The Only 4 Suits A Man Will Ever Need
Many of us aspire to one day own a walk-in wardrobe of suits. But we're often in the dark as to how to get there. For others, suits are a necessary evil: an insurance policy for professional and social occasions that you want to spend the bare minimum on.
Whichever camp you fall into, allow us to illuminate you. More along the lines of what to buy first, and in what order, to most economically cover your event bases and get maximum bang for your tailoring buck.
It's all killer suits, no filler.
1. The Plain Navy Two-Button
If you buy just one suit, make it a plain navy two-button with a notch lapel. You won't get more use out of anything else.
Especially if you choose a middleweight fabric so that you can wear it all year round.
Suits made from high Super fabrics might be light and luxurious – but they'll also wrinkle more, making them unsuitable for daily use. Stick instead to around the 100 mark for a sound mix of affordability and durability.
On a related note, buy two pairs of trousers if you can. Yes, it's an extra expense. But it's a relatively small one compared to the overall cost of the suit, not to mention buying another one, and you'll vastly increase your return on investment: it's almost always the trousers that wear out first. Either that, or one day you'll wind up with an odd blazer.
2. The Plain Grey Two-Button
Your other workhorse. The cavalry.
All of the above rules still apply when it comes to cut and fabric. However, as you're doubtless aware, there are a few shades of grey out there. A mid-grey will give you the most scope for day-in, day-out, year-round wear. Ideally, you want to choose a shade – and a fabric – with mileage, such that you can wear the trousers with your navy jacket and vice versa.
Until these foundations of your suit wardrobe are in place, avoid patterns like a plague of ravenous cashmere-chomping moths. Nobody will notice that you wore the same navy or grey suit for two or three days out of the week.
3. The Dark DB
You may have also read articles that advocate a pattern: maybe a windowpane check, or a pinstripe. And sure, they're nice to have. But nobody needs a pinstripe, unless you're a banker who still eschews lunch breaks. Instead, we're making a case for the dark double-breasted as your dark horse: specifically, a dark grey or navy that's close to midnight blue, maybe even with a bit of a sheen, like a mohair, and peak lapels.
A dark DB is versatile enough to enter your everyday rotation. But with the shape, sheen and sharp peak lapels, it's also got a bit of swagger about it for those times you need to wear a suit but don't want to look like you came straight from the office – e.g. 'cocktail attire' invitations and weddings. Just make sure the cut is trim and not too long in the jacket.
Already got a dark DB? Then feel free to start splurging on patterned suits. Or alternatively…
4. The Dinner Suit
OK, this might be more controversial still. Think about it. Black tie invitations may be few and far between – as infrequent as one a year, even. But they will come, with increasing regularity as you get older. And when they do come, they're invariably for occasions when you want to look – and feel – your most confident best: a work party, a wedding. They're not times when you want to don an ill-fitting suit.
If you're buying off-the-peg, then you could get your money's worth after as few as two or three wears. And look at it the other way. How often could you wear a dinner suit? Instead of fudging those 'black tie optional' invitations, you could boss them. You could don 'black tie creative' for parties even when the invitation doesn't call for it. If the jacket is cut slim and a tad short, you could even wear it with jeans and a T-shirt on a night out.
Have we listed all the must-have suits – and in the right order? Or do you think a seersucker two-piece is an essential for any respectable gentleman?
Source & Photo Credit: FashionBeans
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Jackie Appiah »