For business or pleasure there are many situations when wearing a suit is appropriate. Not many people know however, that picking the right suit for a particular season and occasion is much more complex than it seems to be at the first glance. Although modern fashionable suit is much more simplified from the old school flamboyant one, and mostly focuses on the fit, there are different styles and fabrics.
A fine suit should hug your shoulders. When buying a suit, try sizing down. If it doesn’t fit right in the shoulders, don’t buy it. Think about the width of the sleeves. Have a tailor slim down the sleeves, trimming them of excess fabric. Your suit sleeves should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows. It’s the elegant finishing touch. Your jacket should contour to your body. Have a tailor nip it at the sides. This will emphasize your shoulders. Go with flat-front pants, cut slim, with very little break at the ankle. This produces a long, clean look. Your pants should just clip the tops of your shoes, not bunch up over them.
Single breasted suit is more popular and is convenient for slim persons. Double breasted is best for wider body types. When it comes to button count, 1 is very fashionable, not recommended for business suits, 2 is the most common and fits all types of bodies, and 3 is a little bit more formal (a matter of taste). There are three common types of lapels, peaked, notched (“step”) (the most common), and shawl (for dressing suits, or tuxedo). You should either pick a standard width lapel for a business look, or a slim one for a trendier look.
The thread count of a suit determines its richness as well as the comfort of the material. The higher the thread count the softer and more expensive the suit. Professionals refer to it as “Super”.
The best “Supers” in the range of 450 are very delicate and should be replaced yearly. For a more practical suit stick to wool with a count in the low hundreds. They’re the most durable and provide a comfortable feel.
Wool is the most basic and common suit fabric. It’s the most versatile of the suit materials. The benefits of wearing a wool suit are longlivity, comfort, its ability to absorb moisture, and that it is wrinkle-resistant. It is great for any type of weather. The most popular wool materials are angora, cashmere, and merino. You can wear this suit all year long.
Flannel is a bit of a thing of the past. I’m sure Al Capone’s had a closet full of these. Today they give us a bit of a retro look. It’s not very breathable and will keep you very hot despite of the temperature. These types of suits don’t age very well. If you choose to wear one, the best time would be in the winter.
Cotton is known for its durability as well as breathableness. Much like the wool suit it absorbs moisture. Because of its light texture it’s ideal for spring, summer, and fall. It’s a very practical suit, and it is easy to maintain.
Linen is a thin lightweight material ideal for casual summer days. The benefit of owning one is that it will keep you cool. However, linen is known for creasing very easily and for that very reason it definitely is not an office suit.
Once you’ve determined the season you’ll be wearing it in most and its appropriate fabric, you’re ready to select your pattern.