Putting on a good suit can make a big difference to how you look and feel. It can make you feel more confident and walk with your head held high, and it gives you more presence and respect in a room. Anyone can look fantastic in a suit as long as you find the right style and fit for you.
If you want to look great in a suit but you don’t know how then you are in the right place. We have put together this guide to give you the best advice for how to look good in a suit, and to help you find the best brands to buy your suit from. Keep reading to find out more.
What Type Of Suit Should You Wear?
Choosing a suit can be quite overwhelming as there are different styles and designs to consider. Here are some tips to make your decision easier.
Single Breasted Suits
If you are looking for a classic, reliable suit then go with a single breasted design. They suit most people and will be appropriate for pretty much any occasion. Keep in mind that the buttons should be used in a particular way.
Never do up the bottom button. If there are two buttons on the front of the jacket then the top button should be fastened when you are standing up, but you should unfasten it to sit down. If the jacket has three buttons you should button the middle one, and the top one if you want to.
Double Breasted Suits
Double breasted suits are more formal than single breasted suits. They are not as slimming, but you can get them in a slim fit design. They have two rows of buttons – one for decoration only.
The bottom button is never fastened and the top button should stay fastened whether you are sitting or standing.
Three Piece Suits
Three piece suits have a jacket, pants and a waistcoat/vest. The vest will usually match the suit jacket. Three piece suits are very smart, but they work well for less formal occasions when you want to take your suit jacket off later on.
The vest will ensure that you still look crisp and sharp and gives you a more tailored look even without the jacket.
How To Look Good In A Suit
If you want to look good in a suit then there are certain rules and tips that you need to follow. You can’t just throw on any suit and start turning heads – it needs to fit well and the style needs to be right for you. Check out these top tips for making sure that you look good in your suit.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when buying a suit is getting on with shoulders that are too wide. Gone are the days when big shoulder pads were fashionable – suits need to complement your shoulders to accentuate your body shape in a subtle way.
Whether you are trying suits off the rack or you are getting them tailored, you need to make sure that the shoulder seams of the jacket are in line with the edge of your shoulders.
When you put the jacket on, the shoulder seams should end just before your shoulder does. This will ensure that the suit looks crisp and well fitted. If the shoulder seam goes beyond your shoulder then you should try on a different jacket or have it adjusted.
A great way to test the fit of the suit jacket on your shoulder is to lean against a wall. Your shoulder should make contact with the wall before the suit padding does. If the suit padding touches the wall first then the suit is too wide.
It is easier to adjust the waist and length of the suit jacket than it is to adjust the shoulders, so getting the right shoulder fit should be your first priority. Avoid the divot shoulder style as this is not very flattering.
The next thing you need to look out for when choosing a suit is the armholes. They should be nice and high- in line with your armpits – not drooping down. If the armholes are too low then the suit will look saggy and ill-fitting.
It will also be uncomfortable, as your range of movement in your arms will be restricted. If the arm holes are too high then they will scrunch up which makes the suit look scruffy.
If you want to test the position of the arm holes then lift your arms above your head. The suit jacket should stay in place and you should be able to move around with no issues.
You need to make sure that the suit is the right length for your body shape. There is a really easy test for this. The hem of the suit jacket should line up with your knuckles when your arms are relaxed at your sides.
There are occasions when the hem might not be in line with your knuckles – some slim fit jackets or less formal jackets are shorter. These suit jackets can still look great, but if you aren’t sure or this is your first suit then it is best to stick with the knuckle guide.
Formal suit jackets tend to be longer than slim fit jackets, so if you are going to a formal event you should make sure that the suit jacket is long enough.
The length of the sleeves of the suit jacket is something that a lot of people get wrong when buying a suit. Ideally, the jacket sleeve should end just above your wrist.
You should be able to see roughly half of your shirt cuff when you have the jacket on. This gives the suit a much smarter, crisper look than if the sleeves covered the shirt cuffs entirely.
Check the position of the sleeves with your arms at your sides, lifted up in the air, and crossed in front of your body. Some people prefer to have shorter or longer sleeves and it will depend on personal style, but you can’t go wrong with this sleeve length if you aren’t sure what you like.
Sleeve length is one of the easiest adjustments to make to your suit, so you can always change it afterwards if you don’t like it.
How the suit jacket fits on your torso or chest is very important – it can make or break your entire look. When the button is done up, the jacket should lie flat against your torso.
It should not be stretched, there should be no pressure on the button, but there should not be lots of space between the button and your chest/abdomen. If you slide your thumb between your torso and the button it should feel snug – if not then the jacket is too big for you.
If the suit is a little big then this can be altered fairly easily. If you try on a suit jacket and it fits perfectly aside from the torso then it could still be worth buying it and getting it made a little smaller.
If the suit jacket is too small then it is difficult to fix this with tailoring and you should try the next size up.
The final aspect of the suit jacket that you need to consider is the type of lapel. There are two main types of lapel – notch lapels and peak lapels. Notch lapels go up to your shoulder in a smooth line with a small notch just before it.
They tend to be worn to more formal occasions. Peak lapels point towards your shoulders and are a bit more angular. They are more common and are often seen on casual jackets as well as formal jackets.
There are no strict rules on which lapel type should be worn for which occasion- it is best to try on both styles and see which one looks best on you. There is also a third type of lapel – the shaw lapel. These have a straight design and are usually seen on tuxedo jackets.
Whilst suits never go out of style, the way that you wear them changes and adapts with fashion trends. It used to be expected that your suit pants would overlap your shoes when you are standing, but this is no longer the case.
Modern men wear suit pants that finish just above their shoes or in line with their shoes, with little to no overlap. This makes the suit look tailored and well fitting, and it also shows off your smart shoes.
Be aware that wearing suit pants this length will allow people to see your socks- but this isn’t a bad thing. The socks you wear with your suit are part of the look and you can use them to make a statement.
Make sure you wear long dress socks, as your trousers will rise higher as you sit down. Avoid white unless it is crisp and bright- it is usually safer to stick with dark colors or bold colors. Try and find a color or pattern that compliments the suit or your tie, or your pocket square.
Colors And Patterns
There are lots of colors and patterns you can choose from for your suit. There is no right or wrong choice as it depends on the occasion and on your personal style, but there are some tips you should consider.
For formal occasions or even occasions, it is often best to wear a black suit. You cannot go wrong with a crisp black suit – it always looks smart and professional. However, black suits can show up dust very easily, so keep that in mind.
Navy or charcoal gray suits look good on everyone and they are easy to coordinate with belts, shoes, shirts and ties. If you are not very creative or confident with your style and you want a foolproof suit that will always look great then these are excellent choices.
Lighter color suits like pale gray or blue are better for daytime events, and darker color suits are better for evening events.
If you are going from day to evening, such as a wedding or a business event, it is best to go with a darker color so you look smart enough for the evening. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
What about patterns? Plaid suits are becoming more and more popular, particularly at weddings and parties. Plaid suits can look great, but they are not suitable for every occasion.
They should not be worn to formal occasions, especially if they are green or brown rather than navy or blue. Plaid suits are not very slimming, so if you have a larger build a plain color suit will be more flattering.
You should pick a plain color tie to go with a plaid suit to avoid clashing patterns, but they also look good with an open collar shirt for informal occasions.
What Shirt Should You Wear Under A Suit?
It’s really important to wear a good quality shirt under your suit. A cheap shirt of poor quality will ruin the overall look, it will likely cause you to overheat, and it won’t protect your suit from sweat stains.
You should also make sure that your shirt is fitted. An oversized shirt will look too baggy and will detract from the well-fitted suit. Fitted shirts also wrinkle less, which will keep you looking smarter for longer.
Slim fitting dress shirts are a great choice. Make sure that the sleeves are the right length – they should finish at the base of your palm so that some of the cuff is visible underneath your suit jacket.
You can wear different colored shirts, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Any color other than white and black will make your sweat patches more visible. This is not a great look for professional or formal occasions, especially if the weather is warm.
White shirts go with any suit color, so make sure you have plenty of those. Black shirts look good underneath a gray suit, and light blue shirts look great with a navy suit.
The suit and shirt are not the only things you need to think about. You also need shoes, a belt, a tie and possibly a pocket square.
If you are wearing a black suit, you should wear black shoes and a black belt. Brown shoes and a brown belt will go with most other suit colors such as navy or gray. Always make sure that the belt and the shoes match.
Leather dress shoes with laces will look great for all occasions, so if you aren’t sure which shoes to get then look for a pair of those.
When it comes to a tie, this very much depends on personal taste. You can stick with plain ties, or go for something patterned and funky if you want to make a statement. Make sure that the colors of the tie look good with the suit and the shirt.
You can use the pocket square to match the tie or to contrast it. You could match the pocket square to the color of the shirt instead, or to the pattern of your socks. There are lots of ways to put your outfit together.
Don’t forget about cufflinks! If you are wearing a dress shirt then you will need a nice set of cufflinks. They will be visible even with your suit jacket on if you have your sleeve length right, so try to choose something neutral that works with the outfit.
A really nice watch can also complete the look and make it even more sophisticated.
What Are The Best Suit Brands For Men?
There are lots of great places to get a suit from, whether it is from a local tailor, an independent business, or a big brand. If you want to make sure that your suit is stylish and sophisticated then going to one of these stores is a must.
The Giorgio Armani brand has been around since 1975 and has become one of the most luxurious and influential brands in the world. Armani is synonymous with crisp, clean lines and quality fabrics.
If you want a suit that is going to make you feel amazing every time you wear it, you cannot go wrong with Armani.
Hugo Boss is a brand that is associated with masculinity and sophistication. They have classic, timeless suits which are perfect for the modern man, regardless of the occasion. Whether you want a comfortable suit to wear at work or a formal suit for events, they have got you covered.
Ralph Lauren has been established as a luxury brand since the 1960s. The combination of premium materials and excellent craftsmanship results in some of the finest suits in the world.
One of the great things about Ralph Lauren is that they are more accessible than some other brands as they offer suits off the rack, made to measure or entirely bespoke.
Tom Ford rose to fame as a creative director at Gucci and has made a name for himself as a fashion forward designer. Tom Ford suits are eye catching and ideal for people who want to express themselves and show off their individuality.
If you want to make a statement then you should look for a Tom Ford Suit.
The Gucci brand has a rich and interesting history. Their suits are known for having details that catch the eye and this is what makes their suits stand out.
If you see someone in a suit that draws attention, is almost over the top but lands just the right side of classy, then they are probably wearing Gucci. You can also get more traditional suits from Gucci if you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself.
When you think Calvin Klein you probably think urban, edgy, and sexy. Their modern and provocative designs will make you talk of the town wherever you go for all the right reasons.
This brand is recognised all over the world and they dress some of the biggest celebrities for events and advertising campaigns.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana was founded by two Italian designers in the 1980s who wanted to find a way to combine gaudy fabrics with sleek sophisticated silhouettes.
They succeeded, and they are now one of the most sought after fashion brands in the world. Their tailoring skills are second to none and you can find a range of suits to express your personality.
Givenchy is the height of French Fashion. The brand is based in Paris and offers a range of sleek and sophisticated suits in both classic and contemporary designs.
You can choose a style that will make you stand out or something understated, but either way you will feel fantastic in your Givenchy suit.
Prada is one of the most recognisable fashion brands and their name has long been associated with wealth and affluence. Their suits are subtle and elegant, drawing attention to the man rather than the outfit he is wearing.
These high quality suits will make you feel and look your best. Once you get a Prada suit you will wonder why you didn’t get one sooner.
Saint Laurant is a fashion brand founded by Yves Saint Laurent, and it is also referred to as YSL. Their suits are fitted, slimline, with thin lapels and crisp lines.
Whilst their suits are modern, they find ways to give subtle nods to the 60s when the brand was created. You can get a simple suit in a plain color, or go for something more daring with a bold pattern or an unusual fabric.
Ted Baker are well known for their use of color- bright and eye-catching without being offensive or too gaudy. Their designs are cheeky and daring whilst retaining classic elements to make them timeless and sophisticated.
A lot of celebrities have shown their love for this brand and their suits are second to none. Ted Baker is heavily associated with British fashion and was founded in the 1980s.
Tommy Hilfiger is the perfect brand if you are looking for classic American designs that promote individuality and inclusivity. The suits are youthful yet classic, and they will make you feel totally comfortable in your own skin.
Tommy Hilfiger is the type of brand that can cater for everyone whilst still making each client feel unique and special.
Versace is one of the long standing luxury brands alongside Gucci and Armani. They were founded at the end of the 70s and combine unbeatable Italian craftsmanship with high quality fabrics and innovative designs.
Versace knows how to keep up with the times whilst still retaining their signature stylistic traits. If you want to look and feel well dressed then a Versace suit is the right choice.
Paul Smith’s Motto is ‘classic with a twist’ and their designs have stuck to this idea whilst continuing to stay fresh and relevant. The styles are playful yet timeless, with a range of suits to suit all of your needs.
Fashionable, formal, and sophisticated – a Paul Smith suit will make you walk with confidence and feel fantastic.
Burberry is one of the longest running fashion brands in the world. It was founded back in 1856 to provide outdoor attire to the wealthy and affluent. Burberry is known for plaid patterns, high quality fabrics, and classic designs.
This British brand has branched out from outdoor clothing to cater for all sorts of clients and occasions. Their suits are classic yet modern, with sleek silhouettes and fantastic tailoring.
Zara is a Spanish fashion house and they are not as established as some of the longstanding brands. However, they are making a name for themselves in the fashion industry. If you want to be different and try something new then a Zara suit could be ideal.
If you are looking for expert tailoring, quality craftsmanship, and masculine designs then Dunhill is the perfect brand for you. This Britain based brand provides luxury formal wear that will make you look sharp and smart. Once you put on your made to measure Dunhill suit you will feel like a new man.
Here are some more recommended brands for men’s suits:
- Brioni – A brand associated with James Bond
- Brooks Brothers – Known for dressing 40 out of 45 American Presidents
- Ermenegildo Zegna – A longstanding brand founded in 1910
- Canali – A luxury Italian brand founded in the 1930s
- Kingsman – British tailoring at its finest
- Boglioli – Italian fashion using a range of textures and fabrics
- Suit Supply – A newer brand that offer luxury suits at affordable prices
- Stefano Ricci – An elegant brand based in the city of Florence
- Bonobos – The perfect blend of practical design and sophisticated appearance
- Haggar – An American brand founded in 1926 and based in Texas
- Reiss – Modern designs made with classic craftsmanship
- M.J Bale – A newer brand based in Australia with an impressive range of suits
Anyone can look good in a suit. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what size or shape you are, or how confident you are – the right suit will make you look and feel amazing.
First you need to choose the right brand. You might want timeless elegance, masculine sophisticated, modern and innovative design, eye-catching patterns, unique fabrics – whatever you are looking for, there will be a brand to suit your taste.
Think about which celebrities inspire you in terms of style, and find out which brands they wear.
Next, you need to get the fit of the suit just right. The shoulder width, the sleeve length, the tightness – it all needs to be perfect in order to give you the tailored, stylish look that you want.
You also need to choose the right color and style to suit your personality and the occasion that you are attending. You can personalize your outfit with your choice of tie, pocket square, socks, shoes and belt. You can coordinate or contrast, and build a look that expresses who you are.