The 30-Second Suit Quality Test

We all want a good suit but it’s not always about the price tag. A good suit looks great and lasts long, and you can find it for a steal sometimes. It’s too easy to fall into the trap that flashy logos and famous names equal a quality suit. The truth is, some of those big price tag suits are poorly made and won’t hold up. So the question is; how do you tell the difference?

Use the Empire Seven Suit Signs to determine if that suit is worthy of your wardrobe:

Stitching
Is it strong? Is it clean? These are the guidelines to follow when examining the stitching of your suit. After all, if the stitching is shotty craftmanship, that suit may not last more than a few seasons. Clean, equal stitching that doesn’t flex is key to watch for.

Lapels
There should be a slight roll where the lapel begins to fold back. Check to see that the lapel rests gently and isn’t too stiff or flat otherwise it can look uncomfortable and almost cartoonish. Make sure the lapels aren’t wrinkled or crimped where they shouldn’t be.

Buttons
Although it seems like a small detail, keep in mind that the buttons may reveal your whole suit quality to the keen eye. Check that the threading isn’t tearing or pulling away. That’s a key easy fix and adds to the presentation. Well made buttons are made of horn, mother of pearl, or ceramic. Polished brass is also a common material.

Pockets
You can see this detail fairly easily. Pockets should be flat and neat always. If they seem bunched up or won’t rest seamlessly into the garment, then it’s not well made and there’s really no easy way to fix it. Uneven pockets can make you look disheveled.

Fabric
Ah yes the core component of the suit. The fabric should drape over you gently and naturally. Typically high quality suits are made of high quality yarn (no brained). There should be no fraying or pulled fabric areas. If it’s a pattern suit, make sure the patterns are equal and well defined. Any colors in the fabric should be true and equally toned.

Construction
The interior construction of the suit is also important. Check seams and stitching and note if the material is canvas or fused to the existing material. This is a matter of comfort but also can tell you the lifespan of the suit.

Coat Lining
Make sure the lining of the jacket is professionally tailored since the suit will be pressed, folded, and hung at the hem. The lining should be made of silk or rayon of a superior quality.