When it comes to buying a suit, many men feel intimidated. Sorting through the different styles, sizes, colors, and designers can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Purchasing a suit can be a pleasant experience if you have the right information.
Below, you will find practical tips on how to size a suit, pick the right color, and select a cut that fits your body type and personal style.
For many men, the default suit color is black. Guys choose this color because they believe it is the most versatile. While black suits are sleek and functional, they should be reserved for funerals. Navy Blue and Charcoal Grey are better choices for your wardrobe.
Charcoal Gray goes well with a wide range of colors and patterns. With a Charcoal Gray suit, you can be a bit more adventurous with your shirts, ties, and shoes. Because of its neutrality, it is appropriate for work, weddings, funerals, or other semi-formal events. Navy blue is also a practical, straightforward color for suits. A Navy Blue suit is a staple for any man’s wardrobe. Light Gray, Dark Brown, and Tan are a few more classic colors that stand the test of time.
If these colors are too conservative for your taste or you want to venture off the beaten path, then there are myriad suit colors available for you to choose from. When selecting a suit color you should take a few things into consideration: The season; your current wardrobe, accessories, and shoes; your skin tone; how, when, and where you plan to wear the suit; and current fashion trends (certain colors go in and out of style).
After you have determined your proper suit size and color, you must choose a cut. Suit cuts range from Extra-Slim to Classic Fit. Extra-slim suits work best for tall, slender men while Classic Fit suits work with a range of body types. However, suit cut is a matter of personal preference. Choose a cut that looks good on you.
Extra Slim Fit
Sleek and fashion-forward
- Armholes are high and sleeves are narrow
- Super slim lapels
- Sits low on the waist
- Extra-trim fit through hips and thighs
- Very narrow opening around the bottom hem
- Popular Brands: Indochino, Bar III
Closely-tailored and modern
- Slim lapel and higher button placement
- Higher armholes create a structured look
- Fitted through the chest but still allows movement
- Sits low on the waist
- Slim cut pants offer a leaner silhouette
- Popular Brands: TopMan, Perry Ellis, Bonobos, Kenneth Cole
A polished, traditional cut
- Deeper armholes and a natural shoulder for a more comfortable fit
- A wider chest allows for plenty of movement
- Sits at waist
- Easy fit through hips and thighs
- Wider opening around the bottom hem
- Popular Brands: Tommy Hilfiger, Jones New York, Jos. A. Bank
To ensure that the suit fits you like a glove, take it to a tailor for alterations. The tailor will need to adjust the jacket sleeve length and pants hem (decide if you want a full break, half break, or no break). You may also need to make slight modifications to the jacket and pants waistline. A skilled tailor will suggest the proper alterations. If you take his advice, he will make your off-the-rack suit, look like a custom-made one.