There is a real art to selecting the perfect suit for the right occasion whether it be a classic suit for work or a suit for that special occasion. For all you gentleman out there who don’t know the difference between a single and double-breasted suit, let alone colour to choose, you are in the right place.
Here at Love Your Tailor we have over 25 years’ experience in suit alterations and help men every day, achieve a perfectly fitting suit. We believe that by choosing the best possible style of suit that is not only a great fit for its intended occasion but also, one that complements your figure and personality, makes for a timeless addition to your wardrobe that you will want to keep for years to come.
To help you with your suit selection process, we have put together our ultimate guide to suit styles that will transform you into a suit connoisseur in no time.
Let’s get started with a glossary of key suit features:
Silhouette – The three standard suit silhouette styles include a sack, structured and fitted. Current fashions favour the fitted look, offering a slim & sleek style, whereas structured suits tend to be more suited to formal occasions, whilst the sack silhouette is one of the oldest styles, creating a classic/minimalist look.
Lapels – In case you are not sure, suit lapels are the folded fabric found around the neck and chest. The main styles you can choose from include notched, a simple style that is normally seen on more casual suits, the peak for a more formal look and a popular style for tuxedos, and shawl lapels, most commonly seen on lounge suits.
Shoulders – With many different styles of suit shoulders, the most important thing to remember is that they fit you correctly. Ill-fitting shoulders on suits can risk ruining your entire look, no matter how great your suit is! Some of the most popular shoulder styles include structured, perfect for men with narrow shoulders looking to create the appearance of a broader look, and rope, a traditional European style that is commonly seen on more formal and custom-made suits.
Breasts – To go with a single or double-breasted suit, that is the question: Typically, single-breasted suits are the most popular style, with one line of buttons, whereas double-breasted suits are slightly more complex in their design with up to eight buttons and are favorable on a bolder style of suit.
Buttons – Without the buttons, you wouldn’t have much of a suit. For buttons on the breast of your suit, a single line of two – four are most popular on classic casual or smart casual suits, whereas you will most likely only find one button on formal tuxedos and six-eight buttons on double-breasted suits.
When it comes to sleeve buttons, it’s all in the detail. Spaced buttons are considered the least formal style in comparison to the more formal kissing style sleeve buttons.
Pockets – With all the different styles of suit pockets to choose from, we could write an entire guide on these handy suit features alone. The most popular styles include casual patch pockets, flap pockets normally seen on work suits, pockets at an angle, popular on blazers, the less common ticket style pockets (does what it says on the tin), that are perfect for keeping tickets safe! And, jetted pockets, usually reserved for formal suits and tuxedos. This style of pocket will not feature a flap and are designed to go unnoticed on your suit.
Vents – Three styles for three different occasions. The most popular style is the single vent, seen on casual suits. Double vents are perfect for allowing extra movement and for a smart look, making them perfect for more work suits, whereas ventless suits are normally only seen on formal wear.
Once you have an understanding of these features, you can move on to selecting the right fabric and colour for your suit.
Fabric choices come in a range of options and you will want to make the right decision depending on the season and style of your suit.
Cotton – One of the most popular fabrics when it comes to suits, cotton is breathable and perfect for providing flexibility.
Polyester – Although more cost-effective, polyester is not breathable and creases easily.
Wool – Another popular suit fabric choice, wool is breathable but with its thicker weave, is more suited to winter suits.
Linen – A lightweight suit material, popular with summer suits.
Silk/Velvet/Cashmere – All luxury fabric options, these are most commonly seen on formal wear suits.
Now, you could technically choose a suit in any colour you wish. However, it is important to take into consideration if the colour of your suit complements complexion and is appropriate for the occasion where you intend to wear your suit.
The standard suit colours and ones you will find in more suit shops and tailors are black, grey and navy. Black is normally considered the most formal colour (hence ‘black tie’), whereas grey is a perfect choice for smart casual or work looks. The current and most popular suit colour is, however, navy. In a range of blue/navy shades, we are seeing more men choose this colour for both casual and more formal looks.
Other less common suit colours include tan/beige, often seen in linen suits for a light, summer look and standout white suits, occasionally selected for formal wear and tuxedos.
Armed with this valuable information you are now set to choose the ultimate suit to perfectly complement your figure, style and look great no matter what the occasion.
With all suits, it is likely you will require some alterations to ensure a great fit and our team of experienced tailors at Love Your Tailor are here to offer advice and make sure you look fabulous in your new suit.
Tony Kantzavelos is the owner of LoveYourTailor. Specializing in clothing alterations and tailoring since 1986. He loves customizing his relatives’ clothes and enjoys sharing his knowledge with anyone interested.
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