Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

The StyleForum Working Hierarchical Suit Quality List (SFWHSQL!)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cognacad, Sep 20, 2009.

Tags:
  1. furo

    furo Senior member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Likes Received:
    231
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    What I remember off the top of my head, and there is a video on youtube about this...is ALL the suits for Valentino are made in Egypt.

    Yeah but Corneliani?
     


  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    With all due respect, Doc, instead of complaining about this thread, you *could* try to make a contribution to it. The search for this sort of information is what leads a lot of newbies (like me) to SF, and not all will have the patience or the desire to develop your level of expertise on this topic. Instead, they will search the archives for something like this (since nothing seems to get pinned anymore) and finding it they will end up relying to some degree on this list. There are a lot of us who would appreciate your input, or constructive commentary, rather than just bitching. My reading here has made me aware that a lot of the regulars are bored with questions like this, but rather than just stating that the list is completely bogus, pointing out what's wrong with it, or correcting it, would help a lot of people. A good list built from the collective, subjective opinion of the suit-savvy veterans on this site and pinned to the top would probably eliminate a whole lot of newbie-started threads, too. Just my $0.02. Apologies for the presumption. Please proceed.
    Here's the problem: The people for whom this type of list will be of the least value are those who are the least informed. They'd be much better off learning easy ways to recognize a good suit, about which I have written many posts, rather than trying to memorize a list of brand names that may or may not be correct and that has been assembled by people who may or may not know what they're talking about. As was pointed out early in the thread, the number of people here who are qualified to make this sort of comparison is probably remarkably small. How many of these ratings are based on eBay purchases of a coat from 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? How many are by people who are familiar with the current offerings of most of the brands mentioned? How many folks here could tell you what makes Attolini better than Belvest? This type of ranking of the "best" helps fuels the fascination with brand names. It's this fixation on prestige and "quality" that causes people to show up in WAYW sporting expensive garments that fit poorly and look terrible. If an unpadded shoulder doesn't flatter you, you shouldn't be wearing it, regardless of how much handstitching the coat has or how much SF likes unpadded shoulders. Some guys will be better off in Hickey Freeman than RL Black Label, regardless of the respective qualities of both. It's good to be informed about the quality of clothing purchases, but foolish to make it the defining factor. And it's more foolish, I'd argue, to base your understanding of quality on a random list that doesn't even specify what makes one tier better than another. In terms of quality, the law of diminishing returns kicks in at a certain point, and you can end up paying a lot more for "better quality" that makes little difference in the actual wearing of a suit. For most guys, a Hickey Freeman, say, will be all the suit they need. If they want to pay more for Kiton -- if they want that aesthetic or that name inside the coat -- that's well and good. But I hope that's because they've learned about what they're buying and compared it with the alternatives, rather than basing it on a list they saw on an online forum. There's no shortage of information about quality here, and no list will be a replacement for knowing what your money's getting you.
    Also once widely available on Ceti Alpha V.
    You lie! On Ceti Alpha Five there were good suits!
     


  3. Ochowie

    Ochowie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    What I remember off the top of my head, and there is a video on youtube about this...is ALL the suits for Valentino are made in Egypt.

    Does that mean that the Valentino tailoring line which is made by Isaia is also made in Egypt? Doesn't seem right to me.
     


  4. furo

    furo Senior member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Likes Received:
    231
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Here's the problem: The people for whom this type of list will be of the least value are those who are the least informed. They'd be much better off learning easy ways to recognize a good suit, about which I have written many posts, rather than trying to memorize a list of brand names that may or may not be correct and that has been assembled by people who may or may not know what they're talking about. As was pointed out early in the thread, the number of people here who are qualified to make this sort of comparison is probably remarkably small. How many of these ratings are based on eBay purchases of a coat from 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? How many are by people who are familiar with the current offerings of most of the brands mentioned? How many folks here could tell you what makes Attolini better than Belvest?

    This type of ranking of the "best" helps fuels the fascination with brand names. It's this fixation on prestige and "quality" that causes people to show up in WAYW sporting expensive garments that fit poorly and look terrible. If an unpadded shoulder doesn't flatter you, you shouldn't be wearing it, regardless of how much handstitching the coat has or how much SF likes unpadded shoulders. Some guys will be better off in Hickey Freeman than RL Black Label, regardless of the respective qualities of both. It's good to be informed about the quality of clothing purchases, but foolish to make it the defining factor. And it's more foolish, I'd argue, to base your understanding of quality solely on a random list that doesn't even specify what makes one tier better than another.

    In terms of quality, the law of diminishing returns kicks in at a certain point, and you can end up paying a lot more for "better quality" that makes little difference in the actual wearing of a suit. For most guys, a Hickey Freeman, say, will be all the suit they need. If they want to pay more for Kiton -- if they want that aesthetic or that name inside the coat -- that's well and good. But I hope that's because they've learned about what they're buying and compared it with the alternatives, rather than basing it on a list they saw on an online forum.

    There's no shortage of information about quality here, and no list will be a replacement for knowing what your money's getting you.


    Good point on quality. Having knowledge to recognize it is key. Especially since most clothing salesman are going to steer you in the wrong direction anyways.
     


  5. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Not to mention but no reason quality can't change in the future. What is good today can be crap tomorrow.
     


  6. furo

    furo Senior member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Likes Received:
    231
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Not to mention but no reason quality can't change in the future. What is good today can be crap tomorrow.

    And how many times have you seen it go from crap to good? [​IMG]
     


  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    Not to mention but no reason quality can't change in the future. What is good today can be crap tomorrow.
    I think that's RL's unofficial motto. [​IMG]
     


  8. GiltEdge

    GiltEdge Senior member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Yeah but Corneliani?
    Does that mean that the Valentino tailoring line which is made by Isaia is also made in Egypt? Doesn't seem right to me.
    Look after about 14 mins.
     


  9. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

    Messages:
    8,935
    Likes Received:
    1,193
    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    El Barrio


    Look after about 14 mins.


    Right after describing the practice you're deploring, she specifically mentioned that the suits bound for the US and Japan were produced in Italy, as those countries have stricter country of origin labeling laws.

    Also, when she described the practice she referenced "$1,300 Valentino suits". That sounds like Valentino Roma, not Tailoring (which retails in the $3,000 range).
     


  10. Pezzaturra

    Pezzaturra Senior member

    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    United States of Albania


    Look after about 14 mins.


    Very interesting video. Thanks.
     


  11. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Senior member

    Messages:
    1,681
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sector 2814
    Back in July I started a thread that seems to have renewed significance given the video and the direction this thread is taking.

    Made in China...not!
    Something has come over me and I can't really explain it. I have become either enlightened or obsessed by all things "Made in China." I think it happened about the time I bought that last Italian made suit or that last Italian made boxer short or that last Italian made sweater. I looked into my closet one day to review what I had accumulated over the years and thought were "decent" pieces and began seeing "Fabric woven in Italy, Made in China." I fell back unto the bed choking back the tears. "How could I be so stupid?" I started flinging items into a bag hoping no one from the SF police would walk in. As a result, I have only that last Suit, short, sweater. No more "Made in China" for me. Am I crazy?

    The responses to my thread took an off kilter turn but the video simply strengthened me in my position that to ensure the best quality I should buy "Made in Italy" Thank you very much.
    [​IMG]
     


  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,889
    Likes Received:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Does Castangia really belong below Kiton, Brioni, etc.?
     


  13. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

    Messages:
    25,980
    Likes Received:
    10,731
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Excellent [*****] (i.e. Suits made this well are far and few between, if money is no object your closet would be full of these. This category should be kept to only a few items)
    - Kiton
    - Oxxford
    -Thom Browne
    - Brioni
    - Cesare Attolini Napoli (after seen and tried it for the first time, indeed one of the best)
    - Luigi Borrelli
    - RLPL (not suit maker, a designer brand)
    - Luciano Barbera Collezioni Sartoriale
    - St Andrew
    - Sartoria Partenopea
    - Isaia
    - D'Avenza

    Very Good[****] (i.e. Few suits match the quality of the ones in this category).
    - Belvest
    --Lanvin
    -Jil Sander tailor made
    - Corneliani Linea Sartoria
    - Sartoria Attolini Napoli
    - Canali Milano
    - (most of Raffaelle Caruso) eg. Sartoria Parma / RL Black Label / RL Signature
    - Pal Zileri Sartoriale (I think there is another line higher than Sartoriale, the custom made one, IIRC "Abito Privato", excellent quality)
    - Ravazzolo
    - Zegna Couture
    - Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece
    - Sartoria Castangia
    - Borrelli Luxury Vintage

    Good[***] (i.e. Quality is superior to most suits).
    - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
    - Hickey Freeman Mainline
    - Corneliani
    - Canali
    - K by Canali
    - Ermenegildo Zegna
    - Samuelsohn
    - Paul Smith Mainline (not a suit maker, designer brand - fully canvassed)
    - Faconnable Tailleur (also designer brand)
    - Cantarelli Tailor
    - Etro / Boglioli
    - Giorgio Armani (black label)

    Satisfactory [**] (i.e. The "Average" Brands. Quality is acceptable).
    - Cantarelli
    - Brooks Brothers 1818 (half canvassed)
    - Paul Smith London (not a suit maker, designer brand - half canvassed)
    - H. Freemann
    - Hickey Freeman LTD (Half Canvas)
    - hickey
    - Hackett
    - Z-Zegna

    Mediocre[*] (Suits that are mediocre)
    - Hugo Boss
    - Marco Valentino (half canvas) - surprising but I found the VFM is great
    - Joseph Abboud
    - J. Press
     


  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,889
    Likes Received:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    ^^^ Is Thom Browne still Oxxford-made? I thought they moved down to a cheaper alternative, which would lead me to believe they shouldn't be ranked in the highest tier. Also, I thought Jil Sander was made by Attolini--maybe it should be swapped into TB's spot.
     


  15. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

    Messages:
    25,980
    Likes Received:
    10,731
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    ^^^ Is Thom Browne still Oxxford-made? I thought they moved down to a cheaper alternative, which would lead me to believe they shouldn't be ranked in the highest tier. Also, I thought Jil Sander was made by Attolini--maybe it should be swapped into TB's spot.
    Yeah they switched but I'm not sure the Japan-made new production will be inferior, we'll see. It's not like his current offerings pale compared to Isaia or Brioni and they are clearly above black fleece. -If Hermès is stillmade by Belvest we could put them in the same category. -Dior homme was pretty good, going from beyond anything on that list (couture embroidery) to at least "good". -Lanvin fabrics are often custom and IMHO, more interesting than those from other brands. -Jil Sander: I'm talking about the RTW "tailor made" line not MtM, not sure who makes it anymore. Mine looks good and is well made but it's a fine example of Teutonic design minimalism (no sleeve buttons, discrete stitching, etc).
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by