Belvest v. Isaia face-off!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by grimslade, May 31, 2006.

  1. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Last week, I ordered two suits from STP. We discussed them on this forum and I promised to report back on who came out on top. The suits arrived today, sort of... (more on that later). Both had original list prices in the $2,400 range. Both were purchased, of course, for a tiny fraction of that. The idea was to compare them and keep one. So here are some first impressions, in case they're relevant to anyone else in the future.

    *The Isaia suit had basted sleeves and no buttonholes, the better to affix the buttons after the sleeve lengths have been adjusted. The Belvest has no basting and pre-sewn fake buttonholes. Round One to Isaia (although I guess Belvest gets RTW points...).

    * Both are canvassed and unfused. Both are _gorgeous_ materials, although the Belvest has a more-subtle striping pattern. The Isaia has striped sleeve lining, as is traditional. But it also has Isaia-embossed jacket lining, which is a little . . . Italian for me. but it's a minor point. Round is a draw. Both are excellent.

    * The Belvest has, it seems to me, softer shoulders and an overall slightly more natural-feeling fit. YMMV, but I give this round to Belvest; the Isaia shoulders are too pronounced for me. Obviously this sort of silhouette question is deeply personal, but there you have it.

    * Last Round - Pants. The Belvest wins. Hands down. The Isaia loses, pants down. Want to know why? Because the Isaia arrived without pants. [​IMG] That's right, no pants. But what I love about STP is that they won't even bat an eye about taking it back pantless. More substantively, neither had suspender buttons. In the case of the Isaia, that's understandable (OK, I'll stop now). But seriously, I was mildly surprised not to have them. Maybe that's just not the Italian way? I don't know. If someone else does, chime in.

    So, I'm keeping the Belvest. It's a v. nice suit. I wish I could have tried on the Isaia pants since they were flat-front and the Belvest's are single-pleated, but luckily the Belvest fits reasonably well before alterations--and my wife prefers it anyway.

    If anyone has any other questions about either suit or maker, let me know. Hope it's informative to someone out there.
     
  2. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    That is funny, they sent you a trouserless suit? LOL!

    But nice comparison, thank you!
     
  3. alflauren

    alflauren Senior member

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    Well, you know those Italians. Pants, no pants...makes-a no difference. Bellissima!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Now, Alf's post is funny.

    It _is_ funny in a way, but only because with STP I won't worry about getting my money back. But annoying too, since I think I must've gotten the last one they had in that particular color, so I don't even have the opportunity to try it on...
     
  5. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    Well, you know those Italians. Pants, no pants...makes-a no difference. Bellissima! [​IMG]
    You're right. Damn eurotrash! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    This is a funny post. [​IMG]
    One comment of Isaia shoulders; although I have never had pleasure of wearing Belvest suits, I am very surprised that you find Belvest suit's shoulders are softer than Isaia's. Do you know the model name of the Isaia suit? If it's Stwert, the shoulders should be nearly soft as ..say Kiton.
     
  7. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    This is a funny post. [​IMG]
    One comment of Isaia shoulders; although I have never had pleasure of wearing Belvest suits, I am very surprised that you find Belvest suit's shoulders are softer than Isaia's. Do you know the model name of the Isaia suit? If it's Stwert, the shoulders should be nearly soft as ..say Kiton.



    The label says "SCOTT A" under model. I don't know if that helps.

    EDIT: OK, I just pulled it out again. MilanoStyle has forced me to rephrase myself more accurately. The shoulders are completely soft; next to no padding. But the line of them is more square, and the sleeve heads have a more roped appearance, giving a more angular impression overall. The Belvest may actually be a little more padded, but the line is softer from the neck and the sleeve head does not "rope" at all, giving it a more natural fit--on me. Thanks for challenging me on that.


    By way of postscript I should note that the Belvest has beautiful shell (apparently) buttons. The Isaia buttons are a more pedestrian, opaque material.
     
  8. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Senior member

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    I am die hard Belvest fan, and I am glad someone else agrees with me. I love Belvest because it carries almost no name recognition for quality that I believe to be second only to Oxxford for me. All the sub lines with Isaia and that matter Zegna only confuse the matter.

    You will notice also that something in the fabrics they choose recover from wrinkles faster than any item I own.
     
  9. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    @rssmsvc--Well, yes, that. Plus, their suits come with pants! [​IMG]

    Seriously, the Belvest is Super 180s wool. I hope it holds up.
     
  10. pkincy

    pkincy Senior member

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    Can you post a link to the 2 suits you bought??

    I have been wearing Belvest for years and love them dearly. I just this month bought my first 3 Isaia's. One from the NM sale and 2 others from STP.

    Perry
     
  11. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Well, as you know these things disappear fast from STP. Here's the original thread, with pictures.

    Here's the Belvest, for the moment at least.

    And here is the Isaia, although the color I (half) got is not this medium grey. It is a really lovely "indigo"--almost black, or super-dark navy. the picture in the original thread is of the color I ordered.
     
  12. coatandthai

    coatandthai Senior member

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    Great post -- I love comparos. There's a Belvest window pane in my size, but I'm not sure about window pane suits. Any thoughts? Will this be a closet dweller? [​IMG]
     
  13. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    I like windowpanes myself, but it depends on your own taste and your own needs. It probably wouldn't be one of the first few choices to make, but looks like an excellent addition.
     
  14. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I like windowpane a lot, and think it's just as versatile (if not more so) than a striped suit. I have a windowpane suit that is a lot like the Belvest pictured, and a windowpane sportcoat, and I'm thinking of having another windowpane coat made.
     
  15. Fabro

    Fabro Senior member

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    Some of the best deals I've had on suits and sport coats have been window pane, probably because it's less popular in N. America and they get passed over in retail. I really like window pane, and have found it very versatile.
     

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