Wearing a nice suit is all about picking out the perfect one and dressing it up to perfection. First things first, Fit is king. Doesn’t matter what brand you’re wearing.
It doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on your suit. If it doesn’t fit It’s a bad suit. A lot of guys get a suit that’s one size too big and the result of that is that the shoulders of the suit flop over your natural shoulders and you get this dent. An easy way to check if the suit shoulder fits you right is to go up against the wall.
Here are the things to keep in mind before wearing a suit.
You suit should make contact with the wall first followed by your shoulder.
If there’s any bunching of fabric in between that your suit is too big. If your shoulder hits the wall first before the fabric of the suit, the suit is too tight. It’s important that you’re able to comfortably cross your arms without tearing the fabric across your back. Moving on down the suit you want to make sure that the fit at the stomach is right too.
The way you check that is you button the top button of the suit and slide your hand in between that button. If your hand feels too tight in that area, it’s possible that your suit is too small or if there’s way too much room in there, your suit is likely too big. The fabric of the jacket should drape the natural contour of your arms without bunching up being too tight or loose.
The length of the sleeve is also crucial.
You want to be comfortable showing at least a quarter to half an inch of your shirt below your suit. This is one of those alterations that need to be done by a tailor because anatomically, we’re all different, we’re not symmetrical. One arm can be longer than the other.
It’s been debated how long your suit should be and really there’s a simple answer to this. You want your suit to fall somewhere between your wrist and the middle of your thumb but most importantly it has to cover your bottom.
So we talked about the jacket of the suit now let’s talk about the pants.
You want to make sure that the waist of the pants fits you properly.
How do you find your natural waist? Well, take three fingers and place them right below your bellybutton, and that’s your natural waist. That’s where your suit pant should fit. These aren’t jeans, these aren’t sweatpants, so don’t let them sink, too low.
Your suit pant should fit comfortably without the need for a belt. In fact, the best quality suit pants are made without belt loops. They’re made with little hinges and attachments on the sides to make small changes in case you gain a pound or two. The suit fabric should naturally drape the contour of your legs without being too loose or snug.
The length of the pants.
There is some flexibility in deciding. How you want the hem of your pants to look you can go for no break, half break or a full break. I think the perfect look falls somewhere between a half break or no break at all because when you go for a full break you get that ugly crease in your shins and doesn’t make the suit look flattering.
Now let’s talk about the details which can really bring your personality to light. Starting from top to bottom, let’s look at the lapels. The three most popular variations of the lapel is the notch lapel which is that classic one you see on most suits.
Then you have the peak lapel. A little bit more formal, a little bit more flashy. And then you have the shawl collar, which is something that you see traditionally at more formal events like award shows or galas.
But throw all those rules out the window. If you feel like one of those lapels matches your personality or you look best, don’t be afraid to try it. Give it a go and see if it works with your outfit.
Buttons of the suit.
We’re going to be talking about single-breasted suits only, leaving a double-breasted suit behind. The most important part to remember is, do not button the bottom button. That’s like a tongue twister, but seriously don’t button the bottom button. I recommend going with the two buttons. It’s classic, it works on all styles
You can wear it to a formal event, you can make it less formal by dressing it down with some jeans. Good quality suits have a functioning or working buttons. Believe it or not, functioning buttons have a medical history.
They used to be called Surgeon’s button because when surgeons had to run to the operating room, they would unbutton their sleeves, roll them up and go to work. It’s true. A part of the suit that you probably never paid attention to before is the vents. It’s the backside of your suit but it’s equally as important as all the other details. Suits have three options you can go for the vents.
You have no vent, you have the single vent down the middle or you have the double vent on the sides. I strongly recommend going for the double vent because when you sit down, the flap in the middle actually covers your bottom and doesn’t make you look like a fool. Go with a flat front pant. No pleats, please no pleats. The last detail of a suit that you can work on is either getting a cuff or no cuff at the bottom of your pant leg.
Really the choice here is yours.
Now let’s talk about the colour and fabric of suits.
When you’re getting your first suit, you should definitely get a suit that’s going to be multi-purpose that you can wear to weddings, that you can wear to events, that you can wear to work and a navy suit for that fits all occasions. If you already have a few suits and you’re looking to buy more, there are two things that you should really focus on: that’s your skin tone and the season.
When it’s winter you want to go for something heavier like a wool or even a corduroy. If it’s summer, you want to go for light fabrics like cotton, linen or even a very thin, fine wool. When talking about colour, for the summer you want bright colours that pop and make a statement. But for the winter and the fall, you want brown tones, navy tones, dark tones. It just generally looks good with the light of that season.
Underneath your suit, there are only two options that you could really go for.
That’s a t-shirt or a dress shirt. Wearing a t-shirt is a great way to dress down the suit and making it a little bit less formal, but still looking very well dressed. The type of t-shirt I’d normally go for is either a white or black V-neck tee.
It keeps the lines of the suit looking very crisp and doesn’t take away from the suit but still allows you to look very well dressed, very proper and very sharp. Make sure that it’s a slim fit T-shirt, there’s not too much fabric bunching up down the middle and also that it’s not too long. You don’t want your shirt to be longer than your suit, that just makes it look messy. Let’s not get too complicated here.
You want a shirt that fits really well, snug but not causing any kind of creasing, no pulling on the buttons.
Most importantly you want a shirt that’s long enough so it stays neatly tucked into your pants all day. You want to get a semi-spread collar, it’s the collar that works with pretty much anything, tie or no tie.
Avoid getting a collar that buttons down, it doesn’t look good with the suit. Just go for the classic two-button barrel cuff, no need for French cuffs, no need for cuff links right now.
Start off by getting a quality collection of basic shirts first and then you can start exploring and finding out what works for you.
What about undershirts?
I don’t think you need them. Get rid of them. They never look good, they make your midsection look heavy and some people say that it prevents the sweat stains from going onto the dress shirt but that doesn’t happen. In fact. I think they make you more hot more sweaty
There’s no benefit to an undershirt. Ties. Make sure that when you’re wearing a tie doesn’t go past your belt, and it doesn’t sit too high up on your torso because it’s going to make you look bad.
Tie And Pocket Squares.
Also when selecting the colour of your tie, make sure it fits the colour palette of your suit and your dress shirt. I also opt for a tie bar. Not only do I think it looks great but it also keeps the tie in the same place all day without falling to either side.
What’s the deal with pocket squares?
Well, I think pocket squares are great. They allow you to show more personality, add more colour to your wardrobe. A lot of people think that your pocket square needs to match your tie or your dresser perfectly, but that’s not true. It can be that perfect little accent of colour that you don’t expect but, again it should stay the same colour palette that your tie suit and dress shirt are in.
There are a million ways to fold your pocket square but I like to keep it simple as I do with most things so I either go for the conservative square or if I’m feeling very fashionable I’ll go for the four-point look.
What kind of socks to wear?
Here’s a place for you to show even more personality and get some crazy coloured socks. You really only should be seeing your socks when you’re seated. It’s okay to get a really flashy colour here. If you have big calves if wear regular socks as they’ll cause the fabric of your suit to bunch up, and it won’t look great.
If you’re going to be wearing a loafer, don’t be afraid to go sock-less, especially in the summer. You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. As long as they match the colour palette of your suit and they’re great quality, you’ll be all set.
Fashion has no boundaries, there’s really no limit to your creativity.