Develop your Suit Sense

No matter which way the fashion pendulum swings, you always need a good suit.

Choosing right one, though, can mean the difference between looking like a million bucks or falling flat.

Every leading style figure dons a suit at one time or another. Whether it’s Harry Styles adding pearls to his black suit or Idris Elba in a window-pane check, they each make a statement with their own style along with trends.

Let’s look at what you may need to tighten up your wardrobe.


The oversized suit is back, with a touch of 1980s about it. Think David Byrne’s “Stop Making Sense” suit. And don’t simply size up to get this look, it needs to spill over at the shoulder, drape nicely and stop somewhere mid-thigh. Find a tailor if you want to try this one.


A traditional checked or tweed suit is trending hard. Scottish tartan to Irish Donegal makes for traditional styling with an impressive profile. Suits with bold or window-pane checks and lots of color are built for making a statement. Toss the rest of the rulebook out the window; skip the socks or wear a neutral tee underneath.


Technically, this might not even be a suit, but if you’re looking to get the most mileage out of what’s already in your closet, divide and conquer. Go the traditional route with a collared shirt and tie, or ditch the neckwear and go open-collared. When in doubt, dark on top and light on the bottom is a good move.


There are occasions when a bold, checked or mismatched suit just doesn’t cut it. Every man needs at least one classic suit at the ready for the last-minute wedding, funeral or business gathering. Get the most mileage out of this suit and have it tailored.

Pay attention to the fit of the sleeve, cuff and pant length as well as shoulders and chest (buttoned and unbuttoned). And you can’t go wrong with a crisp white shirt, dark tie and sleek black dress shoes for maximum effect.


Before choosing a suit’s construction, carefully consider its purpose. The fabric is often closely tied to functionality. Pure wool, one of the most popular fabrics, works well in formal settings, especially during the colder months. Linen is lightweight and perfect for summer, but compared to wool it may be more casual and wrinkles easily.


When you will be wearing this suit? While neutrals like gray, navy and black are more conventional; they also offer the most versatility. Of course, if you have a more tolerant dress code, you can experiment with colors and a suit that goes from office to club to wedding. Colors, prints and patterns allow your personality to shine through. And judging from the catwalks, it seems brown is back, but in warm, dark shades. Pulling off a brown suit takes planning; make sure you throw in light but complimentary colors like a chambray shirt, baby blue polo or a charcoal tee.

Suits are not only for weddings and funerals so you need more than one in your repertoire. Find what fits your style and play with trends to make them your own.

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