has put it.

    The trouble is that there is this almost universal tendency to try to weave fabrics with the finest micronage fibres mills can find on looser machine settings to get bunny soft fabrics to fool poorly educated buyers into thinking they are getting something really 'special'. If they really wanted to, ie if there were enough well educated buyers, they could easily reset their machines to weave fabrics with genuine body to them - even out of fine micronage fibres (super wools and cashmere etc). Sadly, the mills compete to outdo each other in producing exquisite tissue paper. It is not their fault - they are just trying to survive. It is up to us as better educated buyers to change things.
     
  18. Mr. Pink

    Mr. Pink Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    831
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Chan doesn't use Lesser fabrics.

    And they will not acquire fabrics from merchants they don't regularly deal with. They have also stopped doing CMT. Their better fabrics are primarily Holland & Sherry, Harrison's and Scabal. I have a suit made in a navy VBC 110 and it performs well and seems to be holding up.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by