I may be a little biased, but I believe that a suit is what defines a man’s wardrobe. Men’s fashion was built on the suit, it’s the ultimate foundation to a luxurious wardrobe.
Back then, suits were worn almost 24/7 by men, unless they were working in the fields. Nowadays, it seems like men only wear their suits to work, or events, such as a wedding. You spend so much money on a fantastic garment, and only get to wear it to special occasions.
When I sell my luxury suits to customers, I want them to love it so much they enjoy wearing it. It should never be this “ugh it’s a suit day” today. The thought should be, okay I love this new Canali suit that I just bought from Blaine’s, how can I wear it as much as possible.
Let me give you some quick inspiration and unique ideas of how you can wear your suit even if your office isn’t formal business attire, or you’re lucky enough to work from home. And the first step to knowing how to wear the suit is selecting the right suit fit.
The Fit of a Suit
When it comes to suits, it’s a bit different then selecting a dress shirt. Most dress shirt brands have different fits, from tailored to classic.
When it comes to buying a suit, the sizing is all revolved around the fit in the shoulder. The shoulder is the hardest part of the garment for the tailor to reconstruct, therefor getting the right fit in the shoulder in crucial. In order to tell if the shoulder fits correctly, you want the fabric to lay flat. If it’s bunching up, then there’s too much room in the shoulder and if the fabric is pulling then there isn’t enough room in the shoulder.
After you get the right fit in the shoulder, you need to make sure the sleeves and the body of the jacket are long enough, but not too long. I always recommend starting with a regular fit, unless you are definitely on the shorter side or on the very tall size. The jacket should hit about mix crotch, if its too long then try on a short jacket, if its too short try on a long.
The sleeves should end right at your wrist (however the sleeves are a simple alteration). You actually want your dress shirt sleeve to show about a ¼ of an inch. So it’s important to have a dress shirt on when you are trying on suit jackets and getting one tailored.
For more of a detailed illustration of how a suit should fit, check out our previous blog post. After finding the correct suit, it’s important to know all of the different ways you can wear it and style it. A suit may be one of the most expensive items of clothing you will ever purchase, but boy is it worth it.
Mix and Match the Suit
If you look at the price of most sport coats and then the price of a suit, sometimes there isn’t much of a difference. However, with the suit, in a way, you get a complimentary pair of pants.
A suit jacket is not the same as a sport coat or a blazer, but it still can be worn as a separate depending on the suit. The rule of thumb, is that a suit jacket is a bit more structured, and tailored than a sport coat. Depending on your sport coat design and tailoring, you can definitely get away with wearing it with a pair of nice dark wash denim or a khaki chino.
Most offices are now business casual, so separating your suit, even if you choose to wear the trousers and leave the jacket at home, is going to allow you to get more of your money’s worth. Then when you have that big corporate meeting, wedding, or charity event, you can pair the suit back together and you’re all set to go.
Layering a Suit
The younger generation is tailoring their suit more informally from the beginning. This allows them to get multiple wears out of their suit. By tailoring their suit more informally, I mean they’re buying the trousers to fit like cropped skinny jeans, that show their ankles or funky socks. This type of tailored trouser can still be worn with a formal dress shoe or also paired back to a trendy white sneaker.
The suit jacket is tailored so tight that some go as far as showing their biceps through it (not highly recommended because material won’t last as long), or they are leaving it a bit oversized to give it more of a casual look. If they go with the oversized look, the new fashion trend of 2018 is to pair a hoodie underneath the jacket so give it that street style look.
Topman is a London retailer that is very affordable streetwear, and suiting. Topman is great for your high school son who hasn’t fully completed his growth spurt yet. It’s decent quality that will last a year or two before they graduate into the luxury suiting.
Topman, being a European brand, is leading the way in this extremely tailored suit look that mixes in athleisure hoodies and graphic tees. As you can imagine, this automatically dresses down the suit, but the more informal you make it, the more often most people will be able to wear it.
Casual Basics and Sneakers
The third option to dress down your suit, is to wear the full suit, exactly how it is, except instead of wearing it with a dress shirt and tie, wear it with a more casual shirt. This can be a simple crew neck, or v-neck, a henley, sweater, or a graphic tee for an edgy spin on it.
A tailored button up dress shirt automatically makes the suit look it’s most formal self. Especially if you a had a tie and pocket square. So the simplest way to appear more casual in your suit is to lose the formal accessories that most commonly accompany a suit.
When you go with more of a casual shirt, you still have the option of wearing a more formal dress shirt, but we recommend wearing a sneaker! Sneakers and suits, have dramatically made an entrance into men’s fashion the past year or so.
If this idea seems to be getting too casual, then you can either do the casual shirt and formal shoes, or stick with the dress shirt and do the sneakers.
The Business Casual Suit
In the past, it was looked down upon to clash formal attire with informal attire, but now it’s desired. It comes off as very bold, fashion forward, and edgy to know how to make a formal suit more informal.
So let’s say your office has always been business professional. One day your boss wakes up and decides you know what, let’s dress more casual. It’s a more welcoming approach to clients, we don’t want to look so intimidating and want to give more of an authentic and personal approach to our meetings.
You’re excited that you get to feel a bit more comfortable in the office, but concerned for your wardrobe. You’ve been working in business formal attire for the past 15 years. Half of your closet, is made up of suits. Here is what you can do.