Many suiting brands are available today, some more expensive than others. Ann Taylor and Banana Republic are mid-level options; Talbots and Brooks Brothers may be better. Theory suits are considered the gold standard from Nordstrom, Saks, and Bloomingdale’s stores.
Kiton is an established label known for its luxurious ready-to-wear clothing, offering beautiful fabrics with relatively comfortable construction.
Garnet Hill, an online and catalog clothing and home furnishing store, may not be a household name yet; but CEO Claire Spofford hopes to change that. According to Claire Spofford, Garnet Hill boasts a loyal customer base which she plans on tapping by opening physical stores this year.
Spofford began her career working for Timberland LLC in Stratham and J. Jill Group Inc. of Quincy before working at several small, local companies that produced women’s sleepwear and snowsuits from imported fabric. Later she returned home and joined Garnet Hill as president in 2014.
At first, employees cut up flannel sheets and stapled samples into catalogs as part of a strategy to show customers just how soft and comfortable their product was – this helped the company’s growth exponentially.
Today, the company offers an expansive selection of products, such as organic cotton women’s clothes and rugs and sweaters, sleepwear, shoes, and accessories made of organic cotton. In addition, Eileen Fisher products are carried. Additionally, its website contains detailed product information, multiple images from different angles, and customer reviews, offering plenty of insight.
Eileen Fisher offers women’s clothing that embodies elevated taste and thoughtful design, from blouses and sweaters to dresses, denim, and shoes – each piece with both form and function in mind. Plus- and petite-sized garments are all part of this inclusive brand’s offerings for an inclusive style experience.
At a time of roiling debates over immigration, terrorism, and gender inequality, Eileen Fisher is an exemplary model of modesty and good faith. She is slender yet fine-boned with unlined features and straight, white hair worn in a geometric chin-length bob style; her face remains unlined for an unassuming presence while wearing dark-rimmed glasses for protection from sunlight.
On visiting her home in Irvington, New York, she welcomed me with open arms and offered tea. She then showed me the room where her company of one thousand employees manufactured their clothes and discussed their efforts to assist workers at factories producing her apparel by hiring a director of social consciousness to inspect them. Furthermore, we discussed their hope to increase supply chain activity within America but noted that tariffs could inhibit such plans.
J. Crew was established by Arthur Cinader in 1983 under its current name J. Crew Inc. Its initials reflected his mother’s maiden name, Crew; editorial-worthy photography featured prominently in its catalog depicted attractive young women having fun in various settings. Since then, it has evolved into a preppy New England-influenced label offering pastel button-downs, perfectly draped T-shirts; sequinned blazers; and jacquard trousers.
In the 1990s, Banana Republic experienced an identity crisis. Their preppy style had fallen out of fashion, and customers started turning towards trendier competitors such as Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch instead.
Keep abreast of trends by being wary of fabrics like sateen, shimmer, linen, and crepe — these often refer to polyester drapey blends used for suiting or bridesmaid’s dresses/MOB dresses – this means polyester blends that drape nicely and don’t wrinkle (I have plenty of business but prefer one-button jackets). Look for fabrics that drape nicely without wrinkles; avoid anything with too much spandex that stretches out over time; and watch out for trendy cuts such as huge slits in skirts/ sleeves/blazers/cropped pants/etc.
Ermenegildo Zegna recently went public (traded under ZGN) and combined its Ermenegildo Zegna, Zegna Couture, and Z for Zegna lines into one luxurious collection under the brand name Zegna; Alessandro Sartori’s collection marked this transition by featuring minimalist separates in natural colors that mix effortlessly. Filmed throughout Oasi Zegna nature reserve in Italy, Sartori evoked indoor and outdoor elements through layering techniques using technical and natural fabrics and adaptable silhouettes that quickly transitioned between workday leisure or awards ceremonies and afterparty events.
Sartori embodied Zegna’s philosophy of merging beauty and science by using eco-conscious fabrics such as ZegnaSilk fabric, made from rare silk fibers patented by Zegna that add lightweight elegance to summer suiting. Furthermore, new shapes were introduced, such as button-down collar shirts that can be rolled up to show their silk lining – all hallmarks of high-quality design from this iconic brand.
Joseph Rosenfeld, an executive presence training and personal styling consultant based in New York City and Silicon Valley, applauded the collection’s versatility in suiting styles while remaining easy. He particularly appreciated Zegna’s “overshirt” style combining tailoring with casual elements; for maximum impact, he advises pairing it with its Premium Cotton Pants in Khaki for both business meetings and weekend adventures.
Paul Stuart stands as an American tailoring house that should be recognized and cherished. Established in 1938 and still located at its original Madison Avenue location – which can still be visited if you watch Mad Men – Paul Stuart has long been committed to updating Anglo roots that reach back as far as Savile Row; today, its legacy lives on under Ostrove family ownership of Paul Stuart.
Michael Shimpfky has been with Paul Stuart since 2012 and enjoys the trust of his predecessor to carry forward many aspects of its success, such as tailored clothing production, customer service excellence, and targeting younger customers for growth.
One significant change that Shimpfky plans on making is consolidating its store footprint, with fewer stores but the goal of providing customers with an improved shopping experience. They will also continue their focus on wholesale, a trend that began several years ago; ultimately, they hope to have it reach parity with tailored clothing sales.
Cifonelli has long been recognized for its fine bespoke tailoring (I wrote about their Moonbeam cloth suit a few years ago). Recently though, they opened a ready-to-wear store where the cases I’ve seen are of outstanding quality compared to similar offerings from Savile Row or Milano tailors. Additionally, Jean-Manuel Moreau’s block (which features slightly wider lapels with open forepart and lower buttoning point than Orazio Luciano’s cut) made-to-measure shirts using Jean-Manuel Moreau’s block is available.
Cifonelli stands out among Savile Row tailors by receiving many clients from emerging markets like Mexico for Corneliani or Saudi Arabia for Mazzarelli – perhaps reflecting changing perceptions of success and increased disconnection between suits and success. This may reflect changing perceptions of businessmen.