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The StyleForum Working Hierarchical Suit Quality List (SFWHSQL!)

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

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  1. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Sometimes I think we tend to confuse "quality" with "luxury."
    I agree wholeheartedly. I would throw Value into the mix for some people as well. There is a point for each of us where the diminishing returns become too small. That is usually where we arbitrarily make that delineation between quality and luxury.
    I don't give a plug nickel about the delicate caress of gossamer cloth against my bare skin. Your Mileage May Vary.
    I just imagined Val Kilmer saying this in his DH voice, and I was compelled to smile.
     


  2. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    You can't use fabric in a thread like this. I've got jackets from the same maker. Same line. But with widely different fabrics. So does that mean you rank the jackets in multiple points?

    Then you've got to figure cloth is about use to. A light weight summer fabric is going to be different then a full on winter weight. Neither is better then the other. Just different.
     


  3. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    Where would Yves Saint Laurent rank?
     


  4. furo

    furo Senior member

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    You can't use fabric in a thread like this. I've got jackets from the same maker. Same line. But with widely different fabrics. So does that mean you rank the jackets in multiple points?

    Different fabrics doesn't mean they aren't the same quality. Fabric grade and quality can be used in this thread imo. And, if a maker is selecting poor fabric for winter weight vs higher grade for summer weight, that would be an obvious indicator of an inferior maker/brand.
     


  5. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I think cloth quality can be fine basis for comparison ... if you're comparing apples to apples. Brioni's topline luxury winter cloths v. Isaia's? Sure. But for most guys, the sample size is going to be pretty small, so it's going to be hard to make a direct comparison, and the assessment is going to be based on individual tastes. A Super 200s suit isn't inherently better than a rustic tweed -- they're just different beasts. Personally, I'll happily trade decadence for something simple and sturdy. Or is durability not part of quality? Sometimes I think we tend to confuse "quality" with "luxury."

    Well said Doc. I think of durability as an essential component or feature of quality. Well made items do last longer or at least should.
     


  6. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Different fabrics doesn't mean they aren't the same quality. Fabric grade and quality can be used in this thread imo. And, if a maker is selecting poor fabric for winter weight vs higher grade for summer weight, that would be an obvious indicator of an inferior maker/brand.


    You're missing the point. I've got jackets from the same maker. Ranging from 100% cashmere to 100% wool . The quality of the jackets are the same. It's the same maker. The same line. So how do you rank these two jackets?
     


  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    if a maker is selecting poor fabric for winter weight vs higher grade for summer weight, that would be an obvious indicator of an inferior maker/brand.

    I think this sort of broad assessment can be useful ... but I doubt many forumites are in a position to make it. And I expect the issue is rarely so cut and dried.
     


  8. furo

    furo Senior member

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    You're missing the point. I've got jackets from the same maker. Ranging from 100% cashmere to 100% wool . The quality of the jackets are the same. It's the same maker. The same line. So how do you rank these two jackets?

    I'm not missing the point at all. I'm merely stating that there's a degree of quality within the fabric itself that should be standardized across the board when it comes to the maker's selection/sourcing process.

    If the maker is getting pure hand-combed cashmere from the finest herd of goats in Mongolia, but shitty wool from South America, that is an indicator of an inferior brand. As Doc stated, this assessment is difficult to make so you'd need to know quite a bit about the maker in the first place.

    But hey, this is a clothing forum for geeks
     


  9. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    I'm trying to show makers sell a wide range of fabrics. I doubt any of us is in a position to check every single fabric they sell and grade the whole range.

    The moment you start ranking on quality on a small selection of the fabric choices what value does the list have? How many of the various choices have most of us seen?
     


  10. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Senior member

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    Cloth quality is quantifiable and verifiable. I may not like the lay of this swatch versus that swatch but that is choice. Whether the cloth was made on the same loom with the same quality control can be verified. This is a discussion in another thread and at another time. I believe the issue is who does the best sewing with the cloth in hand. IMHO believe EZ commands great cloth and really good sewing. So my equation gives them the lead 90% of the time. Brioni, Attolini, Vestimenta, and a couple others, sew better than EZ. But in most cases they have to go out on the market to buy Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffo, Cucinelli and others, cloth. After they get a "best buy" on great cloth, they sew the best. Simple as that. You might luck up on a Boss suit that is extremely well sewn with great cloth, for a steal; and in that circumstance, I might say "My Boss suit is better than that Brioni you have on." We here, show a lot of knowledge about all of the above. But, let us not forget, the best suit is the one that looks the best on some of our less than "Captain America" physiques. And I have never really been friends the Captain, he's too liberal.
     


  11. beerbudget

    beerbudget Well-Known Member

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    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
    - Sartoria Castangia

    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
    - 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


    Moved Sartorio Castangia to excellent. If Isaia is there then Castangia has to be.
     


  12. rioni

    rioni Senior member

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    My tailor who works with a good amount of higher end mens clothing was not all that impressed with my Sartoria Partenopea suit. It was the first one that he saw and didn't think the build quality was all that good. Take that for what it's worth.... which might not be much [​IMG]
     


  13. SirSuturesALot

    SirSuturesALot Senior member

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    My tailor who works with a good amount of higher end mens clothing was not all that impressed with my Sartoria Partenopea suit. It was the first one that he saw and didn't think the build quality was all that good. Take that for what it's worth.... which might not be much [​IMG]
    You are not the first who has made a similar comment.
    I have to tell you, and this is probably going to come back and bit me in the ass, but I would not go out of my way to find SP if I have access to Isaia. In other words, I wouldn't pick one over the other and if I had a gun to my head, I'd choose Isaia. I think Partenopea has benefitted on this forum from not being very accessible and from it's sexy name. It's nice, but it's not life changing.
    http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...7&postcount=29 Edit: It is important to note that Ed made this comment 2 years ago. His opinion may have changed since.
     


  14. timeless

    timeless Senior member

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    My tailor who works with a good amount of higher end mens clothing was not all that impressed with my Sartoria Partenopea suit. It was the first one that he saw and didn't think the build quality was all that good. Take that for what it's worth.... which might not be much [​IMG]

    now just yesterday my tailor, who works almost exclusively on Kiton and Isaia was commenting on the quality of the 2 SP pieces I just gave him to fit...his unsolicited opinion was that they were every bit as good if not superior to Kiton and definitely better made than Isaia...I own a fair number of all 3 and prefer the fit of SP...higher armhole and more suppressed waist than either Kiton or Isaia and much softer construction than Isaia....but the SP models do seem to vary alot...they list about 10 different models on their website.... and I have found that the quality can be a bit inconsistent...but when it's good it's great.
     


  15. SirSuturesALot

    SirSuturesALot Senior member

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    My tailor who works with a good amount of higher end mens clothing was not all that impressed with my Sartoria Partenopea suit. It was the first one that he saw and didn't think the build quality was all that good. Take that for what it's worth.... which might not be much [​IMG]

    now just yesterday my tailor, who works almost exclusively on Kiton and Isaia was commenting on the quality of the 2 SP pieces I just gave him to fit...his unsolicited opinion was that they were every bit as good if not superior to Kiton and definitely better made than Isaia...I own a fair number of all 3 and prefer the fit of SP...higher armhole and more suppressed waist than either Kiton or Isaia and much softer construction than Isaia....but the SP models do seem to vary alot...they list about 10 different models on their website.... and I have found that the quality can be a bit inconsistent...but when it's good it's great.

    Any details on the mental calculus your tailors ran when formulating their opinions? Specifics, rather than general comments on build quality, might help us make a solid comparison.
     


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