Life Success Habits


Dress For Success


The impression you leave with those you meet is the one you create in the first 20 seconds. Much of that time is influenced by the way you look - and that means your grooming, your clothing and your body language. The quick circuit to gaining success in making a good first impression is in what you wear.

In spite of the royals, aristocrats and corporate tycoons demand for ultimate quality at any pri ce - business suit designers and tailors attempt to keep their prices relatively affordable to keep them available to a wider market.

A good quality suit is a combination of material, labor, and skill. The higher the price, the higher the dash of egotism. Ego branding is what drives a $2000 suit into a $5000 suit or more.

What makes a suit cost upwards of $5,000 and sometimes considerably more? It's a combination of (You have to think you're worth it, after all.) Is there really that much difference between a $2,000 suit and one costing two, three or four times more? To many men a suit is a form of psychological, as well as physical, armor. It not only makes you look good, it can also give you more confidence. "I can afford a $10,000 suit," it makes you think. "And those other chumps can't."

Wander down Manhattan's Madison Avenue, you can expect to find:

Yves Saint Laurent - a blue pinstripe in "year-round wool," with no "made-to-measure" options tops out at $2,195

Gucci - a grey stripe with Jacquard stitching for $2,600, with made-to-measure alternatives running only 10% higher

Dolce & Gabbana - a top-of-the-line black pinstripe for $2,195.

Valentino - the most expensive off-the-rack "Newman" suit sells for $2,695, made-to-measures can reach $3,500.

Calvin Klein's - a charcoal "hand-finished wool" for a low $1,995 for the top suit in the range

Barney's Designer Floor - suits from labels such as Dries Van Noten, Viktor & Rolf, Comme Des Garcons, Helmut Lang and Costume National at under $2,100.


Master Tailors

Appointment-only master suit makers that create custom and made-to-measure lines:

  • New York's William Fioravanti
  • Milan's Caraceni
  • Kiton, Oxxford
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • London's Savile Row [such as H. Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard].

There you'll find fits so perfect, fabrics so luscious and prices so impractical, your suit will impress just about anybody--especially yourself.

Expect to pay a minimum of $3,500 for a truly first-rate custom suit, depending upon the label starting prices can range much higher.

If you buy from Europe, the exchange rate can push prices to obscene levels.


U.S. Tailors

H. Huntsman - $4,500 before VAT at 17.5% - total cost well over $5,000 for an entry-level bespoke in Super 100 wool

Jon Green - New York's Upper East Side - a bespoke suit maker will cost no less than $5,100 (taxes not included). Anything above $5,000 or so is generally due to the fabric [like vicuna], not the talent of the workmanship.

Manhattan master 'power look' tailor William Fioravanti charges clients up to $10,500 to create a bespoke suit in Super 220 merino wool. $5,000 covers the cost of four meters of cloth. They expect to sell 12 or 13 suits a year at that price.

New York Jay Kos made-to-measure suits start at $3,800 but insist that "Something in the $4,400 range will have better quality, better drape and a better fit than a suit at twice the price. A true gentleman who appreciates fine clothing is going to go for something classic like an English woolen."

New York bespoke suit-maker Leonard Logsdail refuses to work with exorbitant fabrics, his top suit price $5,500, claiming Super 180s and Super 200s "don't have any guts."

New York's Lexington Avenue Liana Lee specializes in the clean-cut British look.

Madison Avenue, Jon Green agrees customer intimacy keeps his best clients coming back - buying 20 to 30 suits a year.


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