The Difference Between a $500 Suit & A $5,000 Suit

Cheap Suits vs Expensive Suits

Make no mistake. When it comes to suits, what you pay is vastly indicative of its quality. These aren’t your pieces of Balenciaga hypewear that have nothing else going for them but the price. This is your three-piece set of armour to take on the world, like this offering from Zegna. So, what are the differences between $500 bespoke cheap suits and a $5,000 bespoke suit? The short answer? Everything. These are not ready-made YD suits, they’re different levels of made to measure. So read on for the longer answer in painful detail.


A $500 suit will probably only require you to throw your measurements into a form, either online or on paper. There is a disturbing lack of human interaction, and a disturbing abundance of DIY. Listen. This isn’t the backyard deck your old man reckons he could knock out in a Sunday. This is artistry at work. Off-the-rack in any old retail front, you may get to speak to a sales person, yes. But we’re looking for Giovanni from Sardinia, not Gina from North Ryde. A $5,000 will require you to show up at a physical storefront to be measured by an actual person trained in the ways of the fabric. And though this disparity seems inverse to common logic, the majority of people favouring the convenience of online/time and not having to interact with a person, how your order your suit becomes increasingly crucial as you read on.


Going off the previous paragraph, this is another point inverse to common logic. A $500 suit will take a few weeks to manufacture at most. Key word being manufacture. Your measurements, accurate or non-accurate, are scanned to a machine where the modified template is produced, and eventually stitched up in a factory in China. Essentially the same process for off-the-rack, where the access is virtually instantaneous. And while this might cut it for regular day to day wear or sneakers, we’re not talking about regular day to day wear or sneakers. We’re talking about an outfit of intricacies and moving parts that has to function just so. A $5,000 suit will take time. It’s hand-made by a human person. A human person skilled in this area of expertise with the discerning eye you can’t program into a machine (yet…). They say the true cost of a good suit is your money first and your time second. Abide by this sentiment. Make the investment on both fronts.


$500 cheap suits will only provide you with the options of a generic or template style, similarly in the case of off-the-rack. There isn’t much variation, field testing from a rich history of being worn by a diversity of people, or even respect for the form as pretentious as that sounds. It’s seasonal in the case of large companies. But again, it’s mostly ones and zeroes and sweatshops (maybe). A $5,000 suit entails an in-house style with history and imported from a locality where, in the balance of all probabilities, fashion is respected beyond profit margins and market dominance. A well-trained individual will be able to look at a $5,000 suit and read about the generations before between the damn stitching.

Singular Fit

$500 cheap suits is still a bespoke suit. So it will look as though it has been made to for your very measurements, a goal verified by custom brand Indochino’s CEO Drew Green. Key phrase being look as though. Without the professional touch of someone measuring you in the first stages of acquiring said suit, the entire process will have been a prolonged study in disaster. The $500 suit will look like it fits you perfectly when you’re standing. But try moving about a little. Go on. I dare you. Raise an arm. Sit down. Try eating. Doesn’t fit so well now, does it? Again, this isn’t your usual outfit where off-the-rack or, indeed, ready made will cut it. This is an outfit of intricacies and moving parts that has to function just so. The $5,000 suit on the other hand? You could hit the boxing gym in it (not advised). It moves and functions with your body, hanging off your very measurements in a range of scenarios to the millimetre.

And just like that, all those little sacrifices, all the seemingly minute compromises in the name of convenience – it makes a world of difference.