There are some things you can’t rush and buying your first suit is one one of them. Whether it is for a job interview, business meeting, or even someone’s wedding day, it’s important to take the time to choose something right for the occasion, as well as your personality and body type.
A good suit should be well-fitted, comfortable, and generally in-style. Don’t make the mistake of leaving yourself 1-2 days before you need a suit to walk into a store and pick up something off the rack.
As well as most suits being unlikely to fit you straight away, the sheer range of styles and materials is often underestimated. There are several details involved in buying a suit and we’ll explore some of these to help you make the important suit-related decisions that lie ahead.
Visit a Tailor
Our first tip is, if you have the budget, go straight to a tailor for your first suit. It’s seen as a luxury for most men and something that’s not normal until you’re earning a decent wage, but even if you’ve just graduated university, there's nothing wrong with having a suit tailored and you could end up saving a huge amount of money in the long-run.
This is because a tailor can actually teach you everything you need to know about choosing and wearing a suit, informing your decision for many years to come. As long as they’re an expert in their field, they’ll be able to help you choose something that matches your proportions as well as your style preferences.
You could end up buying several cheap suits from high street stores over the years that won’t quite look or fit right. Buying one well-made, custom-fitting suit from a tailor who will take the time to teach you what works for your body can be a great investment for someone of any age.
Colour and Material
When shopping for your first suit we recommend choosing colours that are versatile and suitable for most seasons and occasions. Look for dark charcoals and navy, and avoid black. Despite what you might think, black is only really suitable for formal weddings, funerals or certain office environments.
For the average guy, black isn’t the best choice and can leave you roasting hot in the summer heat if you’re invited to a wedding in July or August.
As for materials, the best entry-level suit will always be one that can be worn during different seasons, whether it’s hot or cold outside. This means avoiding linen (which is great for summer but horrible for winter) and flannels and thick wool, which you’ll certainly regret when attending any outdoor event during warmer months.
A suit jacket shouldn't fit like a standard jacket. While it shouldn’t be too tight, it’s not made for mobility or running around. A good suit jacket should hold your posture upright and make you feel confident and strong, supporting the natural shape of your body, preventing you from slouching too much.
Some people prefer more structure (which refers to things like padding in the shoulders) while others will like a more natural look with softer shoulders. The former option is best for shorter guys with narrow shoulders while the latter works well for people who already have a broad chest and shoulder frame to work with.
Regardless of structure, jacket shoulder pads should be in line with your shoulders, not hanging off of them. So ensure that the seam is sitting nicely atop the end of the shoulder.
As for length, having something too short should be avoided. It should meet the crotch line and cover your rear-end well to create a clean and classic look.
Choosing the Right Trouser Break
More and more suits are being made with no break, which essentially means that they will come up shorter on the leg, exposing more of your socks and shoe. For the more conservative among you, you’ll probably want to avoid this, but if you’re been brought up in skinny jeans all your life, this might feel perfect.
There’s also an in-between which works for everyone, which is the slight break or half break. This occurs when the trouser leg is long enough so that your socks are not visible when standing still, but when walking others will be able to get a glimpse.
Being able to wear a pair of cufflinks is one of the true benefits of getting your first suit. As one of the only pieces of jewellery men allow themselves to get, next to the watch, it’s an occasion you shouldn’t undervalue.
Whether you get some unique designer cufflinks that say something about your personality, or a classic pair of gold or silver ones that someone has been kind enough to gift you, cufflinks are the perfect finishing touch to the suit ensemble.
You can also have fun with lapel pins, pocket squares, and ties - all things that should be chosen with the intended occasion in mind. In the world of formal attire, some environments simply call for a more conservative approach when it comes to colours and patterns.
Your First Pair of Cufflinks
One of our favourite things is helping you get your first pair of cufflinks, or helping you to choose the first cufflink set for a younger family member or friend. Get in touch with us at Wimbledon Cufflink Company if you need advice about finding your next set.