$150 Suit vs. $1.500 Suit vs. $15.000 Suit

Tom Sachs once touched upon the idea of bricolage and the template behind his work. “The iPhone has no evidence that a human being made it, or perhaps even touched it. My advantage as an artist is to show my own fingerprints. As to say that I - as an artist- was here.” The idea that a more expensive suit shows less imperfections is false. Same counts for the false idea that because the suit comes from a certain brand, this determines the price. As someone who involves himself with every step in the makings of a suit, I’d want to get rid of all the myths behind the price of a suit. 


Within a production cycle, there are a few variables that impact the price: 

  1.  The parts necessary to create the final product.
  2. The quality of these parts.
  3. The expertise - and thus hourly rate times the amount of hours spent to create the product from thought to manifestation. 

€150 aka The Cheap and Bad

The €150 suit is a product of machine-made mass-production. The amount of individual parts necessary needed to make a suit don’t vary much; it’s not a big economical factor. But the suit is made by a machine, with low quality fabrics and means to make it, thus making it cheaper. But after wearing it for three times, then washing or drycleaning it, you’ll immediately notice how the fabric starts to bubble: the glue starts failing the product. A cheap suit might look similar on a hanger, but feels like a straight jacket after being worn multiple times. A machine-made suit doesn’t age well with time. But then again, the suit was made within 10 hours, so not much more can be expected. 


€1.500 aka The Great Artistry

Then there’s the €1.500 Butch Tailors suit. This more expensive suit is handmade, free floating and full-canvas. Glue doesn’t come near it

An expert spends 50 to 65 hours on making this suit, and the fabrics used for this suit are not rare, but high in quality. Another difference is that if you wear this suit every day, it only starts looking better.

An expert tailor will notice the difference between these two suits. As needle and thread are used, the suit floats and feels less restricted, while still making the wearer look slimmer and more powerful. As no stitch is the same, there’s a beauty within the imperfections found in the suit. These imperfections are a sign of the fact that “the artist was there”.


€15.0000 aka The Ultimate Craftsmanship

You’ll find an endless sea of different variations between the $1.500 and $15.000 suit. While the hourly rate and expertise might impact the price along the line, the biggest impact on this price remains the fabric.

I still remember that a certain customer wanted a suit made out of vicuña wool, a rare fabric that Wikipedia explains as:

“A wool from one of the two South American camelids, popular due to its warmth. Its properties come from the tiny scales on the hollow, air-filled fibres. It causes them to interlock and trap insulating air. Vicuñas have some of the finest fibers in the world, at a diameter of 12 μm. The fiber of cashmere goats is 14 to 19 μm, while angora rabbit is 8 to 12 μm and that of  shahtoosh from the Tibetan antelope, or chiru, is from 9 to 12 μm. Since it is sensitive to  chemical treatment , the wool is usually left in its natural color.”

The vicuña only produces about 0.5 kg of wool a year, and gathering it requires a certain process. As you can imagine, the fabric is very rare and thus expensive to buy, but unquestionably results in the most comfortable suit a gentleman could own. 



Personally, it’s not the price that makes a suit worth it’s while. For me, it’s how I feel knowing an expert spent hours of passion and dedication into the suit. It’s respect for the craftsmanship that pushes me to dress better, as an ode to the years of education and experience that go into the makings of these attires. Owning a Butch Tailors suit isn’t about flaunting an expensive product - it’s about quality over quantity, and celebrating knowledge and know-how.

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