I figured while the wife was away lounging it up on a cozy business trip I’d step into her world and turn lemonade and lipgloss into scotch and cologne.
How do you like your suits? Modern, vintage, three button, single breast, silk, cotton, wool, slim fitted, loose, patterned. Pretty much anything nowadays can be worn and can be worn with style, you just have to know your fit, your audience and most important; yourself.
A lot of guys I know still rock the 90s power suit when it’s anything but in 2012. The definition of a 90s power suit would be a black suit, white shirt, triangle collar and solid tie. Now there is nothing wrong with that suit, but in today’s suit fashion, you have to have a little more substance.
Men’s fashion does exist when it comes to suits. Men’s fashion compared to women’s fashion is a lot like how men go about their lives compared to women to be honest. Suit trends move much slower and methodical compared to women’s overall fashion trends. That’s the great thing about going to buy a suit, odds are it will still be in style for the next two years while a woman can go buy anything and it’s pretty much is out of style by the time she wants to wear it a second time.
There are two things you should always look for when looking for a nice suit: Is it classic and is it masculine. Masculine doesn’t mean it has to be made of wood and smell like Michael Jordan sweat, it simply means it must represent the masculine features well (shoulders, chest, waist line). If you find those two things you will find a suit that can call your closet home for a long, long time.
I try and tell my dad that slim fitted suits are what are in right now. That still means even if you wear a 38 you can still have a slim waist and slimmer pant line. He somehow still thinks what Bill Clinton wore in 1994 is what is still in, but that’s okay though, I’m slowly getting him into patterns which I’ll talk about later. Slim suits are what I like to call a slick suit. That’s a shorter all around jacket (length and sleeves), no pleats (that’s a rule for every pant you ever want to wear in life) and a slight crease break at the shoe line with the trousers (no cuff). Now if you want to really pull off some high fashion, it’s the fitted double breasted jacket. I’m not a fan of the smooth lapel on the double breasted jacket, however I’m only seeing the single peak around the stores to be honest. For some reason smooth lapel reminds me of prom and prom is about a rented tux you never wear again. Double breasted jackets are back and they’re back with style. Think Jay Gatsby; think Classic.
Now onto the three piece suits. If you think about it, you’ve probably already noticed a lot of guys wearing three piece suits. Hell you might even still own one if you were born before 1980. Three piece suits are back simply because guys have brought back the vest for the everyday outfit so it doesn’t seem as “out there” as it would have a few years ago. Look for the future three piece collections to be a normal matching two piece suit with brighter solids and different textiles for the vest option.
Let’s talk fabric. Wool suits. Wool suits. Wool suits. That should be it in my opinion. Cotton suits are more informal, linen suits are for out of work authors in the keys and velvet suits are for Tom Brady. Again, wool = classic and always in style.
How many buttons? It all depends on your height. Right now the modern look is 99% two button as two button slims the weight, adds a little height and of course is classic. One button will make a guy like me who is almost 6’3” look about 6’0”. The three button is around more and more like it was back in the 90s. Three button trends now are being sewn on the jackets at an angle resembling a \ line. The middle button is always the preference for this jacket when buttoning up the three piece.
Now to the color wheel. I get a lot of flak sometimes because of the patterns and colors I mix when it comes to my suit combinations. I like the traditional colors because they are always in style (think fall colors for that color wheel; navy, maroon, dark green, brown). However everything nowadays seems to be in play when you’re talking color and if you take a step back it all seems to work as long as you don’t go overboard. Plaid, check, gingham, seersucker, solids, pinstripe, wide stripe are all out and about and should be worn just as much as solids. Mix and match or stay traditional as we all know classic will always work.
Throw in some pocket squares that add variety and can play off the shirt or the socks. Throw in a tie bar, or keep it classic, you can’t go wrong in 2012 and from the looks of it, men’s suit fashion will continue to evolve with more exposure around the world in the years to come. When looking at mixing patterns, remember how you get dressed is how the boldness scale goes. Shirt shouldn’t be bolder than the tie and the tie shouldn’t be bolder than the jacket. That way you can reduce layers and still have all the patterns in order.
If there is a final piece of advice, please spend the extra money up front and get your suits tailored. There is nothing worse than seeing a suit that on a guy that resembles the final scene in the movie Big.