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I think a rough proxy for fabric quality is the mill a textile comes from. Speaking in very general terms mills in Italy and Japan produce some good textiles (and not so good ones), but because they are expensive countries they tend to be on the higher end. Some east coast denim mills tend to be good too.

Stitching done in Portugal is pretty good too. Of course, you can find good cheap tailors in underdeveloped countries too.

Buying quality forces you to be more conservative: that which you buy needs to look in-place (if not in-style) for many many years. You can’t buy al courant and hope it will look stylish five or ten years down the road.




Looking at the mill for a fabric can be helpful, especially for wools. Mills such as Holland & Sherry and Scabal have built a reputation for quality fabrics though they're generally not household names so they do not yet have the motivation to go down-market to increase their sales (unlike Zegna which has become semi-famous and now makes some lower quality fabrics). That said, you won't find their fabrics except on top-tier off-the-shelf clothes or custom clothes.

If by stitching you mean construction quality, you can certainly find that in many places. For suits, England and Italy are famous for it though both places do have lesser-quality vendors who will happily trade on their country's reputations and take your money. I had most of my business clothing custom-made in Hong Kong where the tailors learned from the Brits but are still much less expensive. You have to be careful there, though, because there are lots of guys who prey on the tourist who has heard that cheap custom suits can be had in HK but isn't able to assess quality.

++ on buying conservatively-styled clothes. I'm in my 40s and still wear the suits I bought in my 20s and hope I'll still fit into them in my 60s.


Since you mentioned HK, any opinion on Simpson Sin?


I don't know anything about that shop specifically, but from their website, it looks a lot like many of the tourist-focused operations with pictures of all the celebrities for which they've made suits (for free, of course -- you'll have to pay) and promises to have it ready for you in a timeframe too short for the amount of labor necessary for a top-quality suit. And they're relatively new. I haven't had a suit made there in over a decade now, but at the time, WW Chan & Sons, Gordon Yao, and H Baromon were considered quality tailors there and had been in operation for decades. The first two of those make periodic trips to Europe and the US which is nice if you want to make follow-up orders and don't travel frequently to HK.

I don't want to be too critical of the tourist-focused shops. It is certainly possible to get a serviceable suit at one of those places that will hold up to occasional wear and fit as well as an off-the-rack suit that's been tailored for you. It can't be top quality, though, when its total cost is less than the cost of the 3 yards of quality wool required for the suit. There's been something of a spike in demand for those guys in the last 10-20 years and their prices have gone up accordingly. As a rough point of reference, the last good suit I had made there cost 1500USD.


Taylor Stitch and Mission Workshop makes some of their clothing in Portugal.


I looked at MW, Outliers and Tailor Stitch. Outliers and TS currently don't have patterned shirts (stripes, checks, etc), but at least Outliers shows one piece of carelessness they don't match up the patterns on the yoke with the sleeve. (same with front pocket --things should line up).

Since most don't show a picture of the back of the shirt, also can't tell if they have split yoke. Most quality shirts will have split yoke, especially dress shirts, though it's mostly unnecessary.

One other tell of whether someone takes pride in their shirting is not using synthetic buttons.


outlier (similar to MW) does as well -- their reasoning is that the factories in Portugal are the ones which are able to do the highest quality work at their scale


Love outlier but their prices hurt




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