“And as long as I got my suit and tie, I’ma leave it all on the floor tonight, And you got fixed up to the nines” – Justin Timerlake


(Photo: http://tinyurl.com/nvrepo8

So after a long hiatus I’m back. I’ve had a lot of stuff on my plate recently and my mind has been all over the place so the thought of writing didn’t appeal to me. However, I always feel that helping people is the name of the game when it comes to this blog and I can’t do that if I’m not writing new posts. One of my work colleagues and friends has his college graduation coming up and was talking about buying a suit for it so hopefully these tips can help him and the rest of ye out for your sartorial needs.

First things first, I love suits. I have always felt more comfortable and confident in them since I got my first one nearly ten years ago for my first job interviews after leaving school. Throughout college, I always lived by the motto “Better to be overdressed than under-dressed” and that’s how I got into the world of men’s style and fashion. I liked looking better than everyone else in the room and constantly looking my best. I feel that it’s easy to throw on those sweat pants and t-shirts in the morning but it’s sloppy and as such, you feel lazy and sloppy all day. Your mind is a very powerful tool and if you look good, you’ll feel good. Everybody has that one piece of clothing that makes them feel like a million bucks – that jacket, pair of jeans or shirt that you feel like you’re firing on all cylinders.

So what are the key points when buying a suit?

Above all, it comes down to fit, The fit is KING! Before the colour, before the fabric or the different styles, you have to nail to fit. Most men buy off the rack suits based on a measurement they have gotten or a lucky guess where they start at a forty regular and work down the sizes until they find a suit that’s not hanging off them like a tent. What I suggest is to go down a size or two from this guess. A suit jacket should be snug on your body, it’s meant to be constricting. It is not an item for you to wear when doing physical activities. Outlined below are some key rules from Esquire’s guide to the fit of a suit.

Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button.

The top button of a two-button suit – or the middle button of a three-button suit – should not fall below your navel.

With your arms at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket.

Jacket sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.

Between a quarter and a half inch of shirt cuff should be visible.

One inch of break [in the leg].

Check out these pictures for an examples of good and bad fit area’s you need to focus on.


 The suit jacket being too snug.

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The solution: Move up a size or lose the gut! Or you could always try out the same size in a different ‘cut’ or store. A 40 inch regular in one store is not the same in another.

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The Solution: The shoulders of the suit jacket extending past your shoulders.
With your jacket on and arms at your side, touch a wall with your arm like you’re about to lean up against it. You should feel the padding touch the wall, followed almost immediately by your upper arm. The jacket should follow the lines of your body smoothly.

Finally the last area of concern is the collar gap. This is the gap between your jacket and shirt as seen below. This is a little tougher to deal with in regards to off the rack suits. The solution is really to go bespoke or made to measure/tailoring. This is an area that can be overlooked if you make sure the top two points are in order and cannot afford a full bespoke suit.

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Staying with fit, the pants should be slim but not so far they resemble skinny jeans. NO PLEATS!. Basically, just a slim straight leg. You want to eliminate as much excess fabric from your suit as possible but this will vary depending on your personal build/height/etc.

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( Photo: http://tinyurl.com/nbtzypd )

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(Photo: http://tinyurl.com/prlshu4)
Regarding colour, If this is your first suit, I suggest keeping the colour neutral and in a solid pattern; black or grey. Avoid pinstripes or other type of designs until you have a few suits. Same goes for bright colours that are surfacing on the style blogs and GQ. Basically this will be a function suit be it work, graduations, weddings or funerals. If you feel the need to be adventurous, maybe purchase a sports coat/blazer in a cool fabric (say tweed or wool) or colour (burgundy, white, midnight blue).

Now that your suit is sorted lets look at all the other items you need in your wardrobe to pull off the killer outfit you’re aiming for.

You will need a good Oxford shirt in white and black.

Also I would suggest picking up a shirt with French cuffs and a winged collar. This will serve as your black tie shirt. Naturally you will need a set of cufflinks and a bow tie. Once again, keep it simple stupid! Neutral colour for the bow tie and something restrained and classy for your cufflinks- no novelty ones. See, Jon Hamm approves!
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(Photo: http://tinyurl.com/nnug7j2)


Some colour- invest in some colourful ties or pocket squares. Just make sure they have a different pattern to your suit aka no striped tie with a pinstriped suit. Solid colours are always a safe choice but maybe buy some colourful pocket squares with some design on them for when you’re dressing down the suit.
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(Photo:  http://tinyurl.com/obnd6gr)

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(Photo: http://tinyurl.com/nlefvgx

A waistcoat – If possible this should be the same fabric and colour as your suit. Most stores sell three-piece suits these days so it should not be a problem.


Miscellaneous – A good leather belt and dress shoe, these should match black belt with black shoes, brown with brown etc. If you are feeling fancy why not pick up a tie clip or tie pin to add a dash of style to your outfit.

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(Photo: http://tinyurl.com/qaphohy)

I’ve included some images for some inspiration from this blogs Pinterest page so be sure to like check it out for more inspiration for your outfits!

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I’ll be back soon dropping more bombs of wisdom, I’m out *drops mic*
Peace
Dave

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