Job hunting? Important meeting with a client? If the last suit you bought was for your matric farewell, here is a “checklist” of what to look for when shopping for a new, proper-fitting work ensemble. Not only will you get more respect during the day, but you are sure to be better appreciated at night: there’s nothing sexier than a man looking sharp in a suit!
1. The fit of the jacket should emphasise the T-shape of your physique: broad at the shoulders and slightly more tapered at the waist. Think Armani, not SABC news presenter.
2. The shoulder width should frame your face, not make your head seem too big or small. How the back of the suit looks and feels is also important. Fabric should not bunch together between your shoulder blades, but there does need to be enough fullness to not restrict your arm movements. In shopping, the fit of the suit – not the design – should be your focus.
3. Most jackets have vents in the back, either in the center or on both sides. In either case, make sure the vent flaps lay flat. If they’re spreading apart that means the jacket is ill-fitting and you should look for another manufacturer or a larger size. Showing off your cute butt should be done while wearing jeans – not suits.
4. The centre opening of your pants should be directly over your navel. Having a big stomach doesn’t mean you’re allowed to wear your pants under your gut – it means you should eat less McDonald’s. The back of your pants should drape down so each leg length is half an inch from the bottom of your heel. As pant lengths are bias cut, the front of your pants should just touch the top of your shoe, with a slight “break” around the ankle. There’s nothing worse than seeing a man with his suit pants bunched up at the ankles like elephant skin.
5. You also don’t want the sleeves of your jacket shirt to be too long. In general, the sleeve of your jacket should end where your wrist meets your hand – and your shirt sleeve length should be a quarter-inch long A good rule to follow: bend your middle finger to touch your palm – that’s where the end of your shirt sleeve should be. HINT: There’s a reason why shirt manufacturer’s put two buttons on the sleeves. If your sleeve length falls a little too long, use the button closure which tightens the sleeve the most.
6. If you can only afford one suit, make it dark blue. It can even be worn to formal events if you can’t afford a tux, as long as it’s plain and not patterned. Avoid materials which cannot be worn year-round, such as l00% wool. When shopping for a suit, squeeze the fabric – if it has springiness and bounces back, it’s quality material. Top quality worsted wool suits, for example, need to just be put back on the hanger for a few hours for the wrinkles to hang out.
7. Close the top button of your shirt. If there’s room to stick two fingers in between the collar and your neck, that is the proper fit. If more than two fingers fit, that means the shirt doesn’t.
8. Ties should reach your belt buckle, which hopefully is resting comfortably over your navel. The “front” blade should be two to three inches longer than the “back” blade. Unless you work in a very artistic profession, stay away from loud and wild ties. These days, in fact, matching monochrome ties and shirts is very hip.
9. Stay away from unmatching – or even matching – hankies and pocket squares. Unless, of course, you are a pimp.
10. Shoes and belts should always be the same colour. And dress socks should match your shoes – not your tie, suit or shirt. That’s why they don’t have light blue dress socks. And if you’re the type who wears white socks with dark shoes and a suit, Shame!
Source: Queer Life South Africa