The Luxury Suit Brands Making The Finest Men’s Tailoring
When it comes to finding the finest off-the-peg luxury suits in the world, this sartorial shortlist is the best place to start.
The world of suits can be a minefield to navigate, but it’s a necessary journey for every discerning man. Forget what you heard about the suit being dead – it remains an integral part of not only a classic capsule wardrobe, but a contemporary one, too.
One only has to look at the most recent menswear shows of the likes of Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton et al. to understand that the two-piece is still every bit as chic, innovative and timeless as it ever was. Long live the suit.
What makes a suit ‘luxury’?
There are two predominant factors: cloth and artisanship. Bespoke is at the very top of the tree in terms of both, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on the luxury suit brands producing the best off-the-peg tailoring.
These are suits that are made to a certain block, or template, and are a pretty good fit for the average shape man, give or take a few alterations here and there. So given that the artisanship element is not so prevalent (most off-the-peg suits will have minimal hand-finishing), cloth becomes the most integral part of the luxury equation.
Any cloth with a micron rating of Super 120s and above is a very superior form of worsted wool. Super 100s offers great bang for your buck but ‘luxury’ suits typically start at 120s so keep your eyes peeled for that number.
Another consideration is the canvassing. Some will come unstructured, others half-canvassed – the difference equates to how the suit drapes. Unstructured suits will have a natural light drape, whereas a half canvassed style will be more form fitting. Neither is better than the other.
Finally, the fabric that makes up the lining is another indicator of the suit’s level of luxury. Typically, most off-the-peg styles will use synthetic linings which hinder the breathability of the wool, so if you can find natural fibre linings such as cotton or, even better, silk, then you’re on to a winner.
Top 20 luxury suit brands in 2022
Renowned for a slim-fitting silhouette as well as his ground-breaking travel suits that use a high-twist yarn to minimise shrinking, Paul Smith’s tailoring collection offers superb value. Virtually all of Smith’s suits are made in Italy and often feature some unique fabric blends including silk and mohair.
If you like a slim svelte cut from lapels to the trousers, you’ll find plenty to love here.
Richard James revolutionised Savile Row, transforming it almost overnight into a contemporary hub for exciting tailoring. Since 1992, James has specialised in colourful suiting, while his ‘Hyde’ block is incredibly forgiving and will suit most shapes.
For around £1000/$1,200 you’ll find classic silhouettes in Super 110s wool, making them excellent value for money from one of the Row’s true visionaries.
Alexander McQueen studied tailoring first at Anderson & Sheppard, and then at Gieves & Hawkes, before working as a pattern cutter at the theatrical costumiers Angels & Bermans. Since he passed away, Sarah Burton has maintained this combination of classic tailoring technique and avant-gardism with aplomb, so you can expect something very different from a McQueen suit, including bold jacquard prints, accentuated lines, and asymmetric shapes.
Stunning, rule-breaking, always a statement… and definitely not for a run-of-the-mill office.
While not actually situated on Savile Row, Thom Sweeney has always been thought of as part of the club, given the high quality bespoke it offers. That said, the Old Burlington Street outfit’s off-the-peg offering is exceptional, too.
The house style features flattering board lapels and the suits are typically made in Italy to exacting standards. Being a small boutique, you’ll find that the service is second-to-none.
One of the giants of Savile Row, Huntsman’s bespoke heritage is unrivalled but few realise that its off-the-peg collection is comparatively affordable. For £2,000/$2,500 and change, you can pick up an immaculate navy hopsack suit or a light charcoal fresco wool suit, and Huntsman will make the necessary alterations free of charge.
If you’re a slim, average size and want as close to the bespoke experience as possible, then a trip to Huntsman will serve you well.
Gieves & Hawkes
Another of Savile Row’s behemoths, Gieves & Hawkes has an incredible military heritage that has made it one of the finest tailoring houses in the world. Gieves has passed through a number of different owners in the last decade or so, but it has never lost its suit-making prestige.
Its off-the-peg suits are some of the more accessibly priced for Savile Row names and feature Gieves’s signature English silhouette with strong roped shoulders.
Canali was founded in 1934 by the Canali brothers – Giovanni, a fabric magnate, and Giacomo, a tailor – and is still run by the third-generation family.
Producing off-the-peg suits in that relaxed continental style with little to no shoulder structure, the luxury Italian brand’s suits are ideal for the modern office, where a more relaxed shape is preferable (particularly if you intend to dress it down with knitted polos or fine-gauge knitwear, for example).
Boglioli is an excellent option for suits with a more casual bent. The Milanese fashion house produces sumptuous unstructured styles cut from wool, cotton and linen blends, all of which have an in-built essence of sprezzatura about them.
For less than £1,500/$1,700, you can have Made-in-Italy assurance by a brand that has never rested on its admittedly fine reputation.
Zegna is probably one of the most important Italian fashion houses thanks to its vertical structure, producing not only some of the world’s finest cloths but also some of the best menswear collections we’ve seen in recent times.
Always chic and sophisticated under the direction of Alessandro Sartori, Zegna suits have that little bit of magic in them. Being a fabric producer, you pay for exceptional quality and unique yarns that you won’t find anywhere else. The cut is typically contemporary, with a slim silhouette and lightly roped continental shoulder.
Given the quality of luxury suiting on the market right now, and that some players have been able to leverage certain business models to offer more for less, that competition has meant that none of the big names can rest on their laurels.
Case in point: Corneliani, the revered Italian house that is now offering Super 160s wool suits for around £1,500/$1,700, which represents incredible value for a cloth of this quality.
A relative newcomer on the tailoring block, De Petrillo is a Neapolitan house that has made real waves in recent years thanks to its well-priced off-the-peg suits cut in that deliciously natural Italian way.
With broad lapels and consummate finishing, you can walk away with a stunning rendition of classic Neapolitan tailoring and still have change from £1,500/$1,700.
It’s easy to forget that Giorgio Armani was once an icon of modern suiting, practically dressing the 80s in his power suits. Armani has since ventured into many different avenues of fashion, but the Italian’s suits are still top class.
From the slim-fit Soho line to the classic double-breasted Upton line, Armani’s suits might not be shaping a generation, but they are nevertheless still superb examples of continental tailoring.
Instantly recognisable by the flower boutonniere, Italian house Lardini produces a small but perfectly formed seasonal collection of suits and separates, all made in Italy to the highest standards.
With less of a corporate feel and more of a texturally interesting smart casual vibe, Lardini’s suits come in around the £1,500/$1,700 mark and are perfect for sartorially-inclined guys who work in a creative environment.
Kiton off-the-peg suits are far and away the most expensive on this list of luxury brands, but that’s for good reason. Kiton don’t do good fabrics… they do exceptional fabrics such as cashmere blended with silk. Furthermore, a Kiton suit represents the best of sartorial craft, being entirely hand-cut and sewn by master craftsmen in Naples.
Yes, £6,500/$8,000 is a lot for a suit that isn’t bespoke, but understand that there is nothing quite like a Kiton suit.
Brunello Cucinelli is a master of soft tailoring and has done much to evolve the suit into something that is seen less like a uniform and more like an extension of a casual luxury wardrobe. He doesn’t do things by halves either, opting for stunning flannel cloths often made from cashmere and silk blends.
Cut with an impossibly relaxed drape and slightly pronounced shoulders for a masculine silhouette, a Cucinelli suit is a true expression of luxury with a price tag to match.
Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Purple Label is the highest expression of sartorial class in the Ralph Lauren stable, and so one can imagine the calibre of the suiting. Made in Italy but with a whiff of an English bias, the suits mostly come half-canvassed, with rolled lapels and hand-sewn natural shoulders to accentuate a lean physique.
When the summer comes round, Drake’s should be on every sartorialist’s radar because its seasonal linen tailoring is exceptional and only gets better with age.
However, the Savile Row house also produces a small but equally excellent collection of ‘Perennials’: a handful of suits made year-round in Italy with a half-canvas construction. With a slim bias, they represent excellent value for money at around £1,500/$1,700.
If you’re in the market for something a little special, then Brioni is sure to pique your interest. The Italian brand, founded in 1945, is renowned for its fabrications, with everything up to Super 180s virgin wool as well as cashmere blends available.
Its Brunico suit, launched in 2012, has become something of the brand’s icon and comes completely hand-tailored for as close to a bespoke finish as possible.
Parisian tailoring house Cifonelli is highly revered in tailoring circles and even has a shoulder style named after it (the Cifonell pagoda shoulder). Founded in Rome in 1880, brothers Massimo and Lorenzo now preside over the iconic brand, and have developed a ready-to-wear collection of separates the equal of any other.
One of the true tailoring legends of London, Edward Sexton is as iconic as they come, having dressed some of the most stylish people to have walked this planet from the 50s onwards. With references including the 1930s and Jazz Age suits, the Sexton silhouette is “deeply architectural… shoulders are clearly defined and sleeveheads firmly roped for a powerful aesthetic”.
Walk into a crowded room in a Sexton suit and watch the heads turn.