Congratulations on your decision to buy your first suit. This otherwise simple outfit will open the doors to a whole new world of possibilities. Wearing a suit, for instance, is essential when attending black-tie and other formal events. Even for non-formal events, a suit will enhance your appearance while boosting your confidence and self-esteem in the process.
Unless you’re familiar with men’s suits, however, you may have some questions. Buying a suit requires an entirely different approach than casual clothes. And if you want to get the best bang for your buck (hint: you do), you need to follow a few rules when choosing your first suit. So, refer to the guide below for some helpful tips and advice on how to choose the right suit.
#1) Choose a Versatile Color
Men’s suits are available in countless colors, ranging from traditional black and blue to green, lavender, turquoise and more. While opting for a unique color may sound like a good idea, this usually backfires, especially if it’s your first suit. Even if they are appealing, unique colors like lavender and turquoise limit your choices. Therefore, it’s recommended that you choose a more versatile and traditional color for your first suit, such as black or navy.
#2) Bespoke vs Made to Measure vs Ready to Wear
Generally speaking, there are three different ways in which suits are produced and sold: bespoke, made to measure, and ready to wear. Bespoke requires visiting a tailor and having that tailor measure your body, whereas ready to wear lives up to its namesake by using standard sizes without any customization. Made to measure, however, falls somewhere in the middle. Suits that have already been made are customized according to your body shape and size.
#3) Notched vs Peaked vs Shawl Lapels
Additionally, you’ll notice that different suit jackets have different lapel styles, the three most common being notched, peaked and shawl. Notched lapels are the least formal of the three and are typically found on single-breasted jackets. Peaked lapels, on the hand other, are slightly more formal and are found on double-breasted suit jackets. Shawl lapels are an alternative style that originated out of the Victorian-era style of formal evening wear. For highly formal events and occasions, it’s best to wear a suit jacket with shawl lapels. For others, however, you can wear either peaked or notched lapels.
#4) Single vs Double Breasted
Following the lapels, you should also consider whether the suit jacket is single or double breasted. A single-breasted jacket is characterized by the sides overlapping just slightly, along with a single row of buttons (or just one button). In comparison, double-breasted jackets feature not one but two columns of buttons with a larger overlap on the sides. So, should you choose a single-breasted or double-breasted suit jacket? It really depends on your personal preference and style. Some men prefer the classic look of single-breasted suits, whereas others prefer the more dressy look of double-breasted suits.
Of course, you need to consider the fabric from which the suit is made. Cotton has long been the preferred choice of fabric for use in men’s suits. It’s soft, lightweight, comfortable and holds up well under moisture and otherwise harsh conditions. However, suits are also available in various synthetic fabrics, natural fabrics and fabric blends. Wool, for instance, is a popular alternative for the cool fall and winter months. Linen is a great choice for the spring and summer because of its thin texture and breathable properties. Check the label to see what the suit is made of before making a final decision.
#6) Maintenance and Care
When buying your first suit, see what’s required to care and maintain it. Different suits have different instructions regarding cleaning and maintenance. Some suits, for instance, require dry-clean only. And if you put a dry-clean only suit in the washing machine, it could damage the fabric. You can usually tell what’s required by looking at the care label. Here, the manufacturer includes specific instructions on how to clean, wash and care for the suit. Being that these instructions come straight from the manufacturer, it’s a good idea to follow them, especially if you want your suit to last.
A waistcoat, also known as a vest, is a common accessory worn in conjunction with a suit. If you’re shopping for a new suit, consider whether or not you want to wear a waistcoat with it. Waistcoats are normally worn only for the most formal events, such as black-tie dinners. For all other events, you can usually get by without one. Nonetheless, some men prefer the dressier and more stylish look of a suit with waistcoat. The right waistcoat will compliment your appearance by adding new color to your outfit. And best of all, it’s easily to remove if you get hot or otherwise want to take off.
Not all suits are made of the same quality materials and craftsmanship. Some companies use cheap materials to cut costs and save money. For the consumer, this means a low-quality suit that’s susceptible to damage. By ordering your suit here at StudioSuit, however, you can rest assured knowing that you are getting the highest quality suit at the best price.
#9) Check the Pockets
Finally, be sure to check your suit pockets to see if they are stitched together. Many suit manufacturers include stitching in the pockets to preserve the jacket’s appearance and structural integrity. You’re supposed to snip this stitching, however, once you buy the suit. Without this stitching cut and removed, you won’t be able to use the pockets of your suit jacket. Granted, not all jackets feature this stitching but many do. So, always check them before heading out in your new suit.
Following these tips will help you choose the perfect first suit. With that said, you’ll probably need more than just one suit if you plan on attending on several formal events. By diversifying your wardrobe with multiple suit styles, you’ll have a greater number of options from which to choose.