Man-style: Five Tips for Buying the Perfect Suit

by epi on May 21, 2012

By Dawn Stanyon, AICI FLC, Professional Image Consultant

Are you interviewing, stepping up a rung, or just ready to start investing in your image? Time to buy a new suit! Don’t be nervous – get started with these five tips.

1. Go to an established men’s store where trained professionals are on staff. These experts are more knowledgeable about make, style, cut, and fit than most of us can ever hope to be. They can teach you the different between traditional, European, and athletic styles and which will work best for you.

2. You should be aware of the following fit issues:

  • If it feels too tight, it probably is. You should be able to fit the flat of your hand in between your chest and the front of the jacket when buttoned and the back vents should lay flat.
  • If it feels a little big, it can probably be tailored: men’s suits can often be taken in a full size.
  • Trousers should fit at the waist (one finger inside the waistband) so you have room when you sit.

3. The correct jacket length? Stand with your arms hanging naturally at your sides. The jacket should hit just under the curve of your derriere.

4. The sleeve of the jacket should hit where your wrist bends so that your shirt can poke out 1/8″ to 1/4″.

5. Trousers: a “full break” is the bottom of the pant altered to hit 1″ above the floor. Pleated trousers should have cuffs.

It doesn’t matter if you are big and tall, compact or athletic, you can look like the professional you are or want to be. And if you are interested in learning more about menswear, check out these blogs: The Sartorialist; Esquire Men’s Fashion; The Style Blogger.

For more, visit Dawn’s blog, Professionality.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zakafury May 21, 2012 at 7:57 am

Some “established men’s stores” are better than others at offering solid advice. I think the larger stores fall prey to the average customer’s lack of knowledge. It’s a safe bet they have people complain when their shirt cuffs show, so be clear about such things when you’re being fitted.

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Jerry May 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

Along those lines, one should also find a tailor that he trusts to make the necessary alterations. Not a store tailor, mind you, but an independent tailor. These professionals are really worth the investment. Good tailoring can make a $300 suit look like a $600 suit; bad tailoring can make a $1,000 suit look like garbage.

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