Men's dress suits have a lot of work to do. They need to look sharp and smart while also being comfortable--and, of course, they need to be appropriate for a variety of important occasions. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best suit for you.
Putting You First
The first rule of choosing men's dress clothing is to remember that this is all about you. The power of a well-fitting suit is the way it makes you feel, which is to say it should help you feel your best. Suits should complement your features and make you feel confident, capable, and comfortable all at once. They certainly shouldn't feel confining or awkward. An uncomfortable or restrictive suit defeats the whole purpose.
To find that perfect suit, you need to focus on these basic categories:
There are some surprisingly simple rules about suit colors. The two most classic (and most reliable) colors are gray and navy blue. Black, while an excellent go-to for big occasions and nightwear, can often appear too formal and thus should not necessarily be considered a go-to. If you're looking for a pattern, plaid in a neutral color will stand out in all the right ways. If you're buying your first suit, choose one of the classic colors and wait on patterns or unique color options. Your first suit should cover a variety of situations and shouldn't limit you to one or two events.
Remember: you want a suit that works with your unique figure. The single-breasted jacket is classic and versatile, projecting professionalism without being too dramatic. However, for a change of pace, you could try form-fitting double-breasted suits without shoulder-pads. You also have the option of the three-piece suit, which, although sharp, runs the risk of looking slightly too formal in many business scenarios. Again, we recommend sticking to basics and investing in a single-breasted, classic cut before venturing into more unique cuts and styles. Of course, if you find a different cut fits your shape better, by all means, go with that one.
There are three fits you'll see related to the jacket style: Sack, structured, and silhouette. These three fits work differently on everyone, so it's a good idea to try on a few different styles to see which one fits your frame best.
Although color and cut are essential, there also a variety of little details that can make a big difference. For example, you'll generally want to stick to two buttons, three at the most. Single buttons are typically only seen on tuxedos, and three-button suits usually look best on taller men. You should learn the general social rules about buttons (such as when to button and unbutton, and how to fasten a three-button suit).
Finally, pay attention to the lining, lapels, pockets, and vents to help project the exact image you want. Even if you're going with a basic cut and color, you can look to details to add a little bit more personalization and to ensure it accentuates your frame just right.
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