Some men love wearing suits; others would simply prefer not to. But there is no question that the business suit is the wardrobe of choice if you wish to communicate professional competence. A properly worn suit sends a message of self-confidence and pride, and says that you care about the occasion and want to make a good impression. And you might be surprised how much more capable you feel when you are dressing the part. Many a successful date, job interview or sales pitch has been helped along by a good tailor. Never underestimate the importance of looking like the part you want to play. Clothes may not make the man, but sometimes they can certainly help make the sale. Now that you are ready to shop for a suit, stylist Kimberly Grant has some helpful tips.
Ensemble Personal Image Consulting
Before joining Ensemble Personal Image Consulting, Kimberly spent several years in the apparel and fashion industry. She has worked for several San Francisco retailers, including Gymboree and Sephora. She loves fashion, style and people, so working as a personal image consultant has been a perfect fit, just like the clothing she recommends.
(photo credit: Ensemble Personal Image Consulting)
Make sure to take into account where you will wear the suit, and how often. If your work doesn’t require a suit and you prefer a more casual look, you’ll want to purchase a versatile suit that you can wear for all of your special occasions. For a suit you wear only occasionally, and for the most important suit-wearing occasions as well as the simpler ones, you might consider a higher budget. An occasional suit can be a purchase for a lifetime and is worth some investment. On the other hand, you’ll want to spend much less if you plan to wear a suit every day because you’ll have to buy several, and they may well need to be replaced.
Keep it simple to begin with and make fit your most important consideration. Fancy variations in patterns and colors may seem exciting, but in the long run, simple works best. For a more conservative, highly tailored look, consider European styles, English or Italian. American styles will suit a more casual occasion.
Pay attention to the fit over your shoulder. The cloth should fall naturally right over your shoulder. If the seam is too high, you’ll look and feel constrained and uptight. If it is too low, the arms of the coat will droop off the shoulder like a wilting willow. Insist on getting this detail just right.
When standing comfortably with your arms at your sides, your finger tips should be able to curl just slightly under the bottom of the jacket. If you are very tall and require a longer jacket, there should be extra buttons. If you are shorter, just two buttons may be enough.
Stick with conservative colors. Black is always acceptable, as is charcoal grey. Either of these will do for just about any occasion. For variety, stick with navy blue or brown. Solid colors or pinstripes are best. Some men can get away with loud colors or unusual patterns but you are probably not one of them. Save variation for when you choose to wear a sport coat, and keep the suits conservative.