Five good ready-made suits under £1000

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By Manish Puri

The attention of Permanent Style has always been - and will continue to remain - trained upon the highest quality garments in the world.

However, there are barriers to accessing the very best – especially with suits. You might live hundreds of miles from a quality bespoke/MTM tailor. You might be relatively new to tailoring and thus apprehensive about what exactly you want from a suit. You might not have the occasion to wear a suit regularly. Or you simply might not be able afford the best artisans (let’s be frank, they’re not cheap).

So, in any of those circumstances, it’s wholly understandable that you might be shopping from one of the growing number of RTW options that are a significant step up from the High Street (an aside, I had to chuckle at one storied British retailer advertising their suits as “luxury tailoring inspired by Savile Row; fusing exceptional craftsmanship with superior fabrics” – if you want to evoke Savile Row, it might be best to avoid using the word ‘fusing’) but more economical than the luxury market, where prices can extend beyond even bespoke.

The brands I’ve chosen for this article all sell suits that cost around £1000 or less, but also represent a range in terms of quality, hopefully making them relevant to a large part of the readership.

The brands selected also have a strong online retail presence, which makes it easier to see lots of imagery, ask questions and get products shipped to wherever you are in the world. They also have the widest range of suiting options; plain navy and grey wools dominate of course, but there are also lots of linens, cottons, checks and stripes to choose from.

The suits in this guide have several style points in common. The jackets typically have notch lapels, double vents, 3-roll-2 fronts, and no/light padding. The trousers mostly have single pleats, side adjusters, and are sold unhemmed. However, when a brand deviates from these default styles I’ve tried to highlight it.

In terms of cloth, there is (as you’d expect) a range in the quality available. However, all the brands have suits in cloths sourced from reputable English and Italian mills (in particular, Vitale Barberis Canonico features heavily across the market). Berg & Berg are at the upper price point of this guide, and that’s partly because they select slightly more premium fabrics - Fox Brothers, Harris Tweed and Zegna have all featured in recent collections.

In terms of quality, the biggest differences are half vs full canvas, functional handwork like a hand-attached collar, and aesthetic handwork such as buttonholes - details on these are in the index at the end of the article. However, there is a lot less of this at this price level than the brands PS normally covers, even so, all the suits were made solidly and neatly with little else to differentiate them.

As always, if any readers have suits from the brands, it would be great to hear how they’ve fared over time in the comments section, where I’ll also be lurking and willing to answer any questions.


Spier & Mackay ($298 to $678)

The Spier & Mackay suit offering is the most extensive of any brand here (there are over 100 suits online), but it’s also a tad confusing. The website is a morass of cuts, canvas, fits, and labels: Neo Cut, Neo 2 Cut, English Cut, Red Label, Emerald Label “Sartorial Collection”, Tailored Fit, Slim Fit, Contemporary Fit, Half Canvas, Full Canvas.

However, what is clear is that the Red Label (from $298) is Spier & Mackay’s half-canvas, entry-level offering available in a tightly curated range of classic blues and greys. And the Neo 2 Cut ($448 to $678) is the premium line with jackets constructed using either half canvas or full canvas (unusual for this level of RTW).

The suit I tried was an EU48 Neo 2 Contemporary Fit with full canvas ($598), which no doubt helped sustain a noticeable lapel roll (even when the jacket was freshly unpacked from its cardboard transit). The jacket boasted several other details I wouldn’t expect at this price level: a neatly stitched Milanese buttonhole on the lapel, a boutonniere loop on the reverse, Bemberg cupro lining (many RTW jackets use polyester/viscose), underarm shields (sous bras) and an internal pen pocket.

Another Spier & Mackay detail that’s atypical of RTW is the upper lapel line, which is initially cut straight before curving sharply towards the neck. This style is usually reserved for bespoke tailoring - the Roman house Sartoria Ripense among its exponents - perhaps because it’s easier and more efficient (and thus cheaper) to cut straight(er) lapel lines in RTW manufacturing.

The overall fit through the upper torso was very good – the shoulder seams sat at the edge of my shoulders and the armholes (which I’m told have been raised slightly from previous iterations) afforded movement without digging into my armpit.

The gorge line (sitting 10cm below the shoulders) is low compared to the other brands – which is something I really liked. Consequently, the buttoning point is also slightly lower than the other jackets in this guide.

The advantage of the lower button is that it showcases more of the shirt and tie while also helping to eliminate any unsightly ‘shirt triangle’ (the portion of the shirt visible between the trouser waistband - which is higher here - and the jacket’s buttoning point).

The disadvantages are that it reduces the length of the skirt (which I’ve measured as the distance between the mid-button and the jacket hem) by as much as 4-5cm compared to the Berg & Berg jacket, which has a higher buttoning point and longer coat length.

The fit through the waist was a little tight but there is around 3cm of seam allowance within the jacket to make adjustments. Noting my experience with the fuller Contemporary Fit I wouldn’t advise PS readers to opt for the Slim Fit unless they’re especially trim.

(Please note, the cheaper models of the Spier & Mackay jackets/suits don’t have all the features/fit described above).

The trousers (in common with most brands featured) come unhemmed, although Spier & Mackay offer a finishing service before shipping them to you. At $12 for a cuffed hem, it’s certainly cheaper than any London alterations tailor, though be aware that altered trousers are non-refundable.

As standard, suits are sold with a drop-six trouser (meaning a 38-inch chest jacket, in British sizing, is accompanied by a 32-inch trouser). However, customers can request a “trouser swap” for a different size at checkout (subject to availability) and I availed myself of this option by trying a pair with a 34 waist.

The fit of the suit trousers was spot on in many respects: mid-to-high rise, comfortable in the waist, slim leg but not restrictive. However, the seam from crotch to seat was punitive in its line, cutting sharply into parts of the male anatomy that should only ever be treated with the tenderest regard.

Uncomfortable standing up and eye-watering sitting down, it was, as Lyndon B Johnson once said to his tailor, “like riding a wire fence”. This is something that can be improved by a good alterations tailor, but, in my experience, never to full satisfaction.

In all seriousness, it’s the only black mark against what I consider to be an incredibly good value suit.


Natalino (£530 to £605)

Natalino’s Italian-made jacket is strongly inspired by Neapolitan tailoring – the shoulders are spalla camicia and the gorge line is the highest amongst the brands in this guide (I measured a gap of 6cm between the gorge and shoulder seam compared to 10cm for Spier & Mackay).

A high gorge can help to visually lengthen the torso and draw the eye to the shoulders, but it does also depend on your style and body. For my taste, it’s a touch high, and apparently, Natalino agree as they have told me that their Autumn/Winter jackets will have a lower gorge, and have kindly shared a preview of what it will look like below. The comparison with the current model is illuminating (I'd love brands to show more side-by-side comparisons please), and, in my eyes, it’s a marked improvement.

During our chats, the brand also informed me that a London shop is scheduled to open this autumn so customers will have the opportunity to view the range and try things on before purchasing.

I was pleased with the overall fit of the jacket (a size EU48): neat across the shoulders, good shape through the sides and a fair coat length. When buttoned, the jacket was as shaped as it could be before becoming tight or uncomfortable.

The sleeves are left unfinished so you can adjust their length as desired, but my only gripe is that they are a touch slim. To be fair, I am notoriously picky when it comes to sleeves. I would love to be able to tell you it’s because my glorious, sculpted man-pythons refuse to be bound by even the finest of cloths; alas, I’m packing a pair of hairy twiglets and I’m just fussy.

I did try a size EU50 and while the sleeves were better, I found the jacket to be too roomy across the shoulders and in the back so I would advise readers to stick to their regular size.

Natalino sell their suit trousers separately – a blessing for those that like an extra pair to help extend the longevity of their suit, or for those of us that don’t conform to the industry drop-six standard.

(An indirect consequence of selling suits as separates is that Natalino is quite conservative with its fabric choices – you don’t want to end a season with a stock room of pinstripe trousers and no jackets – which could form the basis of a strong capsule wardrobe: navy tropical wool, khaki linen, olive cotton and mid-grey flannel)

I paired the suit jacket with a 34 trouser which was comfortable in the waist but also slightly tight in the arc between the seat and crotch (although not nearly to the extent of the Spier & Mackay trousers). The fit through the legs was slim but not as much as Cavour’s Mod 2 trousers.

The potential for letting out the waist is curbed by the relatively stingy amount of excess fabric folded into the curtained waistband – there’s maybe an inch, which wouldn’t even see me through a moderately jolly Christmas (of course, reducing seam allowances is one of the ways that enable Natalino to offer a suit at this price level). Given this and the lean leg-line, I’d advise anyone in between trouser waist sizes to go up a size.

Details include a coin pocket secreted below the waistband which, on the inside, is curtained and anchored by striped fabric – a minor yet pleasing aesthetic detail that’s reminiscent of Pommella’s finishing.


Suitsupply (£378 to £1029)

Suitsupply were an instrumental part of my sartorial journey. Their construction details, cloth choices and price point were game changers when they first began sprouting up in the early 2000s.

Unfortunately, whilst my tastes have evolved - I think (and hope) for the better - Suitsupply seem to have remained wedded to a very particular, slim look.

I concede that I tried the Havana (which is Suitsupply’s slimmest cut) and may have been better served by a more relaxed model such as their Roma. However, there were over 100 suits available online in the Havana fit and only eight in the Roma, and I wanted to sample the option with the most variety in cloths.

I didn’t even entertain the idea of trying a size EU48 and jumped straight to the EU50 in the Havana; it had a lot in common with the Natalino EU48: high gorge, nice across the shoulders, a respectable coat length, and shaped through the sides without being too tight (but only just).

The sleeves were a little narrow and, unlike Natalino, have functioning buttons so any significant adjustments to length are harder. However, Suitsupply do offer comprehensive in-house tailoring that can be turned around within three days at competitive rates.

For example, a sleeve length alteration from the shoulder will run you £50; contrast that with a highly regarded alterations tailor in central London who charges £75 for the same service.

My biggest issue was with the trouser (which will come as no surprise to anyone that’s read anything I’ve had to say about trousers in the past couple of years). I tried a size 34” and the effect was Proustian.

As the zip groaned its way up the straining metal track I was hurtled back in time to the summer of 2012 - where I’m sure climatologists will one-day point and identify the heat generated by my chafed Suitsupply-clad thighs as a major contributor to global warming.

The leg was very tight from the hips down, and the rise was the lowest of all the trousers I tried – I know I prefer a higher finish than most, but I don’t think this rise will appeal to too many PS readers. I came away with the sense that the trousers had been designed by an overzealous cosmetic surgeon rather than a pattern maker - every millimetre of excess scraped, nipped and tucked away.

The rise aside, these issues could be obviated by sizing up, except that most of Suitsupply’s suits are sold as drop-six (there is some limited mix-and-match available).

If you’re in good drop-six shape and looking for a slim suit, at a reasonable price, lots of options to pick from, free delivery and returns, and the facility for quick and inexpensive alterations, then it’s hard to look past Suitsupply. But once you’ve experienced a more classic fit it’s even harder to look back at it.


Cavour (£800 to £1050)

Readers will recall that I reviewed Cavour’s Mod 2 trousers (sold as part of the Mod 2 suit) last year in a market survey of RTW trousers. I described them as “fuss-free with a sharp silhouette” but had to size up to a 36” to get a comfortable fit through the legs.

With this in mind (and following Cavour’s advice) I sized up to an EU50 in the Mod 2 jacket. There are rare occasions when you put a leg through a trouser or an arm into a sleeve and, before you’ve even had a chance to finish dressing and examine yourself in the mirror, your sartorial instincts – honed through years of trial and error – signal that it’s a good fit for you.

I had that delightful but elusive sensation when throwing on the Mod 2 jacket for the first time and I would say it was the best overall fit of the brands I tried.

The shoulder line ended fractionally past my shoulders with a nicely proportioned spalla camicia sleeve. The chest had a little drape and contoured gently into a generous waist. The sleeve length (as per usual for me) was a touch long, but as the buttons are non-functioning this would be a simple alteration.

The jacket even fared better in my ‘telephone test’ – where I raise and crook my arm to take an imaginary phone call so I can observe how close the collar remains to my neck – than some of the MTM jackets in my wardrobe.

Cavour’s gorge line does sit quite high (7cm from the shoulder seam), but I find it less (for want of a better word) claustrophobic than Natalino’s (6cm). I think it’s because the Cavour notch cuts deeper into the lapel (4cm vs 3cm on the Natalino) and the combined visual impact of those extra couple of centimetres permits some air between the lapel and the shoulder.

The trousers and jacket boast several hand-made elements (more than any other brand) including bar tacks, buttonholes, collar attachment, sleeve attachment, lining attachment and pick stitching. Whilst some of this handwork is an aesthetic embellishment, the hand-sewn attachment of collar and sleeve is usually a hallmark of quality construction and allows flexibility in the places where it is most needed.

Cavour are also the only brand in this guide that construct all their jackets with a full canvas.

The only thing preventing me from a full-throated endorsement is the fact that the suits come with a drop-seven trouser; this might work for a young, athletic Scandinavian, but sadly this middle-aged office worker is more of a drop-four.

Cavour are one of the most generous brands on the market when it comes to seam allowances, so a good tailor can help bridge some of that ‘drop-gap’, but in my case, it would be a literal and figurative stretch.

I do understand that carrying the range of suits that Cavour do and offering mix-and-match has the potential to create an inventory nightmare, so it’s just one of those things that must be accepted at this level of RTW.

That said, Cavour have informed me they will be offering a mix-and-match programme this coming season for two versatile suits made from high-twist navy and grey cloths. At the same time, they will also expand their range of Mod 3 trousers which are fuller-legged and higher-waisted than the Mod 2.


Berg & Berg (€1230 to €1320)

This Berg & Berg jacket (the Dan) was the most elegant and classical of the ones I tried.

It may have been a trick of the cloth – the reassuring weight of the sandy flannel sample suit (above) alerting my body to the fact it was carrying tailoring in a way that the lighter tropical wools of the other brand’s sample suits didn’t – but, more likely, it was the slightly broader lapel, the longer coat length, the fuller sleeve and the soft, natural shoulder that elevated it above the others.

There is also a notable amount of handwork that goes into each jacket: the collar, sleeve head and lining are all attached by hand and the buttonholes are hand-sewn.

Berg & Berg’s website lists the buttoning point as lowered, but I would politely disagree with that assessment - for example, it sits 4cm closer to the shoulder seam than the Spier & Mackay. Regardless of quibbles on whether it is low or high, I found the buttoning point to be ideally balanced, midway between the gorge and the hem, permitting a generous sweep of the skirt.

I tried jackets in my regular size of EU48 and EU50. The former was too narrow in the shoulders, tight in the waist and cut into my armpits; the latter was better on all counts - there wasn’t as much room in the waist as I’d anticipated having sized up, but it was fine, nonetheless.

The main issue I had was with the sleeve length. RTW jackets do tend to come up long in the arm on me, but Berg & Berg’s was unusually long (I’d need it shortened by 5cm), and as the sleeves come finished with functioning cuffs any alteration would require detaching it from the shoulder (not a cheap fix).

I spoke with Andreas (Berg & Berg’s Creative Director) about this and he’s sympathetic. However, the feedback he’s received from customers globally is that they don’t always have access to reliable tailors, so the brand has taken the decision to provide finished, functional cuffs. Andreas also said the length could be shortened from the cuff by about 2cm without disturbing the visual balance of the sleeve.

Of course, for readers who typically find RTW garments short in the arm, the Berg & Berg sleeve might also be an ideal length.

Having sized up in the jacket I’m frustrated that I didn’t do the same with the trousers. Berg & Berg’s Antonio model (which comes with double pleats while their Arnold model has single pleats) in my usual size of 34” was just too tight in the waist – somewhat surprising given the trousers, in keeping with the proportions of the jacket, have a higher rise and fuller leg than any other brand in this guide.

There was a decent seam allowance, but I suspect were I to let the waist out fully it still might not be enough, plus I’d have no margin for any weight fluctuation in the future. I’d certainly consider sizing up to a 36” trouser next time (which isn’t a problem as trousers are sold separately) but that may require a compensating taper to the volume of the trouser leg.

Manish is @the_daily_mirror on Instagram

The Index

The index is designed to collect the key information of each of the suits featured. To aid comparison we’ve shown the chest, jacket length, and sleeve length for size UK38/EU48 jackets and the waist, rise and leg opening for 32” trousers - measurements taken from the brands.

Prices are correct as of time of writing.

The table is an image - click on it to bring up in a visible size.

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Research photos incoming


Spier & Mackay
Jacket UK 38
Trousers 34”


Jacket UK 38
Trousers 34”


Jacket UK 40
Trousers 34”


Definitely the most smexy looking


Mod 2 Jacket 50
Mod 3 Trousers 34” (I tried separates because I’d already tried the Mod 2 trousers for the RTW trouser guide)


Berg & Berg
Jacket UK 50
Trousers 34”


Good article! I can vouch for spier! Good enough fit in neo contemporary to stop me from looking for more rtw brands for jackets! Trousers id buy from them only to match jacket.. for separates, yeossal mtm for me! By the way, spier have many different trouser fits. High waist, normal waist, slim and not slim.

The only downside for me, size 46 in spier… last 3 jackets i bought, they had just 2 pieces in my size. So its blink and youll miss it.


Great review and much appreciated. The issue I have with all the brands is that they do not offer long sizes ( I’m 6 foot 3 or 191cm) and all the jackets are way to short for me. To be honest i contacted Cavour about this and they told me that they are aware of this issue and will introduce L sizes in their Autumn collection. SuitSupply used to be my go to for suits in my early sartorial career and I still own some odd jackets but now days they are to slim for me. Spier and Mckay are great but the last time I ordered a blazer from them the shipping and the tax cost almost as much as the garment so that was the last time. I won several a Natalino trousers and they are excellent quality but again jacket are way too short. I find this a problem with a lot of companies offering Neapolitan tailoring so that is one of the reasons that I went back to more English style.

Robert M

Looking at the websites, both Cavour and Berg & Berg offer long sizes. I’m an inch taller than you, so it’s nice to see there’s somebody taking care of the longer guys. I’ll always go for bespoke for several reasons (it’s way cheaper where I live than in the UK, posture issues, etc.), but still, good to see.


All but Natalino offer tall sizes in fact


Great review, as a customer of Cavour I have had a number of suits and used them frequently for the last five or so years. The quality is on par with my Corneliani MTM suits, which is surprising considering the price difference.
I am very happy with the fit, especially as I am 193 (I believe that is app 6 foot 3 and a 34 inseam) and have had problems finding good RTM suits. Unsurprisingly I have had the suits altered but this has been straightforward.
I wholeheartedly recomend their suits, if you find yourself in Oslo you shold stop by!

Tim Jackson

Thank you so much for this. This is an incredibly informative and helpful feature for me. I have a limited budget(a teacher in the state system) but I do want to begin my ‘Permanent Style’ adventure with two classic/basic suits in navy and grey. I want to buy the best I can afford. However, I am a long way from anything bespoke at this stage.


I’m so glad to see an article in which I can comment from experience! 🙂
I have quite a few things from Suitsupply in my wardrobe. I do have a Havana, and to make matters worse I ordered the jacket through the made to order program and let myself be guided into shortening the jacket and the sleeves, so the sleeves are on the shorter side and the buttoning point is higher than I would like. Beginner’s mistakes I guess. I still use the jacket a lot during summer though. The rest of the suits have jackets in the “Lazio” model, as I like the shape of the shoulders better.
They now have a trouser with a higher rise called the “Vigo” model I think, which has a more generous fit and it’s pretty much the only I can still buy in size 50. For the rest of the models, especially the Brescia which tends to be the default with most Havanas and Lazios, I have to go straight to a size 52.
And while I have looked, considered, even saved in favourites some stuff from the other brands mentioned, Suitsupply is the only one with a physical presence in Copenhagen and I can’t bring myself to buying suits online without being able to try them.


In terms of value, I like bespoke for traditional suits and sports coats but prefer MTM or off the rack for more casual jackets, especially if unconstructed or uncanvassed. For the former, I use W&S but for the latter I like Proper Cloth and Sid Mashburn.

Proper Cloth is primarily know. For shirts but has excellent offerings for garments. Their website is slick and easy to follow and most importantly, their sizing is really consistent. Once you nail down your size (I was lucky to get a great fit on the second try) you can order repeatedly with confidence. I’ve purchased several jackets and a seersucker suit from Proper Cloth. From a stylistic point of view, it’s modern but fairly refined: much more elegant than brands like Suit Supply, which tend to be overly slim and often in garish colors. (Ironically, in its effort to be trendy, Suit Supply looks out of date, selling tight garments that were in fashion 10 years ago). I also find Suit Supply’s marketing distasteful — their post-COVID orgy-themed marketing was lewd.

Sid Mashburn is another excellent non-bespoke option for American buyers. Very elegant and good quality. Their “butcher” cotton jacket is a nice cross between a blazer and a chore coat. I’ve never ordered MTM from Sid but can recommend its off the rack offerings.


Thank you very much for this trip down the more prosaic side of suiting up, Manesh. While it indeed may have limited appeal to many in the PS crowd, I imagine there are also plenty in the situation you described who find value in this kind of survey of RTW options. And at the very least, you write it with the sort of wit and humour that has made me look forward to your contributions to PS!

Would you know where or who makes for the various brands? Understandably, it may depend on the particular line offered by each brand but it would still be good to know.

Perhaps you can expand on the options in a supplement or a part 2 to the article, to include RTW offerings from The Armoury (HK) made by Ring Jacket, Boglioli, Trunk Clothiers, Lardini, Boggi. I have tried most of these brands’ sportscoats in RTW but not their suits (I do have an MTM suit from Trunk); alas, I can never share my observations with the same unbearable lightness that you do!


Hi Juilan
Thank you so much! That’s really kind of you to say 🙂
All are made in China apart from Natalino and Berg & Berg which are made in Italy. I’m afraid I don’t know the names of the manufacturers though.
Your suggestions are certainly worth considering for a part deux!
Thanks again and best wishes to you.


A part 2 including the likes of The Armoury (HK) made by Ring Jacket, Boglioli, Trunk Clothiers, Lardini, Boggi is definitely needed.

With the necessary side by side profile photos .


Thank you Manish. This article is really interesting.

Hackett offer MTM suits and used Frank at Liverpool St a lot during my 20s.

Does anyone have any recent experience?

Even if you like bespoke suits I think having a less expensive option is a good idea, for instance, if you have to go to after work drinks etc – so your ideas are helpful.


Thank you so much, Alex. I’m afraid I don’t but will try an find out more for my own edification.

Il Pennacchio

Just to add that Spier & Mackay has offered RTW garments in Harris Tweed and Fox Brothers cloths.


Manish do you or other readers have any experience with UK based Mason and Sons ready to wear suits – priced GBP 750 -1950. They look very well curated in traditional colours with timeless British design elements albeit possibly made in Italy.


Hello, I own several suits from Mason and Sons and can vouch for their quality. It sis more or a MTM operation and you would benefit greatly from going to see them in person. Elliot is a great professional and the garments are lovely. The £750 is the Pope and Bradley range of fabrics which are still beautiful and they style choices are abundant. Would highly recommend !


I brought a navy suit.
Beautiful !
It had the feeling that Manish describes of when you half put something on and know it’s going to be good .

The jacket fits as good as a bespoke I have. Careful with trousers although now they do a mix and match in sizes .


Hi Manish. What material did you go for when reviewing the Cavour suit? They have many options, which can be overwhelming! Thanks


Hi Alec
It was a sports jacket in wool, silk, cashmere, linen – very light and luxurious. (
I didn’t get a full suit just because I’d already tried the Mod 2 trousers last year in my RTW trouser guide.

david rl fan

Hi Manish, index line is for ants? at least on my browser

david rl fan

Hi Simon thanks for the reply and update, seeing as you are here, I read an article (how great things age) on Bruce Boyer and his 37 year old jacket, which looks great on him, in it there was mention of a valet stand.
from you “This is something I should personally do more – I even have a lovely valet stand for the purpose. But I often forget how useful this airing is, for allowing the cloth to dry properly, and for smells to evaporate away.”
Article? And if you were forced to pick a company above from this piece, just for fun, what company and suit would you go for?

david rl fan

I didn’t even search, i just assumed you had not covered valet stands, the photograhy on that make it look amazing, and to Manish, it more than helps, especially when you add in your articles on Fair Isle, I’ve been looking at the Jamieson ones on the Dicks of Edinburgh site.

Also I was in Peggs and Co in Brighton today and telling a staff member about this site, I picked up a pair of Edwin jeans, and lastly if either of you have the time have a look at Dawson Denim in Hove, I went and looked and talked to Kelly Dawson there last month, real artisan stuff, they have also reconditioned many of their (if not all) sewings machines off their own back and apparently use ten different machines for each pair. Cheers


Hi David

If I was on a tight budget I would go for Spier & Mackay.

I’d definitely be keen to revisit the Natalino jacket with a lower gorge when it comes out. As both the brand and I are UK based it means I can try things without racking up massive delivery and import charges. I think that’s a big plus when you’re shopping on a budget.

However, on balance, I’m more likely be looking at Cavour or Berg & Berg. If It was just a sports coat I would opt for the Cavour jacket because it fit me the best, there are more cloth options and the buttonholes are non-functioning so the sleeve length adjustment would be cheaper.

For a suit, I would go for Berg & Berg because of the option to mix-and-match the trouser size. In terms of a specific suit, I have a pair of taupe high twist wool trousers that I’ve worn non-stop this summer, and so, with that in mind, I’d be tempted to go for this B&B suit:

Hope that helps!


Good man, I bought those trousers too. Natalino have that cloth in a jacket and trousers this season FYI, at least I looks it and the description matches.


Hi Andy! Yep, the Natalino ones look very similar as well. A great choice for summer 🙂


Of these five I’ve had the Suitsupply Havana and Cavour Mod. 2 jackets, both in size 48. Cavour is a much more comfortable fit and like you, Manish, putting it on I can just tell it sits very nicely.
Another full canvas option to recommend is RTW from Eduardo De Simone from 700-1200 Euros for a suit depending on material/fit. Can be found here . The chest measurement of size 48 is 55.5, but I actually found it too tight and had to size up to size 50 which is nominally 57.5.

Dr Peter

Splendid post, Manish. Much needed and very suitable for readers like me, who can’t quite trek over to Savile Row from the hinterland here in Wisconsin! Two points, which I hope you can address:
First, why not consider O’Connell’s? I just read an admiring earlier post here in PS on their Shetland’s. I think it may have been yours, but it could be Simon’s. They also sell classically cut and styled 3 roll 2 jackets with their suits and sportcoats. What’s more, the lapels are not overly narrow, the torsos too tight, or the trousers narrow and cutting into the crotch. The modern style of tight suits and drainpipe trousers has been around for too long, I do wish a looser appearance would return. But perhaps that is just me. Last year I picked up somne wonderfully cut grey flannels and Breton/Nantucket reds, all of them perfectly cut and cuffed to one’s specifications. Perfect!
Second, a personal note on what’s hard to find: All of yesterday, I was out and about wearing a pair of vintage NOS Ralph Lauren Polo trousers I had picked up some time ago. It was a deep khaki (called British Khaki sometimes, reminded me of the uniform trousers I wore in the NCC paramilitary in India aeons ago) — twin forward pleats, snug at the waist, and loose in the legs. I was amazed at how comfortable they were, and even with the loose legs, how good they appeared. One would be hard pressed to pick up something like that at a ready-made clothes shop. The next step is to get some starch into these trousers!

M. Louis

Dr. Peter, I’ve enjoyed considerable success with the offerings from McConnells as well. With regard to your search for suitable khakis, Bill’s Khakis has long been my go to for the fit you describe.
Simon, hats off to you for such a marvelous presentation of sartorial education.

Dr Peter

Thanks, M Louis. I have at least a dozen trousers of all kinds from Bill’s Khakis, bought in the nineties and early 2000s. I even have a wonderful pair of Gurkha trousers with the double cloth tab and buckle closure! But thanks for your recommendation. Even though I don’t need more khakis, I still find them hard to resist, they are my basic, daily wear, and they pair with every colour.


Thank you so much, Dr Peter.
Yes, the Shetland post was my first one here on PS! To your question, the simple answer (and I’m embarrassed to say this) was that unfortunately I didn’t realise O’Connell’s sold suits! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
All the best to you!

Dr Peter

You’re most welcome, Manish.
Quite all right, regarding the O’Connell’s suits — none of us can remember everything (as I am finding out in my early seventies!). Their pieces are great and worth the price one pays for them. Plus, they have sales too (20%-30% off).


As someone who had asked for pretty much this exact article, thank you – this is going to be very useful.


I love the Berg & Berg trousers. The jackets would be even nicer if they would make it with a generously sized barchetta style breast pocket. This one looks a bit lost behind the properly sized lapel.


Fantastic article. Always appreciate the ones you write and the level of detail.

Joel C.

Great article Manish! I do think SM offer great value, but they can be hit or miss on tolerances.
I agree with you on the Berg and Berg trousers. Size up and taper the leg a little if you want to use them.
I find Natalino more spot on when it comes to trousers, maybe even a little big. Certainty they have a high rise.
Now Natalino and Berg and Berg shirts, those are spot on!


This is a helpful guide, primarily because I think there are quite a few readers who love the beautiful clothes PS covers but without the budgets for most of them. It’s good that budget friendly options like the brands in this article have sprung up in recent years.

Of the brands covered I have jackets from Spier & Mackay, Cavour and Suit Supply. I will share my experiences in the hope it helps other readers.

With Spier I am fortunate that their Neapolitan jackets fit me extremely well, so well that when ordering MTM I now use them as a reference point. The style of their jackets seems particularly well designed to me and I particularly like the range of fabrics they use. Cavour is similar to Spier for me but the a noticeable step up in quality. Suit Supply is well made for the price but I don’t like their styling or cuts, but their made to order service is a good option.

Unfortunately none of the brands’ trousers work for me as I prefer a true high rise with a wider leg. My solution has been to just wear sport coats or order MTM trousers in a matching fabric – Spier helpfully give you the exact fabric code in their product numbers.

Lindsay McKee

Great review on RTW suits.


Great article for people who dont wear daily suits and also dont have the money to buy something bespoke. The berg and berg make some sales on their oroducts till 50% so someone should know how much they earn from the full price sale. I would be also interested in cheaper bespoke tailors if that makes sence. I am from Greece and last year i made a full bespoke jacket with 500 euro that was really nice so something in this price range or say 1000 would interest me a lot.
Thanx for the article


Hello Georgios, would you mind sharing the details of the tailor you went to for your full bespoke jacket? That sounds like an unusually low price even after taking into account the lower costs in Greece.


Have had multiple suits from SuitSupply over the years before finally getting something from the Row. Although the quality is generally good, they are definitely pushing the slim, insurance broker look, and in recent years the service really has become dreadful. This is probably a function of how busy they are, but shopping for anything there nowadays is painful. Assistants are pulled to several customers at once, and have nominal knowledge of tailoring at best. It’s not uncommon to find alterations not completed on collection, I’ve even still had pins in items before. A shame as they were great value, although even their new price points make this less of a USP.

Johannes P

Would it be possible to list your (Manish) chest measurement? Since that would help a lot when deciding on what size from the different brands would be right for me.


Hi Johannes
I’m a 38″ chest. However, my waist is more in line with a 40″ chest which is why I sometimes end up sizing up.
My waist is somewhere between 33″ and 342 depending on the time of day and how many biscuits I’ve had.
I hope that helps.


I purchased a Spier and Mackay Tobacco Brown Huddersfield cotton suit in the Neo 2 cut earlier this year, and agree with all the points Manish made above. At ~6″1 with longish arms I opted for a 40L in the traditional fit, which came with 34″ high-rise trousers with side adjusters.
I had to have my alterations tailor bring the waist in a bit more, yet – at the same time – let out that same crotch-to-seat seam. As a cyclist I’m used to my seat and thighs making pants fit a challenge, but this seemed to be an odd issue given the “traditional fit” cut and pleats, which I would have expected to provide a bit more ease. Seems it’s an issue that could prove to affect more people than I thought, or maybe just those of us with more muscular posteriors?
Still, it was a fairly inexpensive way to try the RTW fit and see what might be improved with MTM tweaks – mainly a small adjustment for my sloping shoulders and the aforementioned trouser fit.
However, for the price, th details, quality of the materials, and finishing was a pleasant surprise, and their offerings easily surpass most everything else I could get at a similar price point with my feeble Canadian dollar. For knockabout suits and casual items where perfect fit isn’t 100% critical to me, I can see myself becoming a repeat customer.


I also experienced that the “scoop” of the S&M trousers was very shallow. Instant wedgie, putting those one


I’ll throw my two pennies worth in as I use these brands frequently, I’m a 32 waist. For SM Contemporary fit, Natalino and Berg trousers i have never had a comfort issue, they have room in the thigh and seat and taper nicely down. I’ve not got skinny legs or ass either.
SS are famously trim but are seemingly branching into higher rise and fuller leg styles. Cavour Mod 2 are slim and I normally size up to 34, not tried Mod 3 yet but they look nice and might try when there’s some fabrics that interest me.

Jacket wise I’ve not tried all of them Cavour feels so comfortable and is definitely a cut above SM and SS, being full canvas. At £800 for a jacket it should be I suppose. Always worth waiting for sale time when they knock 50% off.


I own a few stuitsupply and Spier and Mackay pieces so here are some thoughts.

I really wouldn’t underestimate the MtM programme at Stuitsupply, I got a few suits made and they can really solve most of the issues mentioned above. I went for a fuller cut and they have been able to change the balance of the trousers and showldere a bit to make the fit a lot better…when it comes to the trousers you can go as wide as you’d like….and if you stay within the house fabrics (most VBC) the suit still comed under 700. I’d always go for a MtM over an off the peg when I have the chance.

S&M jackets on their Napolitan style are great, I need no alterations whatsoever but I have noticed some inconsistencies on the sizes of different jackets…perhaps the change in fabrics but since I order online this can be mildly annoying. Also the fact that I can’t order from EU without getting hit by all sort of taxes (but it’s worth pointing out they discount that expenses of following orders).

I wanted to tried the other brands mentioned but I’m having a hard time seeing why I shouldn’t go for SS MTM for the same price or less…


At 6’3, natalino blazers are too short. Has anybody tried cad & the dandy – opinions?


Very useful overview, thanks. While personally I’d try to invest a bit more to get something I’m fully satisfied with, I can refer to this guide when I’m trying to give advice to others.

From my experience I’d like to add that the quality of Berg&Berg materials don’t quite match what one would expect from the mills that are listed. Those are definitely robust but if you were to hand pick fabrics, I suspect you would end up with something you enjoy more.


How about Pini Parma? They should fit right in this article. I never purchased from them due to their modeling of the jackets appearing too short with a high button stance and overall short appearance. Anyone have experience?


I have one pair of their trousers as like you I felt their jackets looked way too short, confirmed by their measurements.

The trousers are a bit odd too, quite a narrow leg opening which isn’t a massive deal and a roomy thigh but the waist is very large for my size 32. I could almost go to a size 30 based on their measurements.


I have a grey Pini Parma suit and a cream Pini Parma jacket (cotton, linen mix). I like the jackets very much (especially the fabric). I also do not find their jackets too short, but I am from the continent and might have a different perspective on this point). The fit is moderate-slim, more comfortable than SuitSupply or Corneliani or Boglioli. My issue is with their trousers. I am very slim but have muscular calves due to biking. From the knee downwards their trousers are simply too slim for me and there is not much fabric to let them out.


if in doubt, good ol’ ralph lauren generally dont disappoint, yes it’s not perfect, but good enough and better than most at this price point.


Great write up and review. I think there’s (obviously) a much larger market for the < 1k suit than full bespoke, so it's nice to read an educated review.


Informative, thank you Manish and Simon. I am tall, at 190 cm (6’3) and often strughle with finding rtw tailoring for my height. Spier is good at offering “long” sizes, but their sizing is s bit tight (normally I am 42L, but their 42s are slightly tight at the shoulders/chest). Which brands do offer long sizes? So far, I have only found RL, Canali, Castagnia among those with decent make/design…


Cavour offers long sizes this fall & winter for the first time in a few styles.

Hywel Jones

Thanks Manish – this is such a helpful and detailed guide for RTW brands. I’ve got a few natalino items and whilst I like their fabric choices, and the roominess in the thighs for their trousers, I’ve found the size charts don’t always bear relation to the items you receive. For example, size 52 linen and fresco trousers which have identical measurements were very different in the flesh so to speak. Linen trousers fitted fine but the fresco measured smaller in the waist so I sized up. Neither linen nor fresco have much stretch or flex so it’s not accounted for by the fabric. I think it’s simply a QC issue.
Cavour trousers I found too slim in the thigh but I’ve got quite chunky thighs. I really do like their jackets though and their fabric choices are always well considered.


Finally something within my budget 🙂 I used to be a Berg Berg customer and loved their jacket cut, but as a tall guy it was always a bit to short. Shame really as I like their styling and visuals. Now I do made to order via Kigget Clothing. About the same price, full canvas, and I can choose from different jacket lengths. They have been kind enough to make things for me in some fabrics from Harrisons and Fox without it costing more.


Great article Manish. Love these with the photos. Makes a huge difference to actually se them on you. I agree with Philip on Kigget. My experience with them has been very good. Best fitting jacket and trouser of the rack for me by far and a superb fabric selection. Only downside is you have to wait for them to actually make the clothes when ordering. Would have preferred to just get them within a day or two.


Good article..whatever brand you use known or unknown wear it well gentlemen wear it well..enjoy your day..peace


Thank you for this helpful article.
The table suggests that the Cavour trousers have the lowest rise. As you tried the Mod 2 before – what do you think about the rise?


Hi J
The measurement in the table is excluding the waistband so it’s not quite as low as it appears. However, it’s definitely a mid-rise trouser and lower than most of the other brands featured. It’s not my preferred style (I like it a bit higher) but it does work for a lot of people.
You can read more here:
Cavour’s Mod 3 is a higher rise and I prefer it – although it is still quite a slim leg.


OK, thank you! Might be worth having that information also in the table.
If you or a fellow reader knows the rise including the waistband that would be very helpful.


I find the critique of suit supply a bit unfair. The fitting and styling is very dependent on the individual sales person helping you. I have had very good experiences booking some of their mtm experts, whose sense of style I liked. Very similar to other mtm services, where much of the service you are buying, is sense of fit.


It’s also true that most other brands talked about on this site do not have the amount of physical shops, thus amount of sales people, as suitsupply.
Anyway, my experience with the shop in Copenhagen, the only one I have tried, is that if you go there for the first time and you don’t know what you want, they will push the shorter and slimmer, and they will do it consistently.
Now that most of the staff knows me they already know what I prefer and don’t really try to push me in that direction anymore.


Hi Malt
I agree that a good salesperson can help you navigate the entire range of models on offer but my review was deliberately fixed on one model (the Havana).
Also, are you saying the MTM experts have helped you with picking through the RTW range? That’s a great idea if you can get their time. I used to see Aaron in the London Vigo Street store (a brilliant fella and their resident MTM specialist) but, towards the end of my experience with Suitsupply, I was struggling to book MTM appointments with him because he was so busy, let alone getting him to help me with the RTW range.


Apologies, it was mostly in relation to mtm range and staff and not rtw. My experience with their rtw is very limited.
I assume their range is so wide that it does depend on the individual taste of the salesperson to find what “looks good”. That look has unfortunately been a very slim line in the mainstream culture in the past many years.
My only drawback is that they have vastly limited their cloth selection


I’d give a shout to Blugiallo. Technically this is more of an MTM/MTO type service where you pop in your measurements but having used the above companies for many years I was fairly confident of getting a good result based on experience of which brands fit me best and replicating them in the Blugiallo size profile.
Suits come in around £600-£1000 and I am really enjoying the fit and quality.



While I can understand that these articles can be useful for some, I do find this particular one redundant.

These brands have already been covered extensively, not only here but on many other media. I do not understand why not, for example, evaluate other brands that maybe are likely less commercial or at least peculiar. Even the fact that at the beginning Manish states “However, when a brand deviates from these default styles I’ve tried to highlight it”, it can be read as “these are basically the same with MAYBE some differences”.

I do not want to come out as harsh, but in my humble point of view, and always in a constructive way, I feel the level of Simon’s writing and Manish writing are basically like when I go playing golf on Sunday or when Matt Fitzpatrick (to quote an English golfer) plays on Sunday.

But still, maybe I am the only one who thinks that. It is just an opinion.


I don’t think your summary of their writing is harsh Diego. Maybe rude and inaccurate, unless you are an awesome Sunday golfer?


Apologies. What I meant was given the variety and depth of articles which in turn prompt interesting discussion, I politely disagree. I suspect this website would not have celebrated its 16th anniversary if the writing standard was as suggested above, but obviously that’s subjective and maybe I misunderstood the analogy.


Hi Diego

Thanks ever so much for your detailed comments.

I do agree these brands have been covered a lot. However, I’d be curious if you’d seen side-by-side comparisons of these brands – performed by the same person with the same detail of review? If you have, please share any such links as it would be really helpful to me and our readers.

Evaluating “less commercial” brands is a fair challenge, and thank you for the suggestion. The limitation is that such brands might not be as accessible to the global readership as, say, Suitsupply. However, it’s definitely something for me to think about more in the future.

Even the fact that at the beginning Manish states “However, when a brand deviates from these default styles I’ve tried to highlight it”, it can be read as “these are basically the same with MAYBE some differences”.

Whilst I believe it can be read that way I don’t think it should be read that way. If your reading were correct, I wouldn’t have used 3,500 words to elucidate the differences, and Simon almost certainly wouldn’t have published them. I do think my statement could be read as saying “these suits are styled very similarly with maybe some differences”, and the reason I added that statement at the beginning was so that I didn’t have to keep saying “this is a 3-roll-2 jacket with double vents and a notch lapel” throughout the piece.

Like Alex, I’ve reread your golfing analogy several times and I’m not sure I have fully understood its nuances (isn’t that ironic when you’re critiquing someone else’s writing style?). However, the subtext suggests it’s not particularly flattering toward me. As you’ve said, I will take it as constructive feedback, grab my clubs and keep working on my game until I’m no longer hacking around in the bushes. Fore!

Have a great weekend,

Mike Quick

Uummmmm. While never covered as in such great detail and as brilliantly as this (I mean this with zero sarcasm), and with such a practical and useful comparison, there are quite a lot of reviews covering these brands on the internet, IG, Youtube, etc. And they are so popular, it’s not unusual to see multiple people showcasing and reviewing the exact same suit or jacket and then multiple influencers wearing the same jacket. I am afraid these brands are a bit over exposed in some ways – so much so they are almost traded like Pokémon trading cards on Ebay. How about moving up the quality scale and going with a review of Ring Jacket, Stile Italiano, Anglo Italian, Rubinacci, etc. next?

JJ Katz

Such a useful post! Looking forward to trying the Natalino shop when they open.


They’re opening a physical store? Really?

Simone B.

No Lardini? They used to make stuff for Drake’s and several high fashion brands up until a few years ago and probably still do and their quality is astounding all across the board, given that it’s RTW. Tagliatore isn’t too far off either.


My best for fit has been Spier & Mackay, and I have even better success with their MTO program. I always have to size up for Suitsupply too, and that leaves my trousers too big. Cavour is cut a bit too slim for me. Natalino doesn’t go up to my size, unfortunately.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed to see “Berg & Berg (€1230 to €1320)” listed on an article titled “FIVE GOOD READY-MADE SUITS UNDER £1000”. I don’t particularly like when publications try to shoehorn in something outside the scope of the article.

I would also recommend taking a look at Polo Ralph Lauren and Boggi Milano. Both have decent options under £1000.


I appreciate the response. I’ll have to wait for a better exchange rate, ha! B&B looked very nice!


Ready to wear suits, when well chosen can be great things –
I have several bespoke and several M2M, but it is my drakes linen off the rack suit that I wear the most.

Whilst the article focuses purely on the price benefit, I actually think they offer a very different advantage.
Bespoke will always be a better fit, but it can be so easy to go wrong with styling details. My first bespoke suit was an expensive disaster. I chose the wrong lapels, buttons, lining and pockets. I over controlled the process and chose the wrong shade of blue. My made to measure correction was accidentally even worse. And that was even after reading permanent style. Bespoke houses I have discovered are not necessarily the place to go for style advice and often have little interest in that part of the process.

My drakes purchase, based on their lookbook, showed me a style and way to wear it that I knew was instantly natural. It would compliment my life, sense of style and the occasions I wear it. (Which are not the same as discussed here for many.) It cost £600 in the sale – 1/7th of my first bespoke suit that I have worn precisely once. It looks amazing, uses a fabric I would never have picked out from a book, fits like a charm and I have worn dozens upon dozens of times. No-one has ever complemented my bespoke suit with its perfect back.

For many, trying on a variety off off the rack, accessing their respective fits, and styling points , seeing a lookbook, styling examples, and trusting a brand to make better decisions than you is the correct first steps into the world of tailoring. Mistakes are more forgiving and to be honest, if you are a relative standard size, the fit with alterations will be superb.


Hi Chris

You’re absolutely right and thanks for the great illustration for your personal wardrobe.

I was trying to hint at something similar with the line: “You might be relatively new to tailoring and thus apprehensive about what exactly you want from a suit.”

Thanks for bringing the point to life 🙂



This has made me tempted to try the Berg and Berg. Natalino just isn’t cut for a man who goes to the gym far too slim on the thigh for me even sized down and also no longer jackets though the quality is there.

I have now moved to a few suits from SS mtm which works really well provided you know enough to spec it as you need it and tell them what you want. Would be great if they offered pleats deeper than about 3mm on their trousers but if you know what you’re doing the service they offer is unbeatable in my view


What is your height and weight? I was thinking of looking at purchasing Natalino, but I also sometimes have problems with clothes due to the gym even as being modestly 179cm and around 78kg (muscular build). Doesn’t sizing up help at all? Are the jackets super slim?


I’m 189cm and 88kg with 34″ waist and 42″ chest and found that Natalino doesn’t work for people my height because the jackets are far too short. I would also consider myself a mildly bulky/athletic build. I use Luxire for trousers currently because you can get them just right. Although their fabric selection isn’t great.

Tim Kermode

I’ve tried many of these brands and others (I’d say Poszetka belongs on this list), but am now a Spier & Mackay devotee. I’d like to offer 2 words of warning, though:
1. Their RTW line is a gateway drug to their MTM. Prices aren’t meaningfully different, and they offer significant customization of fit and many fine fabrics.
2. More seriously, customer service is a bit of a weak spot. They are always polite and always make things right, but mistakes on your orders are by no means rare. If you can be patient, however, it’s well worth the money


I have a couple S&M jackets in a size 40 contemporary and 40 slim. I am on the slimmer side so I find that the slim fits a bit nicer off the rack. I am curious if anyone has tried collaro? They do online trousers/jackets and I think they offer trial garments as well. I would be interested to hear about others experience’s.

Andreas C.

I’m also a happy Cavour customer – the Mod 2 is simply the best RTW jacket pattern I have seen or worn, and the fit (and the elusive general feel of wearing one) mentioned in the article happen to be superior to what some local mid-priced made-to-measure services have given me. The local shop I use for alterations (which are minimal: in the case of a Mod 2 suit, I just have the sleeves shortened by ca. 2 centimetres and the trouser waist let out the same) has also praised the construction and admitted that the MTM they offer wouldn’t probably add much value since the Mod 2 fit happens to be so good on me.
I used to have some SuitSupply Havanas, but the cut is just too close (particularly in the chest) and the buttoning point too high compared to my current tastes. It feels, indeed, a bit wedded to the fashion of the previous decade. Before their current selection, Natalino used to have a slightly unusual jacket pattern that featured even more extended shoulders and drape in the chest than what they offer now – I have a Donegal tweed jacket from this time and it’s one of my favourite jackets, but I can see why the pattern wouldn’t fit everyone. I have not tried B&B tailoring, since the proportions seem too off for me based on the measurements they have provided, and being based in Europe, buying Spier and Mackay, while potentially interesting, would be too much of a hassle due to having to deal with customs and VAT.


Never have I read so much mention of an area so often ignored in suit / trouser reviews …..the crotch !

It’s a long , engaging read but definitely worth it.

Manish, I loved reading this .
Firstly, because I think some of us regular PS readers having been urging Simon to do a review of more ‘affordable’ clothing.
Secondly, the informality and talk of practical issues (eg. Trousers riding up crotches) are matters not talked about enough.

The RTW market persists with craziness like
1. manufacturers persisting with 6 inch drops,
2. not enough cloth in waistband for alterations,
3. silly boyish-looking trousers with low rises and stupidly thin legs (men looking like they’re wearing women’s leggings)
4. not offering mix and match on trousers
5. Unnecessarily complicated products lines (eg SuitSupply … Havana , Napoli etc etc )

Finally , in reading Manish break down the issues with each brand it’s no wonder the average man looks so badly dressed in a RTW suit.
We desperately need tailors in RRW stores and sales people who know what they’re talking about .


Hi Robin

Thank you so much! I really appreciate you saying that.

Agree with you on all points. On 5, Suitsupply used to have excellent videos explaining the differences between their cuts, but they don’t seem to have anything like that on their site anymore. (You can still find the old videos on their YouTube page but they’re over ten years old now and not all the cuts exist).



Thank you for this. The Berg and Berg Dan suit (in a grey-taupe flannel) was the first proper suit I bought (and still the most expensive suit I own, even thought it was in the sale. I have a Ring Jacket suit in charcoal grey tropical wool that I got on email and a Drake’s Navy cotton suit also from ebay). I’m really happy with it and have long arms so didn’t need any alterations there.
(Here I’m waring the suit with a Drakes OCBD and a green wool challis tie from Shibumi).

Dan 2.jpg

Frustratingly, I’ve also had problems with several trousers’ line between crotch and seat in my typical 48 size lately. They’re usually fine when standing but uncomfortable when seating, which also means I’ve made a couple purchasing mistakes due to not noticing it (and have since made a point of trying trousers seated whenever possible).
Even worse, just as you said, in my own experience many alteration tailors don’t really manage to solve the problem even when there is ample fabric allowances, which is why I’m starting to be much weary of this. I can’t see why the problem shouldn’t be solvable, but unfortunately in my limited experience they don’t seem to understand how to fix it. My alteration tailor suggested dropping the crotch and actually letting out the waist (so that the trouser, which was a bit snug before, would slide down a little when seated) – this mitigated the problem only slightly.

While for jackets Cavour works very well for me (my 2 jackets are from their earlier Italian supplier though), as well as Boglioli usually (not always) if going unstructured, unfortunately I seem to be in a place where I basically can’t find any RTW trouser that fits me in a satisfying way at this price/quality range. I have tried Cavour, Natalino, Berg & Berg and SuitSupply so all of those available in Europe mentioned here.
Berg&Berg’s Alf (originally a chino cut) was the best one yet I’d say, though high-rise in flat front isn’t very comfortable for long days seated I have to say (particularly it seems to be terrible for driving cars, due to the tilted position).


I would recommend ordering through Luxire where you can alter almost every measurement available to get a genuinly custom pair of trousers. I felt i had similar problems to you and could never get a trouser to fit right and often spending more on alterations than the cost of the original garment. Take some time doing your measurements when it comes to ordering, but it’s worth it.


Hey there. Thanks a lot – love it. Makes a lot of things easier.
I know there are already a lot of requests about other brands, but is Pini Parma something to rely on?
Thanks a lot!

Ian Leslie

I’m just here to say that Manish is an excellent writer.


Great article, Simon. However, while I understand the desire to be consistent with the ‘ready to wear’ comparison, suit supply offers a pretty decent made to measure option under the 1K pricepoint too. It would be fascinating to see what results you could personally achieve using their mtm service – I’m sure with some tactful manipulation you could steer the final garment away from being slim fit and closer to a classic fit.



The Berg & Berg jacket looks the pick of the bunch to me. But I prefer to try before I buy, so more likely to look for a similar aesthetic in London. Although hard pressed to come up with an option.
It’s quite an alternative colour, ie down the pecking order of jacket colours. So possibly not so versatile. Also I wonder if that colour works better/blends in more in Sweden than in London?


Well, this article was spot on, since I’m quite interested in the RTW range of huntsman and liverano, any comments on these two brands about their rtw suits? Many thanks

Mike Quick

I agree with Mr. Zhou…..perhaps a segment on the “higher quality” market that would include RTW including Ring Jacket, Liverano, Atolini,Isaia, including the RTW versions of Orazio, Cifonelli, Sartoria Vestrucci, Solito, etc. would be in next logical order.


Yes, looking forward to it


VBC is quite overrepresented at these ‘cheaper’ brands. Are their fabrics of a lower quality than the fabrics usually discussed here? How is it noticed?


VBC is a permanent staple to most tailors. If you wished to have any clothes made, you will come across VBC, much like you would come across Loro Piana, Dugdale, and so forth. I might choose something from VBC because I find something to more of my liking than from another cloth merchant. For example, British cloth may not always be available, especially some that is typically used by Savile Row to everyone across the world. I wouldn’t be able to readily access Smiths when I could not likely see Loro Piana or Piacenza. It’s not because of being inferior quality. It is a really great all-rounder and especially if you might choose 4-ply cloth. This is where first-hand exposure is important – because this is the only one way to engage in what is perceived as quality and what is just hearsay on the internet.


Hi all,

What about Pini Parma?

Pedro (@studied.carelessness)

This is great, thank you Manish! I have several pieces from Spier & Mackay and Natalino (sport coats, trousers, suits) and completely agree with you here. If you know your measurements one is pretty able to fit themselves (after countless hours of measuring my own clothes, hahaha). Greatly enjoying the pieces that I’ve had my tailor either take in our out the waist when needed, or just a simple sleeve or trouser hemming. When the time comes for me to get a more refined suit made, I may go to the Armoury here in NYC where several friends work, luckily. Cheers! – Pedro


Good to see these brands covered. I imagine a large proportion of readers are buying from them already.
My personal experience as a 6ft2 man in London:
– Ordering from S&M in the UK is a non-starter due to customs and shipping and doing a return to them is both painful, slow but most of all costly (try getting a customs refund). Because of this, ordering from them is a massive gamble
– Natalino jackets, whilst lovely, don’t work for anyone over 6ft1 if you are fairly conventionally proportioned.
– Agree with Mannish on the SuitSupply trousers low waist and tight fit, which is a real shame. Upside is that you can do an online custom/MTM order which is fully refundable. However this doesn’t solve the trouser problem, but if you’re just after a jacket then it’s handy.


Dear Charlie,

concerning the SuitSupply trousers, I’ve had good results with the Brescia and Braddon models via online custom orders, adjusting the rise a couple of cms higher and the width of the legs just a bit wider (I’m also 6ft2 and like the rise to be only slightly lower than my natural waist and the legs of the trousers falling in a nice, straight line). You should be able to do this in the suit configurator, too.



Thanks Leon, that’s very useful to know. SuitSupply must have updated their custom online tool/configurator since i last looked (at least a year ago) as previously you couldn’t do this. I’ll have to give it a go this weekend as i had written them off! Cheers.


I have been stung with import duty and FedEx handling charges when ordering from Berg & Berg before which proved extra painful as the trousers did not fit and needed to be returned. It has made me resistant to future purchases from Berg & Berg unless below the magic £135 import limit which seems a shame from Manish’s above description.

I believe Cavour’s prices include duties, and am impressed with a recent trousers order. I am personally more a fan of a flat fronted trouser and looking forward to their pick & mix offering.


I find that even with import duties Spier & Mackay are excellent value for money once you know your size. They refund 25% of the duty amount in store credit too, so for every suit or jacket you have to pay duty for you get half a shirt on the house. Obviously my opinion is influenced by Spier jackets being the best fitting off the rack I have ever had.

With SuitSupply their custom programme allows you to completely change the trousers. I recently bought a suit with high rise (sitting on my natural waist), fairly full cut (8” hem) trousers. The trousers came out perfectly and nothing like what you would associate with SuitSupply. It was just a case of making sure the correct numbers were put in my size profile.


Natalino has always offered exceptional customer service. The store opening in London should be a real event as I don’t see anyone in London rivalling Anglo Italian. I know AI is different but there is a similarity in aesthetic.

Lachie M

Is there any value to Suitsupply if you can’t visit in store to be measured?


I feel that my take on the options chosen for buying these custom-made suits – it’s almost as though choosing different makes but it is still not what exactly you would want or love? It almost feels like a chore. When we’re talking about taking the first steps of owning a suit, £1000 is still a considerable sum of money. It’s not normally a dispensible amount for anybody, and I feel that with this kind of money, you could forgive the minutia of tailored clothes and just purchase ready-made. Like a Canali, Bogioli, Drakes, etc. The only trouble with this is that if you have been exposed to tailoring, you will start to notice lapel width, if the sleeve buttonholes function, etc. The conflict lies in if these suit examples feel personal enough to have permanence, or do that just create an illusion to actual owning a traditionally-made one?

What if readymade £1000 suits could ready be more well spent by a trained tailor, where there are more recently established businesses including Caroline Andrew? At least you would feel that what you will own is beautiful and personal.


I can absolutely recommend Cavour. Trunk’s MTM is also very good.


Thank you very much for this comprehensive guide. I am bit surprised that you do not mention Hackett of London in your review of suits. They are cut nicely and use high quality material.


Would you not rate them above Suitsupply and S&M? In addition they offer an excellent MTO service for 1500 Euros.


Thank you I have learnt something and ready to explore further the PS style. It is true that based on your article « If you only had 5 trousers » I have ordered Cavour and Berg and Berg Hight Twist trousers, the rise is higher and the legs fuller, whilst unless you go to MTO range Hackett trousers and jackets tend to be slightly slimmer. Based on the above article I will test Berg and Berg and Cavour and see how they compare to Hackett.


Does anyone have any thoughts on/experience with Richard James RTW suits?
They have a range of classic suits, priced between £940 to £1,150.
I have just taken a job in an office where suit and tie are still expected, although jackets tend to be hung behind chairs during the day and ties are only worn when meeting clients face to face.
For this reason, I would like to purchase a Navy suit and maybe an extra pair of trousers (or two) and make this a daily uniform.
Would this be advisable or should I purchase two/three individual suits and rotate between them?
If I do move jobs to an office with a relaxed dress code in the near future, I do not want to be stuck with a wardrobe full of classic suits which do not get any use.

Aaron L

Just bought a natalino belt and fatigues. Avoid the webbing belts – it’s as stretchy as a rubber band. Terribly made. Ripstop fatigues are pretty rough too (lots of hanging threads). Thought I’d add this here as this is where I heard of natalino.


On the other hand, i just looked over a polo and denim shirt i have from them from some seasons ago.. no issues there! But anyway, since they have store in london now, id go there in person to buy stuff. Just a pity they changed shirt cut. Now it does not work for me.


I thought it might be useful to share my experience of SuitSupply’s custom programme in case. I had bought off the rack jackets before and the fit was good but a bit too roomy (I have the shoulders of a 38 in most brands but a much smaller chest), and an online custom jacket where I had slimmed the chest down a bit that was better. I decided to go to their Vigo Street store to get fitted for a suit made from VBC 4-ply, as I wanted a good high twist summer suit and the consensus on PS seemed to be that that’s one of the preferred high twists.

The trousers of the suit came out just how I wanted, in part because I asked the style assistant to copy the pair I was wearing, which were MTM from a pattern I have refined over several years.

The jacket was not so good. The style assistant tried to correct for my right shoulder being lower than my left but this just resulted in unsightly bumps along the shoulder seam and behind the collar, and a worse fit than off the rack. I don’t know why this was but my best guess is that they were trying to use a simple customisation system to do something more complex than it’s designed for. I had the jacket remade with new measurements, with a similar result and a fit that was much too tight.

I eventually went and ordered online using my own measurements, based on Spier & Mackay’s 38 slim size chart, as that fits me very well. I left the shoulder slope alone, as my uneven shoulders are not particularly noticeable in most off the rack and would only adjust for them in future if I am going to a bespoke tailor. The result was much better. The finishing is good for the price – not quite as fine as Cavour but neater than Spier & Mackay. At £800 for a customised full canvas suit from a premium fabric I’m satisfied.

So my conclusion was that SuitSupply’s custom programme is good if the measurements are right but my experience was that the style assistants lacked the experience to do complex customisations, and when trying to do so made things worse in doing so.


In this case three different salespeople were involved, so unfortunately I cannot help feeling that their training is perhaps only suited to simple alterations like taking in the waist or adjusting the length. Ultimately I know most MTM usually involves dealing with a salesperson and not a trained cutter but some seem to understand the mechanics of how adjustments affect a pattern better than others.

I also felt like the pace at which they work (every time I was in the Vigo Street store it was a beehive of activity with salespeople sometimes rushing between multiple customers at once) meant they could not devote as much time to each customer as smaller MTM businesses I have used in the past.

Justin T.

I love the article. Thank you for your efforts and time sharing such detailed insights on relatively affordable suits! I have a couple of thoughts on SS and Spierandmackay which are most accessible in the United states. Shipping might be free for the other stores but returning anything to Europe costs an arm and a leg which is why I haven’t tried BB and Cavour yet. Most of the world is not priveleged to have access to great tailoring, which is why I think suitsupply excels at what they do. Bringing an interest and at least a decent standard in quality to the masses. While I agree with many of the readers here, I no longer go in store for any reason after buying from them several times because their return policy is incredible. You can return custom made products so their is no risk to the buyer, which is where I think they really shine. They have very complex customizations and tools online you can use to adjust your fit, and their custom made products have a cut which is much better proportioned than any of their off the-rack offerings, speaking to proportions of the lapels to your shoulder width and chest, button stance, and posture are all much better custom made through SS. As for Spierandmackay, as a skinny shorter person (160 cm and 130 lbs) with a short inseam and long torso, I really like their off the-rack offerings and even their MTM products. The price with discounts is so good it makes up for the alterations afterwards, at least without considerations for any import taxes since I’m in the U.S.A. In particular, spier offers cuts like the neo cut, and even a neo cut with a low gorge to fit a wide variety of proportions. People talk about measurements all the time but a well made suit really complements the proportions of the individual, (think of the Anthology) which is why I think is the reason bespoke is so desirable. The button stance, collar and posture, lapel width, open quarters, are all very well proportioned on Spierandmackay’s suits, especially with their MTM. I would love if more European brands opened up in the U.S., even if it’s just in New York as the rest of the U.S.A. has a severe lack of any great tailoring available to us.