What to consider when buying a suit

By Angela Marshall, 23rd Sep 2011

There are many choices of where to buy a suit today, whether you choose a High Street store, local tailor or go to Savile Row and have a made to measure suit.

At Appearance Management there are various areas we cover when giving advice. Whether you are male or female you need to consider what style of suit compliments your body shape, the shade of colour to compliment your skintone and that it feels comfortable. Choose a style that reflects your wardrobe personality  e.g. modern, classic, high fashion or more creative, but it also needs to represent the business you are in.

If you do not wear a suit regularly or have very little funds then still buy the best you can afford as it will pay dividends and will last longer and look good.

As an image consultant, who regularly gives advice to clients, here are my tips to consider:

  1. Natural fibres are better than synethics, it will keep cleaner and wear better.
  2. Your first suit should be a plain suit and navy or grey are the best colours.
  3. For women choose a skirt that is comfortable to wear and compliments your legs. Just above the knee, mid knee or just below. Midi or maxi are more awkward and can go out of fashion.
  4. The key is to ensure the suit fits you well on the shoulders, chest and sleeves.  If it wrinkles it is too tight.  It is important to have alterations and if you need them then ensure they are done before you wear it.
  5. When a suit fits you well and you feel comfortable in it you will feel confident in it.
  6. Find a helpful, knowledgeble and friendly sales person who knows their products and how they fit.
  7. Purchase the best quality you can afford, 100% wool is the best. Wool is a natural fibre that breathes which means you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll sweat less than in a suit made of man-made materials. Wool is also durable and travels well.
  8. First suit  – a single-breasted jacket is best, depending on whether you are long bodied or long legged whether you choose a classic two-button or modern three- and four-button style. Always leave the bottom button on a single-breasted jacket undone.
  9. What Cut do you choose to suit will depend on your body shape. The cut of a suit refers to how the suit sits or hangs on your body.
  10. Colour. This depends on your natural colouring (skintone, hair and  eyes).  I recommend a colour analysis to find out. A plain navy suit, whether dark or mid-tone is best, according to your colouring or black, charcoal or mid grey. More than one suit you may like a window check or pinstripe or chalk stripe.
  11. Jacket Fit – ensure the jacket gives you a full range of motion and that it fits smoothly over your shoulders. Jacket sleeves should end at the point where your hands meet your wrists and show 1/2 inch of your shirt cuff. The collar should hug the back of the neck without buckling or pulling. Lapels should lie flat to your chest, and should never bunch up or buckle.
  12. Trouser fit – length should be correct and the waistline should be comfortable; you should be able to stick two fingers into the waistband while you’re wearing them. They should be worn just below the navel (belly button) and worn a bit higher than jeans which are usually worn on the hip. Turn-ups are best to be avoided if short as they will shorten you.

Wear a suit that looks good, feels good and makes you stand out from the crowd, in a positive way. It should represent you, your wardrobe personality and your personal brand.

One Response to “What to consider when buying a suit”

  1. Thank you for the great post – I had fun reading it! I always enjoy this blog.

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Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog. Angela Marshall
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners." Angela Marshall
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