Table: Suit Lineage

While the man in the gray flannel suit could sum up his work wardrobe in one color, one cut, and one fabric, today suit manufacturers realize that dressing is also a reflection of one's multifaceted lifestyle. Now, as with cars or wine, there is a hierarchy in the fine suit lines. The same brand can take you from a casual business dinner or weekend conference to a boardroom presentation or formal dinner. With prices for entry-level suits starting under $600, one of these respected lines may well be within your reach.

ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Napoli For those who delight in extraordinary $2,695* Couture quality, the tradition and extensive workmanship of a sartorial suit. Highly hand-tailored, optional button-through fly, exclusive fabrics. Sartoriale Quintessential Italian clothing built $1,600* with finesse and flair. Renowned for Super 100's specialty fabrics. Z Zegna New this season, well-priced and fashion- $875* driven as characterized by ads featuring Oscar-winner Adrien Brody.

PAL ZILERI Sartoriale by Dressier, formal fabrics, impeccable $1,895* Pal Zileri finishing, highly hand-tailored. Pal Zileri A modern, sexy approach to classic $1,295* Italian suits. Pal by Younger, more cutting-edge line. $895* Pal Zileri

GIORGIO ARMANI Giorgio Old World handcraftsmanship for a sober $2,025** Armani business suit with the distinctive Armani Black Label drape. Sold exclusively in Giorgio Armani shops. Giorgio Still the most sought after label in $1,495** Armani Italian fashion, first popularized in Collezioni 1980 when worn by Richard Gere in American Gigolo. Emporio A younger collection that reflects $898** Armani Armani's more spirited, inventive ideas.

POLO RALPH LAUREN Ralph Lauren The fitted look of Savile Row designed $2,995* Purple Label to Ralph's personal style. Polo by Clothing that defines English-inspired $895* Ralph Lauren American classicism. Chaps The Ralph Lauren look interpreted for $475* the younger, style-conscious man.

JOSEPH ABBOUD Black Label Better side-vented American clothing $895* expertly made from select Italian fabrics. Joseph Distinguished by monochromatic palettes $650* Abboud that give a modern edge to traditional American design utilizing select European fabrics. A favorite of sports- casters including Bryant Gumbel and Bob Costas.

BROOKS BROTHERS Golden A new line of high-end suits inspired by $1,098* Fleece the Brooks Brothers archives. Brooks The classic three-button, natural shoulder $798* Brothers 1818 American suit, updated and improved. Brooks Ease Sold as separates, wrinkle resistant, $598 good for travel, extremely comfortable, super 100 pure wool.

* Starting price ** Average price

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