MEN – HOW TO BUY A SUIT

     

Everyone needs a good suit, and if you follow these rules, you’ll be able to find your own

Avoid bargains.
Know your likes, your dislikes, and the occasion.
Squeeze the fabric — if it bounces back with little or no sign of wrinkling, that means it’s good, sturdy material.
And tug the buttons gently. If they feel loose or wobbly, that means they’re probably coming off sooner rather than later.
The jacket’s shoulder pads are supposed to square with your shoulders; if they droop off or leave dents in the cloth, the jacket’s too big.
The jacket sleeves should never meet the wrist any lower than the base of the thumb — if they do, ask to go down a size. Always get fitted.

What to Look for in Suit Cloth:
Fabric: Suits are made of wool. Mostly at the upper end, you see wool blended with cashmere. You might even see 100 percent cashmere. For hot weather, linen and cotton and silk are available, but most suits are still made of wool.
Fineness: It’s usually reflected in the so-called “super number.” You know, “super 150’s” and the like. Two things: First, the super number denotes the fineness of the individual fibers. The higher the number, the thinner the fabric and the smoother and silkier the cloth. Second, wool gets rarer the finer it is, so very high supers — 180’s and above — are expensive. But that doesn’t make them better, necessarily. They can be wrinkle-prone, and they show signs of wear — such as shininess — early Always check the labels.
Strength: Take a bunch of the cloth and squeeze it. Does it bounce back to life quickly, with little to no visible wrinkling? Does it feel like there’s something to it, some structure — what tailors call “guts”? That’s a good sign. It’s nearly ineffable, but play around with cloth long enough and you’ll come to know it.
Variety: What you will see on most store racks is plain weave or worsted (the smooth, tightly woven stuff) — basic business cloth. But there’s more to cloth than worsted. The most common alternatives are flannel (spongy, fuzzy stuff) and tweed. Flannel is a classic cool-weather cloth. And we all know what tweed is.

 

The Details you’re looking for:
Flower Loop:
Stitched by hand under the lapel to hold the base of the flower that few men ever wear anymore, it’s the kind of detail that shows the tailor cares about tradition. And tradition, in matters of tailoring, is a good thing.
Hand-Stitched Sleeve Lining:
A sure sign the shoulder will fit closely and comfortably. Check the inside seam where the arm meets the body: If it’s been sewn by hand, you’ll see barely perceptible creases or pleats where the two cloths come together.
Hand-Finished Interior Pocket:
Check the internal left breast pocket: If it’s set off by strips of the external fabric, that means it’s been reinforced, so it’s better able to stow your wares without sagging.
Hidden Pocket:
It’s a credit-card-sized compartment that conceals valuable possessions right next to your family jewels. Beyond useful, believe us, especially if you’re walking the shadier streets of suit maker Isaia’s hometown of Naples.
Vented Pleats:
This subtle fold falls just below the internal waistband and ensures a good fit. It also helps prevent tucked-in shirts from bagging or slipping out.

How to Tell Your Suit Fits


A great suit doesn’t look so great if it doesn’t fit. Seven ways to tell if it does.

1. Shoulder pads end with your shoulders.
2. Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button.
3. The top button of a two-button suit  or the middle button of a three-button suit  should not fall below your navel.
4. With your arms at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket.
5. Jacket sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.
6. Between a quarter and a half inch of shirt cuff should be visible.
7. One inch of break.

How to Complement Your Suit
You’re not fully dressed until your new suit has a tie, a pocket square, and more
The Tie: If you play it safe with your shirt and suit, use your tie to make your mark.
The Pocket Square: Look for something in an unexpected shade that plays off a minor color in either your tie or jacket.
The Watch: If ever there was a token of boorish flashiness that has had its day, the big ol’ watch is it. Go simple and go strong.
The Shoe: We like dark-brown lace-ups, but go easy on the wing tips, broguing, and assorted embellishments. The more basic the design, the more versatile the shoe.