Men’s Suit – Complete Buyer’s Guide & Advice

Choosing a men’s suit can turn out to be tricky. If you do not have the reason to wear one frequently, you may become unsure as to how it is supposed to look on you after putting it on.

Some may assume that as long as you can close the button, pulling it on comfortably, that’s it. However, reality dictates that there is more than just wearing a suit.

Needless to say, first you need to get into one. You surely don’t want your suit to be extremely tight. It will make you unable to move around freely. On the other hand, oversized will make you look baggy and unattractive.

This guide will help you get in touch with the basics of choosing a suit. As there are different types of suits available, it is important to look into every aspect, including the sizes, and extra items, such as the ties that go along with it.

How to Choose the Perfect Men’s Suit

A perfect men’s suit acts as an armor. It can give you, not just protection, but a special kind of swag. Nothing can make you feel more confident than wearing that killer suit.

While most men believe that they only need to have one or two suits at hand, reality dictates that in our modern society today, there is a suit for every occasion. This is if you want to achieve that confident look and a respectable image.

How to wear a men's suit based on shoulders and sleeves

The following are the steps that you can take into consideration when it comes to choosing a great suit.

Understand the Reason Behind the Purchase

A suit is usually a big purchase for any man. This means that you have to be aware as much as you can when it comes to selecting the best suit for you before making the purchase.

Otherwise, you may only end up with a suit that may not make you feel or look right. Men who make such mistakes often end up paying a huge amount upfront but then ending up with the suit kept inside the closet rack for several years without use.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself – what do you want?

Do you want a suit that comes with one, two, or three buttons? Are you interested in having a notch or peak lapel, or side vents? What type of color or fabric do you want on your suit?

Decide on What You Want

This men’s suit guide tends to answer these questions you probably ask yourself when it comes to suits. Let’s decide what you need.

Choosing the Fabric

If you are buying your first suit, you can play safe with wool since it can be worn at any time of the year. On the other hand, cotton suits can only be worn during summer, spring, and fall.

There are also other options such as linen, and they are the ones that are best for summer. However, wool can give you real value for your money. As a general rule, you should have one exquisite suit compared to having five, but mediocre ones.

Men's suit guide fabrics variations

You can play safe by choosing a midnight blue color, or a few shades darker compared to an average navy. This can beautifully transition for day and night use and may be matched with every shoe color.

Number of Buttons

One of the most common options is the three-button suit. Having a three-button will allow you to reach higher on your chest and can be more flattering or comfortable. They were very popular back in the ’90s since the two-button option was the conservative choice. However, fashion is turning its tables.

Two-button suits are the commonly available ones. Every label operating these days plays with the use of two-button suits, streamlining them to create a modern look. This is also perfect for men with a shorter torso as it can lengthen the frame. This is the most popular suit choice nowadays.

And yes, there is also a one-button suit. However, this style is not fit for everyone. It is a suit style that you should only get if you are within a creative job environment where the atmosphere is less conservative. If you can pull it off effectively, you can achieve that modern and sleek look.

These considerations are just samples among the many things that you also have to consider before getting a suit. Now, let’s take a look at the different suit types to get that thorough understanding.

Choose your Type of Suit

Choose by Fit

Men's classic fit suitClassic fit: Recommended option for those who prefer to feel relieved while wearing a suit. Perfect for work, special occasions, and other important events, such as weddings. Classic fit suits are more loose and comfortable around the chest. Also, the jacket length is slightly longer than the slim-fit.
Slim fit men's suit

Slim fit & Extra-Slim fit: Preferred by those who are of the skinny body type category. They are categorized by their ‘slim’, body-hugging fit, which gives a modern touch to your silhouette. This suit style is perfect if you want to achieve that contemporary, sharp, and cool look.

Choose by Occasion

Business suit for menBusiness: Men suits used as business attire. These are usually preferred by men who need a suit for office-use, as well as other formal occasions. A lot of designers have worked their way towards producing business suits that can capture the requirements of any businessman. If you want to look confident, wear a business suit as it commands respect.

Groom wedding suitWedding: Suits particularly designed for weddings. They are usually customized to match the gown of the bride, and the rest of the wedding entourage. Weddings suits give the groom that elegant look to make him stylish and unique.

Prom suitProm: These types of suits are generally designed for younger men. As such, a more casual yet formal ensemble is common among these types of suits. They also come in different styles and designs. Some designers have played into a more contemporary and cool look that will certainly capture the attention of the modern generation.

Casual blazer jacketCasual: They are the more ‘relaxed’ types of suits. Casual suits can be used every day in an office, or any environment which allows a more creative and relaxed atmosphere, in contrast to an actual business or classic suit. While most men’s suits come in plain, some casual suits come with embroidered designs, as well as personalized styles, giving it a chic appeal.

Choose by Specialty

Three-piece suit setThree-piece: Three-piece suits are characterized by their stylish and versatile appeal. Aside from the standard suit, they come with a waistcoat/vest that is worn beneath the jacket. It comes with a style of its own, producing a sophisticated kind of look that surely makes it a standout above the ordinary styles. This men’s suit type can be used for various occasions, whether for use in an office or a formal event. It is a great combination of contemporary design and classic tailoring.

Custom-tailored men's suitTailored: Tailored suits are the ones that are customized by a tailor to fit your needs and body type. This is to make sure that you achieve that refined and sharp look that is updated and well-matched according to your style and preference. Besides, you can have your bespoke suit completely made by a tailor. This way, you can choose from a wide range of colors and high-quality fabrics.

Double breasted suitDouble-Breasted: Interested in mixing old school and new school feel? Double-breasted suits are the perfect option. These suits are characterized by wide and overlapping front flaps. They may be considered outdated in a way that new models have overtaken this fashion. But some modern designers have been advocating towards the return of this suit type to achieve that elegant appeal.

Match the Suit Size

Whether you are purchasing a men’s suit at an actual store or online, getting the correct fit and measurements is very important. Perhaps you are wondering which aspects regarding suit measurements you need to be extremely familiar with.

In a hurry? Watch the video to quickly learn the basic things you need to know about suit fitting:

Anyway, if you are not that of a fan to videos, here is a text transcript of what you’ve missed:

Shoulder Width

The perfect shoulder width will be the same as the body structure underneath the suit jacket. The too-narrow shoulder will create wrinkles, mostly on the top of the suit and the upper part of the arms. Too wide, on the other hand, will create inside jacket gaps.
Men's suits guide - How to fit the shoulders

The Jacket Closure

The perfect jacket will reflect an exact button closure and the two sides will meet flawlessly. If the suit jacket is too tight, you will notice the lapels widen on the sides. If the men’s suit jacket is too loose, it will create a gap in the front. There is a slight variation to this, depending on the fit of your suit.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the jacket closure

The Sleeve Length

A perfect jacket suit will make the shirt beneath to slightly peek at the end of the sleeves. Too short jacket sleeves will create a large distance between the wrist of the arm and the sleeve’s end. If the jacket sleeves are too long, they will cover the shirt beneath the suit entirely.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the sleeve length

The Jacket Length

A perfect jacket length will meet your arm fingers when the arm is straightened up. If the jacket length is somewhere around your arm wrist, that it’s too short. If the jacket length has wide passed the length of your arms, then it’s too long.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the jacket length

The Jacket Collar

The perfect collar will fit smoothly against the collar of your shirt. You will notice a tight jacket collar if you find it pretty hard to open up your hands perpendicular to the torso. If the jacket collar is too loose, it will create a gap in the back.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the jacket collar

The Seat

The perfect trouser seat will embrace a neat line on the back of your trousers. If the pants are too tight, it will create wrinkles, especially on the back. If the suit pants are too baggy, a gap between the leg, thigh and the trousers will appear.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the seat

The Trouser Break

The perfect trouser length will break precisely at the top of your shoes. If the pants fail to reach your shoes, then they are too short. If they are too long, the flank will start pulling around your shoes.

Men's suits guide - How to fit the trouser break

Men’s Suit Size Measurements Guide

It is highly advised to have your measurements taken by a reliable tailor. While you can attempt to get your measurements, it is generally better to have your measurements taken and recorded by actual personnel.

Nonetheless, here are some of the commonly used measurements for men’s suits:

  • Chest – this measurement is taken around the chest area, just below the underarms, across the shoulder blades, and with both arms relaxed on the sides. This is typically the number that is being referenced in sizing a suit, such as mentioning a “40R”. It means that the suit has a 40-inch chest, with a regular (R) jacket/coat length.
  • Jacket Length – this measurement is taken from the highest point of the shoulders down. It is usually sized as S (short; for height 5’5” – 5’7”), R (regular; if the height is 5’7” – 5’11”) or L (long; for height 5’11” – 6’3”).
  • Waist – this refers to the measurements surrounding the natural waistline, appearing as a crease when a man bends towards the side.
  • Drop – this refers to the difference in between the number that is given in the waist size and suit size.
  • Height – this measurement is taken from the top of the head going down while standing barefoot on a flat and hard surface with a normal posture.
  • Neck – taken around the neck’s fullest part.
  • Inseam – taken from the inner crotch seam towards the hem of well-fitting pants.
  • Sleeve – this is taken from the center of the neck back, to the shoulder point, going down the outer arm part of the elbow, towards the wrist with both arms just relaxed on the sides.

How to fit a men's suit based on shoulders and seat

Match Pants Size

Depending on the type of men’s suit you’ll choose, these are the measures that need to be considered when matching the pants:

  • Waist – the most important measurement when it comes to match your pants. It refers to the measurements surrounding the natural waistline.
  • Inseam – the length from the bottom intersection of the crotch to the bottom of the inside of one leg.
  • Side Length – the length from the waist down to the hem, measured on the outside of the leg.
  • Rise – the length from the middle of the crotch seam which is right between the legs up to the waist.
  • Thigh – the measurement of leg width right below the crotch.

Men's suit guide for pants

Tips on How to Fit Your Suit Properly

Here are a few reminders in considering the proper suit size:

  • The exact chest measurement of a men’s suit is usually 2 inches bigger compared to the size of the suit to give allowance for movement.
  • European standard measurements are generally 10 numbers greater compared to US sizes. For example, a size 48 in European suit measurement is a size 38 in the US.
  • There are certain limitations as to the amount in which a tailor adds or subtracts from the pants. Usually, for slacks, it should not be more than 2 inches. However, if the slacks should be taken in more than 2 inches, a tailor may charge further for removing material.
  • Pants generally come unhemmed and unfinished. Therefore, when ordering, especially from online stores, it is better to check first whether they are delivered hemmed or if there is still a need to alter the length with the help of a professional tailor.
  • When measuring sizes, the tape needs to be held flat on the body, not droopy or snug. It should also not be restrictive.
  • The suit measurements for men need to be taken to the nearest .25 (quarter) inch.

Suit Ties

When you get yourself a suit, wearing it means being exposed in the view of other people. Reality is that there are a lot of things that other people will certainly notice about your suit: the number of buttons, the cut, the jacket length, and even the drape of the pants.

However, one of the very first things that will be noticed right away is the tie that goes with your suit. Choosing the right color and type for your tie is as important as choosing the suit itself.

Shirt, suits and ties color combinations

Color relays a powerful and strong message. As such, the mix-match of ties and suits should be considered with extreme care. If you want to make sure you are not making a mistake, find some common suit-tie color combinations here.

Except for the basic men’s suits colors, there are several others out there that you can choose from. While it’s good to try to rely on your taste and creativity, it’s important to know and respect the basics.

Men’s Suit Care

Your suit is considered as an investment, and as such, should be properly taken care of. These men’s suits have been fitted as a special kind of garment. They may be rather costly but they can pay dividends for several years to come.

Suit care and hanging rules

Proper men’s suit care is something that most people often take for granted. Yes, you can just easily drop them off at your favorite cleaner. They will come pressed and just ready to go.

However, reality dictates that there is a little more to proper suit care than what meets the eye.

Men’s Suit Care Tips

Here are some things that you can take into consideration:

  • If all possible, avoid dry cleaning unless you notice a stain. A lot of men take their suits to dry cleaners too often. The thing is, dry cleaning is not dry, regardless of how the name of the process implies. It is a process that involves mixing very harsh chemicals that tend to break down your suits’ natural fibers. Therefore, the more you bring it in for cleaning, the faster they will lose their quality and sharpness.
  • It is also advisable not to wear your suit on consecutive days. It would be best to give your suit some time to ‘breathe’, and ‘air out’, as it allows the trapped moisture to evaporate. At the same time, this will also let the wrinkles be straightened out while getting rid of the odors.
  • If you need to clean your suit, you may do so by brushing your suit using a fabric brush. This will ensure that your suit stays crisp and clean. Regular brushing can also help in making sure that the wool stretches from wearing and breaking. Especially when it comes to finer wool.
  • Hang your suit on an ergonomic or padded hanger. Avoid using cheap plastic hangers to hang your suit with. These hangers tend to warp the shoulder pads of the suit. Rather, choose hangers that are designed and built with a similar shape as a real human shoulder. Also, it is best to choose hangers that have a similar size as with your shoulders.

Hanging Your Suit the Right Way

Before finally hanging your suit inside the wardrobe, it is highly advisable to clean it with clothes brush right after wearing. It can help in removing dirt and lint on the suit. At the same time, it can help towards rejuvenating the wool, preventing it from shining.

After making sure that you have selected the right type of hangers to hang your suit in, make sure that there is enough space in your wardrobe. It can allow your suits to drape nicely and avoid the forming of creases.

Make sure that you also unbutton the suit jacket, removing any items inside the pockets. By doing so, the pocket will not be strained or weighted down. This is vital in making sure that it is kept in its original shape.

An additional way to take care of your suit is to make sure you hang it for 24 hours before placing inside the wardrobe. This process will help in drying out trapped moisture in the suit before kept in the wardrobe.

As an alternative to the hanger, you can also fold your suit inside out, with the shoulders touching. This can prevent any possible lint or dirt staining on the outer fabric of your suit. Afterward, you can either lay the suit flat or perhaps drape it on a chair.

Suit Protectors

At this point, we have already determined the importance of your suit. After all, it can be considered as the heart of your wardrobe. As such, it is very important to make sure we treat it with special care.

I guess I might look like I exaggerate a little with the suit glorification, but my love for this kind of apparel is really special. 🙂

The moment you bought your suit for the very first time, you most likely received a suit bag that goes along with it. Such a bag is a great men’s suit protector that you can use to protect the quality of your wardrobe.

However, if you have already lost that bag, the good news is that you can still purchase one. A good option is the Hangerworld men’s suit cover carrier bag. You need one if you plan to extend the life of your suit.

Hangerworld black breathable foldover suit cover carrier bag with handles

Aside from this basic commodity of your wardrobe, there are also other ways that you can do to provide your suit the protection that it needs. Here are some of them:

Always Get the Right Fit

This is particularly true if you are buying online. Getting the perfect fit may be challenging, but as long as you have all the measurements prepared, receiving the best fit for you will not be an issue.

A tight suit may mean unnecessary tension on the fabric. As time passes by, the fabric may eventually split or tear.

Avoid Using the Pants’ Pockets

While you can occasionally use the pockets of your suit, overloading them with a very thick wallet or sharp keys can contribute to wearing out and tearing. At the same time, it may look lumpy and eventually losing its shape.

Brush or Steam Iron Your Suit

It would help a lot if you regularly press your suit with steam iron each time you wear it. This process will help in opening up the fibers, thus helping in removing the creases as well.

Protecting your suit also means investing in a good cloth brush, as it can help in removing dust and light stains on your suit. I know I’ve mentioned this several times, but it’s really important!

Steam brush your suit

Still, investing in a good men’s suit protector is necessary, especially when it comes to storing. It is also needed if you are traveling and you need to bring your suit with you.

Aside from protection, it can also serve as storage for your suit, making sure that it does not just get stacked up with the other items in your wardrobe.

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