A good suit can be make or break your style credentials in your on or off-duty wardrobe.
From making you look taller, to disguising a few extra pounds. It is a lifetime investment which takes a lot of consideration and should be taken seriously – get it right and you should feel like a King whilst wearing it.
It’s thought every man should have at least one good suit. However, different events often call for different attire, but keeping multiple suits around is a luxury few of us can (or want to) afford. Still, you’d be surprised how much versatility you can get out of one sharp-looking suit if you buy smart and get the right accessories.
For those that have yet to buy their first suit, the process can be frustrating if you’re not into formal wear. You may be concerned about spending so much on an outfit you’ll hardly wear. It doesn’t have to be that way, suits are no longer the outfit you have to set aside hundreds and thousands of pounds for, though you certainly can if you wish.
Whether you’re attending a funeral, fancy party or just a night on the town, we’ll help you find the ideal suit for you.
Know Your Occasion
Before dropping all that money on one new outfit first consider what the occasion is that encouraged you to buy a new (or your first) suit. If the suit is for a job interview then try to consider if you’ll be wearing it for any other job interviews or perhaps it could be used for formal dinners etc. The rule of thumb is; if you can make your purchase fit as many situations as possible then you’re making a smart buy. If you’re buying you’re suit for a formal dinner then opting for a suit that has a more casual look with just hints of traditional features it can double up and ensure you get plenty of daytime wear out of it as well.
If this is your first suit or maybe even it’s just been a while since you’ve been fitted for a suit then it is important to get fully measured. It’s easy to get the trousers and sleeves tailored as they are quick and easy to do, but the rest is necessary to get right first time. Knowing where to start and how it should look/feel can be difficult, but if you don’t have the time or energy to go to a store or a tailor then follow the rules below to get the at home perfect fit.
suit shoulders should gently hug your own and look tidy, there should be no excess fabric or material that appears strained or tightened. Pull your arms forward and around you feeling for the seam. If the seam feels tight and uncomfortable, opt for a larger size or different fit. If the seam feel oversized or loose or moves quite baggy around the shoulders opt for a smaller size or fit.
Your jacket should button easily but not look too loose. Once buttoned place one had between you and the jacket it should fit comfortably inside with no excess space. Any wider and you’ll need a smaller size.
If you hang your arms down straight down your front and cup your jacket hem in your hands, if you can reach it easily – it’s too long. If it’s shorter then it’s merely a matter of personal taste. Most modern jackets only sit an inch or two below the cuff.
Place your arms straight by your side. The cuff of your jacket should fall at the base of where your thumb meets your wrist, with about 1-2cm of your shirt cuff visible – depending of course on personal preference.
The fit of your trousers should suit your own personal taste and style. The cut of the trouser leg should flatter the look without being too tight or too loose. The classic length of the trouser should sit nicely on the top of your shoe without the back touching the floor – creating a subtle crease at the front. Whereas if you’re looking for a more modern look the length of the leg should rest easy just a top of your shoe.
Size is Nothing Without Style
For most people the fit is the most important thing to consider while buying a suit. Obviously it is highly important – but it is not the single most important thing. Once you have your sizings and you can be sure that your suit is comfortable, hangs well and is easy to wear, you need to know what exactly it is you’re looking for in your suit.
Remember the goal of your first suit (or first in a long time) is to find a suit that works in as many situations that it can and in as many different levels of formality. Timeless, sharp styles that are fitted to your body that can work for many different occasions is a keeper. Not all formal situations are the same – a funeral, a job interview and a fancy dinner date are all very unique places to compare. Now if you want to buy a suit for each event then you’re set but if that’s not who you are then it’s all about finding a suit that can be diverse.
Your 3 basic colours of a suit are grey, blue and black all of which can be worn interchangeably at most formal occasions. Typically we see blue for formal dinners etc, grey for work functions or interviews and black for funerals. Today, however it doesn’t have to be set out this way with right styles and tones then most colours work for all occasions – especially when in a darker pallet.
There are a few basic style tendencies that can ensure your suit works for all occasions. Slimmer guys should consider having their jackets made with broad lapels to broaden their shoulders, and one vent to keep the slim look.
Larger guys should opt for two vents for maximum maneuverability. Under no circumstances should one get pleated trousers – some suggest pleated trousers on a larger gentleman may help him to appear slimmer, unfortunately this isn’t true and often has the opposite effect. Another common customisation is on the pockets should you get slits or flaps? While slits have more of an modern look about them, I would recommend flaps as they look formal and traditional – whist also being able to tuck them in discreetly to create a diverse suit.
Where to buy?
When it comes to actually buying your suit then it’s important to remember quality over quantity in every aspect. While you may be tempted to pick up a sea of multi packs and just buy a blazer this will be reflected when you wear it and your clever idea won’t seem so clever at a formal dinner. It is my personal belief that every man should own at least 1 well put together suit.
Now regardless of the colour of the suit you cannot go wrong with a white shirt. It can be worn formally, informally, with or without a blazer, with a tie or open buttoned. The options are limitless. This white poplin shirt by Joseph Turner is a fantastic choice at even more fantastic price. With meticulous attention to detail this shirt is made using the finest pure 2/100s two-fold cotton.
Cassino Grey 2 pc Suit
Luxury Black 2pc Suit
Kensington Blue 3pc Suit
To Tie or Knot to Tie
That is the question. If your event is part of a more formal gathering then maybe it’s worth putting on a tie – better to be overdressed than look like you don’t care. With the right shoes, belt and accessories you can match almost every colour tie to a suit, but if you’re just looking for a quick fix for those impromptu formal parties then get yourself a basic colour that matches the suit with little or no accessorising needed. All these basic ties work well with all the different coloured suits that we have suggested but our personal tastes suggest they work their best when partnered with the suit colours we’ve suggested.
Purple for Black
This deep Cadbury panama silk tie complements a black suit fabulously. It brings a bright contrast to the suit whilst staying dignified and classy with the Royal colour bringing just a hint of sophistication.
Red for Navy
With a navy suit and a relatively simple shirt you can really go bold with your tie and find exactly what your outfit is about. Red on Navy can be seen as a real power move, the impeccable style tip has been followed by many male icons including the man Mr Beckham himself. This cashmere wool scarlet red tie is a perfect fit, the slim style compliments the suits easy going colour and add a sense of modernity.
Black for Grey
It’s usually assumed that if you wear a black tie, it needs to be partnered with a black suit, just incase every occasion isn’t a funeral however, try partnering your slim black tie with your grey suit. A very professional look that screams I know a thing or two about something. This look can be seen as a very fashionable taste – partnered with black shoes and a white shirt it’s fit for every level of formality. This slim satin tie is a much needed addition to every man’s wardrobe.