Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Q & A: Suits

Today I'm going to concentrate on a question asked by Matt Shields.

Matt asks: "What should a guy look for in a suit that will be "in style" for years to come??? Are there any new changes we should look for?"

Jennifer responds: This is a great question, Matt, as a good suit is an investment that will last you years if properly cared for.

To begin with, let's look at the first part of your question. Even before talking about the style of the suit, let's talk about fabric. In my opinion, the best fabric to choose would be a wool gabardine. Gabardine has excellent drape, and can be worn year-round. Look for a thread count (Super) in the low hundreds. Higher numbers are not as durable, and you will end up needing to replace your suits more often. Lower numbers just won't have the same feel that you would expect in a quality suit.

Next, let's talk about fit. If you are serious about your suits, I can't urge you strongly enough to get yourself properly measured. Don't guess your measurements, and don't go off of last year's measurements, either. Your body will change shape, however slightly, over time. Make sure you are buying a suit that will fit you TODAY. (And find yourself an awesome tailor, as well. They are hard to find, but oh-so worth it.)

Three other things to make sure of in order to avoid a fit faux pas: the hem of your trousers should reach your shoes and break once; your jacket sleeve should reach the first knuckle of your thumb, exposing a half-inch of your shirt cuff; and the shoulders of your jacket should align with your natural shoulder line. These three fit points are very obvious when they are "off", so pay extra attention to them.

Now, for style. The oversized suit has had its day, and the current trend is an overall slimmer silhouette. Look for narrow lapels, slim pants, and shoulders cut with very little padding. I've heard that gray is in as a neutral, and that there will be some more daring bright colors showing up, as well. But if we are talking style for the long-term, I'd say avoid the brights unless they completely fit your brand image. Color is one element that can easily look dated.

I hope you found this helpful, Matt...and all you fellas following my blog. See you back here again next time...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on wardrobe planning, please stop by my website.)


S Chambers said...


Great advice on what to look for in a suit. One comment, for a suit that will last over the long haul it is best to go with a more traditional style. I had some suits tailor-made in Hong Kong a few years back and they are way out of style.

My clothing dream...a bespoke suit from Saville Row, and the speaking engagement to where it at.
Steve Chambers

April Braswell said...

Thanks for the Q&A, Jennifer!

All the best,

April Braswell - Online Dating Coach, Romance Coach

Susan said...

Very clear and concise advice Jennifer. Us married women can use this when we shop for suits for our husbands -- since most of them don't shop for themselves.

Yann Vernier said...

Great tips Jenn. I will keep this post for my next suit purchase, very useful.

All the best,

Yann Vernier - Personal Coach

Kevin Hogan said...

jenn you are amazing.
see you at www.jenniferskinneronline.com


Lisa M. McLellan said...

Passing this one on to my husband! Excellent post Jenn.

Matthew Shields said...

Whats This???? My post is gone huh
I posted this morning but poof no more

Thank You for answering my question. I will print this out and bring it to the store with me. It will symplify it a bit
Thank You
Focus Your Energy

Sheridan Randolph said...

I would kill to have someone who could do minor alterations. But who has time to let the bespoke boys do all that fitting? On the other hand, considering how difficult it is to find a suit that fits well off the rack...

Sheridan Randolph

Scott Bel said...

Great advice. An expensive suit that doe not fit properly still looks sloppy.

Scott A Bell
I Am The Road Warrior

drpeter said...


Any comments on color choices when building a wardrobe?

Dr Helton, making your skin beautiful without surgery, nationally renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist