The foundation of every man's wardrobe is a perfectly fitting suit. Whether it's for weddings or for work, it's got to be dapper. Use our step-by-step guide to help demystify the process so you get the perfect suit first time.
Choose between a single or double-breasted jacket. You should be able to easily button the jacket without it straining.
Your collar should hug the back of your neck without buckling or pulling on your shirt.
Suit lapels are the extension of the suit’s collar, which fold back against the chest. Make sure that the lapels lie flat on your chest and don’t buckle.
Arms and sleeves
Let your arms hang by your sides. Your sleeves should end just below where your hand meets your wrist.
Choose between a 1, 2 and 3 and double-breasted buttoned jacket. It’s all down to personal taste and what suits your shape.
They should be comfortable and where the trousers sit on your waist shouldn’t be too high or too low for your taste.
Match Purchase to Purpose
First things first, decide what you want to wear the suit for:
You’ll want to get more use out of it and wear it everyday, so a darker colour will probably be better.
If it’s something you’ll wear to weddings, christenings or a day at the races then choose something a little more stylish, something that feels a bit more special than your everyday suit.
You’ll want to look razor sharp and ultra smart so go for something sleek and tailored that will make a lasting impression. Match the suit to the atmosphere of the job – a corporate business will appreciate a candidate who dresses accordingly, so think navy or dark suits with minimal detail. Conversely, a more relaxed work environment might see a suited and booted candidate as uptight if the majority of other men are wearing a simple unbuttoned shirt and trousers.
Single vs double-breasted
Generally speaking, double-breasted jackets are more formal than single, but you do tend to see people pairing double-breasted jackets with a pair of jeans to dress it down. The benefit of double breasted jackets is that they flatter a broader range of figures, which is always something to take into consideration. Ultimately, the choice is yours – go for what you feel comfortable in.
Suits you Sir! Knowing how a suit should fit
Suit shoulders should hug yours neatly and if your arm protrudes beyond your shoulder then it's too big. Another test is to lean against a wall and if the suit pad touches the wall before your arm then that’s another sign that it’s too big.
Your jacket should button up easily. If there’s any pulling then it’s too tight and if there’s gaping then it’s too big. Once buttoned, place your fist between you and the jacket. If the gap is any wider than your fist then it’s too big.
With your arms straight, cup the hem of the suit jacket in your hands. If you can’t reach, then it’s too long. If it’s shorter, then it’s your own personal decision whether you would like it to be a little longer or you’re happy with the length. Many people wear them just an inch or so below the cuff.
4. Sleeve length
This one is easy enough - you should have a quarter of an inch of your shirt sleeve showing.
The rise of the trousers is where they sit on your waist and it’s your own preference where is most comfortable for you. The legs shouldn’t be too tight or too loose and they should most importantly be comfortable to sit down in.
The Finer Details
Buttons are a tell tale sign about fit and cut of a suit jacket, so here’s all you need to know to make sure you’re on the button every time:
Three button suits are the most fashionable at the moment. They’re great for medium or tall builds.
The two button suit is a really classic style. It’s flattering for all body shapes and works well for men with shorter torsos.
One button suits are the most modern and look really slick on slimmer builds.
There are mainly 2 types of lapel, the notch lapel which is a standard shape used on formal and business suits. The peak lapel makes more of a statement and is nice for an occasion suit
The fabric you choose will depend on the time of year you plan to wear your suit, so here are some basics to help you decide…
Wool suits are a good all-rounder as they can be worn all year round. Worsted wool has the highest thread count and is a luxurious quality to go for.
Cotton and linen suits are great options for the summer, they’re lightweight and breathable so will help you keep your cool.
Made to Measure