A First-Timer’s Guide to Buying a Suit: Buying your first suit can be a rite of passage into manhood and a key milestone in any man’s life – whether it’s for a first job interview or to attend a family event – you never forget your first suit so it’s important to get it right.
There are a number of features to think about, to make sure it’s the right suit for you and for the occasion – after all, you wouldn’t wear a dinner suit for a job interview or a pin stripe suit to your prom.
For this post we needed expert opinion and we asked our friends from Dobell, a great place to start when looking at dress shirts, suits and men’s formalwear. For them, the key features which you need to think about are the fit of the suit, the fabric it’s made from, and where you are going to wear it. Ideally you want your first suit to be versatile enough to be worn not just once.
The first thing to look at is what kind of suit you need – making sure it is appropriate for the event where you will be wearing it, but also that it will be one you can wear again and again and dress up or down.
You need to decide what your aim is with the suit – if you want it to help you look serious or sharp, or dateable etc.… that will help you to decide which kind of suit you require. Is it to make you look grown up or to make you look trustworthy? You need to know what you want the suit to achieve for you, before you start looking.
Then you can start going for the style – consider the colour and pattern which you need. For a first suit it’s generally best to go for a conservative or traditional suit, such as dark navy or dark grey, to avoid making any fashion faux pas.
It will also go with most shoes and shirt options, giving you that flexibility, and if you want to style it up with some individuality then you can choose a brightly coloured tie and pocket square to add some brightness.
Once you know the style and colour you are going to go for, the next feature is how the suit will fit you. It’s important with a suit, that it fits you properly as an ill-fitting suit can very quickly create a very negative impression. Too big and it looks like you borrowed one from your dad, too tight and it looks incredibly uncomfortable.
You need to make sure both the jacket and the trousers fit well and are comfortable both when walking and when sitting down as you don’t want to have any nasty ripping accidents when you sit in an interview chair for the first time.
As well as having a great fit, you want your first suit to shout quality and that’s where the fabric comes in. Nothing says poor quality like shiny cheap suit material so make sure to choose a suit that is well cut from a good cloth.
Some of the better fabrics to choose for suits include wool – this is what the majority of suits will be fashioned from. Cotton can work but it can also crease very easily leaving your suit looking messy and untidy – not a great impression for a job interview.
If you can afford one, by far the best way to ensure a great fit and good quality fabric is to use a tailor to hand craft your suit just for you. That way you can be confident it will fit your body perfectly and will be incredibly flattering.
Once you have found your ideal suit you need to think about what goes with it in terms of a shirt. For a first suit, particularly for a formal occasion, it’s best to stick with white or light blue as the traditional colours. You need to make sure the cuffs and collars fit you properly and feel comfortable.
Naturally, with a shirt, comes a tie which is where you have a lot more freedom to play with colour and patterns – but if you are going for a job interview it’s best to avoid anything too flamboyant. You want them to remember you, not the garish tie you had on.
You need to make your footwear match your suit – there is no point wearing a sharp tailored suit if you ruin it with white socks and trainers, so opt for simple dress shoes and dark coloured socks to be on the safe side.
Buying your first suit is an exciting time for any man, and by paying attention to the small details it is sure to be a pleasurable experience, with a sharp, fashionable and smart result which will go a long way to creating a first impression. A first suit needn’t cost a fortune, it just needs to fit well, and be appropriate for the function.