Saturday, March 20, 2010

Best in U.S.-made: Oxxford suits

Over the years, I have worn garments from a number of American designers such as Joseph Abboud, Bill Blass, Brooks Brothers, Hickey Freeman, Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren. While I have usually found these brands to be reasonable in price, the fit is different among them. For example, an Abboud jacket is cut fuller in the body than a Polo jacket.

So is the fabric. The above designers likely will use 100 percent wool or 100 percent cotton, but the quality of the material varies (and so does the price).

That got me thinking about what is more important, the designer's name or how comfortable the clothes will be. The latter is paramount; some designers fit better than others on a given individual. Some fabrics perform better than others.

So I decided to go to the upper echelon of American menswear, which includes Chicago-based Oxxford, outfitters of U.S. presidents including George W. Bush, and many other notable people. Oxxford, like Brooks Brothers and Polo, offers high-end menswear, which also includes Western wear.

What makes Oxxford distinctive is the painstaking labor that goes into its garments. Suits are hand-stitched, the trousers feature a continuous waistband, and the jacket includes a "bellows pocket" on the inside, which expands when items are placed in it.

For more on how Oxxford suits are made, click here.

About 18 months ago, I toured the Oxxford factory and got to see firsthand how the clothes are made, from the selection of fabrics to the cutting of patterns to the stitching to the finished product. It's an impressive process that takes several weeks, but it's well worth the wait.

For these reasons, I consider Oxxford to be the best in American-made suits.

1 comment:

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