How to shop for a new suit BHS blog

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How to shop for a new suit

They say “The suit maketh the man” and even though dress codes in some workplaces are not as formal as they used to be, most men will still find themselves wearing a

suit whether they want to or not, at least a couple of times a year. Finding a suit that looks and feels good can be a challenge, with changing fashions in fit and styling as well as seemingly endless combination of options.

But there are a number of ways to make suit shopping quick, simple and relatively stress free, providing you’re armed with the right knowledge and know exactly what you want from your suit.

So, before you even set foot in a shop or start browsing online ask yourself the following questions:

What will I use it for?

If the suit is an everyday suit to wear to the office you may want to keep it as basic as possible. A classic two button, single-breasted suit in grey, black or navy is an ideal choice, some also come with enhanced fabric to protect against stains.

If the suit is for special occasions or one off events you may want to consider a slightly smarter one, sleek lapels in conrasting fabrics on tux-style suits is a great way to polish up. Clean-cut styles in pinstripes and checks are another way to add a statement twist to your look, while still being suitable for work.

What size do I need?

Fit is key in suiting, a bad fit can make and expensive suit look cheap and vice versa, so find your figuring out the right shape and fit for you, be it regular, slim or tailored is the quickest route so sartorial success.

How to measure: Suit jackets use a chest measurement (taken from armpit to armpit), trousers use waist (taken from just below the belly button) and an inside leg measurement (taken from the crotch to the ankle) and expressed as short (30″), regular (32″) and long (34″). Formal shirts are usually measured by collar size (measured round the adams apple) and occasional by chest size. You will need to know all of these measurements before you start, better yet, write them down to take into the store with you.

Alterations: Most dry cleaners will do basic alterations, for example taking the hem or taking in the waist or shortening the sleeves on jackets, for a very reasonable price and these can make all the difference to how your suit fits. However, they are not miracle workers – if a suit is too big or small across the shoulders of chest then it is best to try another size or style. Remember, with ready-to-wear suits, it is easier for them to stake hems in than let them out.

What details do I like?

1, 2 or 3 buttons: A one-button suit looks more casual, and the jacket could be worn alone with jeans. A two button suit is a classic style suitable for work or formal occasions and a three-button suit is good if your have a narrower chest and want a slimmer effect.

Single or double breasted: Single-breasted styles are your go-to for suit success for any occasion. Double-breasted is an uber-refined and highly formal style, but they should be worn with caution. For those of us who require a little more room in the middle, double-breasted suits will only highlight this, with the pulling fabric causing an unflattering effect.

Shirts and ties: You should aim for a variety of shirts and ties that will work with your suit, popular plain colours are white, light blue and grey or you can stand out with pinstripes or pink. Once you have all of these it will be easy to experiment with different combinations.

Cufflinks and belts A plain black belt with a silver buckle will serve you well and go with most suits, cufflinks look great for formal occasions but may feel a bit much for everyday, many long sleeve shirts have buttons at the cuff to remove the need for cufflinks.

Top Tip: Buying two pairs of trousers for every jacket will make the suit last longer, as trousers typically are worn more often and wear out faster than jackets.

Feeling ready? Visit the Argus BTN Suit Shop now to find the perfect style.