Men’s Formal Suits: Choosing the Perfect One for You
Many men believe that formal suits are an investment. To be honest, they are not wrong! For centuries, men’s formal suits have been the picture of sophistication, status, and impeccable style. The symmetry of formal suits in solid colours appeals to the aesthetics of every man, even the ones who do not wear suits often. Men’s formal suits are meant to last long and that is why investing in the right one becomes all the more crucial.
When selecting formal suits for men, discard the idea that one style fits all. Although business suits might look the same from a distance, subtle differences exist. No doubt, personal styles, and preferences vary from man to man but what is also important to remember is that different formal occasions call for different formal suits. The number of buttons and vents, the type of fit, the colours - every little detail matters when it comes to choosing the perfect men’s formal suit.
First, let us get familiar with three distinct styles of men’s formal suits:
1. The two-piece suit: One of the most common styles in formal suits is the two-piece suit. Comprising a suit jacket and matching trousers, the two-piece suit is ideal for business settings, work-related events, or a job interview.
2. The three-piece suit: It is surprising how adding just one more element changes the entire appearance of a suit. Three-piece formal suits consist of a suit jacket, matching trousers, and a vest. It is ideal for special events like weddings or annual boardroom meetings.
3. The tuxedo: Is there anything more formal than a tuxedo? The tuxedo is designed for uber special occasions like black-tie events and is usually black or dark-toned. What sets the tuxedo jacket apart is the single button on it. It is commonly paired with a bow-tie, white tuxedo shirt, and matching black/dark-hued trousers.
Now, what kind of lapels should you choose?
If you are familiar with the world of formal suits for men, you already know how lapels are one of the most distinctive features of the suit jacket. There are 3 types of lapels you can choose from:
• Notch lapels: One of the most common types of lapels among business/formal suits. They feature a triangular notch in between the jacket collar and the lapel and are a popular choice for formal events.
• Peak lapels: Characterized by an upward-pointing ‘peak’ that meets the jacket collar, peak lapels are versatile and effortlessly lend themselves to special occasions like weddings, business dinners, etc.
• Shawl lapels: Shawl lapels, though rarely found in everyday suits, are often seen on extremely formal suits like tuxedos. As the name indicates, shawl lapels have no notch or peak, instead, it features a continuous curve that tapers only around button closure.
Let’s talk buttons!
Buttons are another element to consider when buying formal suits for men. As mentioned before, tuxedos are simple in this regard: they only come with a single button closure, almost always in the same tone as the suit. However, single buttons are not restricted to tuxedos alone. Single-breasted men’s formal suits are the easiest to wear and manage. As a rule, the jacket should always be buttoned when standing and unfastened only when sitting down.In the recent years, the double breasted suit jacket has also re-emerged from the 1920s to be one of the most preferred contemporary styles in formal suits for men. In this style of men’s formal suits, you will typically find anywhere between two to six buttons.
The two types of vents popular in formal suits for men
Like every design detail in men’s formal suits, vents have a utilitarian purpose. Vents allow for movement, and can also contour your body type in a flattering manner.
- Side or double vents: As the name suggests, side vents have slits on both sides of the jacket. This keeps the jacket from parting when you put your hands in your pockets or take a seat. The wide middle flap in double-vented jackets prevents creasing and gives a slimmer appearance.
- Ventless Jacket: A style widely popular in Italy, the ventless jacket looks elegant and ultra-suave. However, without any vents, the suit jacket is more prone to wrinkles. This style of a suit jacket is best suited to tuxedoes.
While all of the above elements need to be given equal importance, the one aspect that needs all your attention is the fit. Formal suits that do not fit right not only fail to create an impression, they are also going to be immensely uncomfortable. How your formal suits are tailored can be key to your entire appearance! A few things to keep in mind:
Make sure that your jacket’s shoulders fit snuggly above your own. There should be extra fabric or creasing, the shoulders should appear clean.
The buttons on your jacket should never be loose but must always be easy to fasten. Placing a hand between yourself and the jacket can help you get an idea of how roomy or close-fitting your jacket is.
Another important part of the fit is the cuff. Keep in mind, the cuff of your suit’s jacket should fall right at your wrist. 1-2cms of your shirt’s cuff must be visible from under the jacket.
When it comes to the fit of your formal suits, there are two kinds that stand out - slim fit and tailored fit. As one can guess, men’s formal suits in a slim fit creates a learner, narrower silhouette with a trimmed waistline. Formal suits in the tailored fit are a tad roomier than the slim fit. It still gives you a slimmer look but is also more generous when it comes to movement.
Despite what one may believe, formal suits are not reserved for a select few. When worn with confidence, we believe that men’s formal suits can be everyone’s cup of tea!