A Guy’s Guide to Buying a Suit
A suit? Really? Who wears suits anymore?
Actually, a good suit is still an essential part of a man’s wardrobe.
A perfectly fitted suit creates a great impression, and it can also make you feel better about yourself and more confident when you wear it.
There a jobs that require men to wear suits, but even if yours doesn’t, there are many times when a suit a just the only thing that will do. Besides special occasions like weddings, you’ll want a good looking suit for art shows, theater, or just dressing up for a special night on the town.
A suit will cost several hundred dollars, and can run as high as $1500 (or more, of course… but let’s not go there yet). But a well-made suit will last for many years, so consider it a clothing investment.
The difference in cost will be based on design, fabric, features, and tailoring.
If you’re buying just one suit, look for something in a traditional cut, a navy blue or charcoal color (possibly pin striped), and a lightweight fabric (you can always wear an overcoat in cold weather).
The most important aspect when buying and wearing a suit is fit, so be sure that tailoring and alterations are available. The suit should look like it was designed for your body.
- The shoulder pads should match your shoulders, and not project out artificially.
- Lapel width should be proportional to your shoulders… thin if you have narrow shoulders, and wider if your shoulders are wide.
- When your arms are hanging comfortably at your sides, the tips of your fingers should extend just slightly below the bottom hem of the jacket.
- The sleeves should reach to the base of your thumb, leaving about a half-inch of your shirt cuff visible.
- The jacket should button comfortably, but fit closely about the waist.
- Pant legs can be plain with no cuff, or pleated with a cuff. The two go together.
- If your hips are narrow, wear a tapered leg; if wide, wear a wider leg for a more flattering silhouette.
- Above all, you should be able to move comfortably in the suit. Comfort and confidence are a big part of capturing that “well dressed man” image.
You’ll find that the more you wear a suit, the more comfortable you will be, and the more you’ll look for chances to wear it. You’ll eventually want to add a second suit in a heavier fabric such worsted wool, and perhaps another suit in a different color or style.
Eventually you may want to purchase a custom suit (traditionally called a bespoke suit) for the ultimate in style and fit. The custom suit is the perfect way to show your style!
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