Suiting Yourself 101: Getting It Right From the Very First Time

A wedding. A job interview. A presentation. A funeral. You would be attending at least one, if not all these events at some point in life. And when the time comes calling, you need to be well equipped (Read: Suits, Suits, Suits!). 

Over the years, I’ve seen men enter designer outlets and tailor boutiques - some reluctantly, some enthusiastically, most confusedly - to buy their first suit. Buying your first suit can be a daunting task and rightfully so. Suits do not shy of variety when it comes to colours, patterns, fabric, details, - you get the point. Since you are going to be wearing your first suit to most formal occasions, you need it to be just right, just nice, one size fits all kind of suit. It is also important that you look sharp in your formal attire. This article will come in handy when you decide on investing in a suit. Believe me, that day is not far away. 

Be Interested!

The first step in the guide to picking the right suit is to be interested. In 2018, men still seem averse to ‘shopping for clothes for themselves’. Buying a suit is not the same as spending a day shopping. It is more of an investment, in yourself. The rule of thumb is, take notice of your attire and the world will take notice of you. Studies have shown that men who dress sharp perform well at work. A well dressed man also leaves a lasting impression, so you want to look your best for that job interview.


Fit, Fabric, Fine Tune!

You want to look -  have i mentioned before? - sharp in your suit. An ill fitting suit is worse than no suit. You don't want to look as if you’ve covered yourself in a blanket go the fabric, nor do you want to be bursting out of the seams. The key areas to check are the shoulders (hey should not look bulky), the torso (should taper and not slack), and the length of the jacket (should cover three quarters of your rear end). The sleeves of the jacket should end about a half an inch before the sleeves of the dress shirt, giving a nice definition to the attire. For the pants, the break should be at the shoe line or slightly lower, and the entire fit should be enough for the muscles to breathe. For anything tighter, you may want to head to Under Armour.

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Once you’ve decided on buying a suit, you want to be sure you’re going in for something classy. The material is one of the most important factor that distinguishes the classes from the masses. Off hand, you can always be certain of opting for wool. It makes up most of the suits and can be woven into heather or lighter materials. A more pocket friendly alternative is cotton, which is also a great option for your first, value for money suit. For your first suit, opt for a woollen or cotton blend. This does not come with a mobile phone number-like price tag, nor does it make you look like a cheapskate. 

Now that you’ve got the fit and the fabric in the bag, fine tuning will complete the trinity. You would never realise the number of colours that exist in the colour spectrum until you visit a tailor's boutique. There are more shades of black than the sequels to the Fast and Furious movies. As such, deciding the right colour is one of the most challenging tasks and at the same time probably the easiest. For your first suit, I would recommend a navy blue. Black is reserved mostly for funerals, and while other colours are in fashion as well, a solid 2 piece navy blue suit does fit in to the one size fits all category the best. Other popular choices are charcoal grey as well as light grey, either in solids or in window pane checks. Regardless, you may want to go in for a solid for your first suit. 

Moving towards more complex customisations, you need to know about the lapels, the vents and the buttons. Most customisations are said to have a function. the lapels add subtle tones of character. The notch lapel is a fool proof safe bet. The peak lapels are suited for super formal, high tire corporate style, Tony Stark-like power asserting moments. 

The back of your suit is as important as the front. You may chose from double vents (common for tailored wear) or the classy single vents. Both are fine and equally opted for. As for buttons, this is a no brainer. Two is the modern standard. You may choose to opt for one if it is an evening jacket, or three if you're a veteran suit buyer (you don't need to be reading this). 


Almost There

If you get the fabric, the fit and the fine tuning of the suit right, the battle is half won. Now you only need to get your shirt, shoes, tie and accessories right. But don’t worry. That’s a matter for another day. For now, you're equipped well enough to walk into your tailor’s boutique knowing what you need and walk out a superstar.

If you're new to buying custom clothing, know that you’re not alone! We know that taking your measurements and choosing customization options may seem daunting to a first-timer but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you each and every step of the way. Book your appointment at and our outfitters will be ready to assist you throughout the tailoring journey!

Matthew Lim