What you should know about buying a Suit!

1 - The Fit

It's all about the perfect Fit. The fit of your suit is arguably the most important aspect to a good quality men's suit. It's also the aspect that most effects the way your suit will look and feel on you.

In breif this is what you should look for to determine a good fit.

1. Shoulder Pads should finish were the shoulder finishes.
2. The jacket should be firm through the chest and torso but with enough room to be able to place a flat hand inside the jacket.
3. Sleeves should finish where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.
4. With your arms flat by your sides, where your knuckles are is where the bottom of a jacket should be.
5. You should have 1/4 - 1/2" of shirt cuff showing.
6. Your trousers will have 1" break.

Off-the-rack suits use a “standard sizing” that uses only chest size, waist size and jacket length to determine your “ideal” fit. In most instances further tailoring will be required to allow a correct fit. This is the cheapest option when buying a suit (economy of scale and all that), but doesn't work for everyone.

But cheap doesn't have to be poor quality, and in in most instances, the off the rack suit's we offer will out perform most custom made suits that are being offered in the local market. To give you an idea, a suit that will cost you $799 to be “Tailor Made or Made to measure” would only be worth $399 if the off the rack option existed. Why? Because its expensive to make a one off garment. So, to get around this, the suits that are custom made for you are off poor quality and cheap materials. Often, the fabric labels are misleading., and your pure wool suit is really a cheaper wool blend. But for those who can budget for it and require a more personalised approach to suiting, then “Made to Measure” suiting is the perfect option.

2- The Construction

Suit construction is available in 3 different qualities.

 1. Fused       2. Half Canvas      3. Full Canvas.

This refers to the internal layers of fabric that gives the jacket its shape and enables a true fit. Why is this so important when you don't see it? Ultimately, the better the quality of chest piece, the better the shape, strength and durability of the garment. It will wear better and hold its shape longer. Cheaply made suits start to break down through the chest and shoulders, especially after dry cleaning.

1. Fused.
The cheapest option is a Fused Jacket which is most often the case with off the rack suiting. A Fused jacket has a fusible interlining that’s glued to the wool shell of the suit – both in the front panels and in the lapels, whereas a canvassed jacket has layers of canvassing stitched onto the outer fabric (usually wool). Fusing the jacket still gives the jacket shape, but doesn’t conform to the wearer and doesn't have the natural drape of canvassed jackets. Due to the nature of the fusing it can prevent the jacket from breathing as well as a canvas suit. Suit manufacturers started using the Fused construction method as a way of increase production capacity while keeping costs down – its construction is not only quick, it doesn’t require any skilled labour. Although we have seen big improvements in fusing technology, poorly fused jackets can bubble (de-laminate) in time – this occurs when the fusible interlining comes apart from the suit fabric and the jacket starts to bubble or wrinkle. Taking a fused jacket to the dry cleaners can also act as a catalyst for bubbling. That cheap suit you may have had made in Vietnam or Bangkok is a perfect example! Dry clean it once and it looks old and tired.

2. Half Canvas
A half canvas jacket uses both elements of canvas and fused construction. A half-canvassed suit jacket has a thin layer of fussing throughout the front panel of the jacket combined with a layer of canvas stitched from the shoulder down through the chest. What that means is that the most important part of the jacket, chest and shoulders, benefit from the canvas, allowing a better shape and fit through this area, whilst the bottom portion of the jacket is fused to keep the costs down.

3. Full Canvas.
This method of construction is for the connoisseur. It is the most expensive of the 3 as it is labour and time intensive, require a higher level of skill to make. The benefits of the premium construction are best fit, shape and durability. A full-canvassed suit jacket is constructed with the canvas fabric spanning the entire inside front panels and lapels of the jacket. This canvas is hand stitched to the fabric loosely so the garment can move with you. This is what is often referred to as a floating chest piece.

3 - The Fabric

When it comes to suiting, the best outer fabric is a good quality wool. Its a natural fibre allowing the garment to breathe in the warmer months and provide warmth in the cooler months. Pure Wool is durable, holds its shape well and wont go shiny easily when you send it to be laundered.

The most common wool used in suiting is called a worsted wool. This is the manufacturing process that separates the long strong fibres from a bundle of wool and spins them into yarn. While many forms of wool require that the fibre undergo a spinning process, this type is produced differently. Rather than going directly into a spinning process, the wool is first combed in a carding process to remove any short and brittle fibres. This leaves only the longer strands of the fibre to undergo the spinning process, producing a smooth yarn that has a high durability.

In wool suiting there is a measure for grading the different types of fabric called the S-number or Superfine number e.g. Superfine 110 Essentially the higher the number the lighter the weight the fabric is and the softer it feels, and the more it drapes. Most people think that the higher the number the better the cloth. But this isn't always true, and there can be draw backs to using a fabric with a high S-number such as high cost, more prone to creasing and easily damaged. Some fabrics that have a have a high S-number don't handle as well as fabrics with a lower number because the fibres that go into the cloth haven't been treated the same.