A suit is an expensive purchase and with Brexit looming this October, keeping an eye on the pennies may be more relevant than ever. If a Saville Row tailored suit isn’t within your budget, you still want to make sure your suit is high-quality. Cloth, cut and fit are all important, but how do you know what to look for, and what makes a suit look more expensive than it is?
1. The tailored look
Otherwise known as the fit, this is the most important aspect of the suit. If your suit doesn’t fit well, there’s no point in wearing it. Everyone has their own ideas about sleeve and leg length and these move with fashion, but where it really counts is in the crotch, across the shoulders and in the leg and sleeve circumferences. Get these right, and you’ll get a tailored look.
2. The fabric
Super 100s to Super 130s in Pure Wool make great office suits. If you’re not familiar with this term, the Super count refers to the number of individual threads in a square inch. The higher the count, the finer the fabric. Watch out for the label of “100% pure wool”. Wool is not standardized; Italian wool and Chinese wool are not the same.
3. The shirts
A quality suit is only as good as the shirt beneath it. Shop for mens designer shirts from a well-respected brand and stay away from cheaper, polyester or artificial fibre mixes. These shift and bunch under the suit jacket, giving the wearer a schoolboy look.
4. Good lining
Always feel the inside of the jacket as well as the outside. While you may only see a flash of the colour, the lining has a job to do, keeping you warm and cool and helping the jacket sit correctly. Look out for natural rayon made from cellulose fibre or Cupra (Bemberg) if your budget allows. Good stockists such as https://www.ejmenswear.com/ will always list the lining and the shell. In suits, what lies beneath is just as important.
5. Hand Stitching
A fully hand-stitched, tailored suit is a thing of beauty, but it can also cost a small fortune. A hand-stitched suit is stitched on the mannequin and the breast stitching curves with the body, whereas a machine-stitched suit will hang flat on the body because it was stitched on the flat.