If you’re serious about your suiting, this is essential information… even if only as dinner party conversation.
William Westmancott Ultimate Bespoke (US$75,000)
Most 27-year-olds hardly earn $75,000, but at that age back in 2007, William Westmancott was making suits that cost that much. The Saville Row tailor cuts clothing for royalty from Bahrain to Buckingham Palace — including this ultra-light four-piece suit that takes 200 workshop hours to produce. He tosses in five bespoke shirts to sweeten the deal, for the price conscious Arab oligarch who wants to squeeze a little extra out of his £45,000.
Zoot suit (US$78,000)
A small fortune for something that looks like a mix between the ugly pyjamas your grandma buys you for Christmas and a uniform at a concentration camp? Well, this World War II era Zoot Suit is the only of its kind to ever be auctioned in the United States, which is why August Auctions in New York managed to collect 78 grand for it in 2011.
Alexander Amosu Vanquish II Bespoke (US$101,860)
Amosu took a break from creating gold-plated, diamond-covered mobile phones in 2009 to launch his own clothing line — including this six-figure suit, which owes its price tag to the rarity of its material: qiviuq (from an Arctic muskox) and vicuña wool (from wild South American llamas). The one-off suit took 80 hours and 5000 individual stitches to complete for an anonymous buyer, who added a couple of zeros by requesting nine 18-carat-gold buttons.
Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition (US$892,500)
Luxury designer Stuart Hughes teamed up with British suit maker Richard Jewels to produce what is officially the world’s most expensive suit, selling for £599,000 (around a million Aussie dollars). Why so pricey? They only made three . . . each carrying 480 diamonds that took 800 hours to stitch into exterior lining of a cashmere, wool and silk jacket that looks more Michael Jackson than James Bond.
Frosdick of London Million Dollar Dandy (US$1 million)
Not one suit, per se, but an entire wardrobe dubbed the “Million Dollar Dandy” — 14 bespoke Saville Row suits, 28 custom shirts with 28 ties to match, 14 pairs of shoes, an assortment of smoking jackets and dressing gowns encrusted with gems, a personalised hand-built Bristol motorcar, and a new wardrobe — literally — designed by Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Viscount David Linley. Oh, and you have to go to London for the fittings — but if you’re in the market, you’re not quibbling over the airfare.