When it comes to buying men’s suits, a series of sartorial questions come to mind. What color should you choose? Do you need a single-breasted, double-breasted, or three-piece suit? What’s the difference between made-to-measure and custom-made suits?
At AlphaSuit, we believe that every man deserves a great suit. That’s why we’ve distilled our years of experience in styling men to look and feel their absolute best in this comprehensive guide. Let’s get started.
Decision 1: Measurements
The first decision to make when considering making such a stylish purchase is to determine your measurements. The most important aspect of buying a suit is its fit. Few fashion faux pas are worse than a man wearing an ill-fitting suit.
If this is your first suit, you can measure yourself at home. Some measurements are tricky to get right by yourself so ideally, you get your measurements done by a tailor. This is especially true when it comes to a bespoke suit.
When it comes to suits, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So measure, and measure twice.
Decision 2: Finding the right fit
Your measurements will determine the right suit that fits your shape. There are numerous fits and styles available for men today. Shopping by fit will ensure you find a suit that works with your body type.
There are four fit types one can choose from. These are:
The skinny fit suit is a narrow cut silhouette created for a close fitting suit. Classic, on the other hand, is more relaxed. As the name suggests, this suit fit emphasizes all-purpose wearability.
Decision 3: Finding the right style
Likewise, each of these suit fits above can be further personalized to fit your body type.
- The four main styles to consider include:
- Single-breasted suits
- Double-breasted suits
- Three-piece suits
For most men, the single-breasted jacket is a wardrobe staple. It has a timeless, understated elegance, making it perfect for many occasions. Its versatility means it’s perfect for creative layering, furthering its utility and wear.
Those looking to make a statement could do no wrong donning a double-breasted suit or a three-piece suit.
The double-breasted suit is a buttoned-up style perfect for formal occasions, like business meetings. Similarly, a three-piece suit is a bold, sartorial choice. Its sophisticated appearance makes it ideal for dressed-up occasions such as weddings or corporate events.
There are rare occasions when a suit simply won’t cut it. For such events, consider buying a tuxedo. A beautifully cut tuxedo is a timeless look. Black tie invitations or elegant social affairs will call for a tuxedo.
If you’re plagued by the age-old question of whether to rent or buy a tuxedo, we’d advise you to buy a tuxedo. A made to measure tuxedo will fit like any other — not to mention, it will help you channel your inner James Bond.
Decision 4: Choosing the right fabric and color
Once you’ve determined fit and style, it’s time to look at garment construction.
Fabric is crucial in determining a suit’s quality. When it comes to fabric composition, choose breathable fabrics. This means picking a material such as cotton, linen, and wool. The latter is the most versatile and ideal for men buying their first suit.
A good rule of thumb when choosing fabrics is to go for heavy fabrics for winter and light fabrics for summer. This is particularly useful for men who live in a four-season climate.
When it comes to color, stick with what is tried and true: black, navy blue, and charcoal grey. These colors are classic staples and are versatile, which means they are appropriate for most occasions. If this is your first suit, these colors will serve you well. Beyond your first suit, color will be determined by personal preference.
Decision 5: Understanding the details
If you want your suit to provide a more form-flattering fit, then details matter. Knowing how to define the details will allow you to find the perfect suit. Even ready-to-wear shoppers can benefit from knowing the differences in suit construction.
While there are three types of lapels to choose from, most suits are finished with a notched lapel or a peak lapel. A notched lapel is the more common of the two, featured in many traditional and contemporary suits.
When the occasion calls for something more formal, consider a peak lapel.
When most men shop for suits, they focus mostly on the front. This can be a costly mistake.
Like the lapel or buttons, the jacket’s vent is an important detail not to overlook. Men requiring more movement should opt for a double vent. A single vent is best for a slim or skinny silhouette.
The suit’s style will decide how many buttons your suit has. Single-breasted suits should almost always have two buttons, no more than three. Double-breasted suits should feature six buttons. And always, keep the last button of your suit jacket and waistcoat undone.
Noticeable linings can make the right statement, but a suit’s lining serves more than cosmetic purposes. The lining of a suit can add structure and weight. A well-lined jacket will also aid in reducing wrinkles. Fully lined jackets are heavier and more ideal for colder climates.
Most suit jackets have three pockets; two side pockets and one breast pocket. Suit pockets come in three styles; patch, flap, and jetted. Patch is the most casual, flap is the most common, and jetted are reserved for more formal occasions.
While these various features and component parts sound complex, our experienced tailors at AlphaSuit can guide you through the complete anatomy of a suit.
Man maketh the suit
Having a man’s first suit made is a rite of passage. A suit is the most versatile thing you can have in your wardrobe. Avoid the common pitfalls of suit-buying with our detailed advice above.
Ready to buy the perfect suit? AlphaSuit’s unique showroom and experienced tailors will help you craft the perfect tailored look for any occasion.
Contact us today to start feeling and looking your absolute best.