Men's top tips for buying the perfect suit

Whether you want to look good at the office, shine at a job interview or have the edge when you hit the town in the evening, for every man there is a simple solution: the suit. Probably one of the longest lasting men's fashion staples, having been around since the regency period, a simple suit has the power to transform a man's look for almost any occasion, but it needs to be chosen wisely.

Coming from the French 'suite', which means 'the following', as the jacket and trousers must follow each other in terms of cut, colour and cloth, knowing what to look for in a good suit can be a nightmare. Here are some marks of quality to look for whenever you're ready to buy a new suit.

First thing to consider is budget, as generally the more expensive the suit the better quality it is likely to be, however, many suits are occasional items, so don't think you need to aim for the top price brackets to look sharp for colleagues. Today a budget suit is generally anything up to about £250 and a mid range suit can cost up to about £800, with anything more being considered a high-end suit, where its often smart to consider options other than 'off the peg'. As with any purchase, a smart budget buy can usually do the job if you know what to look for, but a midrange purchase will usually guarantee better quality and, crucially for some people, the all important designer label.

Comfort is important and it's said that nothing is more comfortable on a gentleman than a well fitted suit. A suit should inspire confidence in its wearer, and this all comes down to how it fits. The trousers should just rest on the tops of your shoes when you stand up straight and sleeves shouldn't be too tight either. Try lifting your arms above your head; if the whole jacket starts to crease up, the arms are too tight and probably too short. Any suit shop will have a tailor on hand to measure you, avoiding any costly alterations later down the line - in fact any reputable store should offer to alter the sleeves or trouser legs for free.

Lighter fabrics like linen are generally good for summer wear and lighter colours; where as 100% pure wool suits are warmer, heavier and generally offer a smoother cut, whereas a blended mixture, with polyester for example, can offer the best of both worlds, especially for a first or 'everyday' suit. Likewise the colour is an important decision; black and blue are relatively safe choices and can easily be spruced up with a bright shirt and tie combo, whereas grey and brown don't offer the same degree of flexibility, and a strong pin stripe tends to divide the opinions of suit wearers.

A suit is a key mens fashion item that can work for many occasions, so follow these tips to find the right one for you.


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