“Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” – Arthur Ashe
A good suit is an investment that would most certainly last a lifetime. Every man, irrespective of his vocation, SHOULD own a suit. There’s power in wearing a suit, as it tends to boost your confidence and presents you in a sophisticated light, a quality that almost never fails. All these can be yours only if … you are wearing the right suit.
What’s the right suit?
There is no universally acceptable ‘right suit’, because as our body measurements vary, same goes for our ‘right suit’. For some it could be a single button, others two or three, not four (avoid any number above three at all costs). It could be double breasted suit or the traditional three-piece suit?
Irrespective of the variations in a suit, a key component that is always present in finding that perfect suit for you is known as Comfort. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable, and this defeats the whole purpose of a good suit. And when comfort meets the proper fit, then you have … the right suit.
Here are 4 things you need to consider to possess your right suit:
1. THE SHOULDERS: These are the most important parts of a suit to get right as they can’t really be altered. Make sure they are as wide as your shoulders and not wider, i.e. the suit should be hugging them, not tight in any way. Also, the pads should not be sticking out further than your own shoulders.
2. LENGTH: Jacket length is next in importance as alterations are very tricky. They could either be short or long. The classic suit jacket is long, as the short jackets, which look good, don’t flatter the majority of body builds. Stick to the classic length, which you can measure with your arms straight down by your sides you should be able to cup your fingers inside your suit jacket, if you can’t it’s too short, if you can but have lots of material in your hand then it’s too long. The suit’s sleeve should end exactly at your wrist bone and the waist narrowed a bit to highlight the shape of your torso. Remember, the top button of a two-button suit — or the middle button of a three-button suit — should not fall below your navel (belly button).
3. CHEST: Once you are able to button the suit with ease, put your hand on your chest and make a fist, it fits in between your shirt and suit jacket, then you are ok, if not … it’s the wrong size.
4. TROUSERS: These are the easiest to get right; they should be comfortable for you because you’ll be wearing them regularly and make sure the trouser leg is just long enough to cover your socks when standing still and not longer. Your trousers should reach your shoes and have a slight break.
Another thing to consider in owing that perfect suit is the lapel. With a lapel you have two options, notch or peaked. Notch is standard for most business suits and is the kind of lapel that comes to mind when most people think a traditional suit. The peak lapel is usually equated with elegance, as it has often been associated with making bold statements. Whichever one you go by, remember – if the lapel is thin, wear a slim tie and shirt collar to match.
Remember, if you’re wearing a two or three buttoned jacket, leave the last button unbuttoned; and cut off those tags of your sleeve.
If you are looking to buy your first suit, why not start with a blue, black or grey one.
Confidence plays an important role in the making of the ‘right suit’, thus to look good in a suit you need to feel good about wearing it. Be the man wearing the suit and not the suit wearing the man.