If you are in the professional world you most likely have a few suits that you rotate in and out. It may be a monotonous group of similarly tailored garments, but you are at least wearing something to work everyday, which is certainly better than the alternative. However, there are also many out there whose last sartorial purchase was made by their 8 year old daughter many Father’s Days ago. There are also some who last wore a suit to their high school graduation. This article is mostly for them, but if you are just thinking that you need to restart your suit collection or looking to expand it a bit then read on. Knowing the essentials of your formal wardrobe is important to both starting one and growing it, so sit back and learn a little bit about how to cultivate a wardrobe that will have you ready for nearly any formal situation regardless of where you are going. This article will give you a quick run through of how exactly you should go about picking out a suit and delve into the essential suits for a modern man.
The suit is as timeless a piece of fashion as there is. It is really the building block that much of the world of formal fashion is built upon. While the suit has really only been around for about a century it has stayed more or less the same with a few slow changes and modifications since its initial popularity. The suit is essentially a few buttons, the exact number of which is up to your own discretion, on a jacket with two lapels paired with pants or trousers of the same fabric. It is a simple ensemble with an astounding number of variables. Those variables are where many men go right and many others, sadly, go wrong with their style choices.
Fit & Choices
All suits have certain similarities with one another and the start to making sure you have the essential suits to dress like a modern man is know which ones to vary and which ones to stick with. One aspect of the suit that you should always strive to keep consistent is the fit. The fit of your suit is the most important thing about your entire wardrobe. Today’s style, and the style for the foreseeable future, calls for slim narrower choices at every turn. This means that narrower legs, narrower lapels, and narrower waists are where you should focus when purchasing a new suit or suits. A tailor can help you with all of these things, but you of course will be wanting to get as close to what you want the suit to look like before getting it tailored as you can.
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The other variables you have to choose from are much more personal preferences and allow for a wide variety of combinations to contribute to a single look. Things like suit color, venting, embellishments, pleating, fabrics, buttons, and single or double-breasted are just some of the many choices that you have. If you are buying a number of suits at the same time or simply adding to your collection you should consciously or subconsciously notice similarities between the suits you choose to wear and feel comfortable with in order to make your wardrobe and your essential suits more tied to you. You can keep these similar styles in mind then whenever you are hoping to step out of your comfort zone fashionably or add a piece that fits in with your current wardrobe.
When you only have three or four suits to choose from it is important that the suits are not too trendy or polarizing on their own. Trendier suits are more memorable as a single garment and so will work against you as you repeat the suit with different shoes, shirts, ties and accessories. For your first suits stick to two or three buttons and a single-breasted suit jacket. If you are feeling daring and fashion forward you can buy one of the suits below as a double-breasted suit, but the versatility of the garment will suffer.
Similar to the issue of choosing a double breasted suit for one of your first suits the three piece suit should also be approached with the same amount of caution. Three piece suits are notoriously formal and shouldn’t be looked into until after your basic suiting needs are fulfilled. Having said that the vest is easily left at home when first starting to wear suits.
The Grey Suit
The grey suit is the perfect suit to start off any wardrobe with because it may be the most versatile color for a suit out there. It can work for black tie events, date nights and anything in between. The color is as neutral as it can get while letting you pull off nearly any classic shirt or tie combination. The gray suit is the workhorse of your wardrobe and you can expect to wear it extremely often even after you start adding suits to your closet.
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The Navy Suit
The navy suit is nearly just as versatile and classically cool as the gray suit in every way except for its downfall of being too casual for a black tie event. Otherwise the navy suit is one of the easiest suits to dress up or down and the jacket can even be uncoupled and worn as a sport jacket to go with khakis, making it usable for another classic look. The navy suit goes with essentially all of the tie colors and dress shirt colors that would make up a new wardrobe making it an easy piece to combine with any wardrobe no matter the size.
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The Patterned Suit
This last suit type should allow you to take some liberties with your personal style aside from the little differences in details that you may have gone with for you other suits. However, you should still stick to some of the classic menswear patterns that have been around for decades. WIndowpane check, glen plaid, and pinstripes are all classic suit patterns that offer a lot of versatility because they are relatively minimalistic and can pair well with nearly any other patterns in an outfit.
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Starting a new wardrobe or paring down an old one can be tough, but you will be amazed at the number of different outfits you can put together week to week with just these few suits. As you grow bolder you can start looking at more patterns, different fabrics and even seasonal suits, but these will “suit” you no matter where you are or how often you need to be seen in a suit.
And that's a wrap for this one! Which suit do you consider most essential to your wardrobe! We would love to read your comments below!
Please feel free to view our selection of Men's Accessories including Ties, Pocket Squares and Lapel Flowers here at The Dark Knot!