One of the things I do often is go suit shopping. Naturally I never buy one but it’s important to know the marketplace. After all, how can I convince you that our Elite Suits are better if I really don’t know what else is out there.
Frankly, I don’t know how anybody can buy a suit in a store. The things I see out there just drive me to despair. Poor quality suits being sold at outrageous prices, staff whose knowledge of suiting is precisely zero and a market designed to extract as much money from the customer while selling the cheapest suit possible.
I went to one store who told me (quite correctly) that I would have trouble buying “off the rack’ and should use their bespoke service. After showing me fabric samples of unknown quality, as all they had to identify them was the name of the store, and having no idea what I was on about when I asked for lighter weight cloth suitable for Sydney’s hotter climate, he then told me he would measure me and I could pick up the suit in about six weeks.
After protesting that without further fittings all he was offering me was a made to measure service and not a bespoke suit, the salesman become rather indignant and insisted I had no idea what I was on about. How I desperately wanted to set him straight.
The cost of there so-called “bespoke” suit? $3,995 believe it or not for a made to measure suit in no-name wool that’s a 99% chance of being machine made in China for a couple of hundred bucks.
Yet we can sell you a suit made fr0m Taylor & Lodge fabric who are one of the world’s best cloth makers and fully hand stitched by one of Asia’s most prestigious fashion houses for as low as $1,299. Furthermore we will soon be adding some more of the world’s biggest names in fabrics for similar prices.
So ask yourself which is the better deal? I know which one I would prefer.
This isn’t limited to made to order suits either. The same day I was at one of our bigger department stores and they had a designer label suit on prominent sale. I won’t mention the brand (although the title of this posting gives it away) as I don’t want to single one designer brand out as they are mostly the same.
So here was a suit made of their own s130’s wool which is probably of a reasonable quality, a fused canvas and made in a factory in Turkey that turns out tens of thousands every month. Based on my knowledge of the industry I’d suggest the price out of the factory was more than likely less than $200. Discussing it further with those in the know they estimate around the same.
The so called discounted price on the shop floor? Believe it or not it was $1,799. A fairly high price to pay for a fancy label and surprisingly many people will pay it.
At the time I was wearing one of the Famous Name Wool suits that we sell for as low as $949 or close to half the price. So would I swap my suit for the fancy label suit?
The fancy label uses it’s own brand wool my suit fabric is made by Holland & Sherry who are one of the great cloth makers.
The fancy label has a fused canvas while my suit has an imported English made linen and horsehair full handmade canvas.
The fancy label is made via machine on a factory production line designed to push out as many suits as possible in the shortest time at the lowest price. My suit was fully hand stitched by tailors with a minimum of ten years tailoring experience and takes between four and six weeks to make.
Their suit sells for $1,799 and mine for $949. Even if the prices were the same which one do you think you’d prefer?
Elite Suits – Twice the quality at half the cost.