how to choose the right suit (and look good in it)

There is something really sexy about a man in a shirt and tie, and the only thing sexier is a man in a suit. In a very superficial sense, the clothes can make the man, and the kind of suit you wear can say a lot about you. Wearing the right suit can put you on top of the world, and have you feeling and looking great. But as with in anything in the fashion world, there are do’s and don’ts when wearing that suit. We’ll try to keep it simple and just go over some of the basics of what you need to know when you buy or wear one.

There are all kinds of different suits you can buy, but before you ever start looking at one, you need to know what will fit. The number one rule to wearing a great suit requires that you know your measurements. Fabrics, styles, or colors don’t mean anything if the suit doesn’t fit right. Below are the basic measurements you’ll need. The more perfect of a fit you want, the more in depth the measurements can become. Here we’re going to stick with the basic measurements you’ll need:

Neck

Shoulder

Chest

Arm Length

Waist

Leg Length.

These measurements are easy to take, and can be done with a fabric/clothes measuring tape.

Once you have your measurements, you need to decide on your price range. The more money you have, the more options you have, but there is nothing wrong with buying a pre-fitted suit from a department store for a couple hundred dollars if that’s all you can afford, as long as it fits well. If need be, you can pay a little extra to take it to a tailor if the fit isn’t exactly right. Sometimes, department stores like Macy’s, JC Penney, or Kohl’s put suits on sale for around $100, so if staying within a strict budget is your goal, you can still find something that will work.

There are all kinds of colors and patterns to choose from when selecting a suit, and I will suggest the basic colors/patterns to consider.

Here are three colors you can’t go wrong with, but if you’re getting your first suit, the first two are highly recommended:

Navy

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Charcoal Gray

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Light to Medium Gray  

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When selecting a  suit with a pattern, be careful that the pattern isn’t too bold. Especially starting out, the pattern should be subtle, and not too distracting. If you want to venture into something more daring later on, go ahead, but subtly is a safe place to start.

The two basic patterns to begin with are:

Pinstripe

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Plaid (again, remember to keep it subtle)

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Of course, you don’t have to get a suit with a pattern. Further, you can find suits in all kinds of other colors or patterns, but the more edgy you go, the more likely you are to wear something that doesn’t go well with it. There is nothing wrong with staying simple and safe.

Once you know what kind of color or pattern you want your suit in, you need to decide on the style of your suit. Suits can come in a variety of styles:

When it comes to buttons, the modern style is to have two in front, but you might see some suits with three. It’s a good idea to go with a suit with two buttons.

z7Lapels (the front collar of the suit) shouldn’t be too broad, and most suits have a notch or peak styled lapel. A notch lapel is a little more traditional, and is a safe bet if you aren’t sure which you should choose. Peak lapels have a little bit more “flare.” Take a gander below at what they look like:

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You also need to look at the vent in the rear of the suit jacket. This would be the “slit” in the lower back. There are three types you may find:

center vent (one slit in the lower center of the jacket)

side vent (two slits, one on each side of the jacket)

no vent (no slit on the lower back of the jacket)

The vent will affect the way that the jacket fits on you when you sit down, etc. so make sure to check that it fits right before you buy.

When it comes to the way your suit fits, you typically have three options:

Slim Fit – Less fabric and the suit fits closer to the body.

Classic Fit- This suit has a lot more room. It shouldn’t be baggy though; it still has to fit right.

Modern Fit- Has a little more room than the Slim Fit but is still fitted close to the body, more so than the Classic Fit.

Which type is best for you just depends on your body type and how close you want the suit to fit to your body. You can always try a couple different types on and see how they feel on you. You should feel comfortable in your suit, if it’s too restricting, it’s not the right fit. If you are unsure about the style or the fit of the suit you are looking at, or what will look good on you, make sure to ask for help from a store attendant (if they know anything). Even if you can’t buy  an expensive suit from a store that specializes in them, having the store fit you in the right one may be beneficial before you go to a department store; that way you have an idea of what to look  for.

Conclusion:

Buying a suit is a great investment and really makes a guy look classy. We’ve gone over the basic elements of what you need to know, and hopefully this will help you make an educated decision. Being that the Holiday Season is coming fast upon us, now is a great time for you to buy (there will be plenty of sales!) and have opportunities to wear it.

Good luck guys.