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A custom suit from Italy is like a five-star meal in Paris or fine chocolate from Switzerland. Specialists have been perfecting it for hundreds of years, and you’ll start loving it as soon as you lay eyes on it.

A sleek new custom Italian suit can stay in top condition for decades, and it’ll be precisely crafted to flatter your physique. In terms of how attractive and graceful it will make you feel, few other types of clothing could even come close.

Naturally, part of buying such an ensemble is figuring out how much it should cost. This guide should help you start putting your budget together.

Choosing Materials

Buying custom Italian suits allows you to choose the materials that your suit will be made out of. In fact, that’s one of the biggest draws for most men when it comes to buying custom Italian suits.

In terms of cost, the material that you choose is really the biggest factor. In fact, materials for a suit can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars per yard.

For most men, the cost of suit materials will actually be somewhere in between those two extremes. While heavyweight wool tends to cost more than cotton, materials like blended wools and other composites strike a happy balance.

Materials like linen or all-natural fibers can cost more. However, once you consider that you’ll be constructing the perfect suit for the season you want – or for all year wear  – the cost of paying more for high-quality materials isn’t all that much.

You’ll also have a durable suit that will last you many years if you pick a fine material.

Comparing Brands

A few major creators of custom Italian suits include Brioni, Canali and Ravazzolo. Fortunately, you can’t go wrong with any of these labels.

Brioni suits can be pricey, often in the $5,000 to $7,000 range. However, they’re completely handmade, and the name “Brioni” warrants excitement; this brand is revered in high fashion circles.

Brioni has hundreds of fabrics to choose from, and its suit frames are made of canvas. As you describe the exact suit that you want, an artisan will draw it on paper as a visual guide. You’ll choose your patterns and colors, and you’ll decide how the lapels and other elements will be shaped.

Afterward, on the magical day when your custom Brioni suit arrives, it’ll be extremely lightweight and comfortable, with thousands of carefully placed stitches.

Another Italian suit company, Canali, may be more suited to your taste. The brand may not be quite as famous as Brioni, but Canali suits are recognized as authentic and fashion-forward. Best known for its sophisticated cuts, Canali operates its own factory in Italy and has established an intense process for inspecting all of its products, ensuring that no flaw ever goes unnoticed.

Canali creates many styles of jackets and pants, and they pay homage to the history of Italian fashion. Even so, in their overall appearance, they’re au courant. Expect to pay approximately $1,500 to $3,000 for one of their custom suits.

For its part, Ravazzolo makes fewer suits each year than its competitors, but the saying “quality over quantity” definitely applies to this brand. Each product is handmade and handsome, and you’ll only have to wait for one month to receive your finished suit. These custom Italian suits generally cost $3,500 or more.

In some ways, Ravazzolo is a hidden treasure of the custom suit world. The brand name may not be the first that fashion fanatics think of when looking for suits, nevertheless, the clothes manufactured by Ravazzolo are designed to last. Each suit is designed to accommodate the wearer’s posture and exact proportions so the garment will fit exceptionally well and be easy to wear.

Ravazzolo’s craftspeople adhere to the Venetian style of tailoring, which emphasizes honoring the past and the pursuit of perfection.

The Joys of Accessorizing

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Suits are more than trousers, pants, shirts and shoes. Accessories give them extra depth and dimension, and they can enhance the beauty of the fabrics and textures. There are hundreds of accessories that you’ll want to pair with your custom Italian suits.

Leather belts will hold up your pants in style. Choose a belt with intricate cutouts or high-quality metals. If your belt matches your shoes, you’ll look even more fashion-savvy. A custom leather belt could be priced between $50 and $300.

Cufflinks don’t merely hold your sleeves in place. They’re status symbols, and they add color, sparkle, and personality to even the most conservative suits. Their prices run the gamut. Gold cufflinks could cost you a few thousand dollars or more, while other metals might cost around $500 or $600.

Like cufflinks, pocket squares let you display the patterns and colors you love. They add variety to suits, and they’ll make you look like a style icon. After all, James Bond always had a pocket square. They’re affordable accessories, too. You shouldn’t have to pay more than $100 for one, and you might find one at a steal for $10 or so.

Lapel pins aren’t necessarily appropriate for every occasion, but they can add some flash to your suit. As long as they’re not too loud, they can be elegant and charming, and people can admire them when they’re near you. These pins can let you exhibit your patriotism, your allegiance to a certain group or your concern for a particular social cause. The price range for a lapel pin fluctuates depending on materials and exclusivity. A pin might cost around $10 or more than $500.

You may also wish to buy personalized neckties, tie clips and cell phone cases to accessorize.

To build the perfect custom suit, consider your possessions in their entirety. How many of those objects are unlike anything else in the world? It’s likely that plenty of other people have the same car, television, computer or phone as you. However, a custom suit would be exclusively for you to cherish. Just as there’s no one else exactly like you, no one else could have your custom suit or its specific accessories. The placement, the fit and the design of every element would be solely yours.

Styling Costs

Many men who are buying custom Italian suits wonder how much styling will impact their overall purchase price. The answer is that styling does change the price, but it doesn’t change it so dramatically from one style to the next.

For example, custom Italian suits really aren’t going to cost you more or less money than a suit made in Savile Row style or in a classic French style, though they are different. There may be slight cost differences in each style of suit, but those are quite negligible when you’re dealing with custom clothing.

If you really love the look of custom Italian suits, any price difference shouldn’t matter too much to you. Lapel width, collar spread, the fit in the body and the taper of the pants won’t greatly affect your price over any other type of suit.

How Much Will Fitting Cost?

Purchasing Italian custom suits means you’ll get the perfect fit because you’ll be measured by an expert tailor before a single piece of clothing is made. The measurements that a tailor will take when you’re purchasing custom Italian suits will also be very precise so you can reorder without another fitting.

However, many men wonder about the cost of a fitting that is so in-depth. In most cases, it isn’t something you need to worry about because it will be included in the cost of your suit if you choose to place an order.

While some tailors may charge a separate fee, you need to consider the fact that every tailor charges for a fitting when doing any alteration work, whether it’s built into their overall price or billed separately. Even if you buy a suit from a department or menswear store and take it to a tailor, they will need to measure you and be compensated for the work.

When you’re purchasing fine Italian suits, most tailors will include the cost of a measurement. Italian custom suits aren’t cheap, so the fitting fee is generally waived.

The Devil is in the Details

A custom suit means that you get to pick everything it’s made from and all the styling choices. In the end, you’ll have chosen everything from the lining on the inside of your jacket to the buttons on the front and the closures on your pants.

When it comes to determining the price of custom Italian suits, the small details can be a big factor in the overall price. For example, basic plastic buttons on a jacket won’t cost you much and are an economical choice. However, if you go for wooden buttons or choose something like silver or gold buttons, you’ll pay considerably more.

The same goes for details like the lining on the inside of your jacket and pants. High-quality all-natural silks cost more than basic cotton or a blended material. Linings with a print or pattern can cost more than those that are a plain color.

Even things like how many pockets you want on your pants and if you want special pockets on the inside of your jacket can affect the overall price of custom Italian suits. A pocket designed for your iPhone or an inside breast pocket for a cigar can be useful, but they will add a small amount to your overall total because they require extra, more precise work from your tailor.

Are Italian Custom Suits Worth the Cost?

Many men wonder whether Italian custom suits or any sort of custom suit is actually worth going through the process and the cost that you’ll pay in the end. After all, aren’t suits from the department or menswear store just as good?

The answer is a resounding no. When you buy custom Italian suits, you get the perfect fit and a suit that is a head above style-wise. What you’re really getting is a runway-ready suit, likely for less money than if you were to buy the top designer brand from a high-end store or a name showroom like Armani.

Custom Italian suits will give you the classic style you’re looking for, the perfect fit every single time because you’ll be working with a skilled tailor, and the best materials in the world. It’s pretty hard to put a price on one of the world’s best suits, especially when you consider that you can keep it for most of your life if you store and clean it properly.

A good custom suit is one of the best investments that a stylish man – or a man who wants to improve his style – can make.

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Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.