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