Buying a suit, whether it’s your first or 50th, is always a big deal. You want the perfect colour, fit, lapels and the list goes on. But where do you even start if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing? We’ve put together some top tips for how to buy a suit.
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A suit is one of the most treasured possessions a man can have. Whether it’s your first, or you’re buying a new one, getting the right suit is essential, and rushing into buying one is never a wise idea. Buying your first suit can be a daunting prospect; wearing a suit for the first time is a big moment in a man’s life, one akin to your first kiss, or buying your first (legal) pint.
A suit is a symbol of status, and getting it right is one of the most important things a man can learn to do. Treat a suit like a friend, it will be by your side (well, on your back) for may of the big occasions in your life, whether it be a job interview, or a wedding. So we’ve put together some helpful tips for you to keep in mind when purchasing one.
What’s the Occasion?
A good suit will never come cheap, so no matter what the occasion is that you are buying a suit for, it should be something you can wear to a variety of different events. It is likely to be with you for a long time, so don’t sell yourself short. First things first, what colour suit are you looking to buy? When buying a suit it is recommended to go with darker navy or charcoal colours, so try and avoid black. You don’t want to rock up to your first big job interview looking like you’ve spent the morning at a funeral.
Getting the Perfect Fit
Wear your suit, don’t let your suit wear you. Getting the right fit is, to most people, the most important aspect of buying a suit. Get the fit wrong and you could end up looking like that kid at school whose parents have brought him a uniform that he will ‘grow into’ to save them spending money over the next five years. Buying large in case you happen to put on a bit of weight in the next few years isn’t an option you should consider when buying.
You should make sure that the jacket sits perfectly on your shoulders. The seam of the jacket should sit right at the top of your shoulders, make sure that it doesn’t slack. Next up you should be looking at making sure it fits you right around the chest. You don’t want it to be too tight, but equally you don’t want a huge distance between your chest and the buttons.
On the subject of buttons, a debate appears to have risen about the right amount to have on your suit jacket these days- with a lot of people opting for one button to give a more modern look. Two buttons, however, is the amount I recommend. It’s a much more authentic and well groomed look.
Your sleeve length is also a factor you should remember. The length of your sleeve should meet the base of your thumb at the wrist, this will give you just enough room to show off those lovely cuff-links you were brought five Christmas’ ago. If it is any shorter or longer, then the whole suit can be thrown off kilter- making you look scruffy and ruining the whole look.
A well fitted pair of suit trousers should not need a belt. You should aim to get something that fits your waist perfectly- if in doubt get your tailor to get it sorted for you. Remember, no expense should be spared here. That being said, tailors don’t always tend to be as expensive as you’d think. There is probably one knocking around your local town who will be more than happy to help out. A man needs a good tailor just as much as he needs a good suit.
The break is where the crease line of your trouser meets your shoes, and is often down to personal preference. Too much break however, can leave you looking as though you have made very little effort with your suit and is probably best avoided. The medium break tends to be the safest bet- this is where the trousers sit just on the top of your shoe- often with only one fold of fabric.
A more modern approach prefered by some, is to have too little break- exposing the ankle. This style can be extremely difficult to pull off, but if it is the route you want to go down then consider wearing your very slim fitting trousers to compliment it.
Make it your own
A suit should be one of your most treasured possessions, and you should be looking to stamp your own identity onto it. You’ve got the shirt and the jacket nailed down to a tee, so now it is time to play around with it to show off your personality. Experiment with shirts, ties and pocket squares, amongst other things. This will of course all depend on a situation. For a job interview or something more formal, a more conservative approach is probably best, but if it is a wedding, a day out, or a celebration of some sort, then feel free to express yourself and show off your new suit.