Well, it's all in the details!
The price of a suit depends on many factors and no one suit is made identical to the other. Here are a few factors you should consider when looking at buying a suit:
Cheaper suits tend to be constructed with man-made fabrics. These tend to not breathe, and therefore, are not as comfortable as natural fibres. However, they are
very hard wearing and so, very suitable for work wear or a suit that will get repeated and regular use.
A good compromise, and probably our most popular suit, are poly-wool ones.
Poly-wool combines the durability of polyester with the breathability of wool, and so are a preferred choice with clients who work in an office environment.
The next step on the price ladder will be a 100% wool suit and, like anything else in life, there are a vast variety of options and qualities to choose from.
Traditionally, wool suits were viewed as thick and heavy , typically what a farmer would wear. This look, shunned for many years by the fashion industry, is now
enjoying a strong resurgence thanks to period dramas such as Peaky Blinders, The Crown and others.
We have just launched Marc Darcy, a brand that specialises in this look. The most widely available wool fabric in suiting these days, however, is cool wool. The
fabric yarn is so fine, the threads feel silky and particularly useful in summer, when breathability is an important factor. These suits tend to feel and look great, but are
not as durable as synthetic fabrics, and so are often purchased for special occasions. The ultimate expression of wool threads are the Super 100s & 200s.
These numbers refer to the length of the thread- the longer the thread, the less knots in it and the better the fabric will hang. Italian mills have made a name for
being specialists in producing these luxury fabrics.
There are other fabrics used in tailoring such as cotton, linen and silk. These tend to be niche products.
Another important factor in the price and look of the suit is its actual construction, what is known as cut-and-sew. The better a suit is, the more pieces of fabric will
be used to make it. This helps in how the suit hangs and, evidently, requires more tailoring.
The ultimate expression of this is to have a made to measure suit, but even within
the bespoke world, there are many qualities. I know of many clients who have had suits made up in the Far East, but been disappointed in the finished product
because they only had one fitting, so after the initial measuring there was no opportunity to adjust after. Some others have been unhappy at the quality of
fabric/buttons etc.. One of the benefits of buying a ready made suit is that, although it isn’t made for you, you benefit from the economies of scale. This
allows you to get a high quality product for a reasonable price compared a similar quality from a bespoke tailor.
At Match, we bridge the gap between a ready made product and a bespoke one
by offering consultancy, advice and an alteration service to help our customers get the right look.
One aspect that is really not very evident (but very important) in buying the suit is the quality of the fusing. The fusing is the fabric that goes in-between the inner
lining and the outer shell of the jacket, and will determine how the jacket sits. If the fusing is cheap, the jacket will seem formless, flaccid. The best quality suits
will have a chest piece of canvas with horsehair which you can spot very easily. Look at it, and you’ll find that the lapels sit very straight and the bottom hem
parallel to the ground.
Details….there’s ALWAYS details! Often, the small details are where the brand puts its signature on the garment. Brands like Paul Smith will use purple stitching,
Ted Baker their thematic (and dramatic) suit linings- these are the things that make the difference and which customers look for when they want to step out of
the ordinary. Signature Savile Row details- they will often cut a suit with slanted pockets, with one side carrying a double pocket. Another typical feature is the
hand-sewn contrast stitching on lapels.
And the list goes on and on….
- Working cuffs ( this is when the buttons on the sleeve cuff can be undone, as oppose to just being decorative)
- The shape of the lapels- peaked, notched, shawl…
- The number of vents
- The quality of the buttons
- And in more decorative styles, contrasting piping on pockets
To name just a few
In summary, a suit is an expression of your taste and your requirements of it. The saying “one suit fits all” has never been further from the truth! If you would like to
visit our showroom, visit our website www.marblearc.com and book a one-to-one appointment with our tailoring team, who’ll be happy to Match-make (couldn’t
resist the pun) a reunion with you and your perfect suit!
Next time, we will take a look at shirt, trouser and neckwear details.