This week we focus on the male client. In Part 1 or a 2 part article I review the important points to purchasing a suit. Next week, in Part 2 I will write about fit and alterations.
In the work I do with Male Clients I am always surprised at how little they know about being fitted for a suit. To avoid the issue I thought I would share a few tips for those new to buying a suit and for those who are considering investing in another one.
Buying your first suit may seem overwhelming at first. If you've never bought (or worn) a suit in your life, don't despair. These tips will arm you with the knowledge to feel confident when looking to buy your first suit.
Long gone are the days where all men were expected to wear a suit to the office or even casually. Dress codes have become relaxed, and consequently, you may be wondering whether you even need to wear a suit. In fact, there's no better time than now to own a suit.
First impressions always matter. Whether you're trying to secure your first internship, job, or interview for university admissions, you'll look far more presentable and professional in a smart suit than anything else. It's also very sharp at weddings or any formal events you may be invited to. Stop renting or borrowing dad's suit and wear yours with confidence.
Consider how it fits, what style you're going for, which color to choose, and which fabric is ideal. If you're going for a classic style that can be worn on nearly any occasion, you'll want to restrict your choices to a few timeless combinations and avoid something too experimental.
Your first suit should be a two-piece, with a single-breasted jacket in either navy or charcoal grey. Why? This style and color combination is flexible and classic. It'll never go out of style. Two-piece means that you're looking for a matching set of trousers and a suit jacket. Between the two colors, pick whichever you prefer.
Navy exudes a sense of power and authority. Great for interviews, public speaking engagements, and certainly versatile, a navy suit makes for a great first choice.
Charcoal, not to be confused with black, is a dark grey tone that demonstrates trustworthiness. It is common in the fields of finance and banking but can be worn on just about any occasion. Lighter tones of grey are also ideal, just be sure not to opt for black unless you're attending a funeral.
Other colors are fine, but you should only consider these for your second or third suit. Navy and charcoal are by far the most flexible color choices. Camel, white, and black all have their places, but are far more situational and depend on the where and why of the event.
A suit can range from $200 at high street fast fashion retailers all the way into the thousands for a bespoke, quality suit. Your first suit shouldn't be on either end of this spectrum. Look for something of reasonable quality that is off-the-rack and can be tailored to fit.
Do not attempt to buy a suit and wear it out of the shop immediately. Unless you're very fortunate and found the perfect fit off-the-rack, your suit will require alterations. A good tailor will be able to make your suit fit your proportions and have you looking sharp and presentable.
No doubt you've already heard that fit is king, and your suit is no exception. In fact, it is probably the most important consideration when trying on different options. While price often correlates to quality, a great fit can make even a $200 suit look better than a poorly fitted one at ten times the price. If you're on a tight budget, keep this in mind.
It is important to note that cheaper suits are generally built with poorer quality materials and the construction may be subpar. Most cheap suits will use polyester lining in the suit jacket, which can be suffocating in the warmer months. They will also generally be unable to withstand excessive visits to the dry cleaner, resulting in a higher cost per wear. If you take good care of it, however, you hopefully don't have to have it dry cleaned too often.
Fabric choice can vary and should be considered for the climate. Light wool and linen blends are common and are comfortable in warmer climates, whereas heavier materials such as flannel work better in colder climates. Higher quality fabrics will cost more, but with care will last much longer. Avoid polyester and other completely synthetic fabrics. Not only do they look cheap and feel cheap, but they won't last you a fortnight.
Want to know how to work with male clients as an Image Consultant? Visit our course catalog detail page and find out more: Men’s Image Consultant Training