Suits come in many different price ranges and, there are two groups of people. Those that believe ‘a suit is just a suit’, and those that think a ‘suit can tell me everything I need to know about the man I’ll be doing business with’.
The truth is, that what you wear does speak volumes about you – much like a Robin Reliant car says as much about you as driving a Ferrari might.
First impressions do count when it comes to business or formal occasions. I mean, that’s why you’re going to be wearing a suit, right? That doesn’t have to mean that a cheap suit will give a bad impression, but it does mean you need to be savvy enough to buy a great looking suit on the lower side of the financial scale.
There’s nothing wrong with being thrifty when it comes to buying a suit, but there are ‘tell-tale’ differences you want to be looking out for.
Budget suits are pretty generic. They’re mass produced by machine and sewn together in a matter of hours. This means that the cut is mass produced too – and few of us have bodies that match the pattern they’re cutting and sewing to!
You can tell by – a deep-cut armhole or slim sleeves that restricts your movement.
Cheap fabric and lining. You’re talking artificial fibres like polyester with nylon combined with the lowest quality wool or cotton. It’s generally less comfortable than the expensive fabrics available and you’re probably going to sweat. A lot.
You can tell by – compared with a more expensive suit, the fabric feels stiffer and less pleasant to touch.
Low quality interlining. The interlining is a second layer of fabric that keeps the desired shape of the suit. In a cheap suit, the fabric used will be of low quality and will also lead to you overheating and feeling uncomfortable.
You can tell by – looking for stitching. Cheap interlining is usually glued in place and can come unstuck over time.
No attention to detail. We all know that the ‘devil’s in the detail’ but cheaper suits seldom have the refined cuts or hand stitching that can help you stand out from the crowd. Quite often the buttonholes are sewn before being cut – meaning you’ll see some fraying of the fabric.
You can tell by – plastic buttons and dodgy buttonholes.
Cheap suits don’t feel good, don’t look good and are often produced in less than favourable working conditions – but there is another option if you’re buying on a budget.
It’d be nice if we all had a few thousand spare to invest in a great suit, unfortunately, most of us have higher priorities to be splashing that kind of cash on. However, there are some amazing high-quality finds to be had in vintage stores or second-hand shops.
Look out for a hand-sewn collar, a comfortable lining that has been sewn into place, and a full and easy range of movement when worn. You might end up spending a little more than you would on a budget suit, but you’ll be able to feel the difference immediately.
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