WHY OUR SUITS ARE BETTER

This is going to be an extremely long post. So, if you’re really thinking of buying a suit, either online, at a store or at your local tailors, grab a coffee and spend the five minutes or so to read the whole lot. By the end I would like to think that you will agree that Elite Suits is best placed to supply you a much better suit for your money and why we are making inroads into the global suit market, why our sales are growing every month and what sets us apart from our competitors.

Even if you decide to buy elsewhere, after reading this you will have a far better idea of what you are being offered by your retailer and be in a much better position to make an informed buying decision.

Setting up an online suit website isn’t extremely difficult. You find an Asian suit factory who can supply the fabric and the tailoring and you just add on your margin, set up a website and go from there. Many of the Asian suit factories have reseller programs that will supply you with everything you need. In many cases they will even help with the website. All you are is basically a commission salesman and it’s a cheap way for the Asian suit factories to gain representation on a global scale at very little risk.

The problem is that thousands of other people have done exactly the same and your website will be lost among the many other websites selling poor quality cheap suits made just like in this video

Cheaply made poor quality suits that hardly ever see the touch of any human hand and forget about actually ever being handled by a real tailor. This also goes for the vast majority of store bought suits as well. Machine made fused suits being churned out at the rate of thousands a day. Some of these factories have production capabilities of well over a million suits a year.

Before you smirk and say that you paid big money for your fancy designer label suits, the bad news is that they are made exactly the same way. I recently had lunch with some big names in the tailoring industry and I expressed my opinion on the quality of a well known designer label suit I saw in a department store. When I said that in my opinion this suit that sold for $1,899 probably cost less than $250 to make they told me I was grossly overestimating the cost.

We Knew We Could Do It Better.

Have a look at the suits available for sale today both in the stores and online. It’s a disgrace. Almost all of them are cheap factory made fused rubbish that simply won’t last. Try and find out how they are made and it’s almost impossible. The reason why they won’t tell you is that the vast majority are made exactly like in the video above and they certainly don’t want you to know that. Some of these factories will churn out a standard size suit for $30. That’s right, $30 US for a two piece suit. So ask yourself, do you really want to turn up at the office in a $30 suit?

All Elite Suits are made in Asia and we are based in Sydney Australia. However, less than a third of our sales go to Australian based customers with the majority being sold to customers in North America and Europe. We even get a number of orders from Asia.

Seeing you can easily buy an off the rack suit in America for $100 and even less in places like Walmart, then why are Americans buying Asian made suits from a company in Australia? Even more perplexing is why Asians are buying Asian made suits from Australians?

The simple answer is that our suits are better. There is a difference between cheap and value for money and we are not chasing the customer who just wants a cheap suit. Sure he might buy from you today but he will buy his next suit from the next guy who sells his suits for a dollar cheaper.

The Elite Suits Difference.

Two words – honesty and choice.

Honesty in that we don’t pretend that we are something that we’re not. We are not going to try to convince you that our inexpensive factory made suits that we sell for under $200 are of the absolute highest quality. They’re not. Yes they are good suits for less than $200, excellent value for money and a great buy for someone who rarely wears a suit but needs one now for cousin Amy’s wedding next month, but wear them to the office every day and the problems that occur with every inexpensive fused suit, no matter where you buy it, will soon start to appear.

Buying a factory made fused canvas suit is false economy. They are not suitable for long term regular day to day wear and will need to be replaced often. If they were as good as other websites make them out to be them nobody would sell anything else. There would be no need for more expensive suit. Buying a properly made full canvas jacket with two pair of trousers may be more expensive at first but will prove far cheaper in the long run as the jacket continues to hold its shape and the extra pair of trousers doubles the wear time of your suit.

Choice in that you get to choose exactly what you want in your suit. Apart from the standard styling options such as lapels, pockets, pleats etc, unlike most websites who simply offer one standard of wool that’s supplied by the factory, you get to choose the quality of the wool you want in your suit.

Unlike most other suit retailers, both online and store front, we are happy to disclose where and how your suit is made. We have no problems in telling you that our fused suits are made in an Asian suit factory although we think it’s one of the better ones and we will tell you why we think that.

Look at most suit retailer’s websites and try and find any information at all on how their suits are made. If they have anything at all it will be nothing but a blurb with terms like “highest quality” that in reality tell you nothing worthwhile and certainly won’t allow you to realise that the suit is a cheap fused canvas that machine made in an Asian suit factory and at $499 isn’t as well made as our $199 web special that at least is touched by human hands during construction.

If you’re looking to fill in some time, have a look around the various suit retailer websites and see how many you can find that even mention what sort of canvas they use to make your suit. That’s always fun. While those that use either a half or full canvas will point it out, most websites don’t even mention what is a very important part of buying a good suit. Guess why they don’t want to tell you.

Here at Elite Suits we are quite happy to openly disclose how your suit will be made and we do so in detail below. The customer has the opportunity to choose how their suit is to be made. If you want an inexpensive factory made fused suit, and there are good reasons why you might just need a cheaper suit, then we can not only sell you a better one but we’re usually less expensive than our competitors.

However, you can also choose to have your suit made by actual highly experienced tailors. Have the suit fully canvassed. Choose a higher quality fabric. This is what custom tailoring is all about and I have yet to discover another online suit retailer that offers a service as comprehensive as Elite Suits.

Suits are like most things in life in that the more you pay the better suit you will get. Better wool, better constructed. At Elite Suits you are able to build the best suit that will fit into your budget and receive a better suit for the same price other charge.

More Bang for your buck as I like to say. That the Elite Suits difference

We are building a customer base of more discerning suit buyers who want a better suit at a value for money price. Customers who recognise that a true bargain is rarely the cheapest suit available and quality in both the fabric and the way the suit was constructed is just as important, if not even more, that simply a cheap price. This type of customer want to be informed and know exactly what they are getting for their money so simply offering a blue suit for $499 isn’t enough.

The EliteSuits.com website breaks every rule of internet marketing. It’s cheap, difficult to navigate, cluttered and way way too wordy. Yet every month, not only do we sell more suits, but more expensive ones as customers who started on the less expensive lines and were pleasantly surprised by the quality come back and confidently buy a dearer suit.

Yes the site is cluttered and wordy but there is a lot of information there that a discerning suit buyer wants to know. Now here is even more because, unlike just about every other suit retailer, today we are going to tell you exactly how our suits are made.

Why? Because we are proud of our suits and our tailors and accordingly we feel that we have nothing to hide.

Now Let’s Start With Fabric.

As I said above, most suit retailers are basically commission salesman for one of the many Asian suit factories. They do little themselves except set up a standard out of the box website and process the few orders they receive. The factory supplies both the fabric and the suit making (I hesitate to call it tailoring).

The tailors that make our New York and Rome collections supply the fabric to us on this basis. The New York collection because we liked their American style slim fit suits and the Rome collection because we wanted that fabric.

For the rest of the collections we source our own fabric independently of the tailor. We buy the fabric and send it to the tailor we think is the most appropriate for each particular cloth.  This gives us full control of the quality of the fabric we use for our suits. As you read the website you will realise that fabric quality is one of the things we are big on. Sourcing our own fabrics allows us to find quality fabrics we can make suits from at great prices.

We have some of the best merino suiting wool anywhere in the world in our Ausfine range that sell at what may at first look expensive but are really unbelievably low prices for suits of this quality made out of such exquisite cloth.

Even at the bargain end our fabrics are good quality for the money. Obviously you’re not going to get exceptionally high quality wool in a bargain suit but we believe it’s the best available at the price. We receive many emails from customers pleasantly surprised at the quality of the fabric for what they paid for their suit.

OK let’s see how our suits are made. This is the stuff that very few tailors will tell you. You may also want to remember that if your local tailor is selling you a suit for under a grand, you can almost guarantee that they are outsourcing the construction to one of the Asian suit factories. They just won’t tell you.

Factory Made Fused Canvas Suits.

Reading above you may think I’m opposed to Asian suit factories. That’s not true. They certainly have a place in the market. If you want a cheaper suit then mass factory production is the only way you will get it. First let me make something perfectly clear.

NOT A SINGLE ELITE SUIT IS MADE LIKE THE SUITS IN THE VIDEO ABOVE.

All our suits are handmade. Even the factory ones. There are few companies in the world that know the Asian tailoring scene as well as the collective knowledge of the people at Elite Suits. There are literally hundreds of suit factories all over Asia that churn out millions of poor quality suits every week. However, there are a few very good ones that make an excellent suit for the money and we know which ones they are. This specialised knowledge of Asian tailoring and the fact that we are able to keep a tighter control on quality by sourcing our own fabric is the Elite Suits difference and why our suits are better.

Rather than using machines these factories have production lines where an experienced cutter chalks and cuts the cloth and seamstresses (mostly married woman bringing in extra money for the family so you can forget any thoughts of child exploitation) sew the suits together on sewing machines somewhat similar to what you would use at home. One makes the sleeves and passes the suit onto the nest person who makes the lapels and collar, another makes the pockets and another attaches the lining and so on and so on.

This high level of human interaction results in a finished product that simply can’t be replicated by a machine. The problem is that using actual people instead of machines is naturally more expensive even with the cheaper rates of labour in Asia. As a result most retailers tend to steer clear of these type of factories and have poorer quality suits made in the cheaper fully mechanised factories.

At Elite Suits we believe that our customers want a better made suit and as such we are prepared to pay the extra for the higher quality that you can only find from a handmade suit. The strange thing is that even though we are prepared to pay more to allow us to sell a better suit, we still manage to sell them at a lower price than our competitors sell their mostly inferior quality suits.

All our fused suits are made this way.  The only exception is the Hollywood cut which is made by a tailor that specialises in these particular type of suits. Our $299 full canvas web special as well as the fully canvassed Bangkok collection are also made in the same factory. While not made to the same standard as our personal tailoring service they are a good suit for the money and any full canvas suit will look far better and last longer than a fused suit. Even in the bargain range I strongly recommend that you pay the little extra to buy the full canvas version.

Half Canvas Suits.

A great compromise for someone on a budget between the factory made suits and our full personal tailored full canvas suit service. Made by real tailors in their workshop to a standard pattern. While the basic options such as collar style, number of vents, pocket type are available, you don’t have the range of personalisation available in the dearer fully tailored suits.

However, the chest canvas allows for a better drape over the shoulders, chest and torso that a fused suit doesn’t resulting in a better looking suit without going to the expense of the full canvas. Perfect for someone on a budget looking for the best suit for the available money.

A better bang for your buck I like to say. That’s the Elite Suits difference

Our New York Collection is made this way and the range of wool blend fabrics allows for a good suit for those with limited funds to spare. They are an extremely popular range and we have many happy customers wearing their New York Collection suits.

The Elite Suits Fully Canvassed Personal Tailoring Service.

This is the real Elite Suits difference.

Real tailoring done by real tailors. This is something that’s hard to find even if you visit your local tailors. In order to stay competitive more and more shopfront tailors are outsourcing construction of their suits to the Asian suit factories. So while you’re paying a premium price for what you think is a locally tailored suit, what you’re really buying is a poor quality fused canvas suit mass produced in an Asian factory.

How can you tell? Well you can’t really but to make a properly tailored suit takes anywhere between 15 to 30 hours labour and even more if you’re going true bespoke. Do the math. Experienced tailors are hard to find and accordingly command good wages. So you’re looking at $1,000 for a 40 hour week (and a lot more in the bigger expensive cities) allow an extra 30% on top of the wages for the on-costs of hiring an employee and you’re now looking at a labour cost of $32.50 per hour for the tailor alone. For a suit that takes 20 hours to make you’re looking at $650 just for labour.

Add on $100 for 4 yards of semi decent wool, $50 for the lining and trimmings and already we are up to $800 before you look at paying for all the costs of running the store including the massive set-up costs, the expensive rents for decent retail space and finally a profit margin. So to make a basic suit locally in western countries you’re looking a $1,500 minimum. This is why most bespoke tailors who do make their own suits usually charge from the $3,000 mark for a good suit made from quality wool.

So taking all the above into account do you really think that $799 suit is made in the back workshop or outsourced to an Asian factory?

We use real highly experienced tailors to make our full canvas suits. Far from being made in a massive factory, most of our contract tailors are a one or two man operation working in a small workshop.

We have 11 different tailors all over Asia in the Elite Suits family. Let me tell you about one, or in this case two, of them.

Mr Lu is a tailor with 18 years experience. He learnt his trade from his father who was also a tailor who learnt his trade from his father and so on and so on. You find this often in Asia. Generations of tailoring experience being passed down from father to son to son.

Mr Lu makes trousers. That’s all he does. No jackets, no vests, no shirts, just trousers and after 18 years specialist tailoring he’s extremely good at what he does. He and his wife work in a small room in a complex just next to one of the big Chinese fabric markets. They sleep through the day and spend the night making trousers for Chinese suit buyers.

Just down the hall, in another similar sized room, there is another tailor who makes nothing else but full canvas suit jackets. Again he has decades of tailoring experience and also comes from a family that have been tailoring for generations. Making a properly canvassed suit jacket is a tricky business. Many claim to make them but few have the necessary skills do it properly. It takes a sharp eye and a steady hand to properly canvas a jacket and tailors with the skills and knowledge to do it properly are few and far between.

So, what are your chances of having your suit made with this standard of professional tailoring somewhere else other than Elite Suits? Absolutely none. Foreigners don’t get suits made by Mr Lu. Our online competitors rarely sell full canvas suits and when they do they have them made in the same factory as the fused suit. Even if you bought a suit at the fabric market you won’t have it made this way.

Specialist tailoring such as this is expensive. It adds almost 50% to the tailoring cost of the factory made full canvas suit and in Asia that’s a lot of money. Our online competitors won’t pay it when they can make far better profits supplying the cheaper fused suits. Certainly gullible tourists buying at the fabric markets aren’t going to get tailoring of this standard when there are much cheaper alternative for the merchant who knows that the customer is about to leave the country and they will most likely never see them again.

This is tailoring for the local Chinese who know the best place to have their suits made. This is where Elite Suits knowledge of the Asian suit industry leaves our competitors floundering. We buy our suits the same place that the locals do. We have people on the ground all over Asia that understand the suit industry and know where the best tailors that the locals use are situated.

Unlike a lot of our competitors we have very low overheads. Our biggest online competitor recently took on an investor for $4 million. That investor wants a good return for his money and the only way they will get it is if the company makes large margins on their sales. It’s a problem we don’t have and accordingly our much lower overheads mean that we can sell at a lower price. For you it means you can buy a better suit for the same price, or even less, than what our competitors charge for their inferior quality factory made suits.

Our full canvas Beijing Collection suits are made by the tailors described above. Prices start from $399 including our comprehensive No Worries Guarantee. Shop around and see what you get for the same money elsewhere. It won’t be a full canvas suit and it won’t be made by specialist tailors.

Have a good look around our competitor’s websites and note the lack of information about their suits. The vast majority won’t tell you how the suit you’re buying is canvassed and none of the will tell you exactly how your suit is made. That’s because they don’t want to tell you they are nothing but a front for an Asian suit factory and they are no more than commission salesmen and what they are selling is a cheaply made poor quality fused suit (or if you’re extremely lucky a half canvas) that is made from low quality fabric in a factory, in many cases for under $100, and they are making massive margins.

We buy our own fabric and send it to the best tailors. The customer ends up with a better suit for the same money. That’s the Elite Suit difference.

The Hollywood Cut.

This is a very particular type of suit for which we contracted a tailor who specialises in making slim fit suits for the local Asian market and Northern Europe where similar styles are popular. This tailor makes this type of suit all day every day and has the systems and procedures already in place to make these suits properly.

He makes both the fused and full canvas version of the suit and the process is explained in more detail HERE

Almost Bespoke Tailoring.

If I had my way I’d ban the use of the word “bespoke” by 99% of suit retailers including us. You can argue about the definition of bespoke all you want but the reality is you can’t buy a true bespoke suit over the web. Even most shopfront tailors really offer a made to measure service where you have your measurements taken and the only time you go back is to pick up the finished suit which is more than likely made in an Asian suit factory.

A true bespoke service involves three to five fittings. After you’re measured the suit is made to what is known as “baste” stage and the customer goes back for a fitting. This continues during the construction stage and after each fitting the suit is tweaked until you end up with a suit that perfectly fits your body shape. It’s an expensive process and will cost a minimum of $3,000, most likely more like $5,000 and in many cases even more.

The problem is, especially for online retailers, potential customer often google the word “bespoke” when what they really mean is “made to measure”. So, if you don’t use the term, and use it often, you miss out on valuable search engine traffic which is the lifeblood of online retailing.

You can read about the outsourcing of high quality tailoring to Asia HERE. While the post relates to our top end AUSFINE suits, it also apples to all our high end tailored suits.

Here at Elite Suits we have four Asian tailoring houses that make high end bespoke quality suits for us under contract. Centred around the port cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou, these companies specialise in making the highest standard suits for bespoke tailors all over the world. In my recent visit I had the opportunity to inspect the quality of many finished suits and seeing the various tailoring houses labels on the jackets I realised that Elite Suits was in some very distinguished company and are offering our customers suits made to a world class standard.

These Asian tailoring companies make nothing else but bespoke suits of the highest standard. They are experienced in using the finest quality wool and generally only employ those with at least ten years tailoring experience with many having worked for the same company for decades thus having thirty years or more experience in high end tailoring. The result of this is that suit you paid $3,000 or more for from your local bespoke tailor is more than likely tailored in Asia than the back room of the store.

Like all our tailors their ability to receive ongoing business from Elite Suits is contingent on them producing suits to the highest standards. Our business to them is extremely valuable and accordingly they ensure that any suit they make for us meets the quality we demand for our customers.

You can be confident that the tailoring of your suit will be done to the absolute highest standard. With all external stitching done by hand and the only machine assisted stitching done on the internal seams for added durability these are beautiful suits. Tailored in the traditional manner with an experienced tailor making 4,000 or more individual hand made stitches, these suits can involve up to 80 hours in workmanship in order to turn out a suit that is equal to those made anywhere in the world today.

With the full handmade horsehair canvas and trimmings imported from Europe, the best merino in the world and tailoring standard equal to the best anywhere, this is an opportunity to obtain a true luxury suit at a price far below what you will pay elsewhere

Rockstars & Royalty.

OK let’s start with the name. In trying to explain to a customer why he should pay the extra money for his suit I told him that this was the suit that Rockstars and Royalty buy. While what I meant was these persons are among those that can afford to pay for suits of the highest quality, the name stuck and despite its flippancy we continue to use it. Life is too short to be overly serious all the time.

We have one particular tailor that uses the absolute best of everything when it comes to making a suit. No scrimping to save a few dollars here. You pay for the absolute top quality or have the suit tailored elsewhere. The canvas is imported from a firm in England that has been making hand made horsehair suit canvas for over a hundred years. The thread is cotton from a mill in Bradford and the buttons from Italy.

If the extra cost fits within the budget I highly recommend the Rockstars and Royalty package. I had all my high quality fabric suits made here and I can safely tell you that they are true works of art and tailoring at its absolute best.

That’s it. We’re done. If you made it all the way down here I offer you my congratulations. You have managed to read the equivalent of 10 pages, 86 paragraphs, 4,844 words and 26,332 characters including spaces.

I hope you feel it was worth it and now understand what we are trying to do at Elite Suits and how you can buy from us with confidence that you can decide on exactly the quality of the suit you wish to buy instead of relying solely on the single option offered by most other retailers and just hoping it turns out OK.

Even if you decide not to buy from us (which of course is a decision I will never understand) at least you’re now in a position to make a better judgement on what other suit retailers are offering you.

If you want any further information, or perhaps some help in deciding what suit is best for you,  please Send us a message here. We are only too happy to help.

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