There are hundreds of ways you can get a suit wrong and most of us will make plenty of mistakes before we get it right….if we ever do.
So what distinguishes a good suit from a bad suit? Just picture the man you saw wearing a suit that made him look like a potato wearing what looked like a suit and there’s your bad example. Good is the opposite of that, but there are still plenty of good suits that could be much better.
I’m fortunate that I don’t have to wear a suit for my job. I work in creative industries and if I were to rock up to a client meeting in a suit, my clients would look at me really funny or even distrust me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t own suits. Every man should have 1 or 2 suits in their repertoire and I don’t mean that 2-piece you bought 5 years ago at H&M/Zara/Topman or other transient cheap fashion outlet. No, I mean a real suit that is, even if you bought it of the rack, tailored to your body.
And herein often lays the difference between a good suit and a bad suit. Tailoring.
The Bad Suit
Don’t get me wrong, just because your suit is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. More often than not it’s all about “fit”.
In the example on our left here we see a suit with a good fit on the righthand side and a bad fit on the lefthand side.
Can you spot the reasons why the lefthand side is bad? No? How about the baggy pants that are too long, the jacket which is about 2 sizes too big? Ahhhh yes, now you see it.
This is the same guy wearing a suit that is the right size and fit vs the wrong size and fit.
Most of these mistakes can be avoided by going to a good tailor.
Similarly, an ill-fitting suit does you no favours either. Think back to the Hunchback of Notre Dame and you get the picture. If you can’t button the jacket, its too small. If you are showing off your ankles, your pants are too short. If the sleeves of your jacket cover half your hand……you get the picture.
And for goodness sake, get a suit that fits your body type!
The Good Suit
Why is it that most men only go to a tailor or premium clothier to get their wedding suit? As if looking good everyday doesn’t matter, just on your wedding day. Sorry, but I call b-s on that.
A good suit and even more so a good, quality suit is and should be timeless. For you guys who don’t understand timeless fashion – it lasts for more than one season. And I’m not necessarily talking about price here. A $1,000 suit doesn’t always equate to being a quality suit in the same way that a $250 jacket doesn’t mean that its poor quality. It is all about perception and what the market (read “brand”) has deemed its price to be.
So, a good suit or good fitting suit. Let’s look at the top 5 reasons why you pay more for a good suit:
- Construction of the jacket or coat. Check out this great article by the Parisian Gentleman explaining canvassing and lapels
- Fabric & patterns
These 5 together equate in general to higher quality materials, man-hours and design cost. What it does mean that the suit is made for you and not cater to thousands of body shapes that fit a particular size and has to cost a certain amount to make it economically viable to mass-produce.
You know what the best part about a good suit is? You feel good about yourself when you wear it, boosting your confidence and make yourself walk an inch taller. Trust me.
Get the basics right
If you’re unfortunate enough that you have to wear a suit to work often or in a profession where it is mandatory to wear one even if you’re not in an office, make sure you get at least 2 of the classic coloured suits from one of these 4 – navy, grey, black, charcoal. These are oddly (or not so oddly) also the main colours we recommend for your general wardrobe basics.
Also invest in some good quality shirts that match your body type, skin tone and most importantly the suits that you own. Cufflinks are a must for me, it just finishes the look in the same way pocket squares do.
And please, please, please get a belt meant for a suit that matches your shoes! I haven’t even started on shoes, but they can make or break an outfit. If your shoes look like those worn by shopping mall security guards….BURN THEM!
So, polish your shoes, wear socks and get some interesting ties that lift your whole ensemble. You’re all set!
If you’re serious about looking the best you can, here are some recommendations for made-to-measure tailors in Australia:
- Oscar Hunt (www.oscarhunt.com.au) – located in Sydney and Melbourne
- Montagio (www.montagio.com.au) – located in Sydney and Brisbane
- Tom, Dick & Harry (http://tdhcc.net) – located in Sydney
And on that pleasant note is where I’m going to leave you today. Happy shopping!