Important facts you should know about suits!
In order to make an educated decision before buying anything, ( including a suit ) you should try to get as much information as possible to improve or refresh your knowledge of the item you are planning to buy.
This is particularly important when shopping on-line because you are buying something that you haven't seen or touched. Be aware of "great deals" and "unbelievable prices"; (like 100% wool suits made in Italy for bargain prices). - you know the saying- if it seems too good to be true, it most likely isn't.
Since we do believe in the quality of our product and the importance of offering you the best possible garments at reasonable prices, we at Suitfellas.com thought we oughta give you some insider information about our industry so you can make better purchasing decisions:
The suit is the most elegant item in men's clothing as long as its style, color and fabric are appropriate for the occasion, the season of the year and the climate, amongst other things.
It is also the most complex piece of apparel to make, since it involves multiple detailed operations performed by qualified tailors. They not only cut and shape the outer fabric (shell) and inside lining. They put a lot of time on different interlinings hidden inside the suit jacket. All these elements (make, fabric and trims), are reflected in the quality of the garment and consequently the price the end customer pays for the garment. The better these elements are, the better the suit...
Long time ago, clothing (including suits), was almost exclusively made from "natural" fabrics (cotton, linen, and wool) because of their ability to allow the body to breathe. However, performance of these fabrics in day to day life was questionable - linen would wrinkle too much, cotton would lose its shape, and wool ( if not of the highest quality) would be too stiff and uncomfortable to wear.
When synthetic (manmade) fabrics were introduced in the 1950's, polyester soon became the most used material in clothing because of it's high performance, low maintenance and affordable price. Polyester fiber is strong, resist shrinkage, stretching and wrinkles; it is abrasion resistant and it is easily cleaned. However because it is artificial it lacked the breathability of the natural fabrics and that was it's biggest drawback.
Recent years brought well known boom in technology. The textile industry in particular enjoys many benefits of that boom, constantly improving existing fabrics and inventing new ones.
In contemporary fabrics, the trend is to blend. Most ready to wear suits, even big designer brands and custom made suit houses are taking advantage of these "smart fabrics" today.
Blending of different fibers is done to enhance the performance and improve the aesthetic qualities of the fabric. Fibers are selected and blended in certain proportions so the fabric will retain the best characteristics or each fiber. Blending can be done with either natural or manufactured fibers, in a variety of combinations and percentages.
Today, polyester is the most blended manufactured fiber because of it's above mentioned characteristics. One of the most popular "smart fabrics" is the TR or tetron (polyester),Rayon (viscose) blend. Rayon is a manufactured natural vegetable fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other natural vegetable matter. It is a very versatile fiber and offers the same comfort properties as other natural fibers and can replicate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton and linen. Rayon fabrics are soft, smooth, cool, comfortable and highly absorbent, but do not insulate body heat making them ideal for use in hot and humid climates. TR was introduced to the world of fashion by famous, now late, Gianni Versace.
Another popular blend is polyester, rayon and wool, which creates a fabric which retains the beautiful drape and feel of 100% pure wool, while the polyester and rayon fibers add durability and resistance to wrinkles.
Super 100's, 120's, 150's... What is that exactly?
In short. They refer to the fineness of the fabric in diameter terms (Microns). The numbering system used to describe the new breed of super-lightweight fabrics today was pioneered by Italian wool fabric mills about fifteen years ago but with the development of contemporary fabrics and blends, they are now the common description of fineness of any fiber. Basically, the higher the number, the finer the fabric. The cost of the suit tends to go up as well since higher spun fabrics are more expensive to produce; it requires more fibers.
The irony of this micron mania is that the finest spun fabrics like super 150's and above don't necessarily make the best garments for every day wear. Also, these fabrics are hard to tailor because the material shifts so easily when it is sewn.
The Super (100-180’s) fabrics were strictly used to identify wool fabrics only, but nowadays some manufacturers are misusing them for poly-rayon and even 100% polyester suits. Currently, majority of the designer brands and the better goods companies have stopped labeling their suits with the “Super #” completely.
Ultimately, it's the look and tailoring of the suit what matters most. Everything else is just a number.
This seemingly insignificant component can actually make a big difference in the quality of a suit. Lining increases the wearer's comfort and allows the garment to breathe by providing a moisture moving layer. It also allows the garment to move with the body.
Lining improves the drape of the suit, eliminates static cling to allow the shell fabric to fall normally.
In addition, it enhances the appearance of the inside of the garment, hides and covers construction materials and sewing, adds fashion luxury and styling.
Finally, it protects the life of the outer shell. It acts as a barrier for perspiration and provides an inner structure to absorb stress from movement.
Inside the suit
As mentioned before, hidden within the suit are various different interlinings. although they are not seen by one who buys and wears the suit, the make and quality of these interlinings are very important for the general appearance of the suit giving it it's tridimensional shape. In our suits we use high quality four layer canvas, felt, horsehair and cotton to ensure a long lasting fit and comfort.
The make, fabric and interlinings of a suit become even more important when it comes to care of the garment.
Hang your suit properly in the closet to let the wrinkles fall out
Use a soft brush to remove dust and particles
Have your suits professionally dry-cleaned by a reputable drycleaner. You can wear a suit several times (12) over a period of time without sending it to the cleaners. When you do dry-clean, always take the entire suit, otherwise the suit's color could start to get mismatched.
If you do not know your suit size, you should be aware that a suit is a set of clothing consisting of a jacket and pants made from the same fabric. Therefore most ready to wear suits come in specific sizes for the jacket and pants. This is call "drop". (i.e., drop four, six, seven or eight.). The most common is the drop six sizing which means that the waist size for the pants is six numbers below the size of the jacket. So, if you are buying a suit size 42, the waist size for the pants should be 36. (this is the measurement in inches of the chest for the jacket and the waist for the pants respectively).
As a recommendation, you should always take your suit to a professional tailor to have it fitted more to your liking and comfort. Suit sizes are more of a guideline so you can get what fits your body type best.
The best piece of information we can give is to follow your instinct when buying a suit. Go for what fits you best and not solely for what is popular or in fashion. Also consider the type of environment at your work place or the event you are attending.