200 Suit vs 2000 Suit (2024)

In the world of men’s suiting, there is a dramatic price variation from one brand to another.

Suits can range from ninety dollars to nine thousand dollars, and up.

Here, I try to explain the difference(s) by having Townsend model his “fast fashion” suit ($189) vs. his new bespoke suit ($1,895).

$189 vs $1895

200 Suit vs 2000 Suit (1)


The most important element of a suit, or any garment for that matter, is how well it fits your body.

The biggest fundamental difference between these two price points: on the higher end you can afford to have the suit custom made for your body, versus choosing the “closest” fit off-the-rack.

As you can see in the photo above, there are a number of noticeable fit compromises with Towni’s $200 suit even after having it altered:

  • The shoulder slopes are not adjusted for Townsend, causing a collar roll across the upper back/neck that’s so bad we can see it from the front (see the wrinkle at the top of Towni’s right shoulder, above where the lapels meet the collar).
  • The shoulders are too wide, causing that unsightly pad “cliff-dimple” (see his right shoulder).
  • The front chest is too big (notice the bulging extra fabric at right chest, where the body meets the bottom of the armhole)
  • Slight pulling at bottom of sleeves where they connect to the body of the jacket (see bottom of armhole on Towni’s left sleeve)
  • The trousers look like they fit fairly well overall (although common problem areas are not visible: crotch, waistband, pockets…)


Fast-fashionretailers like H&M (Zara, Topman, JcPenney, etc) cut costs by ordering cheap synthetic fabrics in major bulk quantities.In this particular case, the suit is 85% polyester/15% viscose. The major downsides of this kind of man-made cloth (other than obvious look and feel) are breathability, shape retention, and reactions to cleaning and pressing agents.

For the bespoke suit, Towni hand-picked a premium wool flannel/cashmere fabric designed and spun by Ariston in Naples Italy. It’s among the top 1% of the the most luxurious fabrics in the world. Ariston also produces all of their cloth in limited quantity, which means Townsend here is one of only a handful of guys in the world to have this brown flannel glenplaid with overlayed burgundy windowpane.


The $200 suit is machine made on a assembly line, where they pump out a couple hundred suits an hour. The front body (chest, collar, stomach, shoulders) is “fused”, meaning it’s literally glued together using iron-on fabric adhesive. This quick-and-dirty manufacturing greatly limits the three-dimensional shape that the jacket can achieve and can eventually cause “bubbling” (like a poorly-administered window tint) after a few rounds of dry cleaning and pressing. Fused jackets have a dramatically shorter lifespan than canvased ones.

A quality bespoke suit is almost fully handmade with roughy 30 hours of hand labor by an experienced pattern cutter and master tailor. The front body is canvassed, meaning a skilled craftsman carefully cut, shaped and hand-set a custom piece of canvas/horse hair between the front plate, lapel facing and lining. This dramatically improves the lifespan of the jacket. It will break-in over time (like a good pair of shoes), eventually molding to the shape of the wearer’s body.


The $200 suit has low-budget trims like plastic buttons, cheap linings, plastic zippers, non-working button-holes, etc. It even has fake pockets on the front.

A good tailor understands the importance of quality inputs. For example, genuine horn or mother of pearl buttons, durable bemberg linings, YKK zippers (the gold standard in quality zips), surgeon’s cuffs, etc. The pockets are alsobeautifully designedand can be custom sized for your gadgets (smart phone, ipad, kindle, ballpoint pen, cigarettes, etc).


When you shop at H&M (or anyfast-fashion retailer) there are thousands of other guys wearing the same thing as you.

Goingbespoke, you can truly create something that is one of kind andexactlywhat you were looking for.


At a big chain retailer you pick it up off the rack, bring it to a tailor, and hope for the best.

At a reputable bespoke shop,service is the backbone of the business. An expert will walk you through the fabric options, advise you on styling choices, handle the measuring/fitting process, etc. You don’t have to worry about anything (although you do have to be willing to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery).


So what’s the better value? It really depends on your budget, and how often/hard you’re going to wear your suit.If you’re looking for a workhorse suit that you can rely on 2-3 times/week, a $200 RTW number will not last. You’ll end up buying a new one every six months.

That doesn’t mean you have to go the full bespoke route; we realize that not all of our readers have this kind of budget. This article was not meant as a comparison between H&M and Bespoke, but rather a discussion about the factors that account for the price differences between suits and how they relate to quality and investment.

We’re now offering ready-to-wear garments, which are made to order. We use high quality fabrics here, and the quality of production comes at a great price point for those who can’t afford fully bespoke.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier




200 Suit vs 2000 Suit (2024)


Is $2000 too much for a suit? ›

No, $2,000 won't buy you the best suit in the world, made from the most expensive fabrics with the most elaborate handwork, but you will get something that is good, that will stand the test of time, and that's comfortable to wear.

Is $200 a good price for a suit? ›

So what's the better value? It really depends on your budget, and how often/hard you're going to wear your suit. If you're looking for a workhorse suit that you can rely on 2-3 times/week, a $200 RTW number will not last. You'll end up buying a new one every six months.

Is it worth it to buy an expensive suit? ›

Expensive suits are worth the investment if you require a high-quality, durable garment for frequent use or special occasions. They offer superior craftsmanship and materials.

What is a good amount to spend on a suit? ›

How much should you spend on a decent suit? Experts recommend spending around $500 for a quality suit. The $500 range will give you everything you need in a basic suit: quality stitching, nice fabric, and neutral, versatile colors.

What is the difference between a $500 suit and a $5000 suit? ›

$500 vs. $5,000

The intimate details like hand-sewn sleeves and multiple fittings allow the tailor to understand your unique body movements and style. A $500 custom suit will fit you well standing still. A $5,000 bespoke suit and shirt will fit you no matter what you do!

Can people tell if your suit is expensive? ›

Typically it's given away by things like the patterning, the fit, the stitches, the buttons, some peculiarities about the collar and lapels. The pockets. It is very easy if you know anything about suits. Then again, there are people who wear them every day and pay half a months salary and still look cheap.

How much is considered an expensive suit? ›

The premium suit: $1,001 and above

In a suit over $1,000, you can expect luxury fabrics, such as Holland & Sherry, handwoven Harris Tweed, Loro Piana, Lanificio Cerruti or Zegna. These often come in impressively high thread counts that sometimes exceed the 200s.

How can you tell if a man's suit is expensive? ›

Expensive Suit: Expensive suits are typically crafted from premium materials such as high-quality wool, silk, or cashmere. These materials offer superior comfort, durability, and a luxurious feel.

Why are Brioni suits so expensive? ›

Why are Brioni suits so expensive? Brioni suits command a premium price due to their uncompromising dedication to craftsmanship, luxurious materials, and exclusivity. The brand invests significant time and skill into creating each suit, with expert tailors meticulously handcrafting every detail.

Why do some suits look cheap? ›

Suits made of synthetic materials such as polyester can lose their shape, and wrinkle and crease more. They also suffer from shininess, giving it that characteristic 'cheap' look. Unlike wool, synthetic fabrics don't drape naturally.

Is a $1,000 suit worth it? ›

Yes, they are. A well-tailored suit that is made out of high quality will always be worth the money you invest in it because it will last for so much longer than any regular store-bought suit. There are many reasons why custom suits are completely worth it.

How many suits should a man own? ›

For everyday, opt for a suit crafted in mid-weight wool with a touch of stretch. Depending on your profession, we recommend you should own a minimum of three business suits, but if you buy only one color, we recommend classic navy.

Why do suits cost so much? ›

Construction. The skill and methodology of construction impact the final product significantly. Hand made suits come at a hefty cost, and mass-produced garments often skip important structural features to cut down the cost of manufacturing. That all feels a bit 'all or nothing', right?

How much is a custom Brioni suit? ›

The cost of a custom suit from Brioni can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the fabric, style, and level of customization. However, based on the information available online and from past customers, the starting price for a custom suit from Brioni is around $6,000 USD.

How much does a really expensive suit cost? ›

The world's most expensive suit, sold at a charity auction in 2017, went for $3.2 million. The Kiton K-50 suit can cost up to $60,000. The William Fioravanti suit takes up to 6 months to create and cost $22,000. The Desmond Merrion Supreme Bespoke Suit can cost up to $47,500.

What are the most expensive suits? ›

Top 10 most expensive suits in the world
  • William Westmancott Ultimate Bespoke Suit Us$58,252. ...
  • Kiton K50 Suit Us$50,000. ...
  • Desmond Merrion Supreme Bespoke Suit Us$47,500. ...
  • Brioni Vanquish Ii Suit Us$43,000. ...
  • World Wood Record Challenge Cup Suits By Loro Piana Us$28,000. ...
  • Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke Suit Us$22,000 $28,000.
Oct 2, 2018

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