Seeking Your First Suit

You have graduated college and are ready to go out into the work force. But after four years of bring buried in books while earning that diploma so you could get the job of your dreams, you have come to realize that your wardrobe is less than desirable. The baggy jeans you love and the over sized t-shirt that your girlfriend sleeps in when she stays the night won’t exactly cut it for a job interview. So, it’s time to look for your first suit. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, where do I start and what kind do I get? What color? What style is appropriate for a job interview?

Now, first you need to decide on a single or double-breasted style suit. Since we are focused on an interview, I suggest you look at a single-breasted suit. A single-breasted suit is a classic style that can be used several different occasions. Blue or grey should be your chosen color for your first suit. These colors work very well with black or brown shoes and a multitude of other to colors to layer with shirts and ties.

Next you have to decide on two or three-button blazer. If you are a shorter man, I would recommend getting a two-button blazer as it lengthens the torso. Taller men may opt for three buttons based on stylistic preference. The two-button suit, however, is what most men should wear. Every fashion label imaginable is designing two-button suits; the trend being to make these suits more streamlined and modern, which is why they are so popular.

Another choice one must make, is whether to have single center or double vents the back of your jacket. Double vents are more European and a bit more suave. They make it easier for you to reach into your pockets without folding up your jacket. On the other hand, they’re the most expensive to make and less available than the center vent. Center vent cuts are more traditional. You can’t go wrong with a center vent.

When looking at pants, the options are pleats or no pleats. Modern fashion is departing further and further from pleats, but there is a time and place for everything so long as you wear it well. Pleats can be flattering to heavier men who need some extra stretch, but it’s always flattering to go for flat-front if you can. Cuffs or No Cuffs? Cuffs add weight to the bottom of your pants, helping it to hang properly. They’re better for taller men, because cuffs tend to unflatteringly minimize the silhouette of shorter legs.

Know your measurements. This seems obvious, but make sure to know your exact sizes and not just a general category of measurements you think you fall under. As a matter of fact, you should have yourself measured at least once a year. Even if you have purchased a suit before, don’t keep asking for the same size out of habit. As you gain or lose weight, grow older, and gravity takes its toll, your suit size will change. So make sure you have up-to-date information.

A suit jacket size is determined by measuring the thickest part of your chest in inches. You should do this in two ways and use the larger of the two. Method #1: Begin by measuring just under your armpits and across the chest and over the shoulder blades. Just relax and don’t flex. Make sure you keep the tape measure parallel to the floor when you do this. This will help assure that you’re measuring the thickest part of the chest area. Method #2: Take an overarm measurement where you place the tape measure over the outside of your arms at your sides and across the thickest part of your chest. Once you have this measurement subtract 7 inches to calculate the corresponding chest measurement. Then compare this measurement with the chest measurement and take the larger of the two.

Trouser sizes are determined by measuring the waist at the belt line. In most cases, the belt line will be found just on top of your hip bone. The length is determined by measuring the legs; a step best left for your tailor.

There are, of course, many more options and considerations for the more refined suit connoseiur, but as far as your first couple suits are concerned, the bases have been covered.

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