Q: What is all this fuss about Super numbers? I see some suit makers touting Supers like karats of a diamond. Do higher super numbers actually make my suits more “super”? I’m looking for a everyday practical suit that can take a little beating while simultaneously being comfortable. What Super number should I be aiming for? - James K.
A: James, the Super numbers refer to the fineness of the yarn used in the wool fabric. Quality modern suiting typically start at Super 100s. The higher the number, the finer the yarn. The higher yarn count, the softer the fabric, which will feel nicer and drape a little better on the body. But is this always better? It depends on what you’re going for. A suit’s Super number is only one variable determining a fabric’s overall quality. While a higher Super number may feel more delicate and finer to the touch, there will be some setbacks in everyday performance. A suit with a higher super numbers tends to wrinkle more easily and may be less durable over time. Such suits may also be more prone to ‘snags’ and be much harder to re-weave and fix.
So it’s important to know what you want out of the suit before going after the highest super number possible. Are you looking for a once-in-a-blue-moon special occasion suit? Then a really high super number (above Super 150s) is the right option for you. However, if like most gents, you’re looking for a comfortable suit that you can wear frequently, suits ranging from Super 110s like our Solid Navy Suit to Super 130s like our Charcoal Light Blue Pinstripe Suit strike the perfect balance between luxurious feel and longevity. Super 150s, like our Solid Gray Suit, also work great and can last a long time, but will require a bit more attention when it comes to proper suit care. The key takeaway is this: don’t just buy a suit based on Super number alone. Instead, figure out how that suit will be worn and choose accordingly!
Got a question for our stylist? Send us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Ask A Black Lapel Stylist” or submit your questions in the comments below!