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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. XFactor

    XFactor Senior member

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    Your assumption is wrong as most people google around and then come to SF, join and ask questions. Most newbies come to the list to ASK, and if we know we would not ask. Maybe we should add another category.
    UN-Recommend it in the LIST in a category that you may label - Avoid, Crap, Do not buy.

     
  2. doctorman

    doctorman Senior member

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    i think all you said was very true. the way i see it, while suit construction is only a part of suit-making, it is a "marker" for good suits. i.e. a company that produces tons of fused suits are highly unlikely to spend much time on other aspects.

    an analogy would be - the number of cylinders is an important aspect of car-making. there are plenty of acceptable, cost-effective, stylish cars with 4 cylinders but you are just not going to find a top-notch performer with 4 cylinders. car makers that don't bother to put a V6 into a car probably won't bother to make the mirrors/windows/tires nice.

    there are certainly a market for fused suits (when the price is right), and there is huge diminished return for $5000 suits. readers just have to be aware. everything is in the shade of grey.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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    Perhaps, however if we do that there will be literally hundreds on the avoid list which isn't right. If you're budget truly is max $200 then you don't have many choices and it would be foolish to avoid buying a suit simply because they aren't worth the money in our eyes. As Riva clearly illustrates not everyone agrees on what is or isn't worth the money. Some of us wouldn't wear a Zara suit, some of us love them for the value.

    We're trying to focus on recommendations, pointing you in a specific direction, rather than giving guidance on every possible brand. Maybe it might be best to put a disclaimer that if the brand isn't found on the list then we can't recommend it's quality? I don't know, but I think we've gathered a fairly robust set of "recommended" OTR suits that are readily available across the globe. I'd suggest we avoid adding more "not recommends" to the list and keep it mainly limited to vary degrees of recommending. As we discuss brands like TH, if they don't meet the requirements we can leave them off and keep the list manageable.

    Maybe something like below?

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Disclaimer: This list is intended to recommend suits that have been evaluated first hand by the SF community based on construction quality. Brands not on the list have either not been evaluated or do not meet the minimum requirements to be recommended at any budget level. The list does not include criteria for fit, as it is subjective and differs for each body type, nor does it offer criteria for fabric or styling. If you're brand new to buying a suit, consider the fit of a garment before any other factors.

    Excellent [*****]
    - Oxxford (Highest Quality)
    - Brioni
    - Cesare Attolini Napoli
    - Caraceni
    - Kiton
    - Luciano Barbera Sartoriale
    - Luigi Borrelli
    - Sartoria Castangia
    - St Andrew / Santandrea
    - La Vera Sartoria Napoletana
    - Zegna Couture/Tom Ford

    Very Good[****] (IE: Few suits match the quality of the ones in this category.)

    - Battistoni
    - D'Avenza
    - Isaia
    - Sartoria Partenopea
    - Oxxford (1220)
    - Belvest mainline
    - Borrelli Luxury Vintage
    - Canali Milano
    - Corneliani Linea Sartoria
    - Pal Zileri Sartoriale (I think there is another line higher than Sartoriale: The custom made one--IIRC "Abito Privato"--has excellent quality)
    - Ravazzolo
    - Sartoria Attolini Napoli
    - Raffaelle Caruso: Sartoria Parma
    - RLPL
    - Sartorio
    - Stile Latino

    Good[***] (IE: Quality is superior to most suits.)

    - Brooks Brothers Black Fleece
    - Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece
    - Brunello Cucinelli (very nice fabrics)
    - Canali mainline
    - Canali Exclusive (higher end fabrics)
    - Cantarelli mainline
    - Corneliani mainline
    - Dunhill
    - Ermenegildo Zegna
    - Faconnable Tailleur
    - Martin Greenfield for Gilt, BoO, FSC, & O&S (fully canvassed)
    - Hickey Freeman Mainline
    - Kei by Canali (full canvas, but very soft)
    - Pal Zileri mainline
    - Paul Smith mainline (fully canvassed)
    - Paul Stuart
    - Raffaelle Caruso mainline
    - RLBL
    - Samuelsohn
    - J. Press Pressidential (full canvas)
    - Robert Talbott (Made in USA by Martin Greenfield)

    Satisfactory [**] (IE: The "average" brands. Quality is acceptable.)

    - Belvest Silver Label (half canvassed line)
    - Brooks Brothers 1818 (half canvassed)
    - Burberry Prorsum
    - Cantarelli Tailor
    - Charles Tyrwhitt
    - CC Corneliani (half canvassed)
    - Coppley (half canvassed)
    - Etro (if you can find the half canvas ones; some fused)
    - Boglioli (if you can find the half canvas ones; some fused)
    - Giorgio Armani (Black Label)[/U] (alot of their pieces are fused)
    - Gucci
    - H. Freemann
    - Hackett (half canvassed)
    - Hugo Boss Selection[/U] half canvassed and some premium fabrics
    - Hickey Freeman LTD (half canvassed)
    - J. Press Presstige (half canvassed)
    - Lardini (half canvassed)
    - L.B.M. 1911
    - Marks and Spencer (any of their "Pure Wool" collection)
    - Paul Smith London (half canvassed)
    - Piombo
    - Polo Ralph Lauren (half canvassed, excellent fabric)
    - Suit Supply (half canvassed)
    - Valentino (half canvassed)
    - Prada (half canvassed)
    - Peter Millar

    Mediocre[*] (Suits that are mediocre.)

    - J Crew Ludlow (fused)
    - Armani Exchange
    - Calvin Klein Collection (now fused)
    - Dolce & Gabbana
    - J. Press mainline (fused; decent fabrics)
    - Hickey (now fused and made in China)
    - Hugo Boss (fused)
    - Joseph Abboud
    - Pal Zileri Lab
    - Versace Collection
    - Z Zegna
    - Armani Collezioni (fused)
    - Corneliani Trend (fused)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. vida

    vida Senior member

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    I have a Sid Mashburn suit. It's canvassed with a very soft shoulder a higher arm hole. I have had it for more than a year and it seems well made to me; no problems thus far. It is the basic navy at $995 and I think you would be hard pressed to find anything better at this price. The only negative that I have noticed is that the waist band on the trousers seems a bit unsubstantial but this could be a result of the very, very light fabric that is used on the suit.
     
  5. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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    I think Sid Mashburn is made by Caruso, can anyone confirm?
     
  6. MDeKelver

    MDeKelver Senior member

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    Post a picture of the tag? They are usually put there by the manufacturer.
     
  7. vida

    vida Senior member

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    Here is the tag in my Sid Mashburn suit purchased in August of 2012. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Can't be bothered to read the whole thread again, this may have been discussed already, but I'm pretty sure J Press Ludlow are half canvassed not fused.
     
  9. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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  10. eHaberdasher

    eHaberdasher Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Does not appear to be Caruso made. Doesn't mean it's not nice...
     
  11. vida

    vida Senior member

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    I don't think it is Caruso either. Would love to know, though.
     
  12. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    I don't believe it is. IIRC, they offer Caruso through their MTM offering, but their base RTW stuff is no longer Caruso. There have been several discussions on the forum about it over the last couple of years.
     
  13. Reiginko

    Reiginko New Member

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    Hey everyone, I'm a bit new here and completely new to purchasing suits and tailored clothing, so I'll do my best to phrase my questions in a way that makes sense.

    I'm a 22 year old soon-to-be college graduate living in New England, USA. I have an interview in early December that I've got to go to, and, as I'm sure you've guessed, I'm here to ask for advice on what style/brand suit I should purchase. My budget isn't too narrow (in my opinion, heh), and I wouldn't mind spending up to $1500 on the entire outfit- assuming I can keep using it for a long time. That's for the suit, the dress shirt, tie, belt, and pocket square if it's suggested. I've already got a pair of dress shoes I'm satisfied with in a merlot color.

    So, to get to the meat of it, how much would you recommend I spend? I'm not sure if $1500 is too much for me to spend on this, even if I do have the money. Since I'm here asking for advice, maybe I should save until I've learned more. But, more importantly, what suits can I buy in-person within driving distance? That means New York and Boston are both in range. I'm not willing to purchase a suit online for two reasons; the first, I've never worn a perfectly fitting suit and so I can't give accurate measurements, and the second is that it doesn't meet my timeframe. I need the suit and all alterations done by the first week in December, when I'll be driving down to the day-long interview process.

    As far as my personal preference, it's a security job (police/FBI sort of gig), and I was thinking an English cut would be more appropriate. I'm military as well, so I really enjoy the crisp, tight fitting cuts. Not European slim, but something that's not boxy and drapey. Just from looking online, I love the way Paul Stuart suits are styled, if that's any help. I've heard the construction isn't exactly what it could be at that price point, but I think everyone seems to think they look great, which is fine with me.

    In any case, thanks so much for reading this far. Dinerlli, I've read your blog cover to cover, but unfortunately I need something that I can buy in-store and have a sales rep to help fit it. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  14. taxgenius

    taxgenius Senior member

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    On one hand I want to recommend Paul Stuart. However, for a very first suit I'm hesitant to suggest you spend $1,500. What about Brooks Brothers?
     
  15. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Agreed. Your tastes and probably body size will change. I'd stick with something at a lower price point.
     
  16. Agnelli413

    Agnelli413 Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  17. doctorman

    doctorman Senior member

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    Quote:not sure if you will run into paul stuart sale before december. i saw a few in july on sale for $700 plus tax and tailor. i think that type of sale goes on about twice a year... i also think brooks brothers milano fit is actually quite good. definitely a lot slimmer than their more traditional fits. they seem to be always on sale with 25% off.
     
  18. Reiginko

    Reiginko New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it.

    If Paul Stuart is having a sale, will it be listed on their website? I'd be alright with waiting another week or two to pull the trigger, but I've got a feeling they'll be saving the sales for after Christmas. I'll try on the Milano Brooks Brothers suits for sure, but from what I can tell right now the prices aren't really too far apart: $998 for a Milano 1818 suit from Brooks Brothers, half-canvassed, or $1284 for the Paul Stuart standard wool suit, fully canvassed. Are there noteworthy construction differences between the two? I know the PS is fully canvassed, but I'm really not sure how valuable that is to me. Will one be more expensive to tailor? Is one made of a superior material?

    Brooks Brothers: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Milan...ar_MK00224_Color=NAVY&contentpos=38&cgid=0216
    Paul Stuart: http://www.paulstuart.com/product_i...07&MainCatId=14&HEADERMENUID=1&SUBPRODCATID=0

    Still go for the Milano? You've all got more experience than I do. And thanks again, I'd be lost without this place.

    EDIT: Also, and if this isn't the correct place for this question to be asked I apologize, but am I correct in assuming that at my price point I should be alright with most any dress shirt as long as I get it taken in to fit me properly?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  19. doctorman

    doctorman Senior member

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    i think your question deserves perhaps a thread of its own. try search "first suit" on the forum and you may just get your answer.

    the $998 price tag for milano is a bit steep - there are often 25%/FF sales going on and i think you can probably pull one off for about $700 regularly - basic tailor is free at the BB store.

    i actually prefer the milano slimmer cut to paul stuart's. i thought the quality and construction for paul stuart is superb but the style is just meh. i wouldn't spend $1200 for one, but at $700, probably. i really couldn't tell any significant difference between the canvassing.

    you might have looked into it already, you can always try suitsupply. good dollar to quality ratio. decent construction with average fabric and a modern cut. you can also wander around saks - they occasionally have some canali/zegna on sale for under $1000.

    in general - i don't agree with getting a cheap suit as your first suit because that cheap first suit will be a complete waste of your money. you won't get any killer deals at this stage of your life (you don't REALLY know what fits you yet), but you should always get the best suit you can get/afford.
     
  20. doctorman

    doctorman Senior member

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    also, always go with a friend that knows a thing or two about the fit (and you). sales reps will rarely tell you when the suit fits poorly (because they want to sell you a suit, and upsell you whenever they can). they'll always tell you that you look fantastic and with some tailoring you are ready to be the director of FBI.
     

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