A Beginners Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Wearing a Men’s Suit
Buying and wearing a suit is an integral part of being a man. However, many men aren’t really sure how to go about choosing a mens’s suit that will ‘suit’ them.
There are those of us who were lucky enough to have parents that understood fashion. Parents who taught us from a young age how to wear a suit.
For example: how to combine the colors of a shirt and tie with the fabric of a suit; how to tell if the sleeves are long enough; how to use the pockets; just to name a few of the things that are important to understand when wearing a suit. Italian parents in particular seem to have an innate ability to understand and teach these things (thanks Mamma 🙂 )
For most guys asking for help can be cumbersome and difficult. That is where this article comes in, to help you not have to go through that! This article will cover the basic knowledge that you will need. Knowledge that will help you not feel intimidated when you buy your new suit. Rather you will be able to give the impression that you grew up knowing how to wear a suite!
Let’s start with how to understand the right fit:
The Importance of the Right Fit
When it all comes down to it if A men’s suit doesn’t fit right it doesn’t matter how much is spent on it. Neither does it matter how you combine your shit and tie, if you choose to wear one. If your suit doesn’t fit right none of that will matter!
It is especially difficult if you are going to buy a suit online. However, if you know how to measure yourself for the suit before you order it, you won;t have any problem. If you decide to buy the suit in person understanding what measurements are necessary will also help you. As it will keep you from feeling intimidated and help you give a good impression.
Measuring yourself is not near as hard as it might sound.
You will need a fabric measuring tape, like the ones that tailors use. They are easy to find, you can easily order one online. Unfortunately it can be very difficult to take your measurement by yourself. However, it doesn’t take long to do, so it shouldn’t be hard to convince someone to give you a hand.
10 Essential Measurements for a Perfect Fitting Men’s Suit
First: start by measuring your neck, it is important not to measure to high up on your neck. It is easy to find the right spot to measure, it is right where the shirt collar rests.
Second: measure your shoulders, pick a side and measure from on end to the end of the other shoulder.
Third: measure your chest. Hold your arms up in the air and have your helper measure around you chest and under your armpits. The measuring tape should be more or less at the height of your nipples. This will insure the the most accurate measurements.
Fourth: measure around your waist. Make sure you don’t measure too low, i.e., not at the level of your belt. In order to get the best measurement you should measure just below, almost touching, your ribcage.
Fifth: measure your ‘seat’, as it is officially called 😉 In order to get the best measurement measure around the widest part of your buttocks.
Sixth: measure one of your thighs, here again you should find the widest part and measure there. Since both of your thighs should be the same just measure and write down one.
Seventh: measure down your back to your waist. Here again it is essential that you find the right spot to start and finish your measurements. Once again it isn’t as hard as it may seem. Start at your collar and measure down to the height of your navel (that would be your belly button).
Eighth: measure your arm length; measure from the top of your shoulder to the base of your thumb at your wrist. Once you have the measurement subtract a half an inch. Ideally about a half an inch of your shirt sleeve should show under your jacket.
Ninth: Measure the inside of your leg. Start at the crotch, at its lowest part; measure down to the point where you would like the pants to end. This depends somewhat on taste, as we will mention later on.
Tenth: Measure your total height, this is an important measurement for your suit. Don’t measure from the collar. Measure from the top of your head, basically the same height that should be on your drivers license.
How Many Buttons Should a Men’s Suit Have?
There are several options out there and the answer somewhat comes down to taste.
The Two Button Suit Jacket: the most popular and balanced choice right now would be the two button suit. The two button suit jacket leaves a larger V shape on the chest, when closed. It is very becoming on most men as it makes their torso seem longer.
The One Button Suit Jacket: This is the latest in fad and is not for everyone, or every situation. If you have an important business meeting with older men it might be better to avoid. However, if you are trying to impress a girl on a night out on the town it may be the better choice.
The look of the one button suit jacket is more modern. It is usually used on slim fit suits (aka skinny suits).
The Three Button Suit Jacket: This was the popular choice in the 1990’s. However, I wouldn’t go as far to say that it is outdated just yet. The three button suit jacket leaves a smaller V on the chest, which might be desirable for very tall men.
The three button suit jacket will make a shorter person seem smaller. It will, however, usually balance out the look of a taller person.
The Double-Breasted Suit Jacket: This was very popular in the 1980’s and has since gone out of style. There has, however, been a small comeback. When worn right the double-breasted suit jacket can make a nice fashion statement. Many are enchanted by its double colors of 3 buttons each .
The Slim-Fit Suit (aka skinny-suit): These are popular among the young, hip generation and can be quite nice when worn right.
Skinny suits are usually made from very tight fitting and somewhat stretchy material. The pockets should not be used at all, they are just for looks. The legs are usually short enough to show off bright, designer socks even when standing.
If this style attracts you just use caution were and when you use this style. That is because the older generations don’t usually like them very much. For example a job interview may not be the best place to wear one.
Where to Buy Your New Suit Online or in Person?
There are pros and cons both to buying a new suit online and buying one in a store. Below we consider some basic points to keep in mind for each
Buying a men’s suit online: This has quickly become the preferred shopping method for the majority of us.
There are many obvious advantages. For example, the infinite selection; the lower prices that can be found; not to mention the comfort of not having to spend all that time going from store to store. Not many men enjoy this favorite pastime of most women called shopping.
Of course the disadvantage is that you can’t try the suit on before buying it when you buy a suit online. As we have seen, however, if you measure yourself correctly this shouldn’t present much of a problem. The other lesser desired aspect of shopping for a men’s suit online is that you can’t feel the fabric. This is actually an important part of picking a suit out and many times can influence your final decision. Of course you can always send it back. Then just order a different one, if you have the patience to do so.
Buying men’s suits in person: This is the traditional way to buy a suit. Like the online option it has many advantages as well as disadvantages.
The obvious advantage is that you can feel the fabric and try the suit on for fit. Most stores will also have a tailor on hand. At the very least there will be a salesperson who is competent to taking accurate measurements. This can save you from having to go through the 10 steps mentioned above.
The main disadvantages are practically the same as the main advantages for online shopping. For example, having to physically go shopping from store to store; having a much more limited selection, and generally finding higher pricing.
Why Wearing a Sharp Men’s Suit is Advantageous to Any Man
As ZZ Top sang back in the 1980’s, “every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man”. Of course if you watch their music video you will laugh out loud at the “sharp dressed man”. Thankfully the fashion and style of today has changed a little! The truth of their statement, however, stands!
When you dress in a suit, with or without the tie, you give a very accomplished, mature, and successful aura. Once you learn to wear a suit the right way it will help you advance you career. Your love life as well! You will feel better about yourself and gain respect much quicker and easier.
An interesting side note is a study that was done in a bustling city by social scientists a few years back. They had a poorly dressed man cross the street while the crosswalk light said not to cross. Even though no cars were coming most others waiting to cross just watched him. However, when a man in a nice suit did the same thing almost everyone followed behind him and crossed the street.
Why did this happen? It happened because people default to respect a man neatly and sharply dressed in a nice suit. Society is conditioned to react in such a way. Why not use this to your advantage and find a sharp men’s suit that is perfect for you!