The Complete Guide to Men’s Suits: 10 Rules of Style

Picking out the perfect suit is like picking a girlfriend: you want something that lasts a lifetime, you want to be able to see the depth of your investment, you want to be comfortable, but still look your best. The good news is that, while girlfriends have variables that you can’t control, there is a way to control your look. These simple tips and tricks show you just how to find the proper suit: men's suits

 When you’re wearing the right suit, it doesn’t matter what you look like (image: Daft Punk at the VMA, via Getty)

1. The color: Depending on where you want to wear the suit, there are a few color options. For work, make it dark, i.e. black. For special occasions like weddings, go for either black or navy. When it comes to buying your first suit, you want it to be versatile but a bit casual, in a color such as navy, charcoal or black. There is also the option for summer suits, which come in lighter fabrics (e.g. linen) and colors (beige, camel, even white). If you’re a fashionable guy who likes to stand out, you can also go for bolder colors like pastels or even warm colors.

2. The fabric: The most versatile fabric for suits is wool, because it can be born all year round. On the other hand, cotton suits are only good for spring, summer and fall. We also mentioned linen before, which is reserved for summer suits, when you want your skin to breathe.

3. The buttons. For the modern man, a two button blazer is usually recommended. It’s hip, but it’s also flattering and classic, as it makes the wearer appear taller. Three button suits are the cup of tea of taller men, since the jackets flatter their bodies. The usual choice is single breasted, as double breasted is reserved for tall and slim guys, at special events.

4. The lapels. Slim and medium lapels are trendiest these days, so avoid wide styles which look out of date.

5. The vent. The most convenient vents are double, making it easier for the wearer to put his hands in his pockets. While this type of jacket is more expensive, the single, center vent works too.

6. The sleeves. The sleeves of the jacket should regularly hit at the joint wrist, but make them even a bit shorter than that, to show off your shirt cuffs and cufflinks.

7. The pants. The trendiest pants today are slim, with a flat front, finishing just at the top of the shoe. Pleats remain the choice of heavier men, since they make the pants more comfortable. Pleated pants also require cuffs, which tend to make the wearer appear shorter.

8. The shirt. Although not officially part of the suit, you can’t wear one without a shirt. Pick one that’s slim and fitted, and dare to wear colors. While your suit is probably neutral, you can flatter your skin tone and make your eyes pop with the right color shirt.

9. The accessories. A suit is not an outfit until it has the proper accessories. Buy a few skinny ties that you can wear alternatively, a good quality watch and a pair of classic sunglasses. Don’t diminish the importance of shoes, which can make or break a look.

10. The tailor. Most men aren’t able to find the perfect suit in stores. Buy the one that’s closest to ideal and have it fitted by a tailor. Alternatively, have them make one for you, from scratch, which gives you complete control over the design, and a specialist opinion along the way.

Want to read more about suits? Let’s check the Forbes’s guide for perfect suit