Consider your budget:
How much are you willing to spend for your first suit? Be reasonable, and don’t go too low. It is recommended to have at least $150 budgeted for buying a suit. If you are willing to spend up to $300 you will have a very wide selection of quality fabrics, fashionable designs, and a custom fitting available to you.
The right fabric:
Knowing about different type of fabrics is the first and most important step when buying a suit. Even if you are on a tight budget, try finding a suit that is made mostly of wool. Ideally suits should be made from 100% wool. Cheaper man-made fabrics such as polyester, microfiber, or Teflon should be avoided. Those fabrics do not breathe, and will be quite uncomfortable to wear – especially on warmer days. Linen suits should also be avoided for your first suit. Typically linen suits are made in lighter colors. They appear less formal, and are on top of it about 4 times more expensive to dry-clean than a wool suit.
Now, looking at different wool suits, you might notice numbers like “super 100s”, “super 120s”, “super 160s”, and so on. What does this number stand for? You might notice that the higher the number, the more expensive the suit usually is. The number simply rates how fine the wool is. When sheep are sheared, the wool of each sheep gets examined and rated. What matters here is the thickness of one individual fiber. The finer the wool is, the higher the rating. The highest rating you will find is most likely super 200s wool. Most recommended are super 100s and super 120s. The higher numbers are less suited for a daily business suit as they wrinkle much easier, and are less durable.
Choose the right style:
There are many different styles of suits available to you. Don’t panic about all the endless options. If you are buying your fist suit, or are looking for a classic business suit, then the suit jacket should be:
- Dark blue, or charcoal gray in color (the latter one is preferred here)
- Be Solid Color (no pin-stripes, checks, or plaids)
- Be Single-Breasted (the jacket simply buttons, and does not overlap to the other side)
- Have a Two or Three-button jacket
If you keep the above in mind, you will be on the right track. You already narrowed down your selection to couple of different suits. When buying suits, you usually pick the jacket separately from the pants. As far as jackets are concerned find the cut that is best suited for your body type:
- Average body type: Pick the so-called “American Cut”. It is a classic cut that is typically the best choice for your first suit.
- Full-figured men: The so-called “Full Cut” might be the best choice here. The “Full Cut” is not tapered at the waist and hangs straight down. It is perfect for men with a wider waistline.
- Fit & Athletic men: The “European Cut” might be the best choice here. This type of cut is more tapered at the waist and will compliment you if you are in good shape. Before buying this type of suit make certain that you are keeping your weight, and stay in shape.
The right fit:
Make sure that the suit fits right on your shoulders. Put on the jacket and reach out with both arms to the front. The fabric on your back should be tight, but shouldn’t limit your movement too much. Secondly, make sure that the sleeves have the right length. To find the perfect length, put on the jacket, and stand straight. Let your arms hang down. The sleeves of your suit should end where your hand meets your wrist. Finally make sure that the collar fits properly. About a ½ inch of your dress shirt should show, and there mustn’t be any wrinkles near your collar of the jacket when wearing it.
Finding the right pants is much easier. The most important thing is the right match to your jacket. The colors and fabric type should be an identical match. Also important is the right fit on your waist. When buying a new suit, pants will always be tailored to fit to the right length. Once tailored, the pants must never drag on the floor near your heels. Ideally you socks are covered completely, and the pants should rest slightly on your shoes when standing up straight.
Shirt and Ties:
Shirt and ties are essential accessories for the suit. If you are new to wearing suit and tie, make sure to have at least 4 or 5 dress shirts available. The best colors are white and light blue. For beginners, and men with limited budget, solid color shirts are best. If you are looking to have a new look everyday, the easiest and most cost effective way of doing this, is by changing your neckties. Fine silk ties can cost less than $40 and will give your attire a fresh new look every time. With this in mind, it is recommended to have at least 5 different ties in your wardrobe.