Hello, Welcome! Today we are going to talk about HOW you can see the quality of your suits!!
Suits are a big investment, and with the right material and a little extra money, they can last as long as 20 years!!! If you follow these simple steps we are going to share with you today, you can add years, even DECADES onto your suit! For those of you who wear them often: You know how pricey they can get! As we tackle the different signs of a good quality suit, don’t forget the upkeep is just as important!
Check out the table of contents below to see what we cover today!
Table of Contents:
- The label
- The lining
- The stitching
- THE FIT
- The “Pinch Test”
- The lapels
- The cuff links
The first sign to look for regardless of where you buy your suit from is the fabric quality, and that will be shown on the label. The only words you want to see are “100% Wool.” If you see a bunch of different types of fabric, then it can’t be good quality. When there are many different fabric pieces, there is a higher chance of them falling apart. If it is all wool, then you know it is good quality.
Look at the lining-
A fused lining that’s held together with glue is about as bad as going for a $99 polyester suit. The cheapest quality suits will have a fused lining. The highest quality suits will have a full canvas or at least a half canvas.
While suits can be expensive, it may be best to get the pricier one. If you buy the more expensive one you can take proper care of it and it can last YEARS.
Check out the stitching-
The ability for mass-manufacturers to replicate what used to be hallmarks of a custom suit has never been greater. With that said, you still want to examine the quality of the craftsmanship and look to see how the suit comes together.
You do not want a suit with jagged, loose, crooked stitching. If the stiching is messy and loose it was probably made quickly and it will not last very long. If you are in a tight spot and can’t afford a high quality suit, just make sure to be careful. Cheaper suits will not last going to the dry cleaners.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS:
From the way the pockets come together, to the drape, the buttonholes, and the boutonniere loop. Each of these small details often have the biggest impact when it comes to how you look. Machine-sewn pockets aren’t as sturdy and will wear quickly when utilized. Stiff lapels without a slight roll are a hallmark of a cheap suit. Plastic buttons can break, and even horn buttons that use plastic anchors can fall off in the middle of your board meeting.
The last thing you want is to leave the store with a great navy suit and have it look four shades of blue by next summer. Look at the design. How is it dyed? Is it even and are the colors vivid? Will they fade? Is the pattern perfectly done across the suit, or are they misaligned where the fabric was cut?
Bottom line: look closely and pay attention.
It’s all about the perfect fit. The fit of your suit is arguably the most important aspect of a good quality men’s suit. It’s also the aspect with the most impact on how your suit looks and feels on you. Ask yourself, if the suit doesn’t fit you perfectly, why buy it?
After all, it’s not a cheap purchase. Off-the-rack suits use a “standard sizing,” which is a sort of one-size-fits-all approach to suiting that uses only chest size and jacket length to determine your “ideal” fit.
What about other factors like:
- Sleeve length
- Sleeve and trouser circumferences
- Crotch length
In addition to the above, what about your posture, and the shape of your shoulders? The list goes on. Your body is a unique shape and size so even if you think off-the-rack sizing is ok for you, there will always be one area of fit that’s not quite right.
Getting the perfect suit fit is a game of inches… well 1/4 inches actually! A good quality men’s suit is one that’s made to your exact body measurements. Period.
The Construction of your suit should be “Half Canvassed” or “Fully Canvassed” and not “Fused.” One of the key differences between premium and low quality suit jackets is their construction. The chest of any jacket should be constructed of three (3) layers of material:
- The fabric on the outside of the coat
- The lining that makes up its inside
- A layer of canvassing in between that gives the coat its shape
HOW TO TELL A CANVASSED VS. FUSED JACKET – THE “PINCH TEST”
It’s easy to check whether the suit jacket you’re looking at is fused or canvassed. Simply pinch the chest fabric and lining between the fingers of each hand and pull them apart slightly. If it’s canvassed, you should be able to feel three distinct layers: the outside fabric, the canvas, and the lining. If it’s fused, you’ll only feel two layers. To distinguish between Full and Half Canvassing, perform the same pinch test down by the buttons.
Make sure to check the lapels before purchasing a new suit! The stitching should be even and equal all throughout. The stitches should also be nice and tight, if they aren’t then it may fall apart easily and fast.
The holes for the cuff links should be equally sized and not loose. You want to make sure the cuff link won’t fall out either.
Today we explained when you’re buying a new suit, you need to look at the lapel, lining, stitching, details, coloring, fit, construction and a nice little pinch test to see if it quality!
Above is a guide to spotting a quality suit but it also important to mention how to care for and maintain the quality of these suits. Only then can one suit last you as long as you need it to, and only then will a collection of well kept suits be one of your greatest assets in the workplace.
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