A word on Suit Quality

If you can only afford one suit at the moment, make it the best suit you can afford. Many important first impressions are riding on it. This is one of those times when testing the limits ofyour credit card is not only acceptable, it’s advisable. An investment in your wardrobe is an investment in your future—a wise investment. How people see you today is how they remember you tomorrow.

Quality not only makes a good impression; it makes good sense. The better the quality, the hetter the suit will went and lust. If you own only one, it’s going to need all the help it can get.

How do you determine quality? Price is one indicator, but not the only indicator. ln this ertse, the most expensive suit may not he the right choice.

What you want is a conservative, attractive suit that fits and doesn't look cheap. You want durability, not luxury. Here are the things to look for:

  • The suit should be lined and constructed. Lining is the slick fabric that helps you slip into the jacket without friction. It should be silk or silk-like rayon and smoothly attached. Poorly sewn lining causes puckers in the suit. The construction forms the suit‘s skeleton. You can‘t see this canvas-like construction fabric, but you should be able to feel its stiffness around the shoulders and chest. Think of it as the hidden frame inside a convertible top that gives lasting shape. Lt’s important. On the better suits, this canvas interlining is stitched, not glued.
  • Look at all the outside seams. There should be no uneven lines or puckering. Pay special attention to the armholes front and back, where puckering is most apt to occur.
  • Turn sideways to the mirror and inspect the neckline. The collar should lie perfectly flat against the neck and shoulders, with no gap. Lift your arms and put them back down. The jacket should return to this flat position.
  • Buttons should be imitation horn (as in water buffalo). Avoid cheap plastic, which breaks and/or deteriorates with cleaning. Plastic buttons are solid and will match exactly. Horn will be less even in color with visible veins running through them.
  • Buttonholes should be neatly stitched with no straggly threads. Test them by buttoning and unbuttoning repeatedly as you try on the suit. Make sure no threads spring free. If it has imitation or sham buttonholes on cuffs, they, too, should be flawless.
  • Pockets should be real and usable, not just bogus slits or flaps. But keep your hands and a preponderance of stuff out of them. Weight and pulling ruin a jackets shape. 


Next up: Wool is the King of Suit Fabrics