One of the most common questions classy men ask is how much should a tailored suit costs. In this article, we will tackle this question head-on and discuss various pricing options as well as the quality of the product you can expect at each level when visiting a (bespoke) tailor in Thailand. Don’t forget to check our buyer’s guide on how to choose the right tailored suit for you.
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In short, the price of your new bespoke tailor-made suit (and other types of garment for that matter) depends on three factors – fabrics it is made of, the craftsmanship that goes into creating it and finally service. Let’s first look at each in a bit more detail.
Fabrics are one of the easiest price components to understand because they are very straightforward. They come in many different qualities, brands, colours, thread counts and so on.
On the low end, you will find non-branded microfibre or wool-microfibre blends largely coming from Asian mills, whereas the middle-ground is dominated by premium wool/cashmere blends and pure-wool fabrics. Wool is considered a gold standard when it comes to a suit fabric and 100% wool super 120s is the sweet spot for most men.
The higher you move up from the standard wool, the finer and also the more expensive it gets. Examples of such luxury fabrics are Loro Piana, Lanificio Cerruti, Dormeuil and Zegna. These are created in prestigious European mills with longstanding heritage and can easily triple or quadruple the price of the whole suit. Sometimes, they come with a special blend to improve the properties of the suit, such as durability and resistance to creases or even water.
Another main determining factor in the price of your suit is the suits jacket’s construction and whether it’s off-the-rack, made-to-measure or tailored/bespoke. The jacket construction ranges from fused through half-canvassed to fully-canvassed options, with the latter option being the most expensive, best fitting and also the most labour intensive. While a fused suit can be comfortably crafted within a week, a fully-canvassed suit may take up to six weeks to craft.
Lastly, it is also about the service and experience you get. A difference in price can mean being fitted on the side of the street or a tightly-packed shopping mall or in a premium-feeling showroom, being attended by a pushy salesman versus courteous stylists. You get the point.
Okay, now when you know what goes into the price of a suit, let’s take a look at actual examples and see what various price points can get you in Thailand.
If you are on a tight budget, you can get away with an off-the-rack (available in most department stores) or an entry-level made-to-measure suit. They will most likely be made of non-branded microfibre or microfibre-wool blends from Asia. A fused jacket construction will do the job, you just cannot expect miracles in terms of conformity and drape.
Most men will be comfortable in this price category as the value for money seems to offer a good balance. At the bottom of the range you will find premium wool blends or Asian pure wool, whereas towards the top, you are getting 100% wool (anywhere from super 110s to 130s) in fabrics such as Vitale Barberis Canonico, Guabello, Drago or Reda (these Italian fabrics typically start at around $700). You can now expect a proper bespoke experience with several fittings to assure the perfect fit. In terms of craftsmanship, we are looking at fused or half-canvassed jacket construction.
We are approaching the territory of the true fashionistas and suit aficionados. In a suit over $1,000, you can expect luxury fabrics, such as Holland & Sherry, handwoven Harris Tweed, Loro Piana, Lanificio Cerruti or Zegna. These often come in impressively high thread counts that sometimes exceed the 200s. A great deal of the suit construction and finishing is handmade, including the full-canvassing option, and so all the customisable details will be carefully perfected to your liking. Premium suits are the pinnacle of bespoke tailoring and are usually reserved for those who don’t just want to impress with their looks, but also look for the best bespoke tailoring experience.
As you can see, there’s truly a suit for everyone. Depending on what budget you have and what impression you want to make, you will be able to get your desired suit by making smart choices and/or compromises in one of the mentioned areas – fabrics, construction and service. Now knowing what goes into the suit, you will also be well-prepared to stay away from those everywhere-present too-good-to-be-true deals.