16 May 2011

Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes - Keep that for your suit

Quality suits at good prices- This may sound like an oxymoron as quality suits are usually expensive due to the time and skill taken to make them, plus the better and so more expensive materials used.
So does it really exist?
The phrase ‘horses for courses’ comes to mind – go for the best quality within your budget but also one which will suit your lifestyle. If you’re slinging your laptop bag over your shoulder, hopping on and off trains, buses, tubes, then a super fine quality suit may not be your best bet.

Let's start with the fabric:
Natural Fabric is the best – Try to go for 100% natural fibres, this ensures the suit can breathe. Wool is the most popular choice.
But there is wool and then there is wool.

Austin Reed - grey mohair suit
From their contemporary fit Chelsea range, Austin Reed have a single breasted, one buttoned grey mohair suit made from a blend of 73% wool and 27% mohair. The suit has bias cut shoulder pads, lower rise trousers, and narrower bicep and tapered sleeves. With double vents, notch collar, front flap pockets and 4 buttoned cuffs. The trousers are flat fronted with kick tape ribbons to reinforce the hem. Total cost £399 www.austinreed.co.uk

Austin Reed- Cut range
Austin Reed have the designer collaboration range ‘Cut’ with Saville Row tailor Richard James. Cut fuses Richard James signature silhouettes and design detailing with Austin Reed’s own expertise and British heritage. This navy sharkskin suit is more expensive at £500 but is made of 100% merino wool and woven in Britain. Double vents, 4 buttoned cuffs. www.austinreed.co.uk

Some brands grade their fabric to show the fineness of the fabric. This grading shows how often the yarn has been twisted and ranges from the lower 80s to the higher Super 180s and above. The higher number of twists makes a tighter weave and so a finer and silkier cloth, but this also makes the cloth more expensive. However something like a Super 180 will not be durable as an everyday suit as the cloth will be too fine. Probably best to leave for just special occasions. A durable quality weave for the office would be around 110-120.
(Austin Reed AR RED Light Blue Sharkskin suit)

Austin Reed -RED collection
One of Austin Reed’s bestsellers is their Light Blue Sharkskin suit from their slim fit AR Red range. It is a single breasted one button suit made from 100% Super 110’s wool woven in Italy. The cost of this suit is £399. AR RED has the most streamlined cut in their collection, with a shorter cut jacket and slim fit low-rise trousers. www.austinreed.co.uk
Some brands don’t use this grading because how often the yarn is twisted is only part of the quality story. There is strength of the fabric to consider i.e. whether the yarn has been reinforced vertically with another strand to make it two ply or horizontally as well to make it two by two. Two by two tends to be stronger and better at recovering from wrinkles. Plus the actual wool used.
However it does give some guideline when out looking for a suit.

Whichever quality suit you choose, taking care of the garments will make them look better and last longer. Keep dry cleaning to a minimum (no more than four times a year) as this process shortens the life of any garment.  Instead, brush your suits, hang them up straight away and give them a day’s rest after each wear. If the wrinkles are too bad to drop out just by hanging, then steam them with either a professional clothes steamer or hang in a steamy bathroom.
Prices correct at time of publication

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1 comment:

  1. It's hard finding the right suit, but it's even harder finding it for the right cost. I'm not very good at knowing which materials offer the best comfort and quality, so you can direct me to which fabrics are best? I love the look of the grey mohair suit.

    Alex Jennings | Quality Suits