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  • Writer's pictureNiels Strohkirch

How do you determine the personal value of your suit?

In todays world of business suits you have typically two options available. You go either tailor made (or also called Haute Couture or just Couture), which means the suit is custom made for an individual person or Off The Rack or also called Prêt-à-Porter or Ready to Wear, which means you see a garment in the store, try it on and wear it. Anyhow, even Ready To Wear garments need in many cases tailoring/alteration work before they can be finally worn.

Both options come in all sorts and shades of styles and price points. The origin of your suit (tailor made versus of the rack) does not necessarily determine the price only. A tailor made suit can be may acquired very cheaply or extremely expensive, sometimes for a USD150 or even less at the right place of the world while the highest grades go for USD 40,000 and more. An off the rack suit from the right brand can cost you USD5,000 and more or you can get one on sale time for just USD100.

So, what determines the personal value of a suit?

The personal value of a suit is typically determined by the following treats:

  1. Fabric Quality

  2. Workmanship

  3. Quality

  4. Style Options

  5. Fit

Fabric Quality seems to be an easy pick on first sight. The higher the quality, the higher the price and hence the personal value must be higher! So far so good. But have you ever thought about what is the right quality for you? Is only the best quality available the best for you? Is a real Super Wool 170S the right suit quality for me? Or would be a Super Wool 120S not more suitable? Taking aside any budget restrictions for a while? Or how is it buying a polyester or micro fibre suit. Is this acceptable?

How do you determine the Workmanship Quality of your suit? This is a real hard part if you are not at least a trained seamstress and you know what to look for. To be brutally honest: Most people who buy suits, expensive or cheap, have simply no idea about how good the stitching or cutting quality of the suit is they buy. Hence, trust in the brand or the tailor you buy from is the most important criteria.

When it comes to Style Options most people can determine what they like or what they dislike, latest when they wear it. Hence, here you cannot determine a right or wrong as allowed is everything what you like. Tailor made suits have a clear advantage here, as you can bring a picture of your dream suit and ask the tailor to follow the style. Of the rack is that you take what the designer thought is in or right at the moment.Anything considered out of style is simply not available.

Last, but not least, the Fit! In our opinion, an affordable suit well fitting has much more personal value than a very expensive suit Off The Rack which is not well fitted. Irregardless of brand name and fabric quality. A good tailor will not only tailor you an incredible suit, he will also make sure that the fit makes you simply look impeccable, irregardless of the fabric. Of course, the right choice of fabric will support the fit in any case, as a sturdy and most probably cheaper fabric material will never be able to follow your body lines as well as a well woven high value fabric as supplied by Loro Piana or Zegna.


A tailor made suit does not necessarily need to be expensive and an off the rack suit not necessarily be cheap. Individuality should be clearly given in the tailor made suit as you can chose cut, style and fabric in many more choices then you can ever find off the rack. On the other hand, you do not see the ready product upfront and while a good tailor will make sure that you are happy with your suit after a couple rounds of fitting, a even well tailored suit will nor bring you satisfaction if the fit is not there.

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