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Polo rl suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by zman1974, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. zman1974

    zman1974 Member

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    I have heard that Polo RL suits are overpriced for the quality from various salesmen. First, who makes his suits (Polo), or are there many makers? Second, I am attaching a link from the Polo website which indicates that RL's new suits may indicate a new direction; perhaps this is all pure marketing, but it would be wonderful for the masses if these new suits would be closer to Purple Lable quality than what was previously offered (if indeed quality was lacking). Any information from the more knowledgeable would be appreciated. New Polo Suits Z
     
  2. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Corneliani has made Polo suits for the past several years, and I haven't heard that this has changed. Polo suits are typically fairly nice. I like the styling (little padding in the shoulders, nipped waist, side vents), and the fabrics are typically very good. The jackets are, however, fused. They're about as nice as fused jackets can be, but they are fused. You're paying a pretty hefty premium for the Polo label, and you really can get more value at a Polo suit's price point ($1000-$1200 for most suits). Regular Corneliani, for example, is not fused, is similarly styled, and can be had for just a bit more at retail. 

    As far as I can tell from examining Polo and Purple Label merchandise, there is no convergence of quality between the two. Keep in mind that Purple Label suits start at around $3000. Ralph Lauren is too savvy a businessman to offer something close to Purple Label quality at anything other than prices close to Purple Label prices. If he plans to make Polo more like Purple Label, then you can expect prices to rise significantly.
     
  3. zman1974

    zman1974 Member

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    So I take it this new batch of suits will also be fused; too bad. Another question:

    Say I like the look of these Polo suits, but would want a better value (and can't afford Purple Label unless it's on Ebay.). Would, say, Canali be something that would present a similar sillouette? Any other suggestions?

    Z
     
  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Canali would be your best bet; I've seen their suits go for as low as 300$, which is a staggering bargain considering the quality you'll be getting. The silhouette is similar to Corneliani, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  5. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The typical Canali silhouette is nothing at all like the typical Polo silhouette. Canali has a few different models, of course, but the ones that I've seen most of have had lots and lots of shoulder padding and very little if any waist suppression.

    As I said before, Corneliani offers something similar to the Polo silhouette at a similar price point in an unfused garment.
     
  6. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've seen hundreds of the new Polo/Corneliani suits and not one was fused. Where have you seen a fused Polo suit?
     
  7. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In my opinion there are two really great deals at entry level (retail) right now:

    1) The Polo line made by Corneliani - canvas front, handpicked lapels, GREAT cuts and fabrics.

    2) The Hickey Freeman Collection line sold at Neiman Marcus - canvased front, handpicked lapels, handstitched buttonholes, and a surprisingly modern selection of cuts and fabrics.

    Ever better - there are a good selection of the Polo and Hickey suits at various outlets for $275-$500.
     
  8. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    At the Polo store in Houston as recently as this afternoon. Every last jacket was fused. Maybe Polo has different levels of suits, I don't know. What I do know is that every Italian-made Polo suit that I've ever examined has been fused.
     
  9. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'll have to side with jcusey on this one. Here in London all Polo jackets (blue label, made in Italy) are partially fused with a floating chest piece. (But of course, only the very cheapest suits are totally fused; like Marks & Spencer's washable horror.) Whether or not Corneliani makes them, I wouldn't know. Blue label tailored items used to be made in Spain until a year or two ago; the Spanish range was not fused, the Italian one is.

    Things might be different in the States; at least there was a time when American stuff was made in the US of A. I just have two Polo sports coats right in front of me, one made in Italy and bought about a year ago, the other one maybe 8 years old American made and bought. The American one (could be Southwick or Hickey Freeman) is by far better made. Under collar felled by hand, (Italian one zigzagged.)

    Since this season, and I really flipped out there, even "Rive gauche" suits are fused. Gucci comes in two price ranges, one is fused (4 sleeve buttons); the other one with five sleeve buttons is not. The march of the fusing presses seams to be unstoppable.
     
  10. zman1974

    zman1974 Member

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    Bengal-stripe,

    Have you had experience with the ready-to-wear Savile Row suits? Would this be a viable option for an American who doesn't make visits to London?

    Z
     
  11. aybojs

    aybojs Senior member

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    What do you mean by partially fused? Does that mean that the presence of a floating canvas does not necessarily make a jacket non-fused?

    I'm a little surprised by your observation of YSL Rive Gauche too. I went to a boutique in mid to late August and all the jackets had a floating canvas. Did YSL go exclusively with fused fronts now or did they just make another lower-end line like Gucci?
     
  12. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Strictly speaking there is not such a thing as a ready-to-wear Savile Row suit. Savile Row, as a concept not as a geographical location, is famous for bespoke, hand made suits. Although many firms stock a range of ready-to-wear suits, (Huntsman, Gieves & Hawkes) they are bought in private label suits made by some factory who make the same range of suits for many other private labels (Huntsman suits are made by Chester Barrie).

    Of course there are other firms in Savile Row, who are just retailers like Richard James and that causes a great deal of friction, as East side of Savile Row, by some ancient statute, has to be reserved for "fine tailoring" but not the West side. (Not withstanding the fact that one of the finest firms, Anderson & Sheppard, is on the nasty West side.)
     
  13. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well I owe jcusey and everyone else an apology - I just double checked the one piece of Corneliani/Polo I have on hand right now (a blue blazer in my own closet - I picked it up for $6.00 at a thrift shop) and it's fused. The fusing is VERY thin but it's there nonetheless. Now I'm wondering if perhaps I've missed this on other jackets? Perhaps there are tiers of quality or they have changed the specifications for the newer jackets (the line has been around for at least two years, probably more.) I'll have to investigate further and let everyone know. Sorry about the misinformation..

    And to revive a discussion form another related thread - I saw for the first time a non-fused Cerruti 1881 (the label said Cerruti 1881 Couture) suit this weekend. It was made by Hickey Freeman. That's not to say that all the top Cerruti suits are made by Hickey but at least some are or were.
     
  14. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You have to be especially careful with the ready-to-wear "Savile Row" suits that are sold in the US. Labels such as Gieves & Hawkes and Kilgour French & Stanbury have been sewn in suits from a WIDE variety of makers. I've yet to see a ready-to-wear "Kilgour French & Stanbury" suit that wasn't American made (and not very well I might add.) Gieves and Hawkes suits can be quite confusing. The vast majority of the models you will see on ebay were made by Hickey Freeman including the ones bearing the "Bespoke" label. A handful have been made by various Italian factories - Canali, Isaia and Belvest among them. If I remember correctly, all the models I saw on my visit to England in 2001 (at a boutique in Bath) were made by Canali.

    I like the ready to wear H. Huntsman line because many of the pieces I've seen were actually cut like the Huntsman bespoke suits and jackets I've sold. The older items I've seen were Chester Barrie while the newer ones were made by Cantarelli. Does anyone know if Huntsman rtw suits are available anywhere in the US right now? I heard Barneys stopped carrying them and I think that was the only source. And if they are available where are the newest models made - in Italy or did they switch back to Chester Barrie?
     

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