I've dedicated quite a few hours (or days rather) researching suits with my new hubby. What have I found? To begin with, many everyday terms that I didn't know the exact definition to. Come along with me a second.
Slim, Regular, Classic. Not sure? Here's the differences.
• shoulders are less constructed
• a high armhole eliminates extra fabric and creates a more form fitting look
• suppression in the waist gives shape to the jacket
• trousers are tapered to the leg opening
• shoulders are moderately constructed
• armhole height balances shape with movement
• slight suppression in the waist gives the jacket more form
• trousers feature a higher rise and a straight leg
• shoulders are more constructed for a fuller look
• a low armhole provides an increased range of motion
• less suppression in the waist limits constriction
• trousers are cut with a wide leg
(Compliments of Bloomingdale's fit experts.)
Ok, now that we're on the same page with the lingo let's talk about brands.
A few brands to take note of.
Hardy Amies : a English label who's fully embraced what is being called "casualization" of tailored clothing.
What does this mean for you? Look put together while wearing one of Hardy's unlined, breathable suits. A cool perk for warm weather.
Tailored, casual items with everyday comfort.
John Varvatos : A Detroit born, American designer who became famous for his creation of the boxer brief in the early 90's.
Besides influencing your underwear drawer, Varvatos was named 2007 GQ designer of the year.
His charcoal chambray three-piece, super lightweight suit is just one more reason to add him to your radar.
Hugo Boss : A style house based in Metzingen, Germany named after its founder Hugo Boss (1885–1948).
Keep your eye on Boss' suit section in high-end department stores. Often you can find a Hugo Boss suit discounted and it will be your most prized position.
Truly fine craftsmanship that's built to last.
J Crew : 2 suits = tailored style for anyone, any size, not just the slim. Check out the Ludlow and Crosby style guide.
*Be cautious of J Crew factory suiting. J Crew's outlet appears to offer past season suits that seem like a nice savings but the quality is far less.
Lightweight suits :
Summer suits can seem frivolous. The fabric is lighter, which means the suit overall is thinner and will not keep its shape nearly as long as a year round suit.
Should you buy one? Yes, a warm weather suit worn for the proper occasion is a wardrobe staple.
The Ludlow suit jacket in délavé Italian linen just arrived here at J Crew ... Review's are very positive, 4.8/5 stars.
How much should you spend on a suit?
There are 3 price brackets to expect when suit shopping.
$100 - $300 Department stores such as JCPenney, Sears, Men's Wearhouse carry a basic suit that can typically withstand everyday wear. The down side to an "everyday suit" is the cut and fabric may appear budget.
$400 - $900 A suit at this range can be found at Suit Supply, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and some designer shops. Closely examine fabrics. Finer, delicate fabrics will look nicer to the eye but cost you more and not hold up with daily use.
$1000 - $2500 will buy you a designer suit such as, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Theory. These suits are created to last you a lifetime of special occasions. Fine details and fabric need TLC. Treat this as an investment.
How to fake an expensive suit :
If you would like to save money, choose a well fitting suit and find an even better tailor. You can take a low end suit and make it look much more expensive.
Remember, its all in the cut and fit. A sloppy fit would make even an expensive suit look cheap.
Questions to ask... how often will this suit be worn? What season would I like to be able to wear this suit?
You can buy an all season suit in a lighter color that will pass as a "warm weather" suit but last for many more wears then the thinner material of summer suits.
#1 rule in finding a suit, get the shoulders right. The single most important rule.
#2 find a trustworthy tailor. Honesty & resourcefulness are key when selecting yours.
Adjustments are investments in looking good.
To this day I look to Pete for affordable and effortless style. He's traveling in Europe this summer and may make a guest appearance on my blog.
"1 suitcase, 30 days, 30 outfits for the traveling man."
...if I can get him to agree.