22 May 2011

Tips for Buying Your First Suit

first-suit-buying-guideWearing a suit is something that should be looked upon as a privilege rather than a burden. These time tested and honed garments have been tweaked, poked, prodded and edited over hundreds of years to project an air of sophistication and class coming from its’ wearer.

The Cut:

The cut of your jacket will directly influence how your suit looks on you. Everyone’s body is different, so it is important that you wear a suit that is cut according to your specific body type. There are three general categories of suit cuts (with uncountable sub-alterations that can be made within each one).

English style cuts are marked by a high waist, sloped (unpadded or minimally padded) shoulders, and side vents.

Continental (or Italian) style jackets are best known for their high boxy shoulders, no vents, and shorter length. Italian suits are often tighter than English suits.

Lastly the American (or Sack suit) falls somewhere in-between. A moderate amount of padding provides some shoulder structure and additional room makes for a looser fit.

While these three categories loosely accommodate a large number of different body styles, it is important to have your suit tailored specificity to your measurements in order to ensure the proper look and fit.

The Fabric:

The fabric used in the construction of your suit is one of the largest indicators of the suits cost. More luxurious fabrics like silk will drive the price of a suit sky high. When shopping for a suit, pay attention to the fabric; not only for the price but also for the comfort.

Wool: This is the mainstay of suit fabrics. It is typically a warmer and heavier fabric however can come in many different weights to accommodate different seasons.

Tweed: This thick fabric is best suited to cold weather and outdoor activities. Tweed is a good insulator and fantastic at keeping cold wind at bay.

Silk: Silk is a luxurious fabric best suited to lightweight summertime suits. The high cost of silk can make it cost prohibitive for many.

Blended fabrics: Polyester, cotton, rayon, silk and wool are just a few of the materials combined and woven into blended fabrics. These fabrics can be engineered to have the best characteristics of all the individual components. Care must be taken however as there is a propensity towards cheap appearing blended fabrics in inexpensive suits.

The Trimmings:

Lastly you should consider the trimmings of your suit. Are the buttons too ostentatious for your personal style? Is the lining comfortable? How do the hems look? Is the sewing of good quality? The answers to these questions all depend on your personal style and should be considered when making a suit purchase you can be happy with.

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