Suit Fabric and the Super Numbers

The ‘super’ numbers are one of those great marketing inventions of the retail industry, allowing salespeople to bamboozle customers and charge more for a product than it is really worth. The higher the number the better it must be, right?

No.

With suits, and woollen fabrics, the super number is really just a measurement of how fine the wool has been spun to make the fabric for the suit or jacket. The higher the number, the finer the fabric. Beyond this though, there really isn’t any relevance to the super numbers. A poor quality wool can be spun very finely, and exquisite wool can be spun less fine. Think of Harris or Donegal Tweeds; these are amazing fabrics that are certainly very coarsely spun, but are spun from the some of the finest wools available.

This is why some S100s suit fabric feels far superior to the S150s suit some bloke at work is telling you he picked up for a bargain from a traveling salesman or on his last holiday to south-east Asia.

The other thing to note, that if wool is spun too finely it becomes impractical for regular wear, and will wear out too quickly. With fabric, like anything in life, you pay for quality. The better the quality of wool in your suit, the better the suit will last and the better the drape should be on your body.

The bottom line is, don’t worry too much about the super ratings, if the fabric feels nice and you like the patterns and colours, buy it. Our next article in this series will cover perhaps the most important consideration for you when buying a suit, the fit.