Men Suits: Five Colors You Must Own
Men suits come in a range of colours, however if your wardrobe has only five suits then the colours you absolutely must include listed in descending order of their importance follow. Before we begin, remember: when buying a suit, the most important factor to consider by far is the fit. We cannot over stress its importance. Consider it your buying mantra when it comes to men suits. You could spend a $1,000 or more on a bespoke tailored suit or a custom tailored suit, but if the shoulder pads extend beyond your shoulders or you can comfortably hide teddy bear at the waist, the suit has mostly lost all its value. By contrast, a much cheaper suit can look like a premium suit if it is impeccably fitted. Also, don’t worry about labels as much as the quality of the material. Suits are usually graded by the fineness of wool, indicated by the “super” number. You should find it mentioned on the tag, but if you’re not sure, ask your tailor. Go in for a super number that is in the low to mid 100’s (which is finer and lighter than the more course 80’s and 90’s, while not being as expensive as the upper 100’s and higher).
THE ROYAL BLUE SUIT
If you can afford only one suit in your wardrobe, go in for a single-breasted navy wool suit. Solid blue implies professionalism and respectfulness—respect for yourself and your audience. It doesn’t matter if your audience is small (you’re meeting with a colleague) or large (you’re addressing the Senate). Besides, navy blue looks good on all complexions.
THE CHARCOAL GREY SUIT
Like navy blue, charcoal grey is a supremely versatile color. It looks great with brown, black or burgundy shoes and belts. Depending on the occasion it can easily be dressed up or down. If it’s a two-button suit, button only the top button. Do not dry clean it frequently as the chemicals they use to dry cleaning can shorten the life of your suit. Also, hang it up after use on a proper wooden hanger. No wire hangers, please.
THE PATTERNED SUIT
A patterned men’s suit allows you to show off a bit more of your personality without going overboard, and unlike solid gray (which isn’t as slimming as charcoal, black or navy), it can help to distract from those bulges. If the pattern on your suit is large and visible from far, stick with solid shirts and ties. However, if the patterns are much smaller and it looks solid from a distance, treat it like any solid color. Give it a slight squeeze in the store; quality fabric will spring back without creasing.
THE SOLID BLACK SUIT
We recommend a black tuxedo as the fourth men’s suit, but you’ll probably get more use for your money by opting for a suit in classic black. The advantage of a black suit versus a tuxedo is that you can wear it not only to black tie weddings and cocktails but also to sober gatherings too. At funerals, opt for a white shirt and black tie. Select colors, patterns, and flashy accessories for more festive occasions. And keep in mind: navy and gray are more appropriate for work or interviews.
THE KHAKI LINEN SUIT
A suit you must have for the summers and spring is the khaki cotton. We recommend the sandy color; not too dark, but not too pale either, because linen is more absorbent than synthetic fibres and can gather stains quickly. You could wear your linen suit to work with a crisp white button down shirt and a colourful pocket square. It works equally well as weekend wear by removing your jacket and pairing it with a season less plaid shirt with the rolled up sleeves. As a rule avoid dressed in a linen suit during the fall or winter. Also since it’s considered less formal than wool you may want to avoid it for the more some events.
FINAL POINTS ON MEN SUITS
Congratulations, you’ve setup your new wardrobe! There is a fair chance that, even if you’re the same size as the models you see in the store display, an off the shelf suit will not fit you to perfection. Perhaps the sleeves fall past your knuckles or the trousers breaks and bunch at the bottom. If you have brought your suits off the shelf, we suggest that you don’t wear them until a skilled tailor has altered them. We don’t mean the guy at the neighbourhood dry cleaner who hems your pants, the only person you should trust with your suits is a specialist tailor who does this for a living and is skilled at stitching suits. At Bespoke Ensemble NYC we stitch custom suits and make made-to-measure suits that fit your individual body profile, we also offer alterations to help you customise store bought suits.