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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that my quest for the right custom tailor has ended (for now) with Richard Lim, the hunt for shirting, suiting and linings has begun.

My friend ordered a sport coat with the aforementioned Loro Piana fabric. I supplied my own fabrics during my first experience with Richard Lim so I had no basis to judge his in house pricing.

What would you guys say is a fair price in USD $ for each yard of the plain dark charcoal super 160 cashmere / wool blend fabric?

If the price is fair, I'll just buy everything in house, if not, the hunt is on.

(I'm not going to mention the price my friend paid for his suiting for a bit, just so I can get some unbiased perspective :icon_smile:)

Thanks,
Alex
 

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Retail prices for good cloth start around $100-200 per yard and go up from there. I don't know about the specific cloth you mention.

Example - Minnis

You can pay less buying odds and ends.

If you haven't already, you might enjoy looking around at B Black & Sons downtown.

There have been discussions in the past about the merits of CMT (which IIRC do not necessarily include saving money).
 

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If you get a super 160s material ....

be prepared that it wont last. Never wear it to work and never put your elbows on the bar or you'll be putting patches on them. The higher super numbers are not sturdy and do not reflect quality. They are sold because they feel good, not because they are a higher quality. I wouldn't buy anything over super 120, and super 100 is good for work. Manton, who knows more about suiting than anyone on this forum, claims to wear only super 85 fabric in his suits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
be prepared that it wont last. Never wear it to work and never put your elbows on the bar or you'll be putting patches on them. The higher super numbers are not sturdy and do not reflect quality. They are sold because they feel good, not because they are a higher quality. I wouldn't buy anything over super 120, and super 100 is good for work. Manton, who knows more about suiting than anyone on this forum, claims to wear only super 85 fabric in his suits.
Haha... exactly what I told my friend. It's good to hear it echoed here again.

I was already nervous with my sport coat being made with super 130 cashmere / wool blend suiting. I explicitly told my friend not only would stitching be more challenging, it would be exceedingly more fragile and probably not last too long.

This is of course while standing over a table of cashmere and wool blend suiting from super 100 to super 160 from 4-5 mills. In hand, he could not turn down the Loro Piana super 160.

I am, however, curious about the deal my friend got for the suiting. I get a large discount at the fabric store I shop at if I choose CMT rates with Richard Lim. However, my friend and I were also offered a hearty discount at Richard's shop, so i'm weighing my options.

Thanks,
Alex
 

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This is what Poulin had to say in 1952 on his text on tailoring:



Note that anything below 14 Oz is stated as being more suitable for women's clothing. Since 1952 it is not like humans have become more heat sensitive, in fact, air conditioning has become much more ubiquitous. So despite global warming, there is no reason for men to wear women's clothing. BTW 99% of >S100 wools come in women's weights.
 

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be prepared that it wont last. Never wear it to work and never put your elbows on the bar or you'll be putting patches on them. The higher super numbers are not sturdy and do not reflect quality. They are sold because they feel good, not because they are a higher quality. I wouldn't buy anything over super 120, and super 100 is good for work. Manton, who knows more about suiting than anyone on this forum, claims to wear only super 85 fabric in his suits.
I tend to follow this logic as well. I have a couple of more delicate suits that I suspect would not wear well under hard use, but have a big rotation so haven't really put them to the test.

Loro Piana does have a Super 120's "Tasmanian" wool that is a good blend of lightness, soft hand and durability (think it may have started as 100s and then 120s and might now be 130s). I had a suit made in that fabric and it wore quite well and was fairly resistant to wrinkles as well. I ended up giving it to my father, but it was a nice suit.

In my mind it doesn't compare to the better fabrics on my Oxxford, Brioni or Golden Fleece suits, but I think it is a step up from most of the lightweight stuff out there.
 

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To the original question, understanding that a super 100's in 14-16oz may be a more popular choice here, I'd say that it is very difficult to assign a retail price based on just the super count of the fabric and the distributor. Loro Piana is always overpriced IMO, and I know things in California tend to be more expensive than elsewhere. On top of that it depends on the construction and number of fittings and detailing of the suit, as well as the size of the gentleman (yds. of fabric needed), and if the suit was 100% wool or a blend of cashmere, silk, etc. I guess I'd say on average in Chicago a custom/bespoke suit from Loro Piana 160's is probably $2800-$3500 retail. It's just hard to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tend to follow this logic as well. I have a couple of more delicate suits that I suspect would not wear well under hard use, but have a big rotation so haven't really put them to the test.

Loro Piana does have a Super 120's "Tasmanian" wool that is a good blend of lightness, soft hand and durability (think it may have started as 100s and then 120s and might now be 130s). I had a suit made in that fabric and it wore quite well and was fairly resistant to wrinkles as well. I ended up giving it to my father, but it was a nice suit.

In my mind it doesn't compare to the better fabrics on my Oxxford, Brioni or Golden Fleece suits, but I think it is a step up from most of the lightweight stuff out there.
To the original question, understanding that a super 100's in 14-16oz may be a more popular choice here, I'd say that it is very difficult to assign a retail price based on just the super count of the fabric and the distributor. Loro Piana is always overpriced IMO, and I know things in California tend to be more expensive than elsewhere. On top of that it depends on the construction and number of fittings and detailing of the suit, as well as the size of the gentleman (yds. of fabric needed), and if the suit was 100% wool or a blend of cashmere, silk, etc. I guess I'd say on average in Chicago a custom/bespoke suit from Loro Piana 160's is probably $2800-$3500 retail. It's just hard to say.
I certainly won't argue with the suggestion of Super 100's in 14-16oz range. However, one thing that should be taken into consideration is the pragmatism involved with choosing Super 100 over something higher. Granted Loro Piana may be an example of a double strike (inflated price, and very fragile) If my friend and I received a good price on the suiting, the longevity isn't a consideration.

Living in Los Angeles anything under super 100 starts to become a walking sauna, even on the "cold" days when it's 65* F (18* C), or at least it is for someone like me who is "always warm".

The utility of the suiting and its ability to stand up to wear and tear is not really a consideration. It is something that should already be taken into account the second comfort in the short term is prioritized over longevity.

I'd personally rather enjoy that feeling of making a suit out of super 160 aka "air" and have it last 6 months vs having it last 5-10 years with super 80-100 that is properly taken care of.

I understand this is a somewhat unconventional standpoint, but I believe just like there is a Sunday Ferrari / Lamborghini / Bentley that never comes out in any bad weather or harsh drives, so should their be analogous items in a wardrobe, if someone wants it.

Richard Lim charged $550 for working with super 160, 25 for working button holes, and the rest is suiting. My friend spent under $1000 for his sport coat or less than $200 a yard on suiting.

If Loro Piana represents the top end of getting ripped off for fabric that isn't as robust (for the price) as one might hope the I feel we still got a good deal.

Can anyone suggest some benchmark suiting choices that will illuminate how fair the in house suiting prices are? I'd use the same prices to judge the fabric stores around Los Angeles as well.

I'm only concerned with the price of the suiting itself, not the overall value of using it in a suit.

Thanks,
Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After rereading my last reply and realizing the edit button was no longer available, I wanted to clear up what i'm asking for.

I realize the Super # has little to no bearing on weight of the cloth. i.e. You can have 11oz Super 100 and 14oz Super 100 depending on how it's woven. Is this correct? OR Am i wrong and the higher the super #'s the lower the cloth weight unconditionally?

Los Angeles is generally very warm year round, I will be wearing my suits predominately in this weather, and I am one of those people who is always warm, so light fabric is a must.

What is the right trade-off between a suiting that will last around 3-5 years with use maybe once a month, is light enough for all year use in Los Angeles given my affinity for colder fabrics, and is soft enough to make it feel special, i.e. at least super 110-120.

Anyone have any favorites? Dormeuil? Scabal? Holland & Sherry? Zegna?

Thanks
 

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What is the right trade-off between a suiting that will last around 3-5 years with use maybe once a month, is light enough for all year use in Los Angeles given my affinity for colder fabrics, and is soft enough to make it feel special, i.e. at least super 110-120.
For general high 80's, 90's or super 100's are best because they are not fragile like you find with super 120's onwards. You could wear super 120's to work but it depends on the work environment and how you travel to work etc.

As for suits for special occasions, you could still go for a super 100's but with a special design. If you want for a blazer/trousers combo rather then a suit you could got for high wool number for the blazer; for example 130's/150's blazer and super 100's/120's trousers.
The longer you plan to wear the suit (hours each time), the lower number you want. Super 170's would not be good if you plan to wear the suit to weddings unless you only go to 10-min Las Vegas weddings. If you need to move about (walking, sitting on different seats, etc) you would not want something high in number.

11oz is often recommended for all-year-round wear and you could go for this, or even lighter with 9oz because of the weather. This depends how you feel, I would no go higher then 11oz for a work suit even if it was a winter-only suit yet some would go for 13oz for winter only suits.
 

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If coolness is a must then you should go for a fresco. They really do run cooler while draping like a heavier cloth. Except in exceptional heat waves, it should not be necessary to wear summer cloths below 13 Oz.

The real problem with lighter cloths is that they do not tailor well. There was a time when Savile Row firms used to staunchly refuse to work with lighter cloth (ie <14 Oz) on the grounds that it tailored poorly and failed to hold its shape.

There are virtually no super wools available in traditional acceptable weights for tailored clothing. When they are, they have to be blended with cashmere to bolster the weight. In order to save on cost, the higher the super number, the lighter they weave it and on looser settings to fool the unweary into thinking that bunny softness equates to quality.

If you still absolutely must buy this super nonsense then you should buy from either Harrisons or Lesser. At least they weave their supers on tighter weave settings to give them a bit more body.
 

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Your first statement is right. Super number has to do with the size of the individual fibers and not the weight of the cloth. In theory, fibers of any super number could be spun and woven into cloth of any weight.

I don't wear suits as much as a lot of the guys on this forum, but my experience does support the argument that cloth weight by itself does not determine how warm a suit will run in hot weather.

Color (or shade) also makes a big difference in direct sunlight. One really hot day last summer I even found myself wishing I had not worn black shoes.

Another suggestion is not to have your trousers lined.

I see Sator has posted as I typed this. Listen to him.
 

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As for suits for special occasions, you could still go for a super 100's but with a special design.
You often hear it said that super dupers are fine as special occasion suiting. I must say that I really question that. If it is a special occasion, you want to look your best. A cloth in a proper traditional tailoring weight makes up a lot better, and always looks crisper, smarter and dressier. Lighter cloths, by comparison, always have a rumpled pyjama look to them. If it is a special occasion, that is all the more reason to turn to a proper, traditional weighted worsted. For me that makes 14 Oz the bare acceptable minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Really great advice you guys... if i'm reading this right what i'm ideally looking for is:

Weights in the 9-11oz range for Super 100-130 and 12-13oz range for Super 140-180.

I also need to be weary of the tightness of the weave so that the suiting has enough body to be tailored and hold it's shape over time. (At least being mindful the further I deviate into higher super #'s and lower weights, the more prone my coats will be to loosing their shape)

Lastly, I need to keep an eye our for wool blends in the higher super #'s because the blending of wool with something like cashmere helps "bolster" the weight of the ultra fine, and more than likely loosely woven, fabric.

This look like a good list?

Lastly, anyone know of a place to buy Harrisons or Lesser fabrics in Los Angeles?
 

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The problem is that the things that make a cloth feel soft are not the same things that make it wear cool.
Quite right - weave not just weight plays a very important role in how cool/warm a cloth runs. Flannels, being woven from carded rather worsted wools, are naturally soft and run much warmer than their weight suggests. Very tightly woven worsteds actually run extremely cool for their weight. I have a pair of 23 Oz cavalry twill trousers that feel like ice when you put them on.
 
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