If you haven't had the occasion to be around other men in formal wear the first time could be a bit like singing in the shower. You think you sound awesome but if you ask someone else they'd say you're a bit flat. I wore a cheap suit for quite a while early in my career completely oblivious to how superior a quality one was & how much better I felt wearing it.
So in the hope that no one else makes this mistake, there are certain things you need to take into consideration when purchasing a suit. Generally the more you spend the greater quality of the suit, however, the price doesn’t mean your suit will fit well. You don’t need to spend a fortune to buy a suit that looks good. There are certain rules that you can use to make the best purchase for your suit and its accessories.
The thickest section of your tie should match the width of your jacket lapel. This gives your outfit more balanced. A skinny tie with a big lapel or vice-versa looks can look odd and disproportionate. If you are wearing the same suit daily for work, then keep this tie thickness in mind whenever you are purchasing new ties. Even marking the width on a business card, will ensure that you always have a guide when you are shopping. The length of your tie is also important. The tip of your tie should hit the middle of your waistband when you are standing up straight.
If you're buying a suit off the rack then make sure it fits you around the shoulders. Having it too small or too big gives the impression that you have either grown or you are wearing someone else's suit. Some people, especially those who are quite muscular purchase a suit that is too fitted, to accentuate them like they would a muscle shirt. Yes, people can see your muscles bulging, but you look like you are wearing a child’s suit.
If you are sweaty gent then you should definitely wear an undershirt. It may seem illogical to wear more layers when you're trying to stay cool, but the undershirt will help stop the sweat from going through your button up shirt. Having sweat stain on your back and pits at formal occasion is far from dapper. V-neck t-shirts are a better choice as they are less visible than a crew neck, especially if you are not wearing a tie and have and a few buttons are left undone. Uniqlo and Bonds make affordable, fitted undershirts to do the job.
You should aim to wear a belt that matches your shoe colour. It gives greater balance to your suit adds an extra element of style and professionalism. Generally the more simple the belt the more elegant. Buy a thin belt with a modest belt buckle, in either gold or silver. A good fitting belt should be fastened at the middle hole. Usually, belts have 5 holes, so aim for a size that fits in the third hole.
Some suit colours are better suited for different occasions, seasons and time of day. For a first suit purchase, I recommend a navy blue or charcoal suit. These colours give you greater diversity when pairing shoes, shirt and ties, and cater for most formal and social occasion.
White square toe shoes:
Please never buy these. They look ridiculous and might be the least refined pair of shoes or even clothing item ever made. The only exception would be… I can’t think of one. Just don’t do it.
Learn how to tie a tie properly.
One of the most important lessons a man wearing a suit needs to learn how to tie your tie properly. The best two knots are the Windsor and Half-Windsor. Gone are the days where you can get away with the four in hand knot, the knot is far too small and can detract from the rest of your outfit.
-Half Windsor Knot
When buying a shirt for you need to ensure that the cuff protrudes around 0.5/1 inch from the bottom of the jacket sleeve. This will give greater balance to your outfit.
If you're on budget you can you can choose from a treasure trove of stylish looking suits made from synthetic or cotton-blended materials. These pose a problem as they can sometimes look quite cheap and don't sit well or hold their form properly when worn. If you can aim for a wool blended suit, it will give you a better shape and give you a classier look.
Pocket squares offer a classy touch to any suit. A tip to remember when choosing a pocket square is to make sure it is not the exact same pattern as your tie. But if you want to have a little fun you can match your pocket square to your socks. This tip should be low on your list but can add a touch of class to your suit.
Make sure that the socks you wear have enough elastic to support themselves, there is nothing worse than constantly pulling up your socks at a formal event. Also, make sure your socks are tall enough not to show skin on your leg. A good test for this is to put them on and sit down. If the pant leg rides up higher than your socks then get a new pair.
I’ve seen a lot of people rock jeans with a suit blazer. This look is ok if you are going out to dinner but not for a formal occasion.
If you accomplish all these things when purchasing and wearing a suit then you are guaranteed to look like a boss in it. If you think there is anything we have missed in this article then please drops us a comment.
Feel free to share this to anyone you know who is doing it wrong, or looking to buy a suit for the first time.
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Author: Kareem Ghaly