Kiton vs. Brioni vs. Oxxford (very long)

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Audi S5 TC, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Audi S5 TC

    Audi S5 TC Advanced Member

    United States
    New York
    Back on Friday, December 23rd, 2005, I looked at four suits from each of these brands at Bergdorf Goodman. I tried on one of the four suits from each of these three brands that I looked at. I carefully looked and felt all of them. Here is my take:

    Oxxford: in a class of it's own in every conceiveable way! Assembly and material quality are absolutely incomparable! The jacket was not only the most comfortable suit jacket ever, but the most comfortable jacket ever, period! Even a sweat jacket can't match an Oxxford jacket in comfort.

    Equally out of this world (in an enthusiastically positive way, of course) for the office and for special occasions!

    The jacket, vest and overcoat selection is quite versatile; 7 or 8 vest styles and a plethora (or too many to count) of jacket and overcoat styles overall. Oxxford will also cut/modify a jacket, vest or overcoat for you even if it is not in their style guide provided that the jacket, vest or overcoat that they cut/modify for you is easy and well within reason (i.e. nothing that is bizarrely out of the ordinary) to cut/modify.

    IMO, the best part or one of the best parts? It is the least expensive of these three brands at $2K-10K for an off the rack suit and $3K-15K for a made to measure suit. Add $100 for MTM with a baste fitting (available exclusively at the Oxxford retailer in New York City on 57th Street), marketed as (unnecessarily so, I might add) bespoke.

    At this price, OTR is a waste of money, IMO. Therefore, IMO, MTM should be mandatory at this price.

    Brioni: Assembly and material quality are second only to Oxxford. The jacket was too stiff for everyday wearing (at least for me, that is). But it would still work just as superbly for the office as it would for special occasions.

    The vest selection is the most versatile of these three brands: 10-15 styles overall. I didn't see the jacket and overcoat styles but can imagine it is, at the very least, just as versatile as the vest style selection.

    The price range is $3K-15K for an OTR suit and $4K-25K for an MTM suit. As I said before, at this price, MTM is a must for me. But I would not go above $15K for any suit, be it MTM or bespoke, even if I were one of the richest people on earth!

    Kiton: The assembly and material quality were both no better than Joseph Abboud at best. Whichever Ask Andy members said that Kiton suits were for special occasions only (preferably two or three special occasions a year at the most, IMO) and ill suited for the office were exceptionally spot on!

    The vest selection was not too versatile with five or six styles to choose from (only two of which were decent, IMO). I am sure the jacket and overcoat selection is very highly versatile. It better be for $4K-20K for an OTR suit and $6K-30K for a MTM suit. Add $0-200 for a baste fitting, available exclusively in Naples, Italy (where Kiton got started) and at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC, where it is marketed as custom or bespoke (which is also unneccesarily so, I might add) at both places. This makes Kiton the most expensive of these three brands and, IMO, one of the poorest values on earth! The Hurricane Gloria of wasting money, even for a MTM suit at 1/3 the starting price of Kiton's MTM suits.

    I will give props to Kiton for their jacket being nearly as comfortable as Oxxford and much more comfortable than Brioni. I guess that keeps Kiton from being the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of wasting money.

    After pestering people with pointless questions (let's not get into any details about this or anything similar, PLEASE??????!!!!!!) on Ask Andy's about bespoke Kiton suits incessantly in the Fall of 2005, I feel like one of the biggest fools on earth (which I actually am not, I might add)! I have lost interest in Kiton completely!
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Honors Member

    I found your post interesting, though I disagree with much of it. I can't imagine paying $15K for made-to-measure. I'd fly to London and have a couple suits made there first. You could even commute for fittings.

    Oxxford doesn't impress me nearly as much as it did you. It's well made, certainly. But most of their suits strike me as ... kind of boring. I have one and can't say I desire another. The newer stuff might be better, but I haven't really felt compelled to check it out.

    In terms of the three brands you examined, my favorite is Kiton. Your comment about Abboud, to be honest, made me question your knowledge of suit construction. What was it that made you reach this conclusion?
  3. uppercase

    uppercase New Member

    Those quoted prices, if accurate, are shocking. SHOCKING.


  4. Fogey

    Fogey Advanced Member

    Shirley you're not serious.


    BLACKCAT New Member

    I find the bottom end prices exorbiting for the suits mentioned, or any suit for that matter. Why someone would spend 2k, 3k, or 4k and beyond on suit is baffling to me. Maybe I would feel differently if I earned millions per year, but I do not.

    I guess the same question could be asked concerning cars or other luxury items. IMO, the difference is with clothing there is no greater technology involved. After all is said and done, a canvassed constructed jacket is a canvassed constructed jacket and what makes it interesting is the color, pattern and fit, and I don't see how theses three items would account for such a hefty price.

    The same goes for shoes.

    Smooth as silk...
  6. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    In general, I find your remarks to be parallel to the greater part of my thirty-plus years of experience wearing tailored garments. Ultimately, though, I went to bespoke for a number of minor reasons.

    My first Oxxford was purchased OTR in 1971. I continued purchasing Oxxford until 2000 when I elected to take the leap to bespoke. Having purchased both OTR and MTM Oxxford garments (by my count around 17 suits, 23 odd jackets, and only 10 or 12 pair of trousers), I was never disappointed with the quality. The finish tailors were always problematic for me. Ironically, most of the OTR garments fit as well as or better than the MTM. I have a terrible problem with the slope of my upper back that results in the ulgy litte roll requiring a "Lower the Collar" alteration. Even the Oxxford MTM coats had this dilemma every time. It didn't matter that some of the MTM coats were "measured" by the Oxxford repsentative at a trunk show!

    In the mid-1990s, I decided to be slightly more fashion forward and, intermittently, purchased a few Brioni OTR suits (no odd jackets). All of them are the regular cloth. I've never worn one of the Escorial cloth pieces. Although I receive a fair number of compliments when I wear Oxxford garments, I cannot help but receive a compliment when I wear one of my few Brioni suits. The ugly little roll was still present in each Brioni before the tailors corrected it. Brioni is not as comfortable as Oxxford for me. But, I do really enjoy the silhouette in the mirror.

    In 2000 I decided to see what all the talk was about concerning something called Kiton. Looking at them on the rack was no big thrill. But I was generally astounded by the feel of the cloth. The price was way too high for me to justify any experiment. A friend suggested I make such an experiment with Kiton via eBay. In a period of about eight months, I purchased four Kiton suits and one odd jacket on eBay. All were new items. The price was very "right" on all the items. I paid about four hundred to six hundred dollars per suit. The odd jacket was my last Kiton. All of the Kiton items were made for American retailers and have a fuller cut than the coats cut for Europe. Suddenly eBay was discovered and prices went through the roof. I don't believe you can touch a new Kiton on eBay for less than thirteen hundred dollars now. The cut and style of Kiton do not impress me. The amount of handwork in Kiton is little, if any, more than in Oxxford. However, the Kiton handwork is more obvious to most eyes. By far, the Kiton garments are most comfortable of the three to wear for me. The feel of Kiton is what truly impresses me.

    To get the sturdy elegance of Oxxford, the slightly more pleasing silhouette of Brioni, and the whisper weight total comfort of Kiton, I went bespoke. It took one suit and two odd jackets before my tailor really had the pattern adjusted properly for me. Now, with three fittings being more of a formality rather than a necessity, I get exactly what I want when I want it at a price that is comparable to Oxxofrd MTM and less than Brioni and Kiton.

    By the way, I still wear "old number one" from Oxxford. It's a grey herringbone tweed odd jacket. My tailor made it a more currently comfortable fit :D a few years ago. My body shape has changed very little since that coat was purchased. Even the old Oxxford trousers had enough to accomodate the extra inch and one-half that appeared on my waist over the years.
  7. MarkusH

    MarkusH Senior Member

    Interesting. The only of those three brands that I would buy is Kiton.

    The comfort of the jackets are astonishing, and for me the fit is far better that either Oxxford or Brioni, which may be the reason for the comfort. And I do like the fairly athletic cut of Kiton much better than the refrigerator cut of Brioni or the All-American cut of Oxxford.

    I have not paid and will not pay full retail for Kiton, though.
  8. Chuck Franke

    Chuck Franke Advanced Member

    Interesting... I was in the same store a few weeks ago and I'm a well known Oxxfordophile and I like Brioni as well.

    While I generally find Kiton to be a bit pricey (and they get it, more power to them) it just isn't reasonable to compare their quality level to Joseph Abboud.

    Abboud is a mass produced suit that is fused (they used to make a higher level jacket in Spain) and the materials are average. Not knocking it because they are priced accordingly.

    Kiton is handmade and very well executed. Their fabrics are from the very best collections as well. OK, some of their fabrics are 'too good' in that while I understand how rare those fabrics are and how difficult to produce they tend not to be as durable as the battle-ready fabrics from Oxxford that will look great 50 wearings from now. ...But those Kiton fabrics are significantly more expensive and produced in smaller quantities.

    I don't think you can reasonably compare a garment made by Kiton's tailors with one zipped through the 10-12 machines used to pop out an Abboud jacket in any way. OK, I take it back, both have sleeves.

    I'd generally prefer and recommend bespoke at Kiton's prices but the objective quality points of a Kiton jacket are equal to just about anything out there.
    Handmade Seven Fold Ties
  9. MarkusH

    MarkusH Senior Member

    I have heard, though, that the quality of Kiton ties are not equal to anything else out there. To be more precise, there are supposedly some people in Texas (of all places) who sell ties that are actually better. And for which I might even be willing to pay close to full retail.
  10. Chuck Franke

    Chuck Franke Advanced Member

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