suits - basics:

men are meant to wear suits. i read about this guy that drives a sewage truck who wears a suit to work - and wears it well.

if he understands that men are meant to wear suits, then so should you. that said, a suit is completely essential, but it goes beyond that, you've got to wear the suit right.

a lot the problem lies within understanding the basics of what makes a suit incredible. the main issue is that men get mixed up and focus on the small things and details while ignoring the big picture. i've seen guys buy a suit based on just the color, what 'they've always bought before', if the pants are cuffed, or if it's got peaked lapels - don't ever over focus on one single detail. on the other end of the spectrum is guys that are apathetic to the whole situation. they think that over-thinking a suit isn't what real men do - completely wrong.

most guys line up their priorities as such:
1. color
2. details/style
3. fit

they should line up like this:
1. fit
2. details/style
3. color

1. fit: i've seen a guy go in to a tailor with a $75 used suit. plain black. he came out looking like he was wearing a $1000 suit. don't believe me? see the job that gq did on a guy named evan that they selected off the streets because of his suit.

before: "growing up, i just got used to wearing baggier clothes."

after: gentlemen, evan's problem is not uncommon - wrong fit. the suit should always hug the shoulders, even if you're not a slender guy. every suit fits different, so i recommend using your measured size as a guide, not as a law. try on jackets in progressively smaller sizes until they feel pretty snug on the shoulders, if the suit salesman asks you to bend and flex and run around to make sure the suit is comfortable, then leave the store or just browse on your own - its a suit, not a jogging outfit. if you take nothing else away, take this - no matter what size you are, no matter what body type, you should NOT wear a baggy suit.

2. details and style: know what you want in a suit, whether it's a dark business suit or casual seersucker, single breasted or double breasted with peaked lapels. next, know how to wear it well. for details on fabrics, jackets, numbers of buttons, or what to do with a pleated suit, see the quick suit guide below. check out how adon, another gq upgrade victim, wore his double breasted suit before:

before: not bad, i mean double breasted is in right now, right?

after: it's true, double breasted is in, but you need to wear the suit correctly. his new suit is cut perfectly, remains a bit showy, but is expertly understated. its a double breasted suit like adon had, but there's six buttons, and a sharp silhouette due to the rolled shoulders. no detail is over-powering; the pocket square, nice watch, jacket, tie, and other elements all work together to create a classic look. well done.

3. color: i'm not going to say much about color, just stay away from any combination of colors that makes you look like you're going to prom. don't do anything too dark, like a black suit, black shirt and a white satin tie. that looks cheap. finally, i'm not a huge fan of like a neon green suit either, but that's me. here's a great example of a color problem:

before: michael is an artsy guy, but generally black on black doesn't look that great.

after: great colors (still blacks and grays, but not so harsh or one-sided), trim silhouette, shorter jacket length, and and overall sharp and professional feel.

and for those of you who believe that this is all great for the thin guys, but worthless for men of more meat. check out this before and after of sha money: if even gangster rappers get it, then so can you.

the quick suit guide:

know the suit: you can tailor everything except the arm holes, chest, and jacket length - if a tailor says otherwise, they are not very good, or just lazy. that said, get a shorter jacket with higher armholes in your correct chest size: the j. crew ludlow fit is the best price suit for this. then take the suit to the tailor.

jacket: the jacket short be short in length, with a narrow silhouette. the sleeves should be narrow and not too long. the arm holes should be cut higher.

pants: the pants should have a medium rise and no pleats. the leg should be narrow and tapered, and fall just above the shoe with no more than a full break.

things you should tailor:
     sleeve length (it should hit around that bump on your wrist to allow some sleeve to show)
     sleeve width (they should be narrow)
     jacket waist (it should be brought in)
     pants waist (pants should fit comfortably, but tight enough to stay up without a belt)
     crotch (it should be brought up)
     leg width (this should almost always be narrowed and tapered)
     inseam length (never more than a full break, but lately the trend is high enough to show some sock)

varying sized gents: if you're not a slim guy, stay with the flat front pants, but use bracers to hold them floating at the right height. if you're an extra skinny guy, check out brands like band of outsiders, or topman for some great suits that won't swallow your frame.

no pleats: im serious. no pleats ever, no matter your size, profession, or desired comfort level. flat front look far more professional, classic, and offer more than enough room.

buttons: stick to two or a lower cut roll-over three button. personally i see no need for a three-button suit. for double breasted suits, stay with six buttons, "anything less looks like you're wearing a cardigan" --gq

fabrics: i have a cotton chino suit and i love it. wool, tweed, seersucker, and even a thin whaled corduroy are all great too. just stay away from anything very stretchy or shiny.

lapels: for double breasted lapels, they should be a bit wider and higher cut, but not massive. for single breasted jackets, the lapels should be thin, with a high cut notch. they should match the width of you new slimmer ties.

any color is fine, but for the safer and less expressive among us, stay with darker colors that have understated patterns. pinstripes and checks shouldn't be too bold, and in my opinion, neither should the colors. if you want a lighter colored suit, go for a lighter gray, khaki, or blue seersucker.

navy blue and brown: make sure to match your suit's color well with whatever else you're wearing. navy blue suits with blown shoes and belts are a european classic, but the darker the navy blue, the darker the brown should be as well.

black and brown: tricky and doable. but i wouldn't. as a rule though, the darker the black, the darker the brown.

black and blue: i love a navy suit with black cap-toed shoes. just don't wear a dark navy shirt under a black suit. it's hard to tell the difference and it will just look off.

generally: keep dark colors with dark colors, but not so dark that you can't tell the difference. and in my humble opinion never go for black on black, black on pink, or anything like unto it.

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