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What They Won't Say - Fabrics


What makes up a great suit? There's the cut or silhouette, the workmanship, the type of canvas and the quality of the fabric used.

While all the above are important, fabric choice is critical. It's the first thing people see when they look at your suit. Cheap fabrics look cheap. While I have no real problems with a little polyester being used to give a suit some extra shape and durability, a grown man in a full polyester suit simply shows a complete lack of style and sophistication. Furthermore, the quality of the fabric should determine the final price of your suit, it cost the same in labour to make a suit from fabric at $100 a meter as it does at $10 a meter.

So why do so few suit makers tell you even the basics about their fabrics? Simple, it's because they don't want you to know. If you knew how cheap the fabric is in that $899 suit you've been thinking of buying from your local department store you would probably never buy it. Today's suits are mostly mass produced which means making as many suits as possible in the shortest time at the lowest cost. Mechanization and using factories in emerging nations means the labour cost in producing a suit today is minimal and the only place left they can save money is on fabrics. Accordingly they will buy from whoever can guarantee a steady supply at the cheapest price. Also, suppliers of high quality fabrics cannot produce the quantity of fabric required for these mass production facilities.

My goal is, and never was or will be, to supply cheap suits. The aim of Elite Suits is to provide high quality suits at value for money prices. More bang for your buck you might say. This is why you will constantly read about the type of canvas used, that the suits are hand-made and that I continually urge you to spend a little extra to have your suit fully hand-stitched. You will see me writing about the Italian concept of "bella figura" or the beautiful figure where Italian suit makers strive to produce the perfect silhouette and most of all you see me constantly explaining fabric quality.

There are some great fabric makers out there, Scabel, Dormeuil, Vitale Barberis, Zegna just to mention a few. We offer suits made from fabrics produced by these great fashion houses at prices far less than what you would expect but not everybody wants to pay that sort of money for a suit. What you may not realise is that all over Europe, especially in both England and Italy, there are many smaller mills that produce excellent suit fabrics. You won't find these used on your fancy designer label suit because they can't produce enough fabric for mass production or afford to sell at the low prices that these labels offer. So they survive by producing high quality cloth that they then sell to the bespoke and independent suit makers.

Hand-made suits are labour intensive. By taking advantage of the lower Asian labour rates we are able to offer our customers hand-made suits at less than what you pay in stores for mass produced factory made suits. In fact, you can even buy one of our fully hand-stitched suits for less that you will pay for an average suit in a store. Twice the quality at half the cost is the goal. As our labour costs are lower we can offer a higher quality fabric and still meet that goal. Remember that the aim is to offer our customers quality suits at a value for money price as opposed to just a cheap suit.

We offer hundreds of fabric choices depending on what suit you buy. All our fabrics are of either English or Italian origin and are graded at super 120's or better. Before we accepted any tailor into the Elite Suits family they first had to convince us of the quality of the fabrics they used and I can tell you that quite a few failed that test. We searched for quite a while before finding a manufacturer who could make our basic range of suits out of a quality fabric where we could still offer the value that we want Elite Suits to become known for. It was well worth the effort, the quality of the fabrics used in our basic factory made suits surprised even us and in this highly competitive area I'm happy to stand up and say that I don't believe you can buy a better suit for the price anywhere. So before you pay $500 at the store for that mass produced suit have a look at our range that's $300 cheaper and ask yourself which is the better suit?

Unlike most suit makers we're proud of our fabrics and in all our suits we're happy to tell you what our fabric is made from, it's country of origin and the grade. Why don't they?

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