Men’s Suit Fabrics 101 (part 2)

We talked a little about men’s suit fabrics and even posted two videos to our YouTube Channel about cashmere and linen. Watch and subscribe, because there is plenty more where that came from. As mentioned in the previous post, selecting a right fabric is paramount when going bespoke.

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Flannel is a popular fabric for suits. Source: Parisian Gentleman

Super 110s, Super 120s! You may have seen these numbers around, but what do they mean? A hint…it’s not price. It’s actually the thread count of the fabric. It is important to note that in menswear, particularly suits, thread count is referred to as the “super” number, hence ‘super 110s or super 120s’, which not only determine the price of a suit, but also the quality and the level of comfort of the fabric.

Some men may think that higher a thread count means a better the cloth. This is not necessarily true. Remember, men’s suits thread count is not like sheets’ thread count. This number, represents the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and only shows the level of fineness of the fibres, which means, thread count is not an indicator of the quality of fabric, rather a description or an indication of what the fabric feels like. According to Michael Ostrove, VP of retail at Paul Stuart, “the higher the number, the finer the yarn, which makes it more durable, soft and silky”. Beyond 200, he says, the suit get more fragile.

Hawkes Bespoke Outfitters‘ selection of fabrics for shirts.
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Cashmere for men’s suits. Source: Parisian Gentleman

The optimal thread count for a man’s every day work suit is the woollen suits with a range of superfine 100’s – 130’s. The thread count in the mid-range indicate a softer and durable fabric. Suits within this range are warmer, which are perfect for the winter. In the range of 450, the suits may look beautiful and lay much better, but the fabric becomes extremely delicate and thus less wearable in most circumstances. This may be impractical and should be avoided if you cannot afford a second suit in the same year. A more pragmatic way for a man in suit-buying is choosing those wool suits with a count in the low hundreds, which are thought to be the most durable and provide a comfortable feel for you.

Shirt fabric options at  Hawkes Bespoke Outfitters

Check out our YouTube Channel for more on suit fabrics, we will no doubt be looking at thread counts in the coming weeks. Feel free to drop us a line or an idea for a video.

Spring is here in the UK and in the next blog post, we will talk about brands of shoes carried by Hawkes Bespoke Outfitters.

Have you been fitted by Hawkes? Tell us your experience and use the #fittedbyHawkes on  Instagram or Facebook.

Thanks for reading!


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