If you’re just starting out in your career, you may never have needed to buy a suit before. In which case, welcome to the world of professional men’s office wear. You’re going to be looking for something which makes you look and feel great, and fills you with confidence in your new role.
To follow office protocol, men have very few options for smart work-wear; the default is very much a classic suit. While this may seem a blessing at first, buying a suit that makes you feel great and suits your budget, too, can still be quite challenging.
There are different styles of fabric and detailing to consider, as well as knowing where to look in the first place. Where should you go to find the perfect suit?
Here’s all you need to know when buying your first office suit:
1. Consider a Suit as an Investment
One of the advantages of men’s work-wear fashion over women’s is that it tends to change at a much slower pace. It’s true that men’s suits have changed over the decades and between generations (1970s flares, anyone?), but these changes have been subtle and quite slow to happen.
You can expect to be able to wear a men’s suit for many years before it may begin to look dated. Pick a really classic cut and fabric, and you may be still wearing it even further into the future. Choose high-quality fabrics and tailoring to ensure your new suit lasts for as long as possible.
2. Choose Off-the-Rack or Tailor-Made
Do you buy from a store or have your suit made-to-measure? There are similarities and differences, and both have their advantages. Both types of suit can come in beautiful fabrics and with stunning detailing. Both can suit a variety of budgets as well.
Off-the-rack is obviously a faster, more convenient option, and may suit those on a slimmer budget better. On the other hand, tailor-made suits are guaranteed to fit beautifully and may not be as costly as you might assume.
Some bespoke suit tailors in Columbus, Ohio have found inventive ways of working with lower overheads, such as working out of co-working offices instead of retail spaces and have passed these savings on to their customers. Pop-up tailoring events have proven popular as well.
3. Look Good, Feel Good
To feel confident in a suit, you need an outfit that flatters your body shape. A made-to-measure suit will fit like a glove and can highlight all the parts of your body you feel more confident about. You can be sure that your suit will be the perfect length as well; not too long or too short.
If you are buying off the rack, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t draw attention to parts of your body you like less. If a suit is too tight or too loose in places, it can draw the eye towards these areas.
Try not to be distracted by fabrics, patterns or detailing, no matter how eye-catching they are, and always prioritize a good fit. A flattering suit will be much more enjoyable to wear every day, especially considering the novelty of unusual detailing, or a bold fabric that can wear off more quickly.
4. Buy for Comfort
When you consider how much you’ll be wearing your suit in the future, it really adds up. No other garment in your wardrobe will be worn as much. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in it.
This is why it pays to think about comfort. Pay attention to the weight of the fabric and how it will suit your working environment; you don’t want to be too hot or too cold on a regular basis.
Is the suit comfortable to move in? Can you sit in it comfortably without any pinching or uncomfortable gathering?
5. Reflect Your Style in the Detailing
While most men prefer to go for a fairly classic cut and style for their day-to-day work-wear, you can still add some individual flair in subtler detailing. The buttons are a perfect opportunity for this, but the lapel and pockets can make your suit stand out in a crowd, too.
The fabric color and pattern can denote your personal style. How bold or how subtle you go is your choosing. Just be careful to ensure that you’ll have, or easily find, footwear, shirts, and ties to match your new suit.
Follow these basic rules and you’ll have a suit that is a pleasure to wear every working day, for many years. The confidence it inspires will help you every step of the way on your pathway to career success. Best of luck!
AlphaSuit is the brainchild of Master Haberdasher, Sean McKee. Over a span of more than two decades, Sean has provided custom suits to some of the most successful leaders in America. With AlphaSuit, he now brings this same premium service to you, but at 60-70% less than the traditional price.