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new to SF - debating CK vs Armani suit purchase

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by topaz921, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. topaz921

    topaz921 Member

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    Dec 1, 2012
    Hi there,

    I'm new to the forum and decided to post a question after getting a lot of useful info on fashion I have been considering lately and on brand A vs B, which is a better suit, etc.

    Quick intro - late '30s slim 6' tall entrepreneur and I do not have many occasions where I need to wear a suit or even dress up (work from home). I have several occasions coming up beginning in January (Weddings, occasional biz meeting, charity events) and I anticipate more events and so I thought it would be nice to have 1 quality classic suit, MTM, or other that I can wear when needed.

    I do have 1 navy low-end fused suit that I don't like so much and it feels dated (3-button, pleated, cuffs). It's also a 40L and it seems I'm more of a 40R for most brands I've tried on.

    I was going to try Blacklapel after reading many positive reviews and cost vs. risk seemed like a good idea. However, due to time constraints I don't think I will have it ready in time for January although for February it is still an option. No local tailors really available, most just outsource it.

    So I went looking for a charcoal suit and I am debating between getting something low-end, quick-and-dirty that will work for the short term or something that may last longer and be of higher quality.

    Of the limited options, these 3 are what I found that are slim/trim:
    Macy's - Calvin Klein slim or DKNY trim fit, MSRP $650, cost ~ $229 + tailoring costs
    Nordstrom Rack - Armani Collezioni 'Giorgio' Made in Italy (fully canvassed I believe?), MSRP $1895, cost ~ $950 + tailoring costs (don't recall if they charge). i think this is the same as the one on nordstrom.com that is $2095 so not sure if there is any difference

    If I go with the fused, I would still be on a quest for a quality suit but would h ave a harder time justifying it with 2 in the closet that hardly get worn. The Armani is a more tapered fit which I like and I would probably not have to look for another suit or MTM but it does cost more and from what I have read, may not even be such a great deal?

    I didn't see anything in the $400-500 range that was not fused either. I'm not fixed on brand names but other options are JosABank, Men's Wearhouse (didn't see anything there), Banana Republic, Off 5th (Boss regular fit too bulky, Saks Black line was ok)

    Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. SpiffEngineer

    SpiffEngineer Senior member

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    May 2, 2012

  3. Semi Fly

    Semi Fly Active Member

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    Sep 28, 2012
    I was in a similar situation as you not too long ago. The suits I was deciding between were the Hugo Boss Grand Central and James suits at Nordstrom Rack, the Saks Red Line suits which are "Made with Zegna fabric" but made by Joseph Abboud, and the Benjamin Sartorial suits from ehaberdasher.com, who is an affiliate vendor on here. I stumbled across that last option while researching on here.

    I couldn't find a Boss suit on discount in the color and size I wanted. Of the three, I liked the fit of the Boss suit the best. I don't know why, it just felt great. I bought the Saks suit for about $500. I took a leap of faith and ordered the Benjamin suit online based on good reviews. After comparing the two, I returned the Saks suit. The Saks fabric "felt nicer" but it had a sheen that I didn't want. It also had a little bit of texture which I liked, but not as my go-to suit. The Benjamin suit navy was more "professional" in terms of color, sheen, and texture. That's honestly what it came down to. I liked both and I would have a hard time discerning which one is the higher quality suit.

    I am by no means an expert but at least our situations seem similar. FWIW, the Benjamin suit is fully canvassed. Even though I couldn't tell the difference in my limited experience, I trust the opinions of the members on this board. It has a good slim fit. Tailoring cost me $42 to shorten one sleeve (apparently my arms are different lengths), sewing the sleeve buttons, and hemming the pants. Since the buttons are not attached, you do have the option for working sleeves but that was a pricey option I couldn't justify.Here's a link. There's a free shipping code somewhere as well. He answered my questions via PM which made me feel comfortable enough to take a chance.


  4. J.B

    J.B Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Pleasanton, CA
    The rack does charge for tailoring. Do the pinch test for canvasing.

    If you don't care too much, go with whatever fits best off the rack and maybe save some $ for accessories.. Don't jump on the Armani just because it is nicer. If it doesn't fit properly there is no saving it.

    I know if you can go 600 you can get a nice Hickey Freeman (fully canvassed) from Nordstrom Rack or Men's Wearhouse with enough ease.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012

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