Pictured: Modern Tailored Mini Stripe Jacket (navy), Modern Tailored Mini Stripe Pant (navy), Modern Tailored Fit Jacket (grey), Modern Tailored Fit Pants (grey), Contemporary Stretch Jacket (black), Contemporary Stretch Pants (black)
WHAT’S THE SUIT FOR?
Your first (and most crucial) decision: function. It’s what you need to know before setting foot in a store. Are you looking for a hard-working Monday-to-Friday specialist? A bolder suit for weddings? Something with a punch of pattern and interest?
First things first: every wardrobe needs one navy and one charcoal suit. From there, you can work in bolder blues, a contemporary black suit and summer-ready tones of khaki and stone.
A two-button suit is versatile while a one-button structure is forward-thinking and contemporary. As for the three-button suit? Forget about it.
They’re more important than you might think. Opt for a notch-lapel for everyday wear. Invest in a peak lapel to channel serious boardroom clout.
For the cooler months, pure wool is your best bet – it will keep the cold out and hold its shape exceptionally well. Cotton and linen come to the fore in summer.
A perfect suit starts with the fall of the shoulder. It’s one thing your tailor absolutely can’t fix. A suit jacket needs to fit snug and end right at the shoulder. Most men tend to go a size too large – try sizing down and seeing how it fits. (Hint: if a suit is making you stand a little taller and straighter, you’re onto a good thing.)
Button-up the jacket – you should be able to do so easily, without any strain or bunching of the suit. But if you can fit a fist under the buttoned jacket, you’ve gone too large. The lapels, meanwhile, should fall flat and neat. Take a look at the break (where the lapel meets the top button): it should have a soft, gentle roll.
Plan on wearing the suit more than once a week? Buying two pairs of pants is a smart way to extend the life of your tailoring.
Check for little things that make a suit feel like your suit. Do you like little pops of personality, or a clean, modern finish? Peek inside: look at internal detailing like pick-stitching or piping. Be sure to ask about the lining – natural fibres will breathe better and help hold your jacket’s structure.
Ignore the spin. No suit in the world will fit you perfectly off the rack – it needs to be crafted to your body. At the very least, a tailor needs to hem your pants (an inch of break is perfect). Many men opt to shorten – even slim – their sleeves, and nip their jacket at the waist to cut a sharper silhouette.