Now that each brand in the men’s apparel business comes out with its own version of the suit, the field of men’s formal and office attire has expanded dramatically. But you don’t need to buy every suit that the stores label as ‘classic’ or ‘essential.’ Heck, you don’t need that many suits at all; three should be enough to get you through most days and events.
The Black Suit
Once thought to be limited for just funeral homes and undertakers, the modern black suit is now a staple for virtually any situation. Whether it’s an office interview or a dinner out, your black suit is the single ready-to-go, hassle-free option.
The trick to keeping your black suit from looking like funeral home fare is to get it in the proper (even close-fitting) size. That means no protruding shoulder pads, a waist that slightly hugs your own and a hem that doesn’t go too far below your crotch.
Another strategy you could employ is to inject some color or pattern into your outfit. A patterned or light colored shirt, for example, is a much more vibrant option than a plain white one. Stripes or geometric patterns, on the other hand, give a much needed update to ho-hum old solid black ties. You may also want to watch out for different textures of black items, an emerging trend for this year.
The Navy Suit
Every fashionable guy knows how to pull off a suit in casual situations. Those post-work cocktails and early evening jaunts to the mall are child’s play if you have a navy suit to throw on. The color that’s just a wee bit lighter than black helps keep the suit itself from looking too sombre and businesslike.
Navy suits are very similar to denim jeans in that the darker its color, the more formal it is. If you want a truly versatile navy suit that you can wear anywhere, look for the darkest shade of navy that the store or the tailor has available. Ask the salesman directly instead of looking for the suits yourself, as they often appear as black from a distance.
When buying a navy suit, you can afford to be a little more relaxed with the fit than you are with black suits. Remember, they’re supposed to be a little more casual. A bit of space in the torso and a little room at the hip should be helpful if you like your clothes in the relaxed fit.
The Khaki Suit
Morning and lunchtime affairs will be too warm and casual for both your navy and black suits, at which point you should be able to bring out a khaki suit. Khaki suits aren’t really much more casual than black or navy; it’s just that they’re a more practical. appropriate choice when you’re heading out and the sun is still high in the sky.
Keep in mind that there’s a very wide spectrum of what can be called ‘khaki’ out there. It usually ranges from a light beige hue to a darker brown shade. Darker colors are typically harder to pull off with a shirt and a tie, so a lighter khaki suit will be a more flexible bet.
Looser fits and cuts are permissible with khaki suits because they’re seen as more casual. You may, however, want to look for a close-fitting cut nonetheless. Slimmer khaki suits can still look as sharp as their darker counterparts, making them a good option even for afternoon and evening events. Of course, it’ll make for better pictures at that morning wedding too.
Because suits are such expensive items, you’ll have to do a bit of smart buying when it comes to them. Know which ones you absolutely have to possess in your closet, and then pour more money into getting each one of a higher and more durable quality.