Everything you need to know about suits

Imagine that you are turning up for an interview. You want to look good--aggressive, and yet subdued. You want to leave a lasting impression. You want to get an offer. How might you do that? With a good suit of course!

Therefore here are a few things you need to know about suits:

The fit of your suit. When you first purchase a suit, don't buy it just because it's cheap. Remember, a suit, if taken cared of, can last over ten years! Although we understand that not every one of us can afford Cesare Attolini or Kiton, we still need a good fit. Here are some handy tips for when you are trying suits on.
When trying on a jacket, always button it. This is so that you can see how the back of your jacket fits, and how the curve of the jacket functions. If you did not button your jacket, you would not be able to see the extra material on the back of the jacket. And please button the top button for a two-button jacket, and the middle for a three-button jacket. Don't be the guy who buttons both buttons, this just make you look dis proportioned and a bit stiff. A double-breasted jacket should always be buttoned!
The location of the button matters! The button (1st for a 2 buttoned and 2nd for a 3 buttoned) for a fitted jacket should be above the navel. In fact, it should be at least 1/2 of an inch above the navel. But be careful, a jacket that has a lower button is more suited to a fuller body.
Make sure that your suit jacket is at the correct length. i.e. Make sure you stand up straight and with arms straight down, the bottom of the jacket should be around 3 to 5 inches from your waist. That is not saying that jackets' length should all be around that area. A jacket that is shorter than the prescribed length could work too, but a jacket that is longer wouldn't work. Pick shorter jackets if you want to look taller and slimmer.
Shelve length is as important as the jacket length. A jacket shelve should be about 4 inches away from the tip of your thumb. A little longer or shorter is fine as they are for specific occasions. For example, a longer jacket shelve is for a less formal occasion, where as a shorter shelve is for a formal occasion. e.g. A dinner jacket will always have a shorter shelve than a lounge suit. An overly long shelve will make you look like you have no arms because they hide away the important wrist.
Lapel width may seem trivial, but they have an enormous impact on the look of the suit. Lapel width can have different effects, e.g. a narrow lapel as seen in the latest James Bond film are good for a slimmer build, and wider lapels are better for a fuller build. Lapels should also match the style of your collar, e.g. an oxford collar should always go with a lapel no wider than 3.25'.
If you are getting a waistcoat, make sure that the waistcoat ends at the belt line on your trousers.
The Style of your suit. The style is just as important as the fit. Suits come in many different styles; they can be Italian, British, or American.
Italian style. Italian styles of suits usually come with no vents, and a relatively unpadded shoulder.
British style. The British style involves dual side vents, and a padded shoulder.
American style. An American style jacket features single vent, and can be both padded or not.
Jackets can also be single or double-breasted, single, double, or triple buttoned.
Single breasted. Single-breasted jackets are really versatile. They are the most popular as they can match any situation and any body shape.
Double-breasted. Double-breasted jackets are rare because they require more tailoring work and require the wearer to have a body that fits the jacket canvas.
Single buttoned. Single button means that you either button it or not, and is often the most simplistic design for a jacket. A single buttoned jacket can be formal or not, and therefore is very versatile as well.
Double buttoned. Double buttoned or two-buttoned jackets are still as versatile as a single buttoned jacket, but only the top button should be buttoned.
Triple buttoned. Triple buttoned or three-buttoned jackets are the more geared towards business semi-formal suits. Only the middle buttoned should be buttoned.
The fabric of your suits. If this is your first suit, go with a conservative solid color (i.e. black, blue, brown, camel, grey), as it is much easier to match. A color to be careful of is black. Black tends to be very popular, and that is fine. But the caveat is that if a suit is black, and then it needs superb tailoring work and craftsmanship. If it is haphazardly made, then it will show.
Black. As aforementioned, black is a color that is very demanding for the suit, but when it is a good suit, you can tell.
Blue. Blue is a very conservative aggressive color that is as popular as black, but the main difference between blue and black is that a blue suit does not require as much attention to detail as a black suit because black as a color can show a lot of details about construction and tailoring.
Brown. Brown is also a color that is great if the suit is constructed and tailored well, but the difference between brown and black is that brown does not go with almost everything like black.
Camel. Camel is not as a popular of a color in the aggressive corporate world, camel is actually often perceived as a casual color. But if the shade of camel is correct, it can be a very formal suit indeed.
Grey. Grey is perhaps the third most popular color, after black and blue. Grey goes great with almost any color and any shoes.

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Comments (7)

Oct 12, 2013

So much BS, I'm sorry. Have to take it point by point. Bearing in mind most users of this site work in finance and will have to work as or with professional service providers, and just generally:
Fit: it is correct that fit is important. It is incorrect that a more expensive suit will fit you better. Get a decent cloth, get the details right, and even a Marks and Spencers suit, adjusted, will look great and probably better than a dozen more famous brands at 3x the cost.
Jacket length is a topic in itself and depends entirely on body type. As a rule of thumb: if you look ridiculous don't buy it. Go with instinct on this one or read up. There's no easy rule like "touching the palm of your dropped arm". Do cover your ass.
The idea of varying sleeve length, from a professional clothing provider (which you look like) is a joke. Leave quarter to half an inch of shirt sleeve sticking out, period. Half if you are tall, quarter if you are small. Do NOT buy varying sleeve lengths because one that exposes too much is too short, and one that hides everything is too long, and in both cases you look like you didn't check whether your suit fit before buying it.
Brown and camel are NOT conservative colours in the setting of "your first suit" (which presumably will be worn at work, which is in the city, and not around your countryside estate shooting pheasants). There are two acceptable colours: navy and charcoal. As you get older and higher up you can experiment with things like Air Force blue and more confident patterns like chalk stripes; as a junior banker stick with safety. Your shirt has two acceptable colours: light blue and white. No pocket, french cuffs (although button cuffs are increasingly popular especially in places where it's the norm to work sleeves rolled up).
Go for two buttons over three. Three is correct but tends to come and go fashion wise. Two button has always been the most classical look, it's also more comfortable.
Do not wear a black suit at work, ever. Black is for funerals and formal occasions (black tie or white tie), so is midnight blue. Just don't. More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_P7yWnAAd0

Conclusion: if you're going to SEO-spam a forum, at least pay attention to the audience. I'm sorry for the harsh comment but pushing camel and brown suits to people who are going to work in finance is cruel.

Oct 12, 2013
EURCHF parity:

So much BS, I'm sorry. Have to take it point by point. Bearing in mind most users of this site work in finance and will have to work as or with professional service providers, and just generally:

Fit: it is correct that fit is important. It is incorrect that a more expensive suit will fit you better. Get a decent cloth, get the details right, and even a Marks and Spencers suit, adjusted, will look great and probably better than a dozen more famous brands at 3x the cost.

Jacket length is a topic in itself and depends entirely on body type. As a rule of thumb: if you look ridiculous don't buy it. Go with instinct on this one or read up. There's no easy rule like "touching the palm of your dropped arm". Do cover your ass.

The idea of varying sleeve length, from a professional clothing provider (which you look like) is a joke. Leave quarter to half an inch of shirt sleeve sticking out, period. Half if you are tall, quarter if you are small. Do NOT buy varying sleeve lengths because one that exposes too much is too short, and one that hides everything is too long, and in both cases you look like you didn't check whether your suit fit before buying it.

Brown and camel are NOT conservative colours in the setting of "your first suit" (which presumably will be worn at work, which is in the city, and not around your countryside estate shooting pheasants). There are two acceptable colours: navy and charcoal. As you get older and higher up you can experiment with things like Air Force blue and more confident patterns like chalk stripes; as a junior banker stick with safety. Your shirt has two acceptable colours: light blue and white. No pocket, french cuffs (although button cuffs are increasingly popular especially in places where it's the norm to work sleeves rolled up).

Go for two buttons over three. Three is correct but tends to come and go fashion wise. Two button has always been the most classical look, it's also more comfortable.

Do not wear a black suit at work, ever. Black is for funerals and formal occasions (black tie or white tie), so is midnight blue. Just don't. More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_P7yWnAAd0

Conclusion: if you're going to SEO-spam a forum, at least pay attention to the audience. I'm sorry for the harsh comment but pushing camel and brown suits to people who are going to work in finance is cruel.

Have to concur with almost all of this, and also conclude that the first post is materially wrong on many points.

Oct 14, 2013

Let me ask OP (aptly named "commonsense")...as a first year analyst, would it be acceptable to wear my tweed jacket with elbow patches?

Oct 14, 2013

midnight blue is not only for funerals/black tie events...

Oct 15, 2013

How can you guys read these walls of text?

Oct 16, 2013

Feb 22, 2019
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