Maybe the suit is no longer required in many workplaces. That could be just the reason to wear one.
A nice suit can be very flattering on a man, and often makes him look both taller and slimmer. Trousers with a jacket cannot provide the same effect. It would help you stand out from the crowd when everyone else looks less than sharp in their chinos, baggy jumpers and fat shoes. And some jobs and tasks require a suit, if you want to look professional – at least for presentations, interviews and when you want to boost your authority. If you are not a life long suit-wearer, or you come from an ordinary rather than an upper class background, you may need some pointers (according to some recent research). If you want to look like you know what you are doing – sharp and impressive, with the polish that is required, you need to learn the language of the suit.
Here you go.
- Make sure your suit fits well – most importantly in the shoulder area.
- Make sure your trousers are not too long or too short and that the jacket is the right length in both the body and the sleeves
- The higher cut the sleeve the easier the movement, otherwise you get that 1980s American sit com look
- You don’t want an obvious gap between the edge of your collar and the edge of your lapel (it means your jacket is too small or your shirt is too big)
- The lapel and tie width should be the same. James Bond has it right here, although I am not sure what is happening with his shirt collar.
- Modern lapels and ties are relatively narrow. If you go for a more vintage look (ie broader) ensure the lapel and tie balance out
- Don’t forget to match your shoes and belts too, ie both black or both brown. A belt is not essential but if you wear one don’t make it too wide. The slimmer and slighter you are, the slimmer and slighter the belt.
- Avoid black for a suit – it’s a bit flash. Dark grey wool (charcoal) is generally the best colour if you only have one suit. Navy or blue greys are always lovely too.
- With a black dinner suit or a dark grey suit always choose black shoes. Black also looks fine with lighter greys and all the blues.
- Brown shoes work well with navy, lighter grey and browner suits. However they are slightly more casual and are not welcome in the City of London (in senior roles).
- Single vents used to be fashionable. Now we are back to double vents again. These work well on larger frames and allow easier movement
- For a youthful, fashionable look you can wear a one button suit with peak lapels. Avoid if you are over 35 or at all portly.
- Generally the best look for most men is the two button suit. The deep V makes you look taller and slimmer so make sure the first button is relatively low down on your chest
- Three buttons are OK if you are long and thin, but never do them all up.
- And always undo them when you sit down
- Double breasted looks good on Prince Charles and larger men, but they need to be very well fitted, so are generally better avoided
- A pocket square (handkerchief) can look nice with or without a tie. But don’t have an exact match with your tie.
- An off duty suit can be a nice addition to your wardrobe – for evenings out, parties or presentations etc – these could be worn during the week if you are in a creative occupation.