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Brand name formal wear


Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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I wonder how important a brand name is in suits, ties, and  dress shoes considering no label is acctualy showing.

Can you guys tell when someone is wearing a borelli or a versace vs a mtm suit from hong kong?

How about a Zegna tie vs a Nautica tie?

thanks, tim

P.S. what does bespoke mean?

Brian SD

Feb 5, 2004
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Bespoke is the highest, most work intensive type of tailoring and shoemaking, to the best of my knowledge. It involves several fittings and results in new patterns being designed for your body (when speaking of suits).

To answer your broader question, MY own answer would be yes. Many people, on the contrary, can't tell the difference between a Men's Wearhouse (is it Ware, or Wear anyway?) and an Attolini. I would attribute this mainly to the lack of interest on the subject.

Someone with even limited knowledge in the sartorial arts would still recognize a Kiton suit as being an amazing piece. I prefer designer suits, myself. However, any skilled tailor, in Hong Kong or otherwise will give you a better fit through MTM than any ready-to-wear designer (unless you just happen to fit the exact body shape that the designer-wear was made for - highly unlikely).

In short, I think after you have developed a taste and start to catch onto details that seperate the good from the bad, you will undoubtedly have an answer to your own question.


Senior Member
Jun 13, 2004
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I agree with the intent of what Brian SD has just said, but I think, as has been proven countless times on this Board, that buying brands for brand's sake is not always wise. We've seen many examples of members here who have posted complaints about highly respected brands. Of course, the best ones will make right any problems, but to rely on any item for perfect performance just due to a brand name doesn't always pan out. Caveat emptor, no matter who you are dealing with.


Senior Member
Jul 2, 2004
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Fit, Fabric, and Finish are what make or break a garment. If all three are present, it doesn't matter who made it - 2 of 3 are the bare minimum - 1 of 3 is pretty much a waste of time and money.

Buying by brand only is risky - however, you can make some general assumptions: High end brands are more likely to stand behind their products, consistently deliver a 'house' style and run true to size (once you determine what size you wear in a given brand). These assumptions are not 100% fool proof, but are very reliable.

For example: I can count on Zegna and Vestimenta to fit me very well, and require minimal alteration, as I know that a European 54 from these manufacturers is nearly perfect for me. HSM and Hickey - Freeman in the US is a different story for me - I have 42-44R's and depending on detail and style, I have something in each of the 3 sizes from each manufacturer.

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