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I've just noticed how widely used Arnold Brandt is for television personalities. I also saw some Jack Victors for the first time at my local Saks outlet store. I really like the two-button, it even has side vents! Where do these Canadian brands rank? One doesn't think of Canada the way one thinks of Britain or Italy when it comes to menswear. Still, since they're carried at Saks, they have got to be above the Men's Wearhouse. Any thoughts?
 

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Good value and style in Canadian menswear

Canadian designers are getting more popular in the US market. I was told by a sales rep at Barneys New York that Canadian suits are among the top imported suits in the US (by volume). Brands like Jack Victor, Coppley/Cambridge and Samuelsohn feature high quality fabrics from good European mills (Zegna, Loro Piana, Scabal). The cut tends to be a blend of American and European. Jackets are darted with side vents and with higher button stance, than typical American jacket.

Canadian suits used to be a great value when the Canadian dollar was at 63 cents, to the US$, but less so as it gets closer to par (92 cents in May, 2006).

I have found Arnold Brant to be at the lower-end of the brands noted above but good value and probably at home in a place like Saks. In my opinion, these suits are better than anything you will get from Brooks Brothers or Joseph Abboud but short of, say, Canali. I buy suits based on the quality of fabric and the cut, regardless of the label. Canadian suits probably constitute the majority of my wardrobe and represent the best value to me.
 

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Super100 sums it up pretty well.

When you can walk into Henry Marks in Montreal and buy a Samuelsohn OTR for under 1k or get a MTM for 1150, it is rather hard to beat.
My Canali MTM was just shy of double a Samuelsohn MTM. It is really good work for very reasonable money. The Andrew suit body I tried on recently is a beautiful mix of influences.

I have a few Jack Victor too, and while it falls a notch or two below a Sammy, it is a pretty good jacket for the coin. Nice cut, well made (fused) and nice fabric.

At those prices, I do not see the point in starting below a Samuelsohn any more. For an American to come here on holiday and pick up a MTM at about 1k usd and get your taxes back, sounds like a pretty good deal.
 

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I have a Samuelsohn DB, B&W houndstooth suit. The construction and fabric are gorgeous.
 

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I feel bad for those makers though. With the exchange rates, we may see a few of those brands fall off... But at present prices, they are very good values (I can only comment for Canada though).

I think that Samuelsohn is the least expensive fully canvassed suit one can buy... And the MTM is significantly cheaper than italian RTW alternatives...

Goodluck to those companies though...
 

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I think Canadian makes in general are underappreciated and represent excellent value for their price points. I have one MTM Samuelsohn jacket and because I want a canvassed jacket, I agree with zegnamtl that I look only to Samuelsohn among the Canadian makers. But Sammy is great value for the price.

The owner of the US menswear store where I bought my Samuelsohn specializes in Canadian brands and when I asked him why, he told me that Canadian taxes on imported Italian fabrics are much lower than US taxes, so the resulting garments are cheaper. Does anyone know if this is true?
 

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Arnold Brandt supplies Bill O'Reilly. Not terribly impressed with the shirts and ties if he does those too.
 

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Canadian menswear

I reall reading somewhere that, under NAFTA, Canadian manufacturers can use Italian fabric and ship the suits to the U.S. without paying the duty on the fabric a U.S. manufacturer would.
 

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Jim,

I don't think this is really that true.
But I will try and track down the numbers and will post when I find them.

A CDN shop will have to pay duty just as a US shop would,
but once the suit is made, it would enter the US duty free under NAFTA.

If I recall correctly the issue stemmed from a quota on the amount of raw fabric that could be imported to the US annually before an increased duty was placed on it to protect US mills that supplied raw fabric to clothing manufacturers.

So technically, if a US shop bought US spun wool, there is no issue.
If the shop bought huge amounts of foreign spun wool, duty would kick in at a higher rate than the CDN shop might pay. Most of the local spinners here have closed down. I do not know how successful the US gov. was in protecting American spinners with this policy.

I'll let you know if I get any decent data.
 

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Supreme Menswear

I have purchased Canadian manufactured rack suits at Supreme Menswear in Calgary. It's a nice shop, the service is good, and the quality is good for rack/fused suits. The shop is located caddy-corner from the Westin Calgary hotel.

M8
 

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Going back before NAFTA, Canadian manufacturers received their duty paid on the import of cloth into Canada when the finished garment was shipped out of the country. As I recall, this was a large number - 20% of the cost of cloth. The rules under NAFTA, however, have changed and there is no longer the same advantage..

There are many different manufacturers in Canada ranging from mid market to high end. We do a nice job with Rubin Brothers, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Sean John, Peerless Couture, Jack Victor, Crown leather and Cardinal (for fall-Abboud topcoats).

Their clothing tends to be a high value proposition. Again, going back 15 years ago when there were a number of U.S. competitors, the Canadian's make was more "European", which meant the manufacturing methods were different than U.S. methods. End result was a lighter and more comfortable garment.

Naturally, there are some terrific Canadian manufacturers and some not as terrific. Feel and fit will be your judge.
 
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