Taking a sartorial approach to dressing means a careful balancing act of choosing suits with the right design elements and marrying them to styling decisions. After all, it’s the suit that makes the man. But that doesn’t mean that your suit should wear you, either.
Learning how to wear a suit will give you the confidence to enter a room, head and shoulders back, and unquestionably know your ensemble nails the brief. In this guide, we will help you navigate what makes a stylish suit for men.
From pants breaks to lapel styles and making the right styling choices, we’ll give you the foundation for quality suiting that will last a lifetime. So, gentlemen, tighten your ties and straighten your lapels; it’s time to pay attention to the art of elevated dressing.
Nailing the perfect fit
To enjoy comfortable wear that delivers an enduring style and reflects the dress code of the occasion, consider the fit and size of your suit to your body type — these include:
- Slim fit suits — skinny and slim fitting suits — otherwise known as Italian or European cuts, hug your body and, more often, taper to your waist and your pant cuff. They’re best suited for men with lean and proportionate frames that allow them to wear thicker fabrics like heavy wool and tweed without adding bulk. With a sleek design, there’s a chance they can be too liberal for conservative offices, so it’s best to save this style for weddings and dressy nights out
- Classic fit suits — With a more relaxed and roomy fit that hangs off your body, classic suits are made for comfort and are best suited for men with larger frames. Opting for light to medium weight (GSM) fabrics is one of the best stylish suit ideas for this suit type, as heavier textiles can add bulk.
- Modern fit suits — Falling in between the fit of a slim and classic cut, modern fit suits offer the perfect combination of comfort and tailoring that wears closer to the body. Comfortably sitting on your waist with slight tapering throughout, contemporary styles help enhance your masculine V silhouette, making it an excellent all-occasion option for the office, special events and moments in between.
While there is nothing wrong with shopping for ready-made and made-to-measure suits, they can’t achieve the precise cuts required to tailor the garment to your exact physique.
Without getting a tailor to reverse engineer a suit to shorten its sleeves at the shoulder seam, you may be left with a fit that boxes you in and doesn’t allow for free range of movement.
How to wear a suit so that the fabric falls to the perfect length
Stylish suits for men are all about the small details — it’s what delivers a sense of charm and refinement. While flashy patterns and colourways are instantly seen, considering where your blazer falls on your shoulder and at the cuff of your shirting will separate the boys from the men. The key details you need to keep in mind are:
- Shoulder position — Contemporary suits feature less padding at the shoulders, which means you need to pay attention to the seam that distinguishes the shoulder from the sleeve. The seam should hit the very edge of your shoulder. Too long and it can make you appear larger or feel dated where the fabric bites and rolls over itself into a divot.
- Length of the sleeves — Your blazer’s cuff should fall and reach about one to one and a half centimetres before your shirt’s cuff edge, allowing it to briefly appear whether your arms are relaxed by your sides or you’ve raised them above your waist.
- Jacket fit and length — The overall fit of your jacket is one of the biggest stylish suit ideas to get accustomed to, and more often than not, the perfect fit can only be achieved with a custom-made suit.
Generic off-the-rack suits aren’t able to match the shape of your body, requiring too much fabric to be used for each panel. If you’ve found yourself with a jacket that falls past your buttocks and crotch (it should fall 80%) or you find a gap between the collar of your shirt and blazer, it might be time to consider a bespoke suit.
Decide on your suit’s finishes
Adding small decorative touches offers an instant way to elevate your ensemble and tie your fit together to leave a lasting impression. With a custom stylish suit for men, you can add a little flourish to customise it to your aesthetic and step out with complete confidence.
- Lapel style — These are the folded flaps that extend from the collar before blending into the side and bottom seams of your jacket.
Peak lapels feature a sharp peak that wings up towards the shoulders to draw more attention to your chest, while notch lapels are characterised by a triangle notch where the lapel and collar meet and are more common with business suits. Shawl lapels are well-suited for evening wear and private events, as their rounded curves add a sophisticated touch to tuxedos and formal dress suits.
- Vents — Vents are one of the best stylish suit ideas you never thought about. They’re open slits at the bottom of the jacket’s back hem that provide added ventilation and allow the jacket to move more comfortably with your body without straining or stretching the fabric.
Single, centre vents are the most traditional option, but double and side vents give you an extra opening to move more effortlessly without pulling on the side seams.
- Pocket design — When it comes to blazers, various types of pocket designs can add casual or more formal detailing. Flap pockets are the more traditional option that, as the name suggests, features a flap over the opening. Jetted or besom pockets feature a bare opening that is discretely fitted inside the upholstery for a minimalistic, sophisticated finish. Patch pockets are the most casual, with a patch of fabric sewn onto the outside to hold small items you need.
- Pants break — A pants break is created when the cuff of your pants falls over your footwear and creates a natural crease. A baggy full break features fabric that billows over your shoe’s tongue and laces and is seen as dated, while a no-break is the hardest to pull off as they fall one to two centimetres above your shoe. A half-break is the best option as it hits just the top of your shoe, allowing you to maintain a modern finish at work or on special occasions.
Enjoy effortless wear with a bespoke stylish suit for men from Woolcott St that will outfit you to the smallest detail
Learning how to wear suits comes naturally to the master tailors at Woolcott St — our expert team boasts years of experience designing and crafting custom suits that conform to your body and aesthetic with exacting detail.
Book a consultation today and our team will travel to your home or office and present you with endless options to allow you to customise the type of fabric and discuss where you want every element to fall on your body.