Suits can range from cost-effective to extremely expensive, and while it's easy to think that splashing out on a $2000 suit is a waste of your hard-earned cash, the truth is, you get what you pay for. But what is the difference between cheap and expensive men's suits?
There are several – and in this article, we discuss 5 of the most significant factors.
Difference #1 Suit Design
$200 Suit: Mass-produced to fit the majority of the market
Suits in the lower price ranges will fit the majority of men. These are “Off-The-Rack” or “Ready to Wear.”
Note that I said the majority of men. These suits need to be taken to a tailor to get the precise fit for your body.
$2000 Suit: Made to your specific measurements and style
Suits in this price range are generally for those gentlemen who value a precise fit. When you enter a high-end menswear store and are looking to purchase a suit at this price point, frequently they are in two categories:
- Semi-customizable/made-to-measure – Suits in this category come pre-constructed. What makes it semi-customizable is that the stitching is not permanent. It's stitched with a loose thread and replaced with a permanent stitch once the blazer and trousers fit your frame.
- Bespoke/custom – This suit is fully customizable. This means your precise measurements are taken and the suit is built from your choice of fabrics.
Difference #2 Suit Fabric
$200 Suit: Polyester, rayon, cotton blends, recycled wool & synthetic blends
This is an important difference between cheap and expensive men's suits.
With fabric, you generally get what you pay for. Manufacturing these suits using the materials listed above is relatively inexpensive, so there is a slight mark-up to make a profit.
Additionally, the fabrics in this price range will lose shape over time, affecting the overall aesthetic of the suit. It becomes loose, begins to drape, and starts pilling. Pilling occurs when the fibers in a fabric or garment rub together, causing them to break off and accumulate in small piles or balls.
$2000 Suit: 100% virgin wool, rich luster, memorable drape
The time and care it takes to raise and care for sheep and sheer them comes at a premium cost, making wool the premier choice for high-end suits.
Other significant benefits of wool fabric are:
- Water-resistant and stays dry while absorbing humidity.
- Resistant to static electricity.
- Extremely durable. As long as the thread is tight, you can wear wool suits for many years without signs of deterioration.
- Naturally resistant to dirt.
- It easily maintains its original shape.
- It is warm while also breathable, making it the ideal fabric for summer or winter.
These are the perfect choice for those who have skin reactions to artificial materials. It's durable and manufactured with great patterns that are rich and long-lasting.
Difference #3 Suit Construction
$200 Suit: machine-sewed with a fused lining
These suits are mass-produced with industrial sewing machines. This process is more cost-effective.
A pattern goes into the machine, and the fabric is loaded. Then an operator pushes the start button. This process does not have the benefit of a trained eye scrutinizing every detail.
$2000 Suit: hand-stitched, tailored construction, precision, and durability in sewing
At this level, the suits are usually hand-stitched. The time and care of hand-stitched merino wool suits all but guarantee quality. The tailor can make on-the-spot adjustments and watch for inconsistencies while creating the garment.
They make sure that the amount of stitches per inch (at least 14) is followed. This strengthens the construction and durability of the fabric as it's fused.
Another benefit of being hand-stitched is that it is tailored to fit your body type, providing a flattering look.
Difference #4 Service Before And After Purchase
The biggest difference between cheap and expensive men's suits after the purchase is the service you get. Whether it is to correct a mistake or get further adjustments made, you will always tell the which is which.
$200 Suit: Most associates will be untrained on actual quality
When you purchase off the rack, you work with a salesperson. They are strictly there to sell!
What you run into with salespeople at a box store is a high turnover. A side effect of high turnover is a lack of deep knowledge of the product and industry.
When there is a problem with the suit, you have to take it to customer service. Usually, there is a diminished level of service that goes with this experience.
$2000 Suit: One on one help from highly knowledgeable associates
Included in the price of purchasing a well-made suit is the experience. You work with knowledgeable stylists who have made menswear their business.
They are knowledgeable about the trends of the industry and how their product adjusts to them. If you ever return for any reason, the associate will usually greet you by your first name.
Whether you're getting a bespoke suit or purchasing a semi-customizable suit from a high-end store, the experience usually comes with the following:
- A personal stylist, well versed in menswear, attends to your style needs.
- They offer refreshments to keep you comfortable during the measuring and purchasing process.
- You work in a classy environment that caters to the unique tastes of their typical clientele.
- Problems are resolved with the client in mind. When finding an issue, the goal is to correct the garment and maintain a great relationship with the customer
Difference #5 Suit Brand Reputation
$200 Suit: Fast-fashion department store or no-name brand
The brand names that are synonymous with high-end quality don't exist at this price point. These are suits in big retail chains that are most concerned with high-volume and moving large amounts of product.
$2000 Suit: Usually a heritage brand or a company with a strong reputation for quality
Suits in this price range are from brands that have a long history of quality. Often the material comes from and is manufactured in high-end mills with the best quality. It's easy to recognize them due to brand visibility.
Note: Pay attention to the quality of the marketing material in the stores. Brands with solid reputations and a history of well-made products will have well thought out, high-quality posters and ads in the store.
Marketing material that is cheap and “low budget” means a less established brand, not known for quality.
It is vital to ensure that you distinguish the difference between price and quality. The $200 suit will be great for someone just starting or who can't invest in something and needs something in a pinch. However, to get the actual value, it is best to invest in something that will last a long time.
Click below to watch the video – $200 Vs $2000 Suit: