Buy the best suit you can – either ready made – and then have it tailored, or if you have time, have it made to measure. There is still no better place then Saville Row in London for this, the tailors there will make a suit you ‘own’ and not just have.
Styles of jackets vary, but today, double-breasted suits are not really worn. A single breasted suit with 2 buttons is the most stylish, 3 button can be carried off by those who are over 6ft and can be worn with a waistcoat. A shorter man wearing a waistcoat can appear even shorter. A single button suit is more for the younger man and perfect for any age for the evening. On a single button suit, especially one worn in the evening, one can be more adventurous with the fabric and even introduce a pattern.
A well fitting suit is essential. Here are some tips on how to wear yours well:
1. When standing, a quarter inch of your shirt collar and a half inch of your shirt cuffs should be visible.
2. Sleeves should have no creases where the join the jacket and the back, across the shoulders, or rear, should not be taught.
3. Shoulder pads should be sloping downwards; if you have big shoulders, the pads should be small.
4. Your jacket length should just cover your behind and when you raise your arms, should still cover your stomach.
5. Wear your suit with the bottom button undone when standing, and undo all when sitting. A single button jacket should not be done up at all.
6. With a patterned shirt, wear a less patterned tie. Your pocket square should not be the same as your tie, but should coordinate with it; choose the same colour or the same pattern in a larger or smaller print. For business a woven silk tie is best.
7. Belt your trousers with a smart, unpatterned belt. Your tie, tied in a Windsor knot, should half cover the buckle with the pointed end.
8. Trousers vary is styles, for business, choose a straight leg. These should not be tight anywhere and hang well, showing their shape, and should fit you from your waist and not below.
9. Your trousers should just settle on your shoes, leaving enough length to still cover your socks when seated. Socks should be fine knit and dark with dark shoes and lighter with brown shoes. White socks should never be worn with a suit, nor should those with cartoons on, though patterned socks do allow you to show your creative side.
10. For shoes, choose leather-soled Oxfords, or brogues or penny loafers are fine. In America and Italy, gentlemen wear more casual, brighter shoes, often in the creative sector or at night. You do not have to follow this trend.