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Quality vs Cheap: How well do you know your suits?

25th April 2018 Print

Suit’s should be viewed as a necessary investment; so many events require the purchase of a new suit. Maybe you’ve been invited to a christening, a wedding or maybe you’re simply looking  to sharpen up for the office. A cheap suit is almost guaranteed to need replacing in a couple of years, whereas well-designed tailoring can last you 20 plus! 

So, what are the tell-tale signs of a quality suit? And, of equal importance, how can you make sure people know that you’re wearing the best. 


Materials and fabrics that make the suit can be the determining factor as to whether your suit will last the test of time. CT shirts, experts in Men's suits design, explain further.

It is advised to keep an eye out for suits crafted with natural fibres rather than those with labels that claim it’s been created with a wool-blend or man-made materials. Polyester, for example, should be avoided. This retains an excessive amount of heat, is less breathable and creases much more easily. A suit with 100% wool is absolutely something to look out for — these suits are versatile and ooze comfort. For a lustre look, often silk or mohair (a silk-like material made from the hair of the Angora goat) is added and this gives a luxurious shine to any suit. For extra movement and comfort, a high-quality suit is often made with a small amount of Lycra and this improves its elasticity. 

The number alongside the ‘Super’ is a big indicator of the finery of the material. The digit is a way which indicates that the wool is of high quality and the higher the number, the finer and lighter the cloth will be. 

Something a lot of people may not consider the material which buttons are made from. Plastic buttons are much more prone to breakage and chipping — just imagine if you brush against a wall or table, it will be the buttons that take the impact. Another high-quality material that is often used for making durable and long-lasting suit buttons is corozo nuts. 

The Shape

The way in which your suit fits your body and moulds to your shape over time is down to the design of a suit determines, it is what makes the suit truly yours. 

A lot of the time it’s down to an individual’s personal preference what weave is preferred but some are considered higher end than others. The flowing patterns are created in the suit by interweaving different shades of threads in various ways. The ‘twill’ weave is stylish — this has a diagonal line of raised fabric and a silk-looking finish. The ‘herringbone’ also gives a smart look— this is an intricate V weave that creates a smooth feel. 

The lining of a suit can be a dead giveaway regarding how well it’s been made. Against popular belief that an unlined suit is cheaper than a fully lined one, it takes more time to create an unlined suit as the stitching and cut of the material is exposed. However, lined sleeves improve your ability to slide the jacket on and off. 

In Depth

Often, shop assistants aren’t always aware of the tiniest details that improve the quality of a suit. It can be the tailor’s own way of integrating quality into their work.

Lapels on suits are the small folds that sit both sides of the opening across the chest. A huge detail that indicates the quality of a suit is the lapel roll which is the fall and curl of the lapel from the collar to the first button. If the suit is one of many rolled off a production line, it is likely that the lapel will be completely flat against the jacket and the roll will be almost non-existent. In a high-quality suit however, the lapel roll will look like it has been carefully curved — giving the jacket more texture and a better appearance.

If your suit has back vents, this determines how easy it will be for you to move around and feel comfortable in it. It’s wise to choose suit jackets with twin back vents on the back of the jacket to improve your flexibility and range of movement.

When it comes to jackets, Stalk loops the thing to look out for too. Stalk loops are a traditional tailoring feature which neatly keeps your flower stalk tucked away. Although it may not be a necessary feature for everyone, it shows attention to detail that’s likely to be an indicator of a good suit. 

Cheaper suits can often have frayed buttonholes as they haven’t been stitched with delicacy so it is highly recommended that you examine the buttonholes. Small details like this are big giveaways as to how your suit has been made.