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How to Choose a Suit

New & Lingwood pin-stripe suit

MEN'S SUITS BUYING GUIDE

You’ve got an occasion coming up and your trusty go-to suit has had it. It’s time to invest in something new and something that’s going to make you look GOOD. Follow our guide to buying the perfect suit – it works every time.

Shop Suits & Tailoring

What’s the occasion?

Work

If your office has a more conservative dress code, stick to classic cuts and try to avoid trend-led tailoring. A simple two-piece suit in a dark colourway is not only practical but endlessly versatile - style with different shirts and accessories to create a variety of looks. Invest in more trousers for a work suit you want to wear regularly. This cuts down on dry cleaning, meaning it will last you longer and will save you that hard earned cash.

Try charcoal, black or rich navy as your foundation colour.

Job Interview

This isn't the time for a flamboyant hue or a novelty tie. You want to be taken seriously and make the right impression and a sharp suit is a step in the right direction. A classic fitted suit teamed with a crisp white shirt always works; simply add a splash of colour with your tie (nothing too offensively bright) – understated, but effective.

Don’t forget to prepare ahead! Don’t just check your suit the morning of the interview. Check a week before to make sure it’s clean and in good condition for the day.

Invitation Only

If you've received an all-important invitation you'll want to dress to impress and your chosen style of suiting will depend on the season. Attending a summer wedding or a formal garden party? Opt for lightweight fabrics in stone grey, powder blue and lighter, more delicate hues. If the invite states black tie, then a dinner suit or timeless tux is a must.

If a summertime affair calls for formal attire, a linen suit is your best bet to stay cool.

 
Kenneth Cole blue suit

Choosing the correct size

Shoulders

Suit shoulders should hug your own and appear neat. Look out for excess material or fabric that looks strained. Pull your arms forward and around you, if the seam feels tight and uncomfortable, opt for a larger size or a different fit.

Lean against a wall wearing your jacket – if the suit shoulder hits the wall before your arm, the suit jacket is too big.

Chest

Your suit jacket should button easily without forcing you to breathe in and a slouchy, gaping look is a big no-no. Once it's buttoned, place your fist between you and the jacket – you want some give but not too much, any wider and you'll need a smaller size.

Length

Hang your arms down straight and cup the jacket hem in your hands. If you can reach, it's too long. If it’s shorter, then it's really a matter of personal taste - many modern suit jackets only sit an inch or two below the cuff.

Sleeve Length

Sleeve lengths are easily altered, so if the rest of the jacket fits to a tee but the sleeves are too long, there's no need to fret. Simply ask your tailor to alter the sleeves so an inch of your shirt sleeve is showing.

Trousers

The rise of the suit trousers (i.e. where they sit on your waist) should suit your taste and style. Remember, the cut of a trouser leg should flatter without appearing too tight or too loose. If you find the trouser waist or length has a couple of extra inches, a tailor can easily amend this.

 
New & Lingwood grey suit

The details

Buttons

The number of buttons on your suit jacket will have an affect on the fit and the cut. Make sure you know the ins and outs of each style...

Three Button Suit

This suit is extremely on-trend and particularly flattering on men of a medium or tall build. The button should always be fastened when you’re standing but not when you’re seated.

Never fasten the last button. Instead, button up the top two – or just the middle button.

One Button Suit

Ideal for more contemporary dressers, this option is suited to slighter frames.

The button should always be fastened when you’re standing, but the reverse when you’re seated.

Double-Breasted

This look if far from out-dated, there’s always a place for a good double-breasted suit! It’s also suitable for a majority of body shapes. As this style has extra material, don’t leave your jacket unfastened as it can look untidy.

Fasten the top button and leave the bottom button undone if that feels more comfortable.

Vents

Most suits feature a vent at the rear of the jacket. A centre vent is extremely common however a double vent is usually favoured by European designers.

Lapels

There are three types of lapel – notch, peak and shawl. A notch lapel is defined by a “notch”, where the bottom of the collar and the top of the lapel connect at a 75-90 degree angle; a peak lapel is defined by edges pointing upwards to your shoulders; and a shawl lapel has a continuous curve without breaks or points.

Fabric

Your choice in fabric will depend on the time of year. Stick to breezy cotton or linen pieces for all day comfort in sweltering heat. Wool suits can be worn all year round though, depending on the fabric density. The finest wool is worsted wool, with a high thread count, or ‘super’ as it’s known in tailoring. The finest ‘super’ has a 450 thread count but is extremely delicate. Opt for a number in the low hundreds if you want to invest in a style that’ll last.

If you’re going to be travelling a fair distance then a linen suit probably isn’t the best choice. It creases easily and will appear messy after your journey, not to mention the ironing job it’ll require.

Lining

A good suit jacket will feature a fully-lined interior and this is an easy way to add a flash of colour. Look out for statement stripes, vibrant hues and on-trend patterns.

Your chosen lining should complement the majority of your shirts. A pattern or bright colour works best with clean white.

 
Three Button suit

Three Button Suit

One Button Suit

One Button Suit

Double-Breasted

Double-Breasted

Suit Vents

Vents

Skopes notch lapel suit

Lapels

Suit Fabric

Fabric

Ted Baker suit lining

Lining

Dos and don'ts

Let us give you some tips to look after your suits, ensuring they live a long life in your wardrobe.

DON’T dry clean your suit too often - the fabric will only wear out. Buy a second pair of trousers and alternate between the two pairs to extend the life of your suit.

DO wear a belt that matches the colour of your shoes.

DON’T wear brown shoes with black suits, please.

DO look for coloured shirts and patterned ties to breathe new life into your old suits.

DON’T fasten the bottom button of your jacket.

 
Men's Buying Guide Do's and Don'ts

MEN'S SUITS BUYING GUIDE

You’ve got an occasion coming up and your trusty go-to suit has had it. It’s time to invest in something new and something that’s going to make you look GOOD. Follow our guide to buying the perfect suit – it works every time.

Shop Suits & Tailoring

What’s the occasion?

-

+

Work

If your office has a more conservative dress code, stick to classic cuts and try to avoid trend-led tailoring. A simple two-piece suit in a dark colourway is not only practical but endlessly versatile - style with different shirts and accessories to create a variety of looks. Invest in more trousers for a work suit you want to wear regularly. This cuts down on dry cleaning, meaning it will last you longer and will save you that hard earned cash.

Try charcoal, black or rich navy as your foundation colour.

Job Interview

This isn't the time for a flamboyant hue or a novelty tie. You want to be taken seriously and make the right impression and a sharp suit is a step in the right direction. A classic fitted suit teamed with a crisp white shirt always works; simply add a splash of colour with your tie (nothing too offensively bright) – understated, but effective.

Don’t forget to prepare ahead! Don’t just check your suit the morning of the interview. Check a week before to make sure it’s clean and in good condition for the day.

Invitation Only

If you've received an all-important invitation you'll want to dress to impress and your chosen style of suiting will depend on the season. Attending a summer wedding or a formal garden party? Opt for lightweight fabrics in stone grey, powder blue and lighter, more delicate hues. If the invite states black tie, then a dinner suit or timeless tux is a must.

If a summertime affair calls for formal attire, a linen suit is your best bet to stay cool.

Kenneth Cole blue suit

Choosing the correct size

+

-

Shoulders

Suit shoulders should hug your own and appear neat. Look out for excess material or fabric that looks strained. Pull your arms forward and around you, if the seam feels tight and uncomfortable, opt for a larger size or a different fit.

Lean against a wall wearing your jacket – if the suit shoulder hits the wall before your arm, the suit jacket is too big.

Chest

Your suit jacket should button easily without forcing you to breathe in and a slouchy, gaping look is a big no-no. Once it's buttoned, place your fist between you and the jacket – you want some give but not too much, any wider and you'll need a smaller size.

Length

Hang your arms down straight and cup the jacket hem in your hands. If you can reach, it's too long. If it’s shorter, then it's really a matter of personal taste - many modern suit jackets only sit an inch or two below the cuff.

Sleeve Length

Sleeve lengths are easily altered, so if the rest of the jacket fits to a tee but the sleeves are too long, there's no need to fret. Simply ask your tailor to alter the sleeves so an inch of your shirt sleeve is showing.

Trousers

The rise of the suit trousers (i.e. where they sit on your waist) should suit your taste and style. Remember, the cut of a trouser leg should flatter without appearing too tight or too loose. If you find the trouser waist or length has a couple of extra inches, a tailor can easily amend this.

New & Lingwood grey suit

The details

+

-

Buttons

The number of buttons on your suit jacket will have an affect on the fit and the cut. Make sure you know the ins and outs of each style...

Three Button Suit

This suit is extremely on-trend and particularly flattering on men of a medium or tall build. The button should always be fastened when you’re standing but not when you’re seated.

Never fasten the last button. Instead, button up the top two – or just the middle button.

One Button Suit

Ideal for more contemporary dressers, this option is suited to slighter frames.

The button should always be fastened when you’re standing, but the reverse when you’re seated.

Double-Breasted

This look if far from out-dated, there’s always a place for a good double-breasted suit! It’s also suitable for a majority of body shapes. As this style has extra material, don’t leave your jacket unfastened as it can look untidy.

Fasten the top button and leave the bottom button undone if that feels more comfortable.

Vents

Most suits feature a vent at the rear of the jacket. A centre vent is extremely common however a double vent is usually favoured by European designers.

Lapels

There are three types of lapel – notch, peak and shawl. A notch lapel is defined by a “notch”, where the bottom of the collar and the top of the lapel connect at a 75-90 degree angle; a peak lapel is defined by edges pointing upwards to your shoulders; and a shawl lapel has a continuous curve without breaks or points.

Fabric

Your choice in fabric will depend on the time of year. Stick to breezy cotton or linen pieces for all day comfort in sweltering heat. Wool suits can be worn all year round though, depending on the fabric density. The finest wool is worsted wool, with a high thread count, or ‘super’ as it’s known in tailoring. The finest ‘super’ has a 450 thread count but is extremely delicate. Opt for a number in the low hundreds if you want to invest in a style that’ll last.

If you’re going to be travelling a fair distance then a linen suit probably isn’t the best choice. It creases easily and will appear messy after your journey, not to mention the ironing job it’ll require.

Lining

A good suit jacket will feature a fully-lined interior and this is an easy way to add a flash of colour. Look out for statement stripes, vibrant hues and on-trend patterns.

Your chosen lining should complement the majority of your shirts. A pattern or bright colour works best with clean white.

Dos and dont’s

+

-

Let us give you some tips to look after your suits, ensuring they live a long life in your wardrobe.

DON’T dry clean your suit too often - the fabric will only wear out. Buy a second pair of trousers and alternate between the two pairs to extend the life of your suit.

DO wear a belt that matches the colour of your shoes.

DON’T wear brown shoes with black suits, please.

DO look for coloured shirts and patterned ties to breathe new life into your old suits.

DON’T fasten the bottom button of your jacket.

 
Men's Buying Guide Do's and Don'ts