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Custom tailor suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by clarinetplayer, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Senior member

    Likes Received:
    Mar 12, 2002
    At a local men's clothier, one can order a custom made suit from the following manufacturers:

    Coppley Apparel
    H. Freeman & son
    Hickey Freeman
    Polo Ralph Lauren

    At the store there is a mind boggling selection of fabrics, designs, etc... from which to choose.

    I'd be interested in reading how the many experts on this board would rank these manufacturers? By ranking, I mean who has the reputation for the best construction and styling?

  2. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Jul 27, 2003
    In my opinion, in terms of construction/quality of tailoring:

    Oxxford (a clear number 1. One of the 5 best clothing manufacturers in the world.)

    Hickey Freeman (they have a few different levels of tailoring, including a line that has a great deal of handwork -- I don't know whether they offer a choice of tailoring quality in their MTM program)

    Samuelsohn (an underappreciated Canadian maker that does private-label clothing for some great stores, including, I believe, Paul Stuart)

    Polo (depends on the line -- if Purple Label, move to #2 behind Oxxford [Purple Label now made by SaintAndrews in Milan]. If the Blue Label Italian line, probably here in rating, though maybe behind Southwick. If Blue Label American made, this is probably the right rating)

    Southwick (a good American maker with a decent amount of handwork. Makes stores' private label goods and, historically, the Brooks Brother 346 line.)

    H. Freeman ( used to do alot of handwork. From what I've seen lately, seem to have moved to lower quality production.)

    Coppley -- not familiar with them

    Styling is a much more personal issue: try on the different makers' off-the-shelf clothing to see whose style you like. While they all offer different cuts, there tends to be a house style which carries through much of their product line and styles. I like Oxxford, but many people find their house style too old-fashioned. Oxxford has traditionally only sold in the USA, and to wealthy CEO types, so this has driven their style. They've come out with some newer designs which are targetted at younger people. l love Purple Label, find the other Polo lines so-so. I like Hickey, and some of their products are targetted at a younger audience, but traditionally they've also been a conservative line. Southwick: very conservative, soft-shouldered suits, including the traditional "sack" suit (i.e. non-darted jacket front). Samuelsohn: pretty conservative, but nice lines with, as I recall, a bit more style than some others.

    Also, you might consider Martin Greenfield for MTM; they make the Marcus label for NM, traditionally made the "Makers" line for Brooks Brothers, and, I think, also made the MTM suits for The Custom Shop, among others. They make a fine suit, assuming you like their style.

  3. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Jan 6, 2003
    #1 - Oxxford, #2 - Polo, #3 - Samuelsohn. I wouldn't pay full price for any of the others. If the Polo suits are Blue Label they will be made by Corneliani, if they are Purple Label they will be made by Saint Andrews as mentioned.

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