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M. Valentino vs. Benjamin Sartorial

fiskkm

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I have been reviewing this site for quite some time and have been impressed with the knowledge and recommendations of all of you. So, now I'm asking for some assistance. While I would love to have the wardrobe of some of the posters on this site, my budget only allows me to purchase suits for $500 or less. As a result, I am constantly on the prowl for deals. According to my research, two of the better deals out there are through the Wizard of Aahs, the M. Valentino line, and through eHaberdasher, specifically the Benjamin suit.

I purchased a M. Valentino earlier this year from Wizard of Ahhs based to the recommendations on this site. I am pretty happy with the suit and would consider staying with Jeff for additional purchases. But, I have also been reading the positive reviews on Benjamin Sartorial suits, so I am considering trying one of them. What would you guys recommend? Does anyone have suits from both of these suppliers? What is the better buy - the M. Valentino at about $300 or the Benjamin at about $400?

As a third option, my local Filene's Basement has some Zegna and Hickey Freeman suits for $500. They fit very well and could be another option. I am very interested in input from all of you, so please fire away.
 

Macallan

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Originally Posted by fiskkm
As a third option, my local Filene's Basement has some Zegna suits for $500. They fit very well and could be another option.

Do you know what Zegna suits they sell? If Z-Zegna then not worth while; however, if it is the 'Ermenegildo Zegna' range, it would be my suggestion.

I cannot comment on the other three options.
 

reidrothchild

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No experience with the Benjamin suits other than what I've read. There's a long thread on the Wizard of Aahs suits. As I said in that thread, the Baroni/Valentino lines seem good for $300, maybe slightly better than Jos. A Banks. However, if you can get a Hickey Freeman mainline suit for only $200 more that fits you well, no question you should go with the Hickey Freeman. HF will have better construction, be fully canvassed (M. Valentino is half canvas), and have superior fabric. If you pay $300 for an M. Valentino, you're getting a solid $300 suit. If you pay $500 for a Hickey Freeman (not "Hickey" or a dept. store variant made by HF), you're getting a $1500 suit for 1/3 of retail. The HF is by far the better value.
 

BernieStevens

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Btw, the Marco Valentino suits can be had for $280 shipped if you mention SF and contact Jeff directly.
 

reidrothchild

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As was covered in the other thread, Jeff is only one of many vendors that sell these suits. Though I did find him quite pleasant to deal with when I inquired about a Baroni. If you purchase one from a tailor or other men's clothing store, you can probably get your alterations for free.
 

HalfCanvas

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I'm not that familiar with the M. Valentino suits. Are they full canvas? The Zegna's at Filene's Basement are not actually Zegna-made suits. They are just pieces of junk made with low level Zegna fabric.

The Benjamin is totally different than a mainline Hickey Freeman suit (and, by the way, a lot of the HF I saw at Filene's Basement some time ago were actually fused lower level suits, very strange). It's going to be much lighter, leaner, and more modern. I purchased the Super 140s charcoal Benjamin a year ago. I really, really like it. The two complaints I have are (1) I sometimes will get just a very small gap at the collar, though this is almost certainly a fit issue that I should just have a tailor fix, and (2) the button stance is a touch too high on the model I have. My understanding is that Ben was, or did, come out with a different model with a lower button stance.

In any event, the Benjamin remains one of my favorite suits. It is my go to piece for evening social functions when I want a nice sleek, dark suit. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it again. Honestly, the suit in my closet that it most resembles in terms of styling, lightness, and constrution is my Isaia Napoli suit.
 

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