23/07/2014

By Elliot Suiter, from online tailors InStitchu

Finding the right work suit can be a real challenge. Here, I give you my top ten tips on how to find the perfect business suit.

1. Comfort

You are going to be spending a long time each day in your suit. Therefore it has to be comfortable.

Slim fitting suits may look good but after eight hours at the office and another two on the commute are they really going to be the most comfortable to wear?

2. Material

The quality of wool is measured in super (S) numbers. Anything from a super 100 to 140 will be durable and suitable for wearing all year round.

During the summer months you are going to want a fabric that is breathable, so avoid polyester and opt for wool.

Some men like to go for the linen suit look in the summer. However, unless you have access to a 24-hour dry cleaning service to remove the inevitable creases, then perhaps this is not the best choice for you.

3. How formal do you want it?

Ranging from lounge suit to white tie, there is a huge spectrum of different styles of formal suit.

For example a peak lapel is a more formal design for weddings etc., whereas a notch lapel is for work and every day use.

4. Durability

With all the trials and tribulations of the daily grind, a work suit is going to take quite a battering so make sure you choose a durable fabric.

The last thing you want is to fork out hundreds and hundreds of pounds on a designer suit and it falls apart after a few months.

5. Versatility

A good suit should be versatile. It should be able to go with many different coloured shirts and tie combinations.

A charcoal coloured suit is best for this as it will really go with anything, whereas with navy or pinstripe, you’re quite limited.

6. Make it your own

Many suits look the same today so it's fairly easy to stand out for the right reasons. Get creative and add in some bespoke features where possible like working cuffs, monograms and button colour stitching. Don't go crazy but let your suit reflect who you are.

7. Buttons

The number of buttons you have on your suit jacket will be completely dependent on your height.

Two is the norm for most guys, but taller gentlemen might prefer to have three. Remember never do up the bottom button.

8. Get the right cut for your body

There are three main styles of suit cut: Italian, British and American. Each of these cuts is designed for different body styles.

For instance, Italian cuts are extremely slim and are well suited to tall thin men with a flat stomach, so if you’re guilty of having one too many pork pies, this style is perhaps not for you.

We prefer a British cut. That means two vents at the back of the jacket. It will hug your waistline yet still give you freedom when walking.

9. Make sure you get the right fit

One of the most common mistakes men make, is not knowing what a well fitting suit looks or even feels like.

A well fitting suit should hang from the shoulders and match the contours of your body, not hold it all in. You should be able to see a little cuff from the sleeve of the jackets and the length of the trousers should just touch the heel of your shoe.

When it comes to the length of your jacket, when you let your arms hang by your side, you should be able to cup the bottom of the jacket.

10. Don’t be lazy when trying a suit on

One of the cardinal errors men make when buying a suit is not trying it on properly. Never try on a jacket over jeans and a t-shirt, as this will not give you an accurate idea of how it will feel.

Likewise never try on trousers unless you are wearing proper shoes. Trainers, plimsolls or sandals will not do, and could end up with you getting the wrong trouser length.