People always want to know how to pick up the suits—picking out the perfect suit and dressing it to perfection. First things first, the fit is king. It doesn't matter what brand you're wearing. It doesn't matter how much you spend on your suit. If it doesn't fit, it's a bad suit. I see a lot of guys getting a suit that's one size too big, and the result of that is the shoulders of the suit flop over your natural shoulders, and you will get a dent. An easy way to check if the suit shoulder fits you is to go up against the wall. Your suit should first touch the wall, followed by your shoulder. If there's any bunching of fabric in between, your suit is too big. If your shoulder hits the wall first before the suit's material, it is too tight. It's essential that you can comfortably cross your arms without tearing the fabric across your back.
Moving on down the suit, you want to make sure they fit at the stomach is right too. You check that by buttoning the top button of the suit and sliding your hand in between that button. If your hand feels too tight in that area, your suit may be too small. Or if the room in there is too much, your suit is likely too big. The jacket's fabric should drape the natural contour of your arms without bunching up, being too tight, or loose. The length of the sleeve is also crucial. You want to be comfortable showing at least a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of your shirt below your suit. This is one of those alterations that need to be done by a tailor. Because anatomically, we're all different, we're not symmetrical. One arm can be longer than the other. It's been debated how long your suit should be, and there's a simple answer. You want your suit to fall between your wrist and the middle of your thumb. But, most importantly, it must cover your bottom. What we talked about was the suit jacket. Now let's talk about pants.
First, you want to make sure the waist of the pants fits yours properly. How do you find your natural waist? Well, take three fingers and place them right below your belly button. And that's your natural waist. That's where your suit pants should fit. These aren't jeans, and these don't sweat pants, so don't let them sink too low. Your suit pants should fit comfortably without the need for a belt. The best quality suit pants are made without belt loops. They're made with little hinges and attachments on the sides to make small changes in case you gain a pound or two. The suit fabric should naturally drape the contour of your legs without being too loose or snug.
Now, let's talk about the length of the pants. There is some flexibility in deciding how you want the hem of your pants to look. You can go for no break, half break, or a complete halt. I think the perfect look falls somewhere between a half break or no break at all. Because when you go for a complete rest, you get that ugly crease in your shins, and it doesn't make the suit look flattering.
Now, let's talk about the details which can bring your personality to light. Starting from top to bottom, let's look at the lapels. The three most popular lapel variations are the Notch Lapel, which is the classic one you see on most suits. Then you have the Peak Lapel, which is the one I am wearing now. A little bit more formal, a little bit more flashy. Then you have the Shawl Collar, which you traditionally see at more formal events, like award shows or galas. But throw all those rules out the window. If you feel like one of those lapels matches your personality or looks best, don't be afraid to try it.
Give it a go and see if it works with your outfit. Let's talk about the buttons of the suit. We will be talking about single-breasted suits only, leaving the double-breasted suits behind. The most important part to remember is not to button the bottom button. That's like a tongue twister. But seriously, don't button the bottom button. I recommend going with the two buttons. It's classic, and it works in all styles. You can wear it to a formal event. You can make it less formal by dressing it down with some jeans. Good quality suits have functioning or working buttons. Believe it or not, functioning buttons have a medical history.
Now, let's talk about the colour and fabric of suits. If you're getting your first suit, you should get a suit that is going to be multi-purpose that you can wear to weddings and you can wear to events, that you can wear to work. And, a navy suit that fits all occasions. If you already have a few suits and you're looking to buy more, there are two things you should focus on. That's your skin tone and the season. If it's winter, you want to go with something heavier, like wool or corduroy. If it's summer, you want to go for light fabrics, like cotton, linen, or even a fragile, fine wool ball. When talking about colour, you want bright colours that pop and make a statement for the summer. But for the winter and the fall, you want brown, navy, and dark tones. It just generally looks good with the light of that season.
Most importantly, you want a shirt that's long enough, so it stays neatly tucked into your pants all day. You want to get a semi-spread collar. The collar works with pretty much anything; tie or no tie. Avoid getting a collar that buttons down. It doesn't look good with a suit. Just go for the classic, two-button barrel cuff. No need for french cuffs. No need for cufflinks right now. Start by getting a quality collection of basic shirts first, and then you can start exploring and finding out what works for you. What do I think about undershirts? I don't think you need them; get rid of them. They never look good, and they make your midsection seems heavy. And some people say it prevents a sweat stain from going on the dress shirt, but that doesn't happen. They make you hotter and sweaty, and there's no benefit to an undershirt. Ties, make sure that when you're wearing a link, it doesn't go past your belt, and it doesn't sit too high up on your torso because it will make you look bad.
Also, when selecting the colour of your tie, make sure it fits the colour palette of your suit and your dress shirt. I also opt for a tie bar. It looks great, but it also keeps your tie in the same place all day without falling to either side. What's the deal with pocket squares? Well, I think pocket squares are great. They allow you to show more personality and add more colour to your wardrobe. Many people believe that your pocket square needs to perfectly match your tie or dress shirt. But that's not true. It can be that perfect slight accent of colour that you don't expect. But, again, it should stay in the same colour palette that your tie, suit, and dress shirt are in. There are a million ways to fold your pocket square. But I like to keep it simple, as I do with most things. So I either go for the conservative court or, if I'm feeling very fashionable, I'll go for the 4 point look. Time to figure out what kind of sock to wear. Here's a place for you to show even more personality. Get some crazy coloured socks. You really should only be seeing your socks when you're seated.
So, it's okay to get a flashy colour here. For me, because I have big calves, if I wear regular socks, they'll cause the fabric of my suit to bunch up, and it won't look great. I wear super low, no show socks. Also, if you're wearing a loafer, don't be afraid to go sockless, especially in the summer. You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. As long as they match the colour palette of your suit and they're of excellent quality, you'll be all set. Fashion has no boundaries, and there's no limit to your creativity. These are simply my rules that I think can help you look your best. We've covered a lot of ground. Did you get all that? Are you ready to get suited up? If not, leave your questions down below. I'll get back to you.