Men's suiting: Fabrics decoded (Part 1) – Beckett Simonon
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Men's suiting: Fabrics decoded (Part 1)

Menswear Knowledge Suits

Picking the right suit depends on more than just finding the right fit: experts, designers and tailors understand that fabric is one of the most important aspects in creating a garment, and it can make or break whatever design you choose to get. Even if you manage to get your hands on the coolest pair of dress shoes, shirt and tie.

Thread Count

First and foremost, it is important to note that in the world of suiting, thread count is referred to as the “Super” number. This number can be a very tricky indicator of the quality of the wool. It goes from the Super 80s to the Super 250s. The numbers add a quantitative dimension that makes decision-making less intimidating. They also constitute bragging rights. S-numbers are a key conversation maker at any cocktail party.

It is commonly believed that the higher the “Super” number, the better the cloth. Stop. This is not necessarily true. Figures in the super number represent the number of fibers spun into a unit measure of cloth, which indicates the “fineness” of the fibers—and what’s even more important—its inverse relationship with durability.

Most affordable suits are in the Super 120-130 range, which is considered a good balance between luxury and durability. Super 180s and higher can be very delicate, will crease almost at the same rate as linen and can wear out after a few dry cleanings. Not very good news for your metaphorical—or literal—pockets. So if you don’t have 15+ suits in your wardrobe rotation, stick to the more durable low-hundred S-numbers that feel good to the touch. 



Twill is a type of textile weave consisting of a pattern of diagonal parallel lines. 


Herringbone describes a distinctive diagonal V-shaped pattern usually found in twill fabric.

Windowpane check

Not much to say here. Fine lines create large, open squares.

Glen plaid 

Short for Glenurquhart check. This is a woolen fabric in a woven twill, with a pattern that alternates small checks with larger checks, creating an irregular, crisscrossing pattern.


Also known as dogstooth, houndstooth is a highly recognizable two-tone textile pattern, consisting of a series of jagged, broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes.


Fine, parallel and regularly spaced stripes, running along the length of the cloth, and in a lighter color than that of the fabric.


A light, gathered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or checkered. Seersucker is a spring and summer staple that stays off your skin and doesn’t need pressing. It usually comes in whites and blues.

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