Choosing a men’s suit can turn out to be tricky. As a matter of fact, if you do not have the reason to wear one frequently, you may turn out unsure as to how it is supposed to look on you after putting it on. For this reason, 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. Of course, you need to get into one, but you surely do not want your suit to be extremely tight, making you unable to move around freely, or oversized that it will look like you are wearing a suit that is too small for your size.
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 each and every aspect, including the sizes, and even extra items, such as the ties that go along with it.
- 1 How to Choose the Perfect Men’s Suit
- 2 Match the Suit Size
- 3 Suit Ties
- 4 Suit Care
How to Choose the Perfect Men’s Suit
A perfect men’s suit acts like a suit of armor; it can give you, not just protection, but a special kind of swag. As a matter of fact, 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.
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 definitely 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 which may not make you feel or look right. Men who make such mistake 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.
Also, as a general rule, it is better to prepare for wonderful suits compared to having five, but mediocre ones. You can also be safe by having a midnight blue for color, and few shades darker compared to an average navy. This can beautifully transition for day and night use and may be worn with both dark-brown and black shoes.
Number of Buttons
One of the most common options is the three button suit. They were popular back in the ’90s since the two-button option was the conservative choice then. However, with fashion turning its tables, having a three button will allow you to reach higher on your chest and can be more flattering or comfortable.
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. Obviously equipped with an ultimately classic appeal.
And yes, there is also a one-button suit. However, this style is not fit for everyone. In fact, 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 are able to pull it off effectively, you can achieve that modern and sleek look.
These two 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 aspects involved per type in order to get that thorough understanding.
Choose your Type of Suit
Choose by Fit
Classic fit: Classic fit men’s suit is perfect for work, special occasions, and other important events, such as weddings. There are a lot of famous designers producing classic fit suit types, including Gibson London, Pierre Cardin, as well as Racing Green. Aside from the common factor of being a ‘traditional’ fit, you can already choose from a wide array of cloths, styles and even colors used.
Slim fit & Extra-Slim fit: Slim fit and extra slim fit suits for men are 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 than a classic suit. This suit style is perfect if you want to achieve that contemporary, sharp, and cool look.
Choose by Occasion
Business: As suggested by the name, these types of men suits are perfect for 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.
Wedding: In contrast to other types of suits, wedding suits are particularly designed for weddings. They come in different colors, as well as a type of cloth used. They can even be customized in order to match the gown of the bride, and the rest of the wedding entourage.
Prom: 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. Also, some designers have played into a more contemporary and cool look that will certainly capture the attention of the modern generation. It also comes in different colors, which also works well for a matching entrance with a partner.
Casual: They are the more ‘relaxed’ types of suits. They 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: Three piece suits are characterized by their stylish and versatile appeal. Aside from the standard suit, there is an addition of a waistcoat that is worn inside. 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 can be used for various occasions, whether for use in an office, a formal event, or other occasions. It is a great combination of contemporary design and classic tailoring.
Tailored: Tailored suits are the ones are the ones that are customized by a tailor in order 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. You can choose one that is fit for any occasion. They are available in a wide range of colors, as well as high-quality fabrics.
Double-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 “old school” in a way that new models have overtaken this fashion, but some modern designers have been advocating towards the return of this suit in order to produce an 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:
The perfect shoulder width will be as the same 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Perfect pants wide will embrace a neat line on the back of your trousers. If they 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.
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 covering your shoes.
Men’s Suit Size Measurements Guide
Unless you have studied so, it is highly advised to have your measurements taken by a reliable tailor. While you can attempt to get your own measurement, it is generally better to have your measurements taken and recorded by actual personnel who know how to do so. 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”, which means a suit that has a 40-inch chest, with a regular jacket/coat length.
- Coat Length – this measurement is taken from the highest point of the shoulders down. It is usually sized as S (short = 5’5” – 5’7”), R (regular = 5’8” – 5’10”) or L (long = 5’11” – 6’2”).
- 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.
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 when it comes to matching your pants and 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.
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 in order to give allowance for movement.
- European standard measurements are generally greater than 10 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. This is only applicable for tailored suits, however.
- 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 through 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.
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, even before anybody starts noticing these things, one of the very first things that will be noticed right away is the tie that goes with it. Choosing the right color for your tie is as important as choosing the suit itself.
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 these basic colors for men’s suit, there are several others out there that you can choose from. As such, you can rely much on your own taste and creativity when it comes to mixing and matching the colors. Aside from the colors of the ties, you can also decide whether you want to have the wider ones or the slim styles of ties.
For men, your closet serves as your toolbox for your work. Your men’s suit is considered as an investment, and as such, should be taken care of properly. These men 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.
Proper men’s suit care is something that most people often take for granted. Even though we may know that we can just easily drop them off at your favorite cleaner, and you can just expect for them to come back already pressed and just ready to go, 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 definitely take into consideration:
- If all possible, avoid dry cleaning unless you notice a stain. A lot of men take their suits to their favorite dry cleaners too often. The thing is, dry cleaning is not really dry, regardless of how the name of the process implies. In fact, dry cleaning is a process that involves mixing very harsh chemicals which have the tendency to break down your suits’ natural fibers. Therefore, the more you bring it in for cleaning, the faster the wearing of your suit will be.
- It is also advisable not to wear your suit successively 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.
- Since you definitely need to clean your suit, you may do so by regularly brushing your suit using a fabric brush. This will ensure that your suit stays looking crisp and clean. At the same time, regular brushing can also help in making sure that the wool fibers from wearing and breaking, most especially when it comes to finer wool.
- You can also hang your suit on an ergonomic or padded hanger. Avoid using cheap plastic hangers to hang your suit with. These hangers may have the tendency to warp the shoulder pads of the suit. Rather, choose hangers that are designed and built with a similar shape as with a real human shoulder. Also, it is often best to choose hangers which have a similar size as with your own 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, yet avoiding creases from forming.
Make sure that you also unbutton the suit jackets, removing any items inside the pockets. By doing so, the pocket will not be strained or weighed down. This is vital in making sure that it is kept in its original shape.
Another way to care for your suit is by making sure that 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. At the same time, it also assists in rejuvenating wool, simply because it is a natural type of fiber.
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.
At this point, you 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 that special care is provided. Perhaps, you will no longer be able to buy anything that is more expensive. This reality should always be considered, as it has an impact on the way you treat it.
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, after travels and several uses, the good news is that you can still find them for sale these days. One such good option is the Hangerworld men’s suit cover carrier bag.
These men’s suit protectors are your perfect option when it comes to making sure that you are protecting the quality of your suit. However, aside from this basic commodity for your wardrobe, there are also other ways that you can do in order 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 a problem. 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 them wearing out and tearing. At the same time, it may look the suit really lumpy, thus eventually losing its shape.
Brush or Steam Iron Your Suit
It would really 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.
Still, investing in a good men’s suit protector is necessary, especially when it comes to storing your suit. It is also needed if you are traveling and you need to bring your suit with you. Suit protectors are designed in a way that gives protection to one of your prized possessions. As such, modern designs of these protectors come with certain features that can guarantee this offer.
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.