Wearing a suit does not mean you look great (although if its a tailored suit it most likely does lol). Just walking around the city of London on a regular basis will show you that there is a suit, then there is a SUIT. The latter always stands out in a sea of suits. Why? Because he (said man in great SUIT) understands the power of a suit when time effort has been invested to get it right for his body. When it comes to menswear, this is the foundation of style. Begin with the fit then build with the rest (colour, fabric, pieces etc).
Let us say you are new to tailoring and dressing smart for business or casual settings and its time to get your first suit. How would you know what to do in order to get the most out of your money? Not everybody is fortunate enough to have someone close to them to teach them the ropes. So we have decided to put together 10 style tips to look of for when acquiring your very first suit (or first suit that will make you exude ultimate style and class). Whether a tailored suit or ready to wear, these tips will serve you well.
Tailored Suit and Ready To Wear Tips
1. The right fit starts on the shoulders. Almost everything else can be adjusted.
This is something we find ourselves constantly preaching at Morts & More. Get the shoulders right and everything else can fall into place. This will most likely be the most lengthy and focus heavy part of this piece, just to highlight the importance. The pads/edges should end precisely at your shoulders. When the shoulders are wrong, they can throw off the whole suit. So whether you’re going off the rack or tailor made, the shoulders are first check point when it comes to fit. Too small and you look like you’ve squeezed into your wife’s jacket. Too big and you look like you’ve jumped into your mums jacket from the 80’s. Definitely not a good look.
The most expensive part of the jacket to alter are the shoulders (some say it cant be altered at all). So from a customers perspective, make sure to have the shoulders right from the get go and you’ll save yourself a bundle.
What is the perfect shoulder? The apex of the shoulder should fall exactly in line with the jacket seam. Other telling signs on the shoulder jacket will be a deep dimple between the shoulder pad and your shoulder or your shoulder bulging out of the top of the sleeve.
Great shoulders are one of the first signs to let someone know you’re in a finely tailored suit (whether you actually are or not).
Nice And Snug
2. High Armholes please
Trust us, not just for the increased level of comfort but the allowance it gives for you to move your arms without deforming the jacket (Ps if you’re not use to the feeling of an armhole, you may find it uncomfortable to begin with. Sort of like when women discovered thongs, we think). With a higher armhole it also provides the a gap between the arm and the body (as long as the jacket body is tapered too) which in turn gives a slimming and elongated effect. If you find a ready to wear suit with a high armhole (which is like finding an crude oil in Japan), you’re winning from the beginning when it comes to that beautifully tapered look you get from most tailored suits.
You Can Never Have Too Many Trousers
3. Get an extra pair of trousers for each suit.
Trousers take a bigger beating than a jacket ever could, so unless you want to left with a trouser-less suit, get an extra pair of trousers. Just like that, you go from one suit which could in time become trouser-less to having two suits. All because you purchased a 2nd pair. If it gets to the point where all the trousers have worn out but the jacket is still ok, then have cool buttons sewn on the jacket and use it as a blazer.
4. Do not over accessorize.
It looks like a man is trying to hard when he has a tie, pocket square, lapel pin, tie clip, watch and funky socks. It will get attention but for all the wrong reasons. If we count the watch as standard, then try to stick to 2 (max 3!) accessories on top. Even a tailored suit looks ridiculous if it is over accessorized.
“Oval Shaped Faces Have More Flexibility”
5. Wider spread collars need wider tie knots
It makes sense, right? The space you have, the more tie you need to fill it. Before you decide what your favorite tie is, make sure you pick the correct collar to fit your face shape and size. As a rule of thumb, a round head/face should go for a normal point (or narrow point) with a four-in-hand knot. A angular shape face goes for a spread or cut away collar with a full windsor knot. Oval shape faces tend to have more flexibility thought are best suit to semi-spread collars and half windsor knots. The wide spread collars go particularly well with the wide lapels on a Morts & More tailored suit.
For more information on this, check out Morts & More Moment on Collar Types and Tie Knots for faces.
“First Make Sure The Shoulders Fit Perfectly”
6. Get a good tailor. Even if you’re buying off the rack.
We were asked recently what was the best way to go about having a great looking suit on a very low budget. The first thing we responded with was make sure you have a great alteration tailor. Secondly, buy an off the rack suit that you can afford (first make sure the shoulders fit perfectly) then take the suit to your tailor to handle the rest. If you’ve watched our Morts & More Moment YouTube videos, you will have heard us say several times that a good tailor will make a world of difference to your suit. Very few people can pick up a suit off the rack and walk away with it fitting perfectly.
It’s for that reason a good alteration tailor will be needed to spot what work is needed, from is the length of the sleeves to the size of the stomach area. The aim is to always look like your in a fully tailored suit, so without further delay, go and get yourself a good tailor.
7. Leave your bottom button undone
Again, just like the higher armhole it adds a lot to the aesthetics of the jacket. It keeps it in great shape. Why? Its just the way suits are constructed today in order to ensure the best drape and aesthetic fit. Its the rule, everybody knows that (other than you who’s reading this right now, ha!). All of the Morts & More suits are tailored this way. Check out our Morts & More Moment on how to button your suit correctly below.
“It’s Best To Match The Elements”
8. Don’t match your pocket square exactly to your tie
For this dress area complementing is better than matching. A red tie and a red pocket square for example, it looks poor. So it is best to match elements of the tie and pocket square at most. Say perhaps a solid red tie and a pocket square with red polka dots.
We often say that the when the accessories or exactly the same, it gives the feeling that it has just come out of a pack. That’s bad because most packaged accessories tend to be cheap and tacky (Almost giving connotations of a post office gift from your gran). Check out our Morts & More Moment on matching ties with pocket squares below.
“Let Your Shirt Cuff Touch Your Wrist”
9. Show just the right amount of shirt cuff
Anywhere between 1/4” to an 1/2” and your good. Shorter guys tend to fair well from more cuff exposure, where taller guys compliment less being shown. Looking around at the guys of Central London, we tend to see jacket sleeves that are far too long. They run all the way down to the wrist, completely covering the shirt cuff. Straight away this gives the impression of a jacket that is too big and is not yours. Almost like your wearing your Dad’s jacket. A hand me down.
It may seem like a minor detail but its the minor details that make the major differences, especially when you want to give the appearance of a tailored suit. This is one of the factors that are rather popular when you observe most men in suits. One reason could be most guys will aim for a suit which fits their chest and once this is achieved, the arms are an after thought. Or perhaps they just don’t know about the cut rule and feel all sleeves should touch the wrist. For future reference, let your shirt touch your wrist and your jacket sleeve be 1/2” shorter than that.
“You Don’t Have To Look Like A Greek God”
10. You’ve got to keep yourself in good shape.
A great tailor can work magic to make your body appear to be much different than what it is. Whether slimmer effects or the appearance of being taller, it can all be done with clever cuts and fabric patterns. That being said, keeping your actual body in the best possible shape is the best move you can make if you want to achieve the best look. It also costs less in alteration hours you’ll have to pay. The last thing you want is to have a tailored suit, that you can no longer fit into.
You don’t have to look like a Greek god or a contestant for Mr Olympia, no need to download Kanye’s work out plan, all you have to do is eat what is right for your body and partake in regular exercise. Keep it simple. Walk instead of taking the bus sometimes. Eat a highly nutritious diet. Skip those donuts Sam brought into the office for her birthday and sip some lemon water instead lol. Ultimately the mind state is very important too. Look good feel good, it’s that simple.
Looking Good In A Suit Is Easy When You Know How
These pointers are by no means exhaustive, but they’re a great start.
We look forward to seeing you styled up to the nines when you’re next in a suit.
Have any style questions you want answered? Send them into [email protected]
As always contact us here to come in and have a suit consultation to take your first impression to another level
See you soon
p.s. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@mortsandmore) or Youtube (Morts & More Moment) for more of your useful style advice and Instagram (@mortsandmore) for style inspiration