How to Buy a Suit for Business

Knowing how to select a formal outfit that suits your position, physical features, and the occasion plays a big role in your success in the business world. Of course, you don't have as much choice as women do - but still - dressing up formally seems to be overwhelming for a lot of men. You may think that it is enough to throw on a suit and you are done. Read on to learn about the details which make all the difference.

You most likely are already a proud owner of a few suits. A thicker one, made of wool for autumn and winter, and a light one made of cotton or tropic weight wool for the summer. The most important thing about a suite is the fabric it is made of and how the suit fits you. You must feel comfortable wearing it. Consider style a secondary issue.

Enter the universe of fabrics. There is cotton, wool, linen, microfibers, and a lot of various blends that add certain features to the fabric. Most of the time wool will be your best bet. As mentioned above, you can wear very light weight tropic wool in the summer, and you have a heavy weight counterpart for the winter. More and more often, wool gets blended with microfibers (including polyester and nylon) to increase the durability and strength of the fabric or make it more immune to wrinkling. Another great blend is cashmere wool - most likely the softest you can get. Women love touching it.

Coming to other fabrics, there is cotton and linen too. You have the seersucker - a classic vertically stripped material popular in the East Coast and Deep South. For extreme heat and humidity - a linen suit is your best bet. One thing to keep in mind though is that linen gets wrinkled immediately. Another thing you should pay attention to is that whatever fabric you pick, it should never change colors in different lighting or shine on you!

Now that you know your fabrics, let's learn about three basic styles. First, there is the British suit. Square shoulders, unvented or side-vented jackets with tapered waist, pants that are narrower than in the other two styles I am going to talk about below.

An American jacket has natural shoulders, two or three buttons and is centrally vented. The pants have a straight line. Fuller pants are a part of the Italian style. An Italian jacket would be unvented, and have padded shoulders.

Now it is time to set some ground rules for wearing a suit. The rules are pretty straightforward. Whenever you sit down, you unbutton your jacket. Whenever you stand up - you button it up. But remember: you never button the bottom button. In a three-button jacket you button the middle and the top buttons. In a two-button jacket, you button only the top one.

Let's talk about fit. Your suit needs to fit you. A suit straight off the rack does not fit you, even if you just paid $5,000 dollars for it. Most often the shop will offer complimentary adjustments made by their own tailors. If not, you should still see a tailor who will make sure that the suit fits you. A badly fitted suit ruins our entire image. Also, you are not an expert here. The tailor is. Trust him.

Finally, a quick word on colors. The standard choices for business include charcoal gray, navy blue and black. All other colors are risky because they go well with only certain types of accessories, situations, weather, industries, and corporate culture. Basically, over time you will begin to notice what the dos and don'ts are in your world. For now stick to the three basic colors.

by Neal Hunter; Wednesday, November 2, 2011 @ 06:52 AM [1359]

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