The modern man’s guide to the suit life – part one

suitedThere is a time in every man’s life that he will be required to wear a suit. A wedding, a funeral, a christening, a job interview, perhaps every work day, an important date with the girl of his dreams. Most women admit that a man in a suit, especially a well fitting suit, is an enjoyable sight. Even if you don’t have to wear a suit every day, every man should own at least one. Just in case, just.

The problem with choosing a suit is that there are different styles, colours, materials, cuts, and even the number of buttons. This is what you need to know when looking for a suit.

There are three ways that a suit is made. The most common, and cheapest, is machine made. Modern machines cut, stitch and can put a suit together in about 30 minutes. The second option is made to measure, where a tailor uses preset patterns, adjusts them and uses body measurements to make sure the suit fits properly. A good tailor can do this in about 10 hours. The final way to purchase a suit is have the suit made for you by a tailor who creates custom patterns from scratch. Bespoke suits take over 50 man hours to complete and the customer is required to attend multiple fitting sessions to make sure that the suit is as perfect as can be.

No matter where you buy your suits, you want to look your best. A bespoke suit guarantees it but cheaper suits can also make you look good with just a little tweak here and there.

When trying on a suit jacket, stand sideways against a wall. If the material touches the wall before your shoulder, the jacket is too big. A well fitting jacket should end at the edge of your natural shoulder. The sleeve of a jacket should reach the base of your thumb and then leave about half an inch of shirt cuff. When you place your hands flat at your sides, the bottom of the jacket should be in your hand when you start to make a fist with your hand. When trying on the suit jacket, you should be able to fit a fist between your chest and the fabric when the jacket is buttoned up. More than a fist, too loose, less than a fist, too tight.

Remember to wear shoes when trying on a suit, it will let you know where the trouser break is. The break is the bottom of the trouser leg that creases slightly. Traditionally the break would stop at the top of the shoe in front and just above the shoe sole at the back. Nowadays however, the trouser leg should have little or no break with the material just touching the top of the shoe. This is often because the more modern trouser leg is slimmer. Once your trousers are fastened and are at your waist, rather than your hips, you should be able to slip one finger into the waistband, otherwise the trousers are not fitting correctly.

While the popular image of a three piece suit is often reserved for older men, a close, well fitting waistcoat will help you look both stylish and slim.

Once you find your own style and preferences in wearing a suit, you can stick to that style and simply change the appearance with your shirt, tie, or other accessories.


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