For a long time, the suit is not the daily dress of the majority of men. Most of us swapped it for jeans or chinos, paired with a shirt or sweatshirt. However, having a suit in your dressing room is always useful because it is the only outfit suitable in certain situations (marriage, job interview in certain structures, funeral).
But a costume represents a certain cost, and the choice of the model that will accompany us must be considered. For that, we help you find the right compromise! This must then be adapted to various situations and remain timeless (this is generally a suit that will be taken out for several years). This article will focus on the style of the costume to choose, the color, the fabric, and the budget.
The costume style will be the first question to ask because not all costumes send the same message and are not worn in the same contexts. We will focus here on the register (crossover, two-piece, or three-piece) and the cut of the suit to talk about style.
1. The Cutting
The cut is the most crucial element because it is the thing that will determine our look. First, the costume should be chosen in our size. At that moment, you say to yourself, “great; you don’t have better like Lapalissade?” And you are right to some extent. However, choosing the right costume size is not so simple as it seems. There are many who suffocate in their full (or wear a jacket three times too big), especially as there are many points to study (length of sleeves, jacket, and hem, falling off the shoulders, the position of buttons, etc.).
We will not come back here in detail on all these points here, but they are mentioned in our article. How to choose the size of your costume? It will be important to keep in mind that a bad suit cut will be seen, especially in the back. Any outfit bought ready-to-wear will have to be the subject of some alterations (in particular at the level of the hem and sleeves, or to adjust the jacket very slightly) to fit perfectly.
As this is the first costume, we will generally suggest stopping at simple choices, which can both be adapted to a multitude of occasions and durable over time. Thus, it is preferable to opt for the precaution regarding the cut: neither too fitted nor too ample. Depending on the fashions, one may be tempted to get a suit that is particularly close to the body or with a very straight cut. A costume that stands up to fashions is a costume that lasts!
2. 2 Pieces, 3 Pieces, or Cross?
The double-breasted suit is a real style statement, and many sartorial art enthusiasts find an extra soul in it. On the other hand, this is not the one we would recommend here since it is not the most versatile (it is not necessarily suitable for a job interview). For the rest, it is possible to choose a two or three-piece suit. If the three-piece isn’t suitable for all occasions, just remove the gilet, and it transforms into a two-piece. The smart people we are will advise you to choose a costume for which each piece can exist independently. We can then wear the pants with a simple sweater and sneakers for the most daring.
Besides, it will be possible to play on the shape of the pockets (ticket pocket, slanted pockets), the shape of the cuffs (straight or acute), or the number of slots to provide diversity. If it is better to choose a simple costume, nothing prevents to reveal a little of your personality through these few small details. Regarding setbacks, the advice will be the same as for the cut: we will proscribe anorexic setbacks very fashionable a few years ag., But we will also be careful not to choose too generous lapels, which may appear in one of our next costumes.
1. Blue and Grey Suit: The Safe Bet
For the color, the two generally recommended colors are blue and gray. These are indeed the most versatile colours and can be adapted to a maximum of occasions. Timeless, they represent guaranteed flawlessness. We prefer rather dark shades for the blue suit ( navy blue or midnight blue ) or for the gray ( medium gray or anthracite gray ). Lighter colors will be welcome later for those who want more casual or summery costumes.
2. Beige and Brown Suit: A Daring to Master
We do not recommend primarily beige or brown colors for a first costume. They are less versatile than blue or gray and will not necessarily be suitable for all contexts. The fact remains that these colors have many advantages and are a more interesting option than it seems. Originally, the different pieces that compose them generally work well independently in a more relaxed look. Beige pants or a jacket, for example, can be good pieces in an everyday wardrobe. The main thing is to know how you will use your costume! On the other hand, the green suit will not be recommended since it is somewhat divisive for a first costume.
3. Black Suit: The Wrong Idea
Some people may tend to regard the black suit as a basic of the male locker room. Indeed, the idea that black is an elegant, neutral, and easy to combine color is quite common but not entirely accurate. In reality, the black suit is only suitable on very rare occasions, such as gala evenings (for which we prefer the tuxedo). So, unless you are nominated for the Oscars, the black suit should be avoided if you do not want to fall into the “vigil” or “secret agent” effect.
4. What About the Patterns?
The plain suits are those which will remain the soberest. However, it is normal to want a little touch of originality for your first suit. If we will try to avoid too conspicuous patterns, nothing prevents opting for a “semi-plain.” It is a discreet pattern that appears to form a solid fabric when viewed from a distance. We recommend the check patterns (in particular the Prince of Wales) or a houndstooth. The trick will be to select a canvas whose various colors of the pattern are quite similar (different shades of the same color, for example). Herringbone is also a great option. Discreet, they will bring a touch of originality and elegance to the costume. Finally, fine stripes can give a nice effect. We may recommend them more for a second or third costume.
It goes without saying that the fabric of the costume will be one of the elements that will have a significant influence on its rendering. Thus, we will take care to select it carefully. Here again, the watchword will be versatility, which is not necessarily easy! Here we help you find the most suitable fabric for a first costume.
1. Winter Costumes
The most common material used to make costumes is wool. This natural material is an excellent thermal regulator and can be worked in many ways, resulting in fabrics with a varied appearance. For winter fabrics, it is obviously wool that will be preferred. The wool flannel, the fluffy touch, is a good option for a stylish and warm suit. More rustic, tweed (whose wool is framed and not combed like flannel) has also gained some followers in recent years. However, the latter material remains stylistically quite marked because it is rough. And it is probably not the best choice for a first costume.
2. Summer Costumes
For a summer suit, wool is not necessarily to be avoided. This being thermo-regulating, it can also help to keep the freshness. However, it is essential to choose airy wool. In this sense, fresco is probably the best option, as it has excellent breathability, which makes it the preferred material for summer suits. Besides, it has a beautiful textured appearance.
Anyway, it will be important to choose fine wool with a lightweight (otherwise, there is a risk of suffocation). Another possibility can be linen, sometimes associated with a little cotton. For summer, this is a very comfortable material to wear. On the other hand, it should be noted that the linen suits immediately have a very relaxed connotation and will hardly be worn on formal occasions. We will not mention here the more luxurious materials (cashmere, silk), which quickly increase prices, and which we will not recommend for a first suit.
3. For a First Costume, Choose the Right Compromise
Therefore, the essential here will be to find the right in-between, a costume that can be worn during most of the year. Wool remains the most attractive option, as it forms beautiful, durable fabrics. It is, therefore, the fineness of the pile and the weight that will interest us. For the fineness of the coat, the appellations super 100’s, super 120’s (130’s, 140’s, etc.) will be a good benchmark. Super 100’s is a thick fabric, while a 140’s is a thin fabric. Usually, it’s the super 120’s, which is considered the best compromise.
For its part, the weight is not very indicated in ready-to-wear but nevertheless represents a useful tool. It corresponds to the weight of the fabric for a given surface (approximately 1.5m²). In general, the heavier a fabric, the thicker and denser it is, and the warmer it is. For a mid-season fabric (the most common on the shelves), it takes between 250 and 350 grams. Below 250 grams, it is rather summer wools, and above 350/400 grams winter wools.
How to Find Your First Costume?
1. What Budget?
Many people may be reluctant to buy their first costume because of the high price tag. It is also quite logical not to invest astronomical sums in a costume that you will not have to wear very regularly. We must then ask ourselves the question of the quality of the costume we want. If it is only intended for purely conventional events (for funerals or job interviews), and you are not inhabited by a passion for clothing, then we would recommend limiting yourself to a budget of £ 200. On the other hand, if the goal is to look good, be well dressed for an event that matters to us (the wedding of a loved one, for example). Then the ideal would be to reach a sum of around £ 400, which allows obtaining a suit with a real allure, which will last relatively long.
2. Where to Find it?
In Physical Stores: Physical stores are not always the place where you can find the best value for money. Indeed, our streets are unfortunately populated by fast-fashion brands or signs whose communication cost is high (which irreparably drives up prices). It is, however, possible to find some good deals. In addition, it is the best option to be sure to find a suit in its size and thus to be sure of its purchase. Among the physical stores, we can recommend Massimo Dutti, Burton of London, IZAC, COS, Balibaris, which all offer models in 100% wool. Do not hesitate to watch out for the sales period, when these big brands can offer rather tempting discounts!
Online Brands: For some time now, we have been used to highlighting brands that provide direct-to-consumer service, and the elimination of intermediaries allows a selection of quality products at attractive prices. The brands are generally only present online or have few stores. They are a good option when you have a limited budget. We recommend Suitsupply (which is often considered the best option for a quality costume at an attractive price), Asphalt, Anthony Boy, or October here.
Second-Hand: The second-hand can also represent a very interesting alternative, but it is necessary to be very careful. Indeed, we must ensure that the suit is in good condition and ask for precise measurements to ensure that the costume is in our size. On the other hand, we can also suggest that those who have a taste to compose a mismatched suit by purchasing pants and jackets separately. It will then be necessary to select colours that are really different but which work well together (medium gray pants and a navy blue jacket, for example). If the second hand can put off some, it represents an opportunity to find unique sartorial pieces at discounted prices. We suggest Vinted, Etsy, Le Bon Coin, or Savvy Row.
I hope you understood the important things to remember while selecting your first suit. Because the style, colour, fabric, and budget are always crucial in your fashion. So choose the costume that perfectly matches you.
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Have a nice shopping!