First, before you begin your suit shopping excursion, have a general idea of what type of suit you are looking for. You don't have to know the name, per se. A picture may actually be a better tactic. The sales staff can then assist you in finding suits with a similar look to the one in your photo (or it can just be an ad ripped out of a magazine).
The first important factor to consider is: for what occasion will you be wearing the suit?
If you plan to wear it once a year to a wedding, you can get away with something a bit more trendy. If you are going to be wearing it once a week to work, stick to a suit style that is more classic. And no, "classic" does not mean boring. Classic simply means that the suit itself will be regarded as timeless. You can personalize your look by selecting different types, colors and styles of shirts and ties, and customizing your tie knotdepending on the occasion. For a timeless suit, my number one recommendation is a Classic American, which has a center vent in the back on the jacket, and a medium width with notched lapels.
The second most important factor to consider is: what type of fabric do you need?
Suit fabrics fall into two major categories of wools and non-wools. Generally speaking, you are best off selecting a wool or wool blend suit, as synthetic non-wools do not tend to look as luxurious and lay as well. If you live in a very warm climate and wish to be comfortable, you may wish to consider a "tropical" fabric suit. This will be made of a light wool crepe, and is usually in a light color such as white or beige. If you live in a cold climate, and want something that is warm as well as durable and long-wearing, you may wish to consider a flannel or a tweed. These are the heaviest of all of the wools. A good middle ground is called a worsted wool. The name in itself is a bit misleading, because if you are picking out a suit for the first time, or you want a very versatile suit, this is your best bet. Worsted wools are mid-weight corded wools that are durable and long wearing, as well as appropriate for year-round wear. I would recommend asking your sales associate to show you where you can find worsted wool suits, then from here, select the color, fit and style you are looking for.
Of course, a good suit is not really a good suit if it does not fit your correctly. Some key elements of fit to look for are:
- Is the jacket too big? Many men now wear their suit jackets too large. The coat should be large enough for you to fit your closed fist in between the bottom of your rib cage and the top button of the coat. In terms of length, the bottom of the jacket should hit the bend in your fingers if you stand with your arms hanging straight down at your sides, with your fingertips curled so that they are touching your palms. As far as the sides of the jacket are concerned, this is an area that you should have altered in order to achieve a slight hourglass shape.
- Do the pants sit on your waist correctly? The waistband should sit about one inch below your belly button at your natural waistline. The waistband should be snug, but it should not squeeze you. In terms of length, the back of your cuff should hit just above the sole of your shoe. When getting suit pants hemmed, make sure to bring your dress shoes with you.
For any man, a wardrobe of at least three different suits is ideal. This allows you to have one at the cleaners and two others in rotation at any given time. Start slowly, take your time in finding suits that make you feel great, and build your suit wardrobe from there.
Author: Michael Taylor is a Marketing Manager at TIE SNUG. TIE SNUG eliminates continuous adjusting and makes wearing a tie more comfortable. The right tie accessories can ensure you look professional and help you stand out for the right reasons. So be confident knowing your tie knots look great. For more information, please visit http://www.tiesnug.com.