How to Identify a High Quality Suit over a Low Quality Suit
Posted on 30th June 2023 at 15:56
When it’s time to choose a new suit, how do you identify a good quality suit over something that’s really not a good suit?
If you are someone who works in a high end clothing retail business, has experience with sewing, making clothes or works in a woollen mill the chances are you are going to know a thing or two about quality clothing.
However in 2023 we’re finding there are more and more people that either don’t wear suits or jackets on a regular basis or have never ever worn one before.
For many, it’s only when you get invited to a wedding or christening you realise it’s time to invest in a suit or new blazer and trousers.
So when it’s time to choose a new suit, how do you identify a good quality suit over something that’s really not a good suit?
Purchase Online or In Store?
Many suits are purchased online these days which can be a big mistake in itself because, to work out if you’re buying a good quality suit you need to see the suit in the flesh and ultimately try it on and look in the mirror. Sometimes photos and descriptions online can be misleading.
It’s often best to take the time to visit a suit shop to view and try on a selection of suits before making a purchase and there may be an expert on hand to guide you.
Here are our top 5 things you can look for to establish if you are buying a good quality suit before you part with your money.
The cloth (or suit fabric) is the most important element of any suit. It defines how a suit looks, how a suit feels, how comfortable it is to wear and how well the cloth will wear.
The best suits in the world are made from 100% wool and you can find these suits in different weights or thicknesses depending on the time of year you want it for. The label inside the jacket will tell you what it is made of.
Avoid getting a suit with polyester in unless it has a higher percentage of wool. A mix of 55% wool to 45% polyester is ok if you are buying a suit for work or school sixth form perhaps.
Pay attention to the buttons on your suit. Some mass produced suit makers will use a really cheap plastic looking button that doesn’t do anything for the suit.
How well the buttons are tied off can be a real give away too. If you’ve just done the button up and it’s already hanging off it’s not a good sign for how long the suit will last.
This one’s quite important.
Check for flat seams. Seams are the parts where two pieces of cloth are joined and sewn together. Check down the side seams on the trousers, the back of the sleeve with the arms at rest and the sides of the jacket at the waist.
If these seams are uneven or puckered it’s a clear sign the suit hasn’t been cut and sewn together very well. If it’s nice and smooth it shows the maker knows how to make a good suit.
Something else to look for along the seams, but only really noticeable if the suit cloth is patterned like a check or a stripe. There are 4 common areas to check on the jacket. Have a look at the centre seam down the back of the jacket. The check or stripe should be symmetrically spaced below the collar at the top and evenly point towards the waist in a long “V” shape. If it doesn’t, it’s not good quality.
The pattern should also line up where the lapels meet the collar, shoulder seams and pocket flaps. If it does the maker has taken their time to make sure and the suit has been constructed to a good standard.
The jacket lining is the part of a suit that many makers like to have fun with. Contrasting colours and patterns can really add that wow factor to the inside of the jacket. But a good quality suit will have a good quality lining.
Most linings are made from a man made material these days as silk is just too expensive. Your lining should feel smooth and light and like you don’t know it’s there when you wear your suit. If it feels like you’re wearing a plastic bag from the supermarket and makes a noise when you walk it’s of a poor quality.
There are other things to look for but if you try to remember these 5 things, you can’t really go wrong.
“Why should I buy a good quality suit?”
You may be wondering why we think it’s a good idea to buy a quality suit when you may be on a tight budget. But it’s always possible to get a very good suit for a good price if you shop around.
They say you get what you pay for, and you generally do but in truth, you can equally pay too much for a poor quality suit as you can get a good suit for a relatively good price. Conciously buying a good quality suit is more economical for the wearer and ultimatey better for the planet. A good suit could last 5, 10, 15, 20 years even, whereas a poor quality suit could last 4 or 5 wears.
“The worst suit of all is one that doesn’t fit”
Whether you happen to buy a suit online, from a shop or from us here at Heaphys we’re happy to help to make sure it fits. (We’ll even tell you if you have the wrong size). And at Heaphys in Warwick we have a whole range of suits in different colours, styles and fits - All of good quality of course.
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