At DiscerningGent.com we like to think that a good suit maketh the man. Regardless of whether you are the office type of guy with a need to look sharp in the face of competition, or a creative type who has a penchant to dress up because you simply like to – the suit is a one of the fundamental sartorial building blocks to looking good. Let’s take a look at how you can perfect your own suit game.
Before we examine the core elements to a good suits it’s perhaps crucial that we first take a look at how a discerning gent in the twenty-first-century looks like in a suit – like male super model David Gandy (above for Marks & Spencer and below). Here you’ll see a totally contemporary man wearing the suit and not the other way around (i.e. the suit wearing him). That’s the look we’re aiming for here – no fuss, no wastage and no ‘I’m trying too hard’ vibe either.
The Basics: Importance Of The Fit
Whether the investment in your suit is £200 or £2,000 – cost is irrelevant if the suit does not fit you properly. Use the mantra ‘cheap and well-tailored’ rather than ‘expensive and ill-fitting’ if you are ever in doubt – everything about a suit starts with the fit. But how do you obtain the perfect fit?
- Start At The Top
In the shoulders, a good suit should hug your shoulders, not dangle off them. There is a misconception amongst some men thinking they are a size bigger than they actually are – say, a 40 regular instead of a 38. When in the market for a suit, take the plunge and try sizing down – if anything it’s a confidence boost to morale to know you’re a size smaller. When you pull the blazer on, there should be a purpose to it – almost like a firmness that stands you taller and snaps you to attention. Remember, if it doesn’t fit right in the shoulders, don’t buy it.
- Lose The Excess
Look at the width of the blazer sleeves. If there is excess fabric to the size of your frame in the arm department get a tailor to slim these down and do away with the extra material. Trimming them down will cut a sharper figure and show off those arms you’ve been pumping up in the gym.
- Shoot The Cuffs
The sleeves of your blazer should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows. This sets up the finish to a great fitting suit and provides an elegant touch.
The Extra Detail: Finer Points
Now you know about the fundamentals of how a suit should fit, the next step is to tackle the additional details that will define the style of suit you wear. Possibilities are endless and the more confident you are in the fit the braver you’ll become with your options. For now, let’s focus on the most prominent details.
The lapels on the chest of a blazer do more to dictate the character of a suit more than anything else and also hint at matching the suit choice to the occasion you’re attending. The safe option, and the most versatile one too, is the narrow or slim lapel – about two inches at its widest point. Perfect for the work-serious or glamorous evening party at the same time – it’s the contemporary look you should be going for. Designers have their own preferences too – such as Tom Ford whose wider lapel option is a trademark look.
Your go-to option here is the classic two-button blazer for slick and sharp dressing no matter the occasion. A two-button is much more consistently reliable, regardless of your shape or size. At DiscerningGent.com we favour blazers with low-button stances, because they create a longer, slimming torso.
- Pick A Pocket
Flap pockets are your best bet for a lasting classic look that defies temporary trends.
The final element is the vent of a blazer and goes a long way to a suit’s shape on the body. The centre vent is perhaps the most flexible in terms of look and how it keeps the lines of a suit clean and simple. The other option is the side vents, arguably more of statement but also more of a risk if your shape isn’t complimented by the contours of the suit.
The Staple Suit For Your Collection: The Two-Button Grey Suit
Women have the little black dress and for men, it’s the classic two-button grey suit tailored to fit like the Tom Ford suit above for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. It works for any occasion that you might need a suit – corporate conquering or the laidback-yet-smart look for weddings and parties. The shade of grey is an important factor – not too light and not too dark either. Wear it with a crisp white shirt and solid (no pattern) tie for the perfect discerning gent look.