how is the quality of Paul Stuart?

son of brummell

Super Member
MArk

You post raises some questions I have had for some time. One, what is the avg. price for a PS suit. Was the 1K suit your purchased for your stepson a sameulshon.

the second related question is the the styling and age clientele. Can we assume your stepson was under 40? Does that mean that PS carries some things that may be attractive to the non palm beach retiree crowd?

What is the styling of the suit. Is it a conservative, soft shoulder etc. Thanks


The average price is probably $1,200. The stepson's suit was a "basic" suit priced a tad below $1,000. It wasn't a fancy, fancy cloth. It was made by Sameulshon. Full canvas, etc.

I would say that the average age of the clientele is high 40's to 50's.

It's a traditional store through and through. The salesman all wear coats and ties. (In fact, there is a store rule that the coat must be buttoned.)

I would say that its clothes can be attractive to the younger crowd in that its tailored clothes have more shape and flair. They have a suit aimed toward the "young and fit" customer called the Westgate which is very slim. We didn't try it since we were looking at the base price suits, and the Westgate has more expensive cloths. They offer trousers without belt loops.

The suits are conservative, yet stylish. The button stance is higher. The coat has shape. The pants had Daks tops (no belt loops) with an extension waistband although they are adding belt loops to the stepson's suit. (Not my idea.) There are many sizes available. It is a modified soft shoulder.

Mayor Bloomberg is a customer, and he typiifies the look. I'm not suggesting that he is our next Beau Brummell or JFK, but he looks trim and fit in his business suits.

As compared to PS, Brooks Brothers's offerings a very drab and shapeless. The Brooks mentality is to cover the body without much fuss and to be proper. I would think that a younger, fit man would want a suit with some shape. I am referring to Brooks Bros. 4th floor. We didn't venture to the 6th since the base price was $1,500 which was beyond our budget.

I hate to be prejorative on the fora, but in all truthfulness, the Brooks stuff was pretty drab and lifeless and not well made. (PS has full canvas front and horn buttons.) The PS offerings were much better. When my stepson tried on a PS, I didn't have the heart to go back to Brooks.

One last point about sizes. I think that PS is the last of the Mohicians regarding carrying a wide range of sizes. Brooks used to carry semi-longs. It no longer does. PS had a 37 which worked, and I think that they carry lower sizes. Brooks's lowest size was 38.
 
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Cowtown

Senior Member
Greetings all. I have recently discovered the forum and it has provided me a great bit of advice.

How do the Paul Stuart basis suits compare to Hickey Freeman?

Regards
Dan
 

kbuzz

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Think Ill drop IN

Ill try and drop in to PS next and report back some general recon findings. The sammy suits are attractive to me as a mtm alternative in that they make a a 41 long otr.
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Winstanley??

For many years PS's basic shirts were made by Gitman, the more expensive by Ike Behar and another firm that I think was acquired by R. Talbott years ago. I am not sure of the current maker(s), but Behar makes in Canada and Italy. Odd trousers used to be by Barry Bricken. Now? Sweaters are from all over the world, including a hand-frame fair isle maker (named in a PS catalogue) that I tracked down (via mail) years ago on one of the northern most Shetland Islands. As I recall, the family knitted sweaters in one section of a building, and had a small country grocery in the other. English knitted sea island cotton shirts are by John Smedley. If the merino knits are English, probably also by Smedley. Belts used to be predominantly Trafalgar. English braces by Thurston (Bracemaker). Some winter outerwear used to be by Invertere (defunct). Obviously my information is somewhat dated.

It is well know that PS's premier shoe line was previously Edward Green. Before EG, Paul Stuart featured Dublin, Ireland made private label shoes by Winstanley. Winstanley shoes were rare in the US, some being labeled "Winstanley by Nancy Knox". I think Winstanley is defunct. Is anyone familiar with Winstanley, and can you elaborate? Mr. Will? Just curious.
 
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kabert

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Another big fan here of Paul Stuart. I've found that with PS, you get what you pay for: the higher priced items are really good quality and generally worth the extra money.

Belts: They sell $50 calfskin belts that are only "OK" in my opinion; on the other hand they have $150 calfskin belts that are fantastic. Today, in fact, I'm wearing a lambskin belt that I bought at PS when I was in college in the spring of 1988. It was about $75 back then - expensive, yet the belt is still in perfect condition. It wouldn't surprise me that the cheaper ones were made by Trafalgar.

Sweaters: I've always thought that the "made in Italy" ones were made by Avon Celli whereas the "made in England" ones were John Smedley. Great stuff.

Shirts: I too had heard that the made in USA shirts were by Gitman Brothers, but that was a few years ago. That's not a bad thing -- PS supplies the fabric and dictates sizing and specifications. (Gitman makes nice shirts -- I have a fantastic non-PS Gitman-labeled shirt, with MOP buttons. Unfortunately, Gitman also makes lower-end shirts that tarnish its higher-end.) The made in USA shirts only have plastic buttons, but at least they are sewn on well and I can't recall ever having buttons break at the cleaners. The PS "Cooper-collar" shirts (made in USA) are some of my favorites. Now, the Made in Italy shirts are a different story -- they cost at least twice as much ($250 or so). I thought that perhaps they were made by Lorenzini, but I have no idea. Great fabric and nice MOP buttons. Keep an eye out for made in Italy "Stuart's Choice" shirts on Ebay.

Suits/Sportcoats: Made in Canada ones are Samuelsohn; Made in Italy ones are Isaia. All well made, but Isaia ones are fantastic (if expensive). When you buy a made in Canada PS suit, don't think "I'm buying a Samuelsohn suit" -- you're not. Samuelsohn only does the cut and sew for PS. PS supplies the fabric and the specifications -- Samuelsohn just follows directions, cutting the fabric and sewing together the suits and sportcoats. I assume PS has the same arrangement with Isaia.

Slacks: I don't know who makes them. They mostly seem to be made in Canada these days. I had assumed they were also made by Samuelsohn; the above reference to Barry Bricken is a first for me. In my experience (I have perhaps 20 pairs of PS slacks), the fabrics are fantastic. But, as noted, you get what you pay for with PS -- the cashmere blend super 150s slacks for $350 will be sublime, as they should be. The $75 PS khakis will be very nice, but perhaps not as nice as $125 Incotex khakis. My experience with PS slacks is that they tend to have a fairly generous fit, comparable to Kiton or Brooks Brothers. By the way, I also have some PS shorts that are fantastic - buy-em.

Socks/Underwear: The socks are gorgeous, comfortable and unique. Unfortunately, my experience has been that the OTC socks aren't quite long enough for my long legs, so they slide down over the course of a day. I have thought that at least some PS socks were made by Pantherella based on the similarity of designs. Cotton fabric used in PS boxers and briefs is super-soft. Recommended!

Shoes: Dress shoes are mostly made by Grenson. Superb shoes. There are other makers though for crocodile skin shoes and casual shoes. A couple years ago someone sold off a large batch of PS driving shoes that the seller swore were made by Alden -- but, who knows.

Other stuff: Various items that any dandy will appreciate: handpainted cufflinks, alpaca hats, jackets/slacks, etc. in wonderfully unique and colorful plaids, cashmere socks, dress gloves that are crocodile (top) and calfskin (bottom) with vicuna lining (@$650), mink-lined casual coats, fantastically ornate silk scarves, and an amazing array of belts in a multitude of colors and skins.

Finally, IMO, very attentive customer service.

... For Christmas, I just tell my wife: "Get me anything from Paul Stuart." It's hard to go wrong.
 
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NewYorkBuck

Senior Member
The only bad thing I can say about the place is the salespeople can sometimes be KGB attentive, and Im one who likes to browse at my own pace.
 

Trilby

Senior Member
The only bad thing I can say about the place is the salespeople can sometimes be KGB attentive, and Im one who likes to browse at my own pace.

I've also found the quality of the staff very mixed. Some are superb - really first rate - but I have dealt with a few who were very pushy.

The store isn't really set up for casual browsing. All of the ties are in glass cabinets and it's impossible to look at the suits upstairs without a salesman escorting you - they hover at the top of the stairs and grab you as soon as you get to the top of the steps. I suppose it's an old fashioned idea of personal service - a bit like the traditional shops in Europe where all of the merchandise is hidden away in drawers and cabinets, and the staff have to personally take things out to show you. It can be helpful if you are a serious about buying, but it's very annoying if you just want to browse.

No complaints about the quality of the clothes, however.
 

encooper

New Member
I have been shopping at Paul Stuart for about 10 yrs since my late 20's. It has very appealing stuff for younger guys who have jobs that require a professional looking suit that fits. The quality is very good and the prices are reasonable. I stumbled in for the first time (after stopping in Brooks Brothers next door) on a Post-Christmas shopping daytrip to NYC with my then-girlfriend/now wife. The store is beautiful and I was immediately hooked. I do not think it is trad at all. The salesmen that I have dealt with are very knowledgeable (although I agree that my first time up to the suit floor was very intimidating with the salesman waiting for you at the top of the stairs). The catalogs are a pleasure to receive in the mail.
 

kbuzz

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
bought a PS sammy

Ill try and drop in to PS next and report back some general recon findings. The sammy suits are attractive to me as a mtm alternative in that they make a a 41 long otr.


Dropped by yesterday. Here is a quick review in anyone is interested. In sum, bought the sammy PS suit. Nice fabric, 1 percent cashmere. Nice construction. I think it was $1200. Based on this novice's opinion, fit n feel construction noticablbly better then HF mtm and clearly better the the chan. Note, they had the broadest range of 41L I have ever seen, including a beautiful classic blue pin stripe with center vent at $995. Nice value.

Salesman..was postive and negative. Slightly condscending...a bit pushy.....but ultimately helpful at the same time in a real mens store sort of way. MEaning fit and answering questions....

A nice expereince. They had solid grey SB peaked lapel on the dummy on the stairs at the mtm area. It looked super and wayyyyyyyyyy away from the palm beach crowd...Since the salesperson was kind of in the if you have to ask mentality..i did not inquire futher. But it was really nice.

The gentleman working the shirt area was very very helpful . Candid and frank....i liked im....I wonder if he is the gentlemen mentioned postively in prior posts on ps mtm shirts.

A few posts above mention that sammy makes the suits to PS specs. I wonder what PS specs that is different then say a sammy you would pick up outside of ny. Anyone know.
 
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mrslaavw

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've also found the quality of the staff very mixed. Some are superb - really first rate - but I have dealt with a few who were very pushy.

The store isn't really set up for casual browsing. All of the ties are in glass cabinets and it's impossible to look at the suits upstairs without a salesman escorting you - they hover at the top of the stairs and grab you as soon as you get to the top of the steps. I suppose it's an old fashioned idea of personal service - a bit like the traditional shops in Europe where all of the merchandise is hidden away in drawers and cabinets, and the staff have to personally take things out to show you. It can be helpful if you are a serious about buying, but it's very annoying if you just want to browse.

No complaints about the quality of the clothes, however.

I am with you about the service. I dared to walk up the steps and the guy gave me a look. When I said I wanted to look at suits, he asked me if I want to look suits in my size. He then proceeded to tell me this is not like a depratment store and that he is now officially assigned to me. Wow.

Anyhow, the store is great. I actually find that it might be my price point. The $1K suit was nice and in my range. The shirts are not charvet, but still nice for the price point. I ruin shirts, so $69 for a shirt might not such a bad idea. Brooks shirts are non-iron so this seems like a good point for me. I bought a dress shirt and will try it out. If it goes well, I will probably start using them more.
 
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