The StyleForum Working Hierarchical Suit Quality List (SFWHSQL!)

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

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  1. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    Hmmm if they are one in the same I need to find a place for them. Can we agree that St Andrews stuff is comparable in quality to the other "best" brands?

    Concerning the Sartoria brands, if everyone else agrees, I'm sure they could be added to the "very good" tier.
     


  2. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    put them in same very good category with couture above mainline or put couture in excellent. but having another zegna line that is even higher quality than mainline shouldnt negatively affect the mainlines ranking imo.

    as an aside is oxxford really that good i noticed them in excellent in a list. really??
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011


  3. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    Partenopia, Attolini should be right at top. Ralph Lauren Purple Label, St Andrews also top of pile.


    +1. Oxxford downside is that they are USA and not Italy. People have hang ups on issues like this, particularly brand mongerers or socialites that need something French or Italian.

    But if all is fair and square and we dont judge makers / labels from their country of origin, Oxxford are as good as anything coming out of Naples and rest of Italy for that matter.

    Of couse, disliking something because of its style is one thing, but that should not affect judgement of a quality garment. I hate Giorgio Armani suits, but I can appreciate they are very good and can suggest with no loss of generality they belong somewhere in one of the top two tiers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011


  4. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    Agreed about Zegna.

    And yes, Oxxford is really excellent.
     


  5. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    :slayer:

    curiously, because i have had little experience with them in person. i dont think ive ever even seen an oxxford suit for sale in baltimore. for the oxxford line considered excellent, what is the starting retail price for such a suit?
     


  6. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    $3000 and up for a suit. Pretty sure they're 100% hand sewn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011


  7. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    hmmmm maybe i will have to kop one day. thanks.
     


  8. antirabbit

    antirabbit Senior member

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    Oxxford belongs at the tip top, Oxxford is un rivaled in the quality of construction in RTW garments.
    Sartoria Castangia belongs in the top tier

    We may need a new catagory, as Borrelli and few others have considerable handwork, but may not rival some of the very best.
    I think for RLPL, we need some clear definitions: There is RLPL made by Chester Barrie, RLPL made by St. Andrews (tip top), and RLPL made by Caruso (not top tier)

    As for Luciano Barbera-
    There is LB by St. Andrews, LB by Attolini (I have two of these, they are top tier material for sure), and LB by Partenopea.

    Sartorio should not be at the top, early Sartorio was made by Attolini, later by Kiton's folk.

    SO, with some of these, its not as clear as it seems.
     


  9. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    Some good stuff here, I did not know this. I had always thought the Sartoria's were on a level with Isaia, hence I put them in the very good.

    A few pages back, Doc was talking about all the different makers/levels of quality based on year of construction, and how this exercise was so difficult because of that.
     


  10. Bartolo

    Bartolo Senior member

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    BB Golden Fleece is out of commission at the moment. I stopped into the Boston Newbury Street BB store this past weekend to look at their suits and learned that BB is "rethinking" this line and have pulled what they had from the racks. The salesman cited inconsistent quality and too many customer complaints about the price:quality ratio.
     


  11. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    not 100%, but they do contain the most handwork of any RTW manufacturer.

    i personally do not believe that hand work is synonymous with best, BTW. if anything, too much hand work can almost cause a jacket to start to lose its crispness, especially in parts like the lapels. an oxxford lapel has a very distinctive look for precisely this reason.

    of course, it depends on what you're going for. if you're a handwork fetishist who loves the wavy, rumply look that a purely hand-made garment will have, the crispness argument will not apply. it's important to be clear as to what YOU believe "quality" is. an analog would be watches: if you are satisfied with a perfectly functional quartz watch and couldn't give a toss about the movement, and you take the same approach to clothes, stick with canali and corneliani rather than worrying about oxxford.

    in any case, i really believe at the topmost echelon the differences in quality tend to become marginal, regardless of the minor differences in hand work. far more important is the cut, the fabric, and how the suit "behaves" on you (drape, type of canvas, etc.)
     


  12. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    that is about right. Corallorosso is at least fully-canvassed, and this makes a big difference.
     


  13. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    AntiR, i think this is a fine idea in principle, but there are some practical considerations that make this problematic, chiefly among them that:

    1 - each manufacturer's style has changed over time
    2 - some of these guys make suits for high-end stores under their own brands, with fairly dramatic differences in styling

    as an example of 1): isaia's current styling of quarters is now, if anything, on the closed side (perhaps the most so of any of the top italian brands) -- certainly for the stable Base "S" which dominates what's in stores. the notch placement has varied, even within Base S -- my Base S's from as recently as 5 years ago do not have a particularly high notch. (current hickey freemans have a higher notch...)

    as an example of 2): a belvest original will be quite different from a belvest made for a Korshak, which will in turn be quite different from a belvest made for a wilkes bashford -- with fairly dramatic differences in roominess of the body, button placement, shape of the quarters, shoulder padding, etc. and -- if anything -- recent belvests have been more on the short side.

    two things that do appear to be consistent with belvest are a wonderful lightness of construction -- a belvest tradition going a long way back (and noted as long ago as by bernhard roetzl in his now-ancient book) -- and beautiful shaping in the chest and upper back.

    i think what you propose may work best for brands like canali and corneliani, maybe even a brioni, which have a smaller number of stock models and tend to be more consistent. but even they make continual adjustments to fit, even within the same model.
     


  14. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    i just remembered. about a year ago when i was deciding on which MTM maker to go with, an SA told me that isaia was "all" handmade. was/is this true?
     


  15. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    Handmade is different from handstitched. I bet Isaia is handmade.
     


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