Top Tips when buying a new suit

The post Christmas sales is traditionally the time when many men replenish their work wardrobe, so we decided to put together some top tips to help you make the best choice when making the (often) substantial investment of the business suit for work.  Clients often ask what they should spend on a suit.  The secret is to work out the cost per wear of the suit as opposed to looking at the price alone.  If you are wearing a suit day in day out 5 days a week, you need to focus on building up your business wardrobe and achieving a situation where you have a number of quality suits which you can alternate ensuring a longer life out of your business wardrobe.

mens business suit 2012


  1. Know why exactly you are buying a suit.  Are you hunting for a suit that you are going to wear to the office every week?  Or, are you looking for a suit that you will wear a few times a year?  Is it a suit you are going to wear for job interviews, or pitching for new business?  You need to spend the most money on the clothes you wear most.
  2. Go for the best quality you can afford.  In particular, ensure that the fabric is of the best possible quality.  Do the crease test.  Sqeeze the fabric and if it bounces back with minimal creasing, then this is a good indicator as to the quality of the fabric.  If the creases remain, the fabric is not the best quality and the suit will not wear well.
  3. Get the right fit.  Sounds obvious, but it is amazing how many men either wear their suits too small or too big.
  4. The lapel of the jacket should sit snugly on the chest.  The length of the jacket should end under the curve of the derriere. Too long can literally have an ageing effect whilst too short can make the entire suit look too small.  Depending on your physique and the style of the suit, jacket length can be worn a little shorter.
  5. The shoulders of the jacket should hug your own shoulders – shoulder pads should not protrude beyond your own shoulders.   When buttoned, the jacket should not look pulled or too tight across the middle. 
  6. A certain amount of alteration which ensure that the suit fits you perfectly, but too many alterations to a jacket or trousers will ruin the cut of a suit.  If you do get your suit altered, always try it on again to ensure it is perfect.
  7. Decide on a good neutral colour such as grey or navy.  Black can be a difficult colour to maintain.  Be careful with navy as it can tend to get shiny with wear, although this very much depends on the fabric.
  8. If you can manage it, buy a second pair of trousers as these tend to wear out quicker than the jacket. 
  9. Trousers legs should have just one ‘break’ and sit snugly over the shoes.  
  10. To complement your new suit, choose  well-fitting, good quality shirts.  If your neck measurement is such that you find the body of the shirt too voluminous, opt for a slim-fitting or contemporary fit shirt.
  11. Ties are a great way of updating any suit.  Again, opt for the best quality.  Try colours that you may not have worn before.
  12. And to finish, the all important shoes.  Good quality leather shoes are always a good investment.  Try to avoid the same shoes day after day.  Laced shoes are more professional than slip-ons.  Avoid wearing the same shoes every day.  Alternate your shoes, as this will ensure longer life.

If you are struggling, and are not sure how to put it all together, check out details of our mens image consultation which will ensure that you that you make the right choice and avoid making any costly mistakes.