Quality matters when shopping for a suit. All suits consist of a formal jacket and a pair of matching trousers, but they are available in different levels of quality. Some suits are higher quality and, thus, better made than others. Whether you're looking for a traditional business suit, a wedding suit or any other suit outfit, you should focus on quality. There are several telltale signs of a high-quality suit, some of which include the following.
#1) Hand-Sewn Buttons
You can identify high-quality suits by their buttons. Buttons are found on the front of suit jackets, and they are typically used for the fly on trousers. Single-breasted suit jackets feature a single column of buttons, whereas double-breasted suit jackets feature two side-by-side columns of buttons. Regardless, suit jackets, as well as trousers, have buttons.
Rather than choosing a suit with machine-sewn buttons, look for a suit with hand-sewn buttons. Hand-sewn buttons is a telltale sign of a high-quality suit. It takes longer to manually sew buttons into jackets and trousers, but the end result is a premium construction that distinguishes these suits from other, lower-quality suits.
#2) Variety of Button Materials
Speaking of buttons, you should consider the materials from which they are made. Some suits are only available in cheap materials like standard plastic. Standard plastic buttons are inexpensive, but they don't last very long. Even when properly maintained, plastic buttons may crack or otherwise break, in which case you'll have to replace them.
High-quality suits often allow you to choose from one of several button materials. Rather than standard plastic, you may want to choose horn or corozo buttons.
#3) Woven in Italy
You can tell a lot about the quality of a suit by identifying where it was made. Suits woven in Italy, for instance, are almost always high quality. Italy is known as the fashion capital of the world -- and for good reason. It's home to some of the world's finest textile companies and garment designers.
If you see a "Woven in Italy" label, you can rest assured knowing that it's a high-quality suit. Suits woven in Italy are made with better materials and craftsmanship than those woven elsewhere. You should still look for the other signs listed here when shopping for a suit, but a "Woven in Italy" label is a telltale sign of a high-quality suit.
#4) Lining Under Jacket Collar
High-quality suits often feature lining under the jacket collar. The collar is the area of lapels around the top of a suit jacket. Different types of suit jackets have different lapels, with some lapels being wide and others being narrow. Regardless, the lapels form the collar.
You can identify high-quality suits by checking the collar. Suit jackets with lining under the collar are higher quality than those without lining under the collar. Whether a suit jacket is made of linen, wool, cotton, corduroy or another material, it may feature lining underneath. High-quality suit jackets are often lined with felt. They feature a thin layer of felt underneath to provide extra roll.
#5) Clean Seams
Another telltale sign of a high-quality suit is clean seams. All suits have seams. Both suit jackets and the trousers with which they are sold have them. A seam is simply an area in which two or more pieces of material come together. If you're tired of purchasing low-quality suits that only last a few months, you should look for a suit with clean seams.
Some suits, though, are designed with messy seams. Messy seams are often misaligned and feature stray threads, resulting in an unkempt appearance. Clean seams, on the other hand, are aligned and devoid of stray threads. If you're going to buy a new suit, you should take a minute to inspect the seams. Make sure the jacket and trousers feature clean seams. Otherwise, you could end up with a low-quality suit that doesn't last very long.
#6) Premium Pockets
You should look for premium pockets when shopping for a suit. Suit jackets typically feature three pockets. They have two pockets on the bottom and a breast pocket near the top. Suit trousers, on the other hand, typically feature four pockets. They have two pockets on the front and another two pockets on the back.
How do you distinguish between cheap and premium pockets exactly? Premium pockets are deep and wide. Most importantly perhaps, they are designed with smooth edges so that they lie flat against the rest of the jacket or trousers.
#7) Available in Multiple Patterns
How many patterns is your preferred suit available in? If it's only available in a single pattern, you may want to choose a different suit. Suits that are available in multiple patterns are typically higher quality than those that are only available in a single pattern.
Most suits are available in solid colors. Solid colors may consist of black, tan, red and countless other colors. With that said, many suits are available in other patterns.
Popular patterns in which suits are made include:
#8) Double-Layered Arm Shields
Take a moment to inspect the arm shields when shopping for a suit. Suit jackets have arm shields. As the name suggests, arm shields are found inside the arms. Rather than choosing a suit jacket with single-layered arm shields, consider choosing a suit jacket with double-layered arm shields.
Double-layered arm shields feature two layers of material. With twice as many layers as their single-layered counterparts, they offer greater protection. They will protect the rest of the suit jacket from perspiration, which could cause stubborn stains if left unchecked.
#9) Custom Sizing
Custom sizing is indicative of a high-quality suit. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all suit. Suits are complete outfits consisting of a jacket and a pair of matching trousers. Both of these garments must be sized so that they fit your body.
While most suits are sold in generic sizes, others are available in custom sizes. Custom sizing is a telltale sign of a high-quality suit. If you discover that a suit is available in custom sizes, it's safe to assume that it's high quality.