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

The StyleForum Working Hierarchical Suit Quality List (SFWHSQL!)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cognacad, Sep 20, 2009.

Tags:
  1. simple80t

    simple80t Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    I would have to second what dirnelli said about Boggi. They have a variety of places that make their sport coats and suits (including Isaia) and have nice sales from time to time. Their are expanding internationally and should be a more visible brand in the next few years. It's hard to put them into a category because like Brooks Brothers there is a large range of quality that is sometimes reflected in their pricing. According to this list they could sometimes be in "good" and sometimes in "satisfactory".

    Benjamin suits are an excellent value and made well. When I took a bunch of suits to my tailor for alterations (some old, some new) he picked out the Benjamin and even asked to try it on. I had a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece and a Chester Barrie mixed in, so that says something about the product they produce. (a slightly wider lapel would be rad though) I would put it in the "good" category even though the price point is low and I believe someone else already mentioned earlier that it sits somewhere between "good" and "satisfactory". Perhaps some feel threatened that a person could buy a suit of similar quality at a lower price, but I'm glad for it. A company should not be downgraded for selling a quality product at a lower than expected price point.
     
  2. XFactor

    XFactor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Interesting points - Maybe the hierarchy should also point out in each category which ones can be FOUND if searched for a Relative Bargain.
    At what price point could one get a Boggi (assuming a sale/ someone looked around) - where / how?
     
  3. nickrut

    nickrut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,144
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    I wonder if there could be a second list by price range. I almost think that'd be more helpful for some folks as us that are new to the suit world really have no idea what a reasonable price is for most of the things on the list.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. eHaberdasher

    eHaberdasher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    

    Thanks for weighing in. I can fix that quite easily and price the suits at $900 if that helps... :devil:
     
  5. nickrut

    nickrut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,144
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013

    Can you wait until I pull the trigger on one first?
     
  6. dreamspace

    dreamspace Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    I'm going to disagree with you on this one, and I've used your strategy for the past 3 years now.

    1. Staple high-quality suits in normal sizes rarely (if ever) go on very steep sales. If they do, they're only available for a very short time, and in cities with large stores.

    2. Shopping suits online is a hit-and-miss game. You need to know your measurements perfectly, you need to have someone to do alterations. No two suits will fit identically...I've tried and bought identical coats and suits, from the same season and collection (after trying on in the store), only to find out that they fit differently.

    I now have a couple of perfectly fitting suits, that I picked up on the web...but then there's also those 20 suits that didn't fit, or turn out as I wanted. I pretty much threw away money on things like shipping, fees, taxes, customs, alterations, etc. It all adds up, trust me on this one.

    In fact, I'd rather spend 1-2 hours on finding a good fitting, but OK quality suit locally, than spending 20 hours scrolling Ebay/yoox/B&S/etc. only to churn through 5-10 suits, wasting cash and time on shipping and whatnot to finally end up with a high-quality and good fitting suit.

    In fact, If I added up all the cash I've wasted on shopping online suits and coats, I could probably bought a bespoke suit...It's a crap-shoot.

    So all in all: Beginners should just go to a store and find the best fitting suit they can find that fits their budget, you'll probably be better off in the end.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. doctorman

    doctorman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    334
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Location:
    redondo beach, california
    +1000

    that has exactly been my experience (and i've always been envious of people that got killer deals).

    suits of my size (38S) are hard to find at sale prices, and even when they're on sale, they are only available for a few hours at most. the fits vary quite a bit even within the same brand name. for example, i've found black fleece and RLBL fit me almost right off the rack but isaia/canali really aren't my type.

    i imagine one must 1. have tried on many suits, 2. know their body well, 3. know an excellent (and cost-effective) tailor, to find bargains from online sources. and this is definitely not for the beginners including myself.

    finally, most of us have full-time jobs - i often find the time i spend trying to score a deal online has become not cost-effective when it comes down to the dollars per time.

    for beginner like myself, at this point, i'm perfectly happy getting my black fleece at $500-600. i'll continue to search for a RLBL bargain and perhaps one day, when i gather enough courage, order a benjamin line from eHaberdasher.
     
  8. LeSacre

    LeSacre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Location:
    Denver
    For the newer members out there, I would be careful with that brands/lines we throw under blanket statements. In this case, I disagree with RLBL being added to this statement. In no way is it a "crap RTW fused" suit. Black Label suits are made by Caruso (a maker pointed out as "high-end"), are in fact fully canvassed, have hand detailing and use Holland and Sherry cloth. If the slim fit works for you body type, RLBL can be one heck of a deal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  9. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,969
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Delawhere?
    

    Same here. If I do find a 44 in a staple it is not marked down as much as I would like. I usually still pay around $1,000 for it so still better than full retail but not much of a bargain. My last bargain was crap. I only paid $350 for it but I just threw away $350.
     
  10. RogerP

    RogerP Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,333
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    I purchased my first D'Avenza suit yesterday - I can certainly understand the high ranking it has received on this list.
     
  11. sftiger

    sftiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    393
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    

    I think one problem is that while it's generally accepted that RLBL refers to RL Black Label, it could just as easily refer to RL Blue Label, so it's possible that's what he meant by RLBL.
     
  12. sftiger

    sftiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    393
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Two issues - first of all, Boggi is literally (not in the figurative sense that most people use this word, but "literally" literally) impossible to find in the U.S. as far as I'm aware. They don't have any stores in the Americas (North or South) whatsoever. I have no problem buying suits online, but only if I've gotten to try them on first in person at a retail location. And I imagine the vast majority of people on SF are US-based, meaning that brands that don't have as much of a presence in the US don't get as much attention (super high-end Savile Row/Italian stuff aside).

    Second - I agree with the above posters. I've bought many suits on B&S, eBay, etc., but the problem with brands like Zegna, Canali, Zileri, etc. is that they have so many different lines that aren't as clear cut as BB (where you can generally say that GF or BBBF is a definite marker of quality, although even these are debateable) or RL (where Black Label or RLPL are definite markers of quality). And eBay return policies tend to be hit or miss. Mainline contemporary Zegna stuff that's carried at Barney's, Bergdorf's, etc. are beautiful but that stuff doesn't really go on B&S or eBay for below $1K in staple colors, nor is it that easy to tell if a Zegna on eBay is mainline from the last 5 years or 25 years old and dated. That's why I tend to avoid those brands online unless it's plainly obvious that they are a more modern cut of the suit.

    Also, Canali and Corneliani tend to have stronger shoulders on their jackets than I like, so I avoid them online. Same with Brioni - I've never tried on a Brioni that fit me well (except once in a Brioni boutique in Hong Kong) but it's always so tempting to snag them on eBay...
     
  13. LeSacre

    LeSacre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Location:
    Denver
    True, true. I more commonly see PRL used to refer to Polo Ralph Lauren, since Blue Label is technically the women's line.

    However, even then one must be careful as there is the cheap PRL and the Italian made PRL (caruso, corneliani, cantarelli).
     
  14. MZhammer

    MZhammer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,057
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    A reasonable price is really whatever you're willing to pay. The idea of this list is to rank quality and you'll have a ton of variance within prices. To get a good idea of what a decent deal is, go to eBay and look for all the completed listings of NWT items being sold for that brand. usually that's pretty indicative of what a "fair" price is.

    For example, a Brunello Cucinelli suit goes for $3,600 MSRP and is in the same category as Canali which sells for $1,800 and Samuelsohn which is selling for $1,095. Are there probably differences in quality? Slightly, but I own one of each and I can say for certainty that I don't see that much difference besides the BC fabric is nicer.

    Giving a range of what to pay for "good" or "great" suits is hard. I bought my Canali on ultra clearance for $350 (sport coat), I got my Sammy for about $400 and the BC was still around $1,400 on clearance. Clearly I got the best deal with the first two but does that mean I overpaid for the BC? Even though it was still more than 50% off.

    It's hard to say that you should pay X for good quality and Y for great when there are so many different factors (style, cloth, brand name) that affect the price. Quality is a little easier to isolate and you can make your purchasing decisions off of that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  15. sftiger

    sftiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    393
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    

    :bounce2: of course RL written on a blue label != Ralph Lauren Blue Label. See why this stuff is so confusing??
     
  16. LeSacre

    LeSacre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Location:
    Denver
    Without a doubt. When I first joined, a few short months ago, I knew nothing about menswear. All the brands, makers, terminology etc. were overwhelming. However, thanks to this site, I have converted from a JAB suit wearer ([​IMG]) to a well dressed, yet still learning, SFer.
     
  17. MZhammer

    MZhammer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,057
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    As a special thanks to everyone, I've compiled this list in another location as well. Hopefully more than SF will be able to benefit from our collective wisdom.
    http://noblecustom.com/style/probably-arbitrary-hierarchy-suits/

    Excellent [*****]
    - Oxxford (Highest Quality)
    - Brioni
    - Cesare Attolini Napoli
    - Caraceni
    - Kiton
    - Luciano Barbera Sartoriale
    - Luigi Borrelli
    - Sartoria Castangia
    - St Andrew / Santandrea
    - La Vera Sartoria Napoletana
    - Zegna Couture/Tom Ford

    Very Good[****] (IE: Few suits match the quality of the ones in this category.)

    - Battistoni
    - D'Avenza
    - Isaia
    - Sartoria Partenopea
    - Oxxford (1220)
    - Belvest mainline
    - Borrelli Luxury Vintage
    - Canali Milano
    - Corneliani Linea Sartoria
    - Pal Zileri Sartoriale (I think there is another line higher than Sartoriale: The custom made one--IIRC "Abito Privato"--has excellent quality)
    - Ravazzolo
    - Sartoria Attolini Napoli
    - Raffaelle Caruso: Sartoria Parma
    - RLPL
    - Sartorio
    - Stile Latino



    Good[***] (IE: Quality is superior to most suits.)

    - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
    - Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece
    - Brunello Cucinelli (very nice fabrics)
    - Canali mainline
    - Canali Exclusive (higher end fabrics)
    - Cantarelli mainline
    - Corneliani mainline
    - Dunhill
    - Ermenegildo Zegna
    - Faconnable Tailleur
    - Martin Greenfield for Gilt, BoO, FSC, & O&S (fully canvassed)
    - Hickey Freeman Mainline
    - Kei by Canali (full canvas, but very soft)
    - Pal Zileri mainline
    - Paul Smith mainline (fully canvassed)
    - Paul Stuart
    - Raffaelle Caruso mainline
    - RLBL
    - Samuelsohn
    - J. Press Pressidential (full canvas)
    - Robert Talbott (Made in USA by Martin Greenfield)


    Satisfactory [**] (IE: The "average" brands. Quality is acceptable.)


    - Belvest Silver Label (half canvassed line)
    - Brooks Brothers 1818 (half canvassed)
    - Burberry Prorsum
    - Cantarelli Tailor
    - Charles Tyrwhitt
    - CC Corneliani (half canvassed)
    - Coppley (half canvassed)
    - Etro (if you can find the half canvas ones; some fused)
    - Boglioli (if you can find the half canvas ones; some fused)
    - Giorgio Armani (Black Label)[/U] (alot of their pieces are fused)
    - Gucci
    - H. Freemann
    - Hackett (half canvassed)
    - Hugo Boss Selection[/U] half canvassed and some premium fabrics
    - Hickey Freeman LTD (half canvassed)
    - J. Press Presstige (half canvassed)
    - Lardini (half canvassed)
    - L.B.M. 1911
    - Marks and Spencer (any of their "Pure Wool" collection)
    - Paul Smith London (half canvassed)
    - Piombo
    - Polo Ralph Lauren (half canvassed, excellent fabric)
    - Suit Supply (half canvassed)
    - Valentino (half canvassed)
    - Prada (half canvassed)
    - Peter Millar


    Mediocre to Poor[*] (Suits that are mediocre to poor.)

    - J Crew Ludlow (fused)
    - Armani Exchange
    - Calvin Klein Collection (now fused)
    - Dolce & Gabbana
    - J. Press mainline (fused; decent fabrics)
    - H&M
    - Hickey (now fused and made in China)
    - Hugo Boss (fused)
    - Joseph Abboud
    - Pal Zileri Lab
    - Tonello
    - Versace Collection
    - Z Zegna
    - Zara
    - Armani Collezioni (fused)
    - Corneliani Trend (fused)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  18. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,969
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Delawhere?
    My addition of Piattelli for Barneys NY was dropped from the bottom of the list. Buyers need to be warned.
     
  19. MZhammer

    MZhammer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,057
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    My understanding is that they're only sold at the warehouse, not the actual store. Correct?
     
  20. Goodman

    Goodman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    That is correct. Not to be confused with the sold in store Barney's private lablel suits made by Caruso which are fully canvassed.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by