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USA-Made Polo Suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AR_Six, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. AR_Six

    AR_Six Well-Known Member

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    Apparently I'm "that guy" today asking all the suit questions.

    Anyone have an opinion on these? My understanding is that Polo suits were made in USA until 1999. Thing is, I occasionally see them on ebay and they don't look terribly dated, though the shoulders are a fair bit broader than the Corneliani suits. Example below. Thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    I have one of the old U.S. made suits -- a chalkstripe in gray flannel -- and it looks great. Doesn't strike me as dated at all, and fully canvassed to boot.

    Would like to see a full length pic of the one you're considering, but it looks fine there, at least to my eye. Buttons might be a little low, but not offensively so. Hard to tell much the way it's cropped.

    I've read suggestions here that the quality went down near the end of the domestic production run, but I can't speak to that.
     
  3. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    I recall the US-made Polo as being very good.
     
  4. AR_Six

    AR_Six Well-Known Member

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    Eould like to see a full length pic of the one you're considering, but it looks fine there, at least to my eye. Buttons might be a little low, but not offensively so. Hard to tell much the way it's cropped.
    Full length. The pants are pleated, so that's a sign of age, but you guys know the signs of a dated suit a hell of a lot better than I do, so I appreciate the input.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Well-Known Member

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    Looks nice, I loved the USA made Polo suits,
     
  6. AR_Six

    AR_Six Well-Known Member

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    ^I love the Italy made Polo suits but finding a 2b solid navy for less than 600 is a challenge for obvious reasons. Still on the lookout.

    I think I will make an offer on this.
     
  7. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    The trousers will be pretty full cut on that suit. That is the one thing I don't like about the old USA Polo stuff.

    I've had some odd jackets, but I prefer the cut of the current Corneliani. I still have a decades old overcoat with a canvas down the entire length of the coat, which is perhaps better made than the St Andrews ones today. Some of the old Polo stuff is pretty incredible, and there is still NWT things that come up on eBay.
     
  8. I. Gentantithesis

    I. Gentantithesis Well-Known Member

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    From the lapel width and shoulders, appears to be late '90s by Pietrafesa* of Syracuse, NY (defunct). If it is, it should have a production tag in the left lining pocket that will have an exact date of manufacture on the bottom (example 980529), however some just had a season and year (F8, S8). Pietrafesa's WPL5596. If the aforementioned is confirmed, and the jacket has side vents, at the time it was called "Polo Traditional I". Excepting the flat front fad of the last half dozen years most Polo suit trousers were historically forward pleated. The quality diminished in later years. If small hand sewn threads are not easily evident along the shoulder seams of the lining it is of the later period. If the rectangle on the label is not really a rectangle (the upper right has a 45 degree slant instead of a 90 degree angle), it was made for discount sale.

    Contrary to the above, the top buttonhole appears finished on the inside to facilitate a 3-2 roll lapel with a neatly finished top buttonhole showing in the roll. Some of the later USA made 3-button fronts, and the Cornelaini, seldom have this feature - they're finished on the outside.

    *In addition to Polo, Pietrafesa made private label suits for Brooks Brothers, Nordstroms, probably SAKS and numerous others with varying degrees of quality. Their own brand was Ledbury Ltd.

    One reserves the right to be mistaken.
     
  9. AR_Six

    AR_Six Well-Known Member

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    Well you certainly seem to know your stuff. [​IMG] So does that mean 1995? It has 1 vent.
     
  10. I. Gentantithesis

    I. Gentantithesis Well-Known Member

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    Yes, sir, indubitably.

    It was made on July 14, 1995 for the Fall '95 season, a little late. Fabric's probably English. It's Polo I - one vent was standard on Polo I from its nomenclatural inception sometime in the early '70s, until perhaps this decade.

    If you've a strong predilection for slim trousers, rethink. Those may be as wide as 22 inches circumference at the knee, 20ish at the cuff. Just right if they were only beltless.
     
  11. ferguscan

    ferguscan Well-Known Member

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    I am wearing this one right now: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=141173 I absolutely love it to bits. The trousers have a VERY full cut through the leg with little or no taper towards the bottom (this suits me fine; I have massive thighs). The lapels are big. The cloth is medium-heavy weight. And it's fully canvassed. What more could I want for the $0 that I paid [​IMG] I like it so much, that I bought this one too: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=135569 I will report back when it arrives. Stuart
     
  12. stant62

    stant62 Well-Known Member

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    Was sniping one on ebay awhile back but someone stole it from right on under me [​IMG]
     
  13. neyus

    neyus Well-Known Member

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    That suits looks really nice. Its not dated at all. Yeah the trousers probably are quite full, but I have a polo suit made in italy made in this decade and the trousers are baggy all the way there too.
     
  14. Souper

    Souper Well-Known Member

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    Suits were made in Lawrence, MA
    Shirts were made in Morgantown WV
    Ties were made on 28th st in NYC.

    most of the other sportswear was made in Pa.

    there was a chinese owned factory on 38th st. the cuttings for the showroom and salesmen samples were larger then the runs for the independant designers that used the same factory.
     
  15. maxnharry

    maxnharry Well-Known Member

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    Any ideas on how to hunt for vintage Polo on eBay, beside the obvious "vintage polo" search.
     
  16. johnny_flapjack

    johnny_flapjack Well-Known Member

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    I'm wearing one today and I like it. It's a mid-gray flannel, single breasted, single vent, two button, pleated pants. Not the setup I'd pick new off the rack, but for a solid grey flannel staple suit that I thrifted for something like $25 I'll take it anytime. As doc mentioned the button stance is a bit low - the one you've shown appears less so b/c it is a three button.

    i'd go for it. Very well made for the price usually.

    Any ideas on how to hunt for vintage Polo on eBay, beside the obvious "vintage polo" search.

    I just usually search for Polo in my size and then you sort of have to look for the tag that tells where it was made or the seller to state where it was made. you can probably narrow the search by looking only at used suits rather than new b/c I doubt you'll see too many new examples (aside from the one that Ferguscan posted links to in an effort to throw a dart at my theory).
     
  17. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    One reserves the right to be mistaken.

    You are an indiot savant with only a touch of idiot.

    This is hard to do and I commend you.


    - B
     
  18. Night Owl

    Night Owl Well-Known Member

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    wow igent, you know your Polo, work for them at some point?
     
  19. pejsek

    pejsek Well-Known Member

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    Quality and styling could be fantastic. Remember that for a long time this was RL's totl--and thus the outlet for all his peculiar Anglo-American fantasies. The seventies through the mid- to late-eighties were probably the golden years. My favorite cut from this period was a three-piece Kent-style db w/ lapelled vest. I have two: one in a navy beaded pinstripe and the other in a DoW flannel. They are certainly attention getters. I've seen lots of other great stuff from this time, e.g. tartan and birds-eye suits with belted backs. In my own very humble opinion, by the mid-nineties the look was getting a little dowdy and stale. Kind of office-y, I guess. I like to stick with costume.
     
  20. mainy

    mainy Well-Known Member

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    Older Polo is pretty underrated IMO. True story on the widecut trou, there were some pretty strong shouldered models too, and some low buttoning points - which is probably due to come back any time now anyway. With some looking you can find some tremendous gems for a steal though. I think I have a couple pieces to sell, I need to check.
     

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