20 years ago, I moved from Soho, Manhattan to Bay Ridge because everything in Manhattan has changed and the expensive living cost has pushes families like me away from the crowded area. The thing that never changes is my passion for "Suit".
Usually, I prefer 3-Piece suit with vest and I have a go-to tailor to help me fix the fitting. But recently, things have changed a lot. Firstly, the word "Custom Suit" has been used everywhere. This is because mass production has changed the whole producing time to be under 3 weeks. And more importantly, the cost has significantly reduced. I remember the word "Custom Suit" was associated with "Haute Couture" and only designer studios are willing to provide this kind of services. But nowadays, companies like Indochino can easily give you a suit under $300. Despite the back and forth shipping, the quality is not the "Custom Made" standard anymore. It would just be a tailored Ready-To-Wear suit but costs much more than it is worth. That's why after some research, I just gave up the idea of "Custom Suit".
So if you have a budget under $1000, would you buy a $1000 Armani Suit? Of course No. A lot of us know that only Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani product some good quality suits, other "Armani" brands are just for cheap quality products that won't survive the second year. But if you look at the EA and GA website, you'll find the starting price would be easily above $2000. The situation is the more or less the same for Tom Ford and Zegna. So if you have a budget of more than $2000, I would absolutely recommend going for these brands because they are historical-rich and best fabric exclusive.
A lot of people ask me how to choose between England and Italian brands. Here's a brief comparison which will help. London's Savile Row represents the England area's best tailor skills. Ireland's South Anne Street is the same. If you are willing to travel to England, make sure you go to Savile Row. Other budget friendly Suit England brands are Hackett from Portobello street. It was established 30 years ago but maintains a good England tradition. Another well-known name is Burberry. The lines I recommend is London and Brit. But the price is around $3000 per suit.
France and Italy share the same type of aggressive suit cutting. Hermes represents the French suit industry and Canali, Zegna is the most popular suit brands in Italy. I have to point out here that Canali and Zegna do not represent truly Italy made styles, but a mix of American style and Italian style.
The benefits of choosing suit brands from these are they have some exclusive channels for getting the best quality in the world. And of course, that comes with a price.
In terms of American brands, we have Brook Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren, etc. Some of them are just promoting their English origins. The only thing that's worth mentioning is that R.L. has a line called Purple Label, which produces true European Quality wears. But the cost of a shirt would easily go up to $500.
So after all these discussing, I'm ready to tell you the biggest secret in the suit industry: Everything for $1000 suit and $150 suit are NO big difference at all. You might get a half-canvased suit at $1000 and a fused suit at $150, but the gap is not worth $850. The major difference between $1000 suit and $150 suit is the $1000 suit company invest more in advertising and packaging which you'll be paying for. I admit that over $1000 suit is too expensive for me, a retired high school teacher. But why would I pay $1000 for a suit that's actually worth $150. I first knew this company in 2018 and they have a local suit showroom in Lynbrook, New York. I knew this store because my friend recommended to me. They never run sales like "50% off", so their price is very stable, and they don't run commercials. These are the reason why the price is much lower than the average market. But once you had a chance to see their suit, you would be astonished at the quality for a $150 suit. I wear the suit to church, holiday parties, wedding, and all my friends are asking me where did I get the suit. And my answer, Suits Outlets.
Authorized to Publish by
Johnson Green, 72-year Old Retired High School Teacher, Bay Ridge.