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.

Men Suit Styles: Differences and Types

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.

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 essential to look into every aspect of the fit.

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.

Most men believe that they only need to have one or two suits at hand. But if you want to achieve that confident look and a respectable image, reality dictates that there is a suit for every occasion.

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.

It 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.

Buying affordable suits is also something that needs to be considered. But, keep in mind that having one high-quality suit is better than several mediocre ones.

An affordable suit vs. an expensive suit

Otherwise, you may only end up with a suit that may not make you feel or look right.

Men who make such mistakes pay a smaller amount first, but the suit stays kept inside the closet rack for several years without use.

Knowing the occasion can be helpful to determine what type of suit you need. Here are some other questions that a vendor will probably ask you when you start looking for a suit:

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

30 suit basics on how to fit your suit

Even if you managed to answer all these questions to your vendor, it’s good to know some of the basics that define the 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 are worn only 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.

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. It 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.

Three-button suit

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.

They are perfect for men with a shorter torso as it can lengthen the frame. It is the most popular suit choice nowadays.

Two-button suit

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.

One button suit

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.
Slim fit men's suit

Slim fit & Extra-Slim fit: Preferred by those who are in the skinny body-type category.

Categorized by the narrow, body-hugging fit, it gives a modern touch to your silhouette. Slim fit suits are perfect if you want to achieve that contemporary, sharp, and fresh look.

Choose by Occasion

Business suit for menBusiness: Men suits used as business attire. Usually preferred by men who need an outfit for office-use, as well as other formal occasions.

Groom wedding suitWedding: Suits mainly designed for weddings. They are usually customized to match the gown of the bride, and the rest of the wedding entourage.

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.

Casual blazer jacketCasual:  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 attire components come with embroidered designs, as well as personalized styles, giving it a chic appeal.

Choose by Specialty

Three-piece suit setThree-piece: Their stylish and versatile appeal characterizes three-piece suits. Aside from the standard suit, they come with a waistcoat/vest that is worn beneath the jacket.

Custom-tailored men's suitTailored: Tailored suits are the ones that are customized by a tailor to fit your needs and body type. 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 entirely 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.

Wide and overlapping front flaps characterize these suits. 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 measures 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 peek at the end of the sleeves slightly.

Too short jacket sleeves will create a significant 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

Suit Size Measurements

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. It 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.
  • The drop refers to the difference between the number in the waist 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 matching 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 ten numbers higher 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 undoubtedly 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 selecting 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 essential to know and respect the basics.

Men’s Suit Care

Consider your suit as an investment. As such, it should be adequately taken care of. Men’s suits can be somewhat 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 basic things that you can take into consideration:

  1. If all possible, avoid dry cleaning unless you notice a stain.
  2. It is also advisable not to wear your suit on consecutive days.
  3. If you need to clean your suit, you may do so by brushing it.
  4. Hang your suit on an ergonomic or padded hanger.

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 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 straights the wrinkles while getting rid of the odors.

Barney Stinson: Suit negative

Using a fabric brush 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 more delicate wool.

Avoid using cheap plastic hangers to hang your suit with. These hangers tend to warp the shoulder pads of the suit.

Instead, 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 the same 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 contribute 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 from the pockets is vital in making sure they keep their original shape. By doing so, pockets will not be strained or weighted down, too.

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 closet.

As an alternative to the hanger, you can also fold your suit inside out, with the shoulders touching.

It 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

The moment you bought your suit for the very first time, you most likely received a suit bag that goes along with it. Use it 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. You need a bag if you plan to extend the life of your suit.

Hangerworld black breathable foldover suit cover carrier bag with handles
Example: Men’s suit cover carrier bag by Hangerworld.

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

Always Get the Right Fit

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 material 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.

Steam brush your suit

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 vital for the 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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