No, buying a suit isn’t as easy as grabbing a pair of pants in your size and walking over to the register. And unlike jeans and sweaters, suits are way less forgiving when it comes to fit, which is why the fit has to be impeccable. So to help you find a flawless first suit, we’ve listed a few of the major suit styles you should know, as well as some tips for fit and color.
The sleek and swanky Italian suit comes in 4 buttons and 6 buttons, with 6 buttons being the standard, especially for guys who are less than 6’ tall. An extra set of buttons near the lapels adds some lean bulk, while giving the torso a taller appearance. In general though, the Italian suit is best for skinny frames.
Great for any body type, the super versatile American suit has slightly shorter jacket sleeves than its European counterparts and flat-front pants. Also known as the “Ivy League suit” because of its popularity amongst the large-framed football players at Yale and Princeton in the early 20th century, the American Suit is made for the broad shoulders and wide backs of us brawny American fellas.
With lean, pleated pants and contours at the shoulders and chest, today’s British Suit is perfect for men of average stature. If you have narrow shoulders and are looking for something that’s a bit classier than American, the British Suit is the way to go.
Color is simple- for your first suit, go with something neutral that isn’t black, such as navy blue or grey. Avoid pinstripes and plaids until you have a few solid suits in your wardrobe.
Not to sound like your high school principal, but having your suit tailored is mandatory. Most tailors will know how to balance today’s “skinny fit” with your frame, but it’s always a good idea to keep some of these points in mind when you’re being fitted:
Pants. One break near the ankle- no more, no less. Pants should be slightly firm in the seat, but not tight.
Slim sleeves. You want to look built, not juvenile. Make sure the sleeves are slightly firm around the upper arms.
Jacket length. With your arms at your sides, the jacket should end just below the palm.
Sleeve length. Jacket sleeves should leave about a ½ of the shirt sleeve visible so that you can show off your awesome watch and masculine wrists.
Shoulders. The jacket should fit square and firm on the shoulders, not rounded and loose.
Remember, a quality suit is an investment, so take your time and choose wisely. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post in the space below. Thanks for reading!