The Gagliardi Guide to Suiting
A good suit lasts a lifetime.
Every man should own a great suit. Zero exceptions. Just listen to Jon Hamm, whose role in Mad Men pretty much single-handedly made suiting glamorous again. “You button up into one of those suits,” he said, “and it’s like, ‘Okay, there’s a certain way that I feel. I feel confident. I feel put together. I feel great-looking.” And while a great suit will make you feel (and look) sharp, world-wise, and sophisticated, a bad one will have the opposite effect, which is never desired. So it helps to know a thing or two about buying, wearing, and caring for the one you choose.
Read through our six key points to keep in mind when looking into investing in a new suit.
1. Ground zero
Let’s start with a basic scenario, you need a suit but don’t know which kind of suit is right for you and your lifestyle. Buying a new suit doesn’t start in the store; it starts in your head. Is the suit for work? Date night? A buddy’s wedding? All three? Is this your first and only suit or your thirteenth suit, intended for a special occasion? Know that and you can make the right choices, starting with color. Your best bet is to opt for one in a solid true navy blue or charcoal grey. Both colors—a.k.a. menswear designers’ go-to neutrals—work with every shirt-and-tie combo you can think of and a whole lot more (denim shirts, T-shirts, fine gauge knits). They’re the standard. Un-fuck-up-able, if you will.
If you want to go bolder than solid colors, your best option is going the plaid suit route. Wearing a plaid or check suit is going to get you noticed
and remembered—that’s the point. Make sure you stay out of overkill territory by keeping yours to one of the trusty menswear neutrals we just talked about (that would be grey, navy, and black). And for the purposes of getting the most style miles out of your next suit, go for one in a light-to-mid-weight wool. It’s the most common suit fabric. Good for work. Good for job interviews. Good for pretty much everything.
3. Back to Black
When picturing a black suit, you imagine The Strokes, but you might end up with security guard. If you decide to go for black, make everything as skinny as possible. You won’t look like a maitre d’ if the cut of the suit is aggressively cool.
4. Make the cut
Once you have a color or pattern in mind, the next step in your sartorial decision-making process is to decide on the cut of the suit. We’re talking silhouette and there are two ways to go:
Single-breasted jackets are 100% approved and always will be. Most of the suits in your arsenal should be single-breasted. But if you’re the kind of guy who wants to give 110%, step up to a double-breasted jacket. This style had moved on from ’80’s Wall Street chic to a more classic and wearable style.
image: Efe Efeturi (@stileeleganteman)
5. More details, more decisions
If you go the single-breasted suit route, your next course of action is to figure out the button stance that’s best for you. All or most of your suits should be two-button suits. This is the modern standard. One-button suits are good for formal, evening suits and for skinny rocker types who can wear anything (damn them). Unless you are an advanced suit-buyer, don’t go for a three-button suit unless the third button is hidden behind a “roll” of the lapel—an Italian move—so it actually looks like a two-button suit.
6. Peak, Shawl or Notch?
There are two types most common in everyday suits and they’re names are peak (because they jut up and out toward your shoulder, ending in a point) and notch (self explanatory). Going with a notch lapel is like ordering the roast chicken: it’s a total fail-safe. A peak lapel is flashier and more formal a brasher, Euro-bred power move compared to the standard
6. Fit and alterations
To conclude there are 6 key areas one must look at when analysing the fit of a suit: shoulders, chest, torso, arms, waist and the hem. You want military precision here, fellas.
We’ll go into more detail about all of these in another blog post! Our customer care team are happy to answer any questions you have about sizing and fit via our live chat, e-mail or via telephone.