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Hickey freeman suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BigRed, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with this. Outlets are almost exclusively Lindsey suits. And the retail price for the half-canvassed Lindsey is suspiciously close to that of the Mahogany - seems like only about $100 or so difference.

    It used to be that you could tell any of the Mohagony collection suits by the model name - always began with "A" or "B. Not sure if they still use that nomenclature. Also agree with the B Series fit. I have a Beacon and really like it. It has more European shoulders. I think the A is more American style, but equally excellent if you like the fit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  2. SS 376

    SS 376 Well-Known Member

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    Mahogany is the way to go. Otherwise, I think much better quality can be had than the Lindsey suits. I had one myself and gave mine away to charity when I learned better about what was out there.
     
  3. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I think the lettered series still have names. The B series are called Beacon. A is still Addison I think but too boxy for my fit.
     
  4. Ecloth

    Ecloth Member

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    Does anyone have any experience with/opinions on what HF refers to as their "travelers fabric" in the Majogony Collection travelers suits?
     
  5. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I think they are made with a more wrinkle-free wool. Some friends at work have them and like them, no complaints. I just picked up a Mahogany Gray Flannel Windowpane at their sale. Extra 30% off made it $559. Code is WINTER2015. They offer free returns so getting a Traveler suit is risk-free.
     
  6. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    Of course, they just emailed me that the suit I got the great deal on was out of stock in my size. Their website had not updated the inventory properly. :)
     
  7. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    Hello! This is my first post on styleforum but I've been reading for awhile. Just created an account.

    I've been researching and shopping for the past 3 months to buy a few new suits.

    This is pretty crazy, but I've only owned one suit in my entire life and I'm still using it to this day. My mother bought it for me when I graduated from college 20 years ago at Macy's, a Nino Ceruti charcoal with subtle vertical stripes. It's been to many weddings, funerals, and major business meetings with customers. It still fits perfectly! I'm fairly proud of that. I did have to get the waste altered somewhere along the way to let it out an inch, but such is life.

    Anyway . . .

    After much shopping I decided to go with fully canvased suits made either in USA or Italy. And decided to target ~$2K suits on sale for < $1K. Quality and value are both very important for me to be happy with a purchase. I worked my way up from the buy 1 get 2 free deals, to the luxury department store outlets supposedly selling $1500 overstock for $500, to the point where I decided I wanted the real thing from a real store. But on sale! :)

    The best ones I've found so far are Hickey Freeman Beacon at Nordstrom for 50% off end of season sale. I bought a few nice colors and I'm trying to make a final decision which to keep soon so I can get them tailored. They fit almost perfectly, needing really just the pant bottoms, sleeve terminations, and a little ripple I always get between my shoulder blades. I don't even need to change the waist size or sleeve length from OTR 42R.

    But I am thinking about having the tailor bring in the middle of the coat a bit as I'm a trim guy and the HF Beacon may be a bit spacious.

    I've read about the HF "C series" that are supposedly available and a bit more trim. But I don't see them anywhere. The HF website is all Addison and Beacon and I've not seen anything else in the stores. I don't want some overly trendy tight pants suit.

    Are there HF mainline "C series" suits in production? Where are they available as I'd like to try one on before tailoring these Beacons?

    Thank you!
     
  8. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I've only seen one "C" series suit on their website a few years ago. It was a very British-looking brown plaid. I think HF only makes that series occasionally. They also have a "D" series that is mostly unstructured and used on summer suits and sport coats. Their Mahogany line (the kind you got at Nordstrom) is mainly made in the Addison and Beacon.

    I find the Beacon fit to be the best myself.
     
  9. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost certain the C series is half canvas, so a notch below A and B in quality. It also is trimmer with narrower lapels.
     
  10. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so I won't pursue the HF C suit any further. Thanks for that info. I also don't see any of the other good HF models around such as the "presidential" that prior posts referenced. They do still offer the MTM service and I spoke with a Nordstrom salesman who was wearing a beautiful MTM HF that he said is his favorite suit in the world. So pretty much HF Beacon is the OTR HF suit to buy.

    Ermenegildo Zegna and Canali seem to have similar high construction quality but at a higher price. These are both Italian made so maybe not an apples to apples comparison with HF Beacon. I'll probably buy one of these Italian brands at some point to try them, when I happen upon a good price, but I'm not willing to spend >$1K so not a good option right now. They are a bit more fitted and slim cut in the jacket through the torso, which my girlfriend favors.

    The tailor at Nordstrom said its an easy modification ($20) to take in the jacket center torso diameter an inch or so. It seems like this is the key fit difference between the current 2014 HF Beacon and the more "stylish" cuts such as the good Italian makes. HF Beacon has already adopted side cut vents, flat front pants, appropriately slim cut pants, changes I think over the past few years since some of the older posts in this thread that referenced HF as being an old, very traditional and maybe somewhat dated and boring style. The only fit difference I could detect was that center torso diameter.

    Do those of you more experienced with suits have thoughts on this? Is it a bad idea to make this tailoring modification?

    Thanks
     
  11. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I have the waist taken in on all my suits. I have a decently athletic build and my tailor is really good. I think it's a simple procedure and shouldn't be too expensive. My wife likes it as well. :) HF is definitely trying to be more fashionable. I have several and think the quality is very good. They are pushing the Beacon with its softer shoulder. They have changed their naming conventions many times in the recenet past. Not sure they even make Presidential line anymore. Maybe as MTM? HF is now owned by Samuelsohn. I have one of their suits which is very well made.

    I started off with Brooks Brothers. Their 1818 suits were my wardrobe workhorse but I've given up buying them now. Boring for the most part. Have graduated to the Italian stuff and MTM stuff. Will try out Adrian Jules for my next suit.

    I have two Canali suits bought half-off at Barneys New York. They are both excellent in every regard. Have several Zegna sport coats but no suits yet. Have you found any trusted vendors on eBay yet? I use Frieschkys and topshelfapparel quite regularly. Their stuff is all NWT and mostly from Saks, Nieman Marcus, Barneys, etc. Lots of Italian suits, sport coats and ties. You can find decent stuff here on the SF marketplace as well.

    Shop the Finest is another interesting place for high-end Italian suits. Deeply discounted but still expensive.

    Cheers!
     
  12. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention that Nordstrom stocks Canali as well as HF in most of their locations. Sale ongoing now and most are marked down 50%. I was at one in Chicago a few weeks ago and they had Ralph Lauren Black label as well. The Anthony suit is very interesting. Made in Italy by Caruso I believe.
     
  13. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip about a possible Canali sale. I checked my local Nordstrom (San Jose Valley Fair mall) yesterday and their sales are all over now unfortunately. I'll keep watching for the next round.

    I also stopped by Brooks Brothers across the street in Santana Row to check out their options. I like the cut of the Fitzgerald but the others are too boxy. I think the Fitzgerald is similar to the HF Beacon, maybe a bit more trim. They had almost zero golden fleece models in the store, none in my 42R. They said they don't stock them but can special order. I thought that was really lame, especially at a store in a high end location surrounded by Gucci, ferragamo, etc. Too bad as I'd like to feel the fit of a Fitzgerald golden fleece but I shouldn't have to buy one by mail to try it.
     
  14. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I wear the Fitzgerald and Regent fits. the Madison is too boxy. I have one Cambridge fit which is basically a Milano fit with 3x2 roll lapels. I tried some Golden Fleece on and liked them but balked at the price. I think they retail for $2500 now. That's 600-700 more than mainline HF and Canali. Not worth it in my book.
     
  15. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    Spent the afternoon today in San Francisco and visited a few stores in my search for suits. The Brooks Brothers in SF near Union Square is very large and had a huge suit collection, including many Golden Fleece models. More fabrics than what is listed online. And they had the Fitzgerald Golden Fleece!

    First interesting thing was that the guy there measured me and said that in Brooks Brothers I should be wearing a 44R or 43R rather than 42R, to get the shoulders correct. He agreed my chest is 42 but said my shoulders were slightly wide for their 42 and that it would be better to match the shoulders OTR and modify the chest than the reverse. After trying 44R, 43R, and 42R he was confident the 43R was my optimal size in BB.

    I requested that he pull out what he had in Fitzgerald Golden Fleece 43R and he returned in a few minutes with a charcoal herringbone that was a great fabric. And said it was on sale for over 50% off at $950!

    I think that's a darn good deal so I bought it and brought it home to include in my final suit downselect. If I decide to keep it, I'll bring it back up to have the BB salesman work with his master tailor to get it just right. Seems like I shouldn't pass up this chance to get their top of the line suit in the perfect cut, size, and a great fabric, for that price. What do people think?

    Meanwhile . . . on the HF front, I still need to select my favorites of 4 remaining HF Beacons I got on sale at 50% off. I returned the 5th on Friday as I was confident the "nailhead" fabric was too casual once I saw it in real life. I plan to take photos of the options I have and post them soon to get feedback from SF community.

    I also tried a beautiful Ermenegildo Zegna at their store in Stanford mall. Super nice cut, construction, and fabric. It was even 30% off, which was almost tempting. But 30% off of $3800 is still outside my price range right now. Glad they didn't tempt me with 50 off!

    Got to stick with selecting a few high quality ~$2K suits on sale for <$1K which was my original selected value point.
     
  16. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    Over the last few months I've purchased numerous suits and returned most of them prior to tailoring. I finally committed on two of the HF Beacons today! They are now with the tailor being altered. Photos below. Its difficult to capture the colors correctly. Despite opening the blinds to use natural sunlight they still don't look accurate or consistent in the photos I've uploaded.


    This first suit that I decided to keep is an HF Beacon in a black herringbone. This suit is made with their Tasmanian 150 wool and its super smooth with a bit of a sheen. Its really beautiful and I pretty much knew I had to keep this suit the moment I saw it. I'd tried flat black and it was a bit too bland for me, and I'd tried black with pin stripes and it was a bit too dramatic for my bland workplace. This black with a herringbone weave is subtle yet beautiful and I think a good compromise.


    [​IMG]

    This photo below is a close up of the same black jacket above so you can see the herringbone weave. Its solid dark black with a bit of shine even though it looks grey in the photo. And its all one color, the stripe pattern is due to the weave hence visible based on the way light reflects.


    [​IMG]


    The next photo is also of a suit I decided to keep. This suit is a dark navy with a fine darker stripe. I wanted to get a navy suit, but again felt bored with the idea of wearing typical flat navy which is what half the people in the room are wearing. This one is navy but with a bit of action.



    [​IMG]

    Next photo is a closeup of the navy with fine stripes . . .

    [​IMG]


    And finally the third HF Beacon suit, which I returned. This suit looked like a fairly standard charcoal from a distance when I ordered it online. The first photo below looks similar to the website photos. But when I received it and opened it, I knew immediately that it was too casual. This suit is called "nailhead" due to the weave pattern of tiny dots of a different color. Its nice feeling fabric, also the Tasmanian 150, but is a more casual every-day suit rather than a fancy formal big customer meeting suit. I don't wear a suit unless I'm in a formal situation so I have little use for a casual suit, hence this went back to the store. If sure it will be a great find for someone.


    [​IMG]

    Close-up below of the nailhead fabric . . . you can see the pattern of little white dots.

    [​IMG]

    Tailoring cost ~$100 per suit. Most of that cost is for the fully functional cuffs. Also paying a bit for neck adjustment upward and taking in the sides. Mods to the waist, butt, and pant length are free.

    Hence I've so far ended up with a black herringbone and navy stripe. I have a few variants of grey sitting in my pre-selection closet inventory. These ones are a more difficult choice. I'll post photos soon and ask the SF community for input on which one I should keep.
     
  17. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a deal if your tailor is adding surgeon's cuffs and the total is around $100. My guy charges almost $200 just for the buttonholes.

    Good luck with the new suits. Very nice!
     
  18. ter1413

    ter1413 Well-Known Member

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    I would return the black suit.
    That's just me.
     
  19. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Well-Known Member

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    Congrats. You bought some great suits. The quality on those Beacons is top notch. Sounds like you spent plenty of time on fit, so I assume they will look good on you. Color selection is your personal preference, but you need to feel comfortable wearing them in your workplace.

    I am no expert, but I have found that finding the right brand and model that works with your body is invaluable. Some just don't work, no matter how expensive they are. You had a good process.

    Now what are you wearing for shoes?
     
  20. mountainman3520

    mountainman3520 Well-Known Member

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    The tailoring is by Nordstrom where I bought the suits so the $102 per suit probably isn't what they would charge if I had bought the suit somewhere else. They provide some of the alterations for free, ie the cost is built into the suit prices. Pant cuffs, butt, waste, and normal sleeve cuffs are free. I paid a delta cost of $64 to upgrade from regular cuffs to functional cuffs, $20 for pulling up the neck to resolve a wrinkle between my shoulder blades, and $20 to bring in the jacket waist for a closer fit. Sounds like that was a reasonable price, which I'm glad to hear.

    ter1413, do you dislike black? Or dislike herringbone? Curious what you don't like about that one. It was beautiful to my eye. When I brought it into Nordstrom they were also impressed at how nice it was. Of course maybe they tell everyone how nice any newly purchased suit is. :)

    Ahhhh shoes! great topic. I have a set of shoe rules that focus my selections:
    (1) no tassles or other dangly bits (other than shoe laces)
    (2) no currency storage compartments
    (3) no moccasin style cues
    (4) no suede, only exterior leathers that can be reasonably cleaned and polished (exotic leathers okay!)
    (5) only wear cool colored suits (black, blue, grey varieties, not tan shades) hence prefer black shoes, no brown shoes when suited up
    (6) only 100% leather interior, no fabric linings
    (7) only traditional sewn on sole construction (such as Goodyear), no glued on soles, and capable of sole replacement. I buy a mix of leather soles and leather with rubber overlay. Weather or mood dictate which for a day.
    (8) prefer boots, especially ankle height, over shoes
    (9) generally won't spend over ~$500
    (10) no asian made shoes, Italian preferred, USA okay, and occasionally other European or Latin American mfg location okay if construction is traditional and quality looks great

    The most recent shoe purchase that I wear when suited is from To Boot New York, the Stallworth, a cap toe mid height boot. I've always been into cap toes and previously they were very hard to find, but I'm thrilled they are currently widely available. I better stock up for the next drought! This is my first shoe from this company and I've only worn it 5-10 days so I don't know about long term durability. I like the quality and value. Italian made, traditional construction, nice workmanship, fair price compared to typical good designer brands.

    http://www.toboot.com/shoes/Stallworth/Black

    [​IMG]

    Other shoe ideas welcome!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015

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