Things To Know Before Buying A Suit
No matter what people try to tell you, clothes do make the man. Wear a well-tailored suit anywhere, and you’ll attract the right attention. On the flip side, put on a pair of shorts and a ratty t-shirt and you’ll most likely be invisible.
A well-dressed man is always noticed and for all the right reasons. You’ve probably heard the old saying that, “You can tell a gentleman, by the cut of his suit”. That is just as true today, even though social norms are a lot less formal than they were some decades ago.
Every man should have at least one good suit in his closet and the right one can be worn for almost any occasion. Before you rush out to get yourself a suit, here are some things to consider when buying suits.
1. The Fit
You can spend thousands of dollars on a designer label suit and still look like a hobo if that suit doesn’t fit right. There are a number of factors to consider with the fit so consider them carefully.
The Jacket – If the shoulders on the jacket don’t fit perfectly, put the suit back on the rack. There are many things on the suit that can be re-adjusted but shoulders are not usually one of them. The chest of the jacket should only ever have about an inch or two room. If you can button up the jacket and fit both your fists in, it’s too big. Similar, you don’t want the chest of the jacket to be too tight. You will know this firstly, because it will feel uncomfortable and secondly, when you look in the mirror, the fabric around the buttons will look distorted. The sleeves should only reveal about half an inch of your wrist when your arms are stretched out to the sides.
The Pants – Forget about pleats in the front. Pleats are hopelessly outdated. Do ensure the pants fit well around the waist without being too tight and the trouser legs should fit gracefully along your entire leg. The bottom of the pants should end on the top of your shoes, although you can have a little extra material to form a slight trouser break. To ensure your trouser legs fit properly it’s a good idea to take your dress shoes with you. That way, when you try on the pants, you’ll see exactly how the bottom of the pants will sit on your shoes. Otherwise, just try on some shoes to match your suit in-store.
There are usually three types of lapels to choose from with suit jackets and understanding the different types can help you select the right suit for the appropriate occasion. Most men will choose a notch lapel which is a little on the casual side, but still quite elegant. Most sports jackets feature a notch lapel. Slightly less casual is the peak lapel and when we look into formal suit jackets then you may consider a jacket with a shawl lapel. If you only buy one suit this year, it’s probably safest to stick with a notch lapel.
3. Quality Fabric
A good suit is worth investing in even if you only do wear it once or twice a year. No one is really going to notice because you’ll wear your suit with different shirts, shoes and accessories such as leather belts or thin watches.
The best suits are usually the most expensive and tend to be made from 100% wool. Yes, they do cost a lot, but with proper care, they will last you for years. If this is not in your budget, there are wool blends that are less expensive but they are still good quality suits.
Stay away from the really cheap synthetic suits because they really do look cheap and some of the parts in the jacket are glued together as opposed to being sewn. Wash them once or twice and you will start to understand why it was so cheap.
Color is everything when it comes to suits. That bright red suit at the tailors may look eye catching, but it’ll be hard for people to take you seriously in a flashy colored suit. If you must buy one for a certain occasion, go for it, but in terms of color, your best choices are black, navy blue, charcoal grey or a dark brown. These basic suit colors always look stylish and you won’t look like a clown in them.
5. Online Suit Shopping Vs. In-Store Shopping
We all know the benefits of shopping for anything online. No long queues, looking for parking and rummaging through racks and racks of clothes. The downside is, that you don’t always get the exact wardrobe item you think you purchased. You see a suit online and it’s the right price and cut. They promise the fabric is a good quality wool blend and you figure with the money you’re saving; you can pay for a tailor to make any necessary adjustments. That’s great if you get the suit exactly as it is described, but what if that wool blend looks more like cheap and nasty? If you do buy online, absolutely always check the reviews to see how it fared with others who have also bought the same suit.
Shopping in-store may take more time and money, but you are more likely to get the perfect fit because you will try the suit on before you buy. If you can afford to purchase a suit from a store that specializes in suits, you can’t go wrong. Not only do you get to see how well the suit will fit, these stores usually have a tailor on-site to help you choose a proper fitting suit and expertly make any adjustments you need.
Once you’ve purchased your perfect suit, take good care of it. Dry-clean it as needed and air it out after wearing it. Store it in a suit bag ready for the next time you need to wear it. Take care of your suit and you won’t need to invest in another for years. Unless of course, you like wearing suits.