Beyond the Fit: Understanding the Details That Make a Suit Exceptional

While it may not be immediately obvious to the naked eye, there are small things that make a made-to-measure suit stand out from the rest. And while the overall fit of the garments can often be a dead giveaway, there are even subtler details that really make custom pieces sing. 

Here, we provide you with our list of the top three things to look out for when purchasing a suit that will ensure you’re making a quality investment.


The first - and perhaps most obvious - is the fabric itself, both in the shell and the lining. High quality suits are made from a selection of high quality cloth that’s sourced from mills all over the world. This can often include rare fabrics such as limited runs where a manufacturer only makes a finite number of bolts. 

You can easily identify how rare a fabric is by looking for the number that comes after ‘super’ in the fabric’s name, representing its weight. For example, a ‘Super 220’ denotes an incredibly rare fibre whereas a ‘Super 110’ represents more commonly available fibres. 

An important element to note here is that while it’s commonly thought that higher super numbers denote higher quality, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s a measure of scarcity versus a measure of how good that fabric is. What’s more, high super fabrics, while often beautiful, wear much faster and therefore don’t lend themselves to suits that are going to be worn frequently.


The way in which a suit is constructed says a lot about its quality. The easiest way to identify this is to ask what type of canvas the suit has. A ‘fused canvas’ generally indicates a cheaper suit that has been machine made while a ‘floating canvas’ suggests a higher level of craftsmanship and a superior finish.

This is because a floating canvas - as the name suggests - ‘floats’ in between the outer shell of the jacket and the lining, held in place by hundreds of tiny stitches. Over time, this allows the canvas to mould to the wearer’s torso, ultimately creating a more flattering silhouette. 

Beyond the canvas, the lapel roll itself - the section of the lapel where it falls and curls to meet the top working button of your jacket - can be another easy way of identifying the finish of a suit. Ideally, the fabric from the lapel will have an organic curve as it flips to connect with the front panel of the jacket. This can only be achieved through careful handling of the fabric.

Finishing touches 

In addition to the bigger elements of a suit - like fabric and construction - there’s also a level of devil in the detail. For suits, the hallmarks of quality in finishing touches are working buttons and hand-stitched finishes. 

Working buttons, again, indicate a higher level of craftsmanship and clearly demonstrate that the suit is not mass-produced. Pay attention and you’ll often notice that the first button is left undone on a man’s suit - this is a subtle way of indicating the quality of construction. 

Secondly, hand stitched details simply reiterate that a master tailor has had their hands on the garment; think of it as their signature on a piece of work. 

Our team of experts are always happy to share their knowledge if you have further questions about the indicators of tailoring excellence.