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Thread: Are all "Supers" really "SUPER"???

  1. #1
    One Too Many
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    Are all "Supers" really "SUPER"???

    I've been in the market for a new suit and have went to various stores and also shopped online and have found some puzzling info given about the material on various suits. I always thought the "Super 100s" or 120s and 150s were an indication of a finer wool thread count and thus a better quality suit. But I came across some new suits being sold on ebay and advertised as "Super 150s" material. The picture looked pretty good but then when I read the fine print about the material it said this.

    Men’s Super 150s extra fine 3 pcs vested dress suit
    Designed in Italy
    65% Polyester, 35% viscose

    NO WOOL!! So my question is, how is a Super 150s Polyester suit classify as "SUPER" material. Isn't this just a marketing tool, or is there something about the way it's made that makes it different from any other cheap polyester suit??? Any thoughts on this??

    fedoralover

  2. #2
    One Too Many fluteplayer07's Avatar
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    Avoid those fabrics like the plague. They're a finer fabric marketed to be 'all season' and lighter weight, but a finer fabric means a smaller fiber. Thus they wear much more quickly. Not to mention they drape poorly... Look for a heavy and resilient fabric that can stand up to the test of time. Vintage wools are woven more openly and the fabric doesn't have that silky feel to the touch, but they last much much longer. Also, you can have the most well-made and expensive suit on the market, and a poor fit; but a poor fit no matter how much you paid for it still looks bad. You should find something with higher waisted trousers that allow for a nice drape and clean lines... Have suspender buttons put in so they can be waist-hung. And high armholes on the jacket for ease of movement. I digress...

    Your original question--I'm not sure how they get by that one... Calling polyester a 'super wool' or something like that. I've always bought vintage because I don't have a very difficult size, not to mention it's generally cheaper than modern suits from stores like Saks or Neiman Marcus and Brooks.
    Last edited by fluteplayer07; 04-01-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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    Loads of great 1940's/50's/60's fedoras for sale in sizes 7 1/8 - 7 1/4, here.

  3. #3
    I'll Lock Up herringbonekid's Avatar
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    this came up in the British suits thread. here's an edited version:


    suit fabrics are measured by the worsted count number which refers to the weight of the fabric. to cut a technically long story short, a typical 1930s or 1940s suit would have a count number of 40 - 60. the higher the number the lighter the fabric. modern suit fabrics are around 100 - 120 or even higher for super-fine suiting fabrics.


    basically, ignore the word 'super'. it means nothing.
    if you want a super fine, modern-looking, lightweight suit fabric then super 150s are for you, but make sure it is all wool, not poly.
    if you want a suit that resembles something from the first half of the 20th century when suit fabrics were heavier, avoid super 150s altogether.

  4. #4
    Call Me a Cab The Good's Avatar
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    Is it even possible to get new suits under super 90s these days? I own only one suit, a modern Land's End super 90s one, but that's about the lowest I've seen for sale anywhere. Any idea where a super 60s or 70s count wool suit might be sold, apart from vintage?
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  5. #5
    I'll Lock Up herringbonekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Good View Post
    Any idea where a super 60s or 70s count wool suit might be sold, apart from vintage?
    off the peg suits, i couldn't say. but there are still heavier tweed and flannel fabrics around to buy per metre, but they're not cheap:

    http://www.hfwltd.com/bobb.php?b=jjm&c=7&p=3

    http://www.hfwltd.com/bobb.php?b=jgh&c=2&p=1

    i can't currently recommend any smarter worsted type fabrics.

    interestingly, when fabrics get over about 13 oz and into the heavier category (14 - 18 oz) the sellers don't mention the count number. probably because it goes against everything they've been pushing with the high number lightweight 'supers'.

  6. #6
    Practically Family Gin&Tonics's Avatar
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    Very enlightening, thanks for the info guys! I love this forum; I learn more every time I sign on.
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  7. #7
    One Too Many
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    Thanks for all the info, very interesting.

    fedoralover

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    Call Me a Cab The Good's Avatar
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    Why are "super" wools so popular for modern suits?

    When it comes to wool, I know that vintage suits are generally thicker and sturdier than modern suits, which are most commonly lightweight and flimsy in contrast. It would seem that almost all modern suits off the rack at clothing stores are made from super 100s or higher numbered wool fabrics, and I rarely spot any flannels or tweeds. From reading a number of advertisements and clothing blogs or forums, these high super numbers are regarded as luxurious and desirable. One disadvantage of a super 120s or above suit is that the fabric wrinkles very easily, while vintage suits retain cleaner lines. When did this trend begin, and for what reasons? Was it during the 1970s or '80s, influenced by Armani?
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  9. #9
    I'll Lock Up herringbonekid's Avatar
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    some discussion of this here:

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showt...uot-SUPER-quot

    when ? probably mid 80s with the renewed interest in bespoke among nouveau riche London stock market types.
    why did it happen ? i think it's simply a trend propped up by marketing.
    Last edited by herringbonekid; 03-26-2013 at 02:24 AM.

  10. #10
    Bartender Feraud's Avatar
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    I've merged two threads on the topic.


    I agree with HBK the super suitings trend is propped up by marketing hype. There is no logical reason to support the idea that thinner material which is more prone to wrinkle and wear out can ever be thought of as "Super" or superior to heavier fabric. The idea flies in the face of common sense!

    I could appreciate the idea of summer weight wools if they were balanced against cooler season, heavier fabric options.
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