Buying clothes in person can be time consuming, but buying them online is like buying without a net when purchasing on ebay. First of all, PayPal does not offer nearly the protection of a credit card when making a purchase. Secondly, it can sometimes be painfully difficult (if not impossible) to return items if you purchase from the wrong seller.
Having seen the best and the worst, I would like to recommend you take a look at “style-wizard” and his products on ebay. Jeff Thomas is the man behind Style-Wizard, and I have purchased several suits from him. The brand he carries that I have purchased is called Baroni.
At the same time I purchased from Jeff at Style-Wizard, I purchased a Giorgio suit from Davinci_Exclusive on ebay. The suits from these two companies should have been nearly identical as both are made from Super 150′s material.
However, the Giorgio suit was much poorer in quality and cut in my opinion. The slacks that came with the jacket seemed to belong to a different jacket size. And when I tried to return the item to Davinci_Exclusive – well let’s just say they have a lot in common with the “Soup Nazi”. I still have the suit here, in a box, untouched. No refund, no anything except poor customer service. In years of buying on ebay, this was by far my worst experience.
Sadly many people buy from Davinci_exclusive and seem happy – probably because they have never tried Style-Wizard. I don’t blame them in a way, it is scary to spend that much money ($200 – $300 per suit) on ebay if you don’t know the seller.
Buying a Baroni suit from Style-Wizard so give you no sleepless nights. Though yes, it is an “off-brand” and yes, the suit may (I’m not sure) be made in China – the workmanship is on par with suits you’ll find anywhere this side of custom made. Take a look at the lapel for instance.
The lapel is classic American styling with the notch exactly as it should be. No hint of a military design as in some English suits, no trendy lapel that attracts unnecessary attention – just pure classic lines with pick stitching. Yes, that is pick stitching you see. Here is a closer look along with a close-up of the buttonhole.
Pick stitching has been a staple of upper-end custom made suits for some time. It is something similar to the Rolls Royce logo – a symbol that this car (or suit) was not built in a rush.
Pick stitching also adds a bit of character and personality to the suit, as well as the wearer.
The buttonhole, as you can see, in not hand stitched and has only a partial opening at the end. Some suits today are made without a buttonhole, so I don’t deduct much for not having a functional buttonhole. I do, however, favor the functional buttonholes as they are a throwback to the days when a button was actually located on the other lapel and the coat could be buttoned up against cold weather. We’ve long since moved past those Cary Grant-type days, but I like the buttonhole as an almost romantic symbol of days gone by. Certainly buttonholes such as the one on Baroni suits are functional in that they are the ideal place to put lapel pins with the American flag, etc.
Now let’s look at the sleeves.
These buttons are not functional as in high end suits, but they do look the part. I actually own a custom made suit from Hong Kong and they didn’t take the time to add the stitching to make it look like the buttons were functional on the sleeve. I must say, Baroni knows how to add character to a suit without jacking up the price.
Finally, a touch I really enjoy. The buttons on the waist. Yes, Brooks Brothers and many custom suits have metal clasps at the waist – but I don’t see the need. Certainly I’m not slim, but metal just doesn’t seem to have a place in a high quality suit.
Well perhaps I spoke to soon. The Baroni does have a metal zipper and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However the waist is held closed by two buttons, along with the usual button just to the side of the zipper. Three buttons in all to make for a perfect, flat fit.
So before your next suit purchase, I encourage you to order a Baroni from Style-Wizard due to the quality of the material, low cost, workmanship, and customer service. You’ll thank me when you open the box. People, especially me, don’t expect this quality at this price – especially from ebay. It’s a new year, time to start looking at buying in a new way.