Going suit shopping and being bamboozled by the terminology of suit fabrics can be a little daunting. Fear not, here is a guide to what you should know before you embark on shopping for suits.
Pure Wool is the main fabric to look for, simply because it’s ideal for all year round. It is comfortable for all seasons, and as long as you don’t go for too fine a wool, the durability will also be there. Now ‘ What actually is a fine fabric?’ I hear you ask.
Super 100 is the base range in my opinion. This means it has 100 threads per inch. Then you can go up to Super 180s which are too fine. You will not get the durability you want. This type of fine fabric would be great for a special occasions, but be prepared for the creasing. The higher the fabric count, the finer the fabric. I normally recommend anything from Super 100 to Super 130. For the working man you want a suit that is a workhorse – it is your uniform and you want it to last.
In the UK and now recently here in Australia, the popularity of Wool / Poly Suits is ever increasing. Don’t be deterred with by word ‘polyester’. As long as the wool percentage is higher, say 70 %, and the rest is polyester then you are fine. You will get a fine suit which is very durable.
In Australia, suits made from Merino wool are also becoming very popular. Merino is wool from the Merino sheep and makes a very high quality of suit. Companies like Cambridge (from New Zealand) know how to use Merino to make a good suit and how to make it last. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin. And merino contains lanolin which has antibacterial properties (true fact).
Try and stay away from Microfibre or 100% polyester suits. These are very low end and if you can just spend a little more you will get a nice wool rich suit which will look so much better.
Linen suits are very popular in Europe, though much less so here because of the creased look. They can be popular during the wedding season as the look is casual and summery.
When you look at the country where the suit is made, ‘ Made in China’ should definitely not put you off. China is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world and they know what they are doing. A lot of Australian and New Zealand companies have their own office in China to ensure quality control and consistency. Remember most of the fabrics are from Europe or New Zealand but as labour costs in western countries are so high, manufacturing them in China makes the finished garment competitive in price when it hits the stores.
Final hint…always get 2 trousers with your suit. I am probably talking myself out of a sale in a year’s time but getting 2 trousers will help make your suit last longer as you can alternate those trousers.
If you are suit shopping and are not sure about fabrics or fabric blends, comment below, drop me an email, post to our FaceBook page, tweet or instagram a picture and I will help you on the spot.