Hello everyone, thank you for joining Suits Avenue and reading our blog! Today we are going to go over the complete guide to suits! We will have the answers to your suit questions! The table of contents is below, feel free to scroll around or just read the whole thing!!
Table of Content:
- The fit
- Pant bottoms
- Jacket Collar
- Button Rules
- Types of Suits
- Single breasted
- Double breasted
- Seeing the quality
- 100% wool
- The lining
- The stitching
- The pinch test
- Properly storing your suit
- Cleaning & maintaining your suits
- Folding your suits
- Making sure your suit matches
- 20 ways to tie a tie
When you try on a suit, try to stand in your “Natural stance” this would be how you stand the most often, just let your body stand natural, your muscle memory will help you with this.
You don’t want the suit to be too loose or too tight, pay extra attention to where your major joints are (Elbows, Shoulders, Hips, Knees, Etc.) If the clothes are too tight you won’t be able to use your full range of motion. If the clothes are too loose, they will be baggy and bunch up in those main key places. You also don’t want the sleeves to pass your wrist too far or the pants to be so long the fabric goes underneath your shoes.
A well-fitted shoulder lies flat. The seam on top of the shoulder should be the same length as the bone under it, and should meet the sleeve of the suit right where your arm meets your shoulder.
If the seam that connects the sleeve to the jacket is hiked up along your shoulder bone, or dangling down on your upper bicep, the jacket is never going to sit properly. In these instances, you’ll see “ripple effects” that create lumps or wrinkles on the sleeve and the top of the jacket. If you can’t move your arms well, or if you cannot pinch just the jacket, it is too small. If the shoulder seam of the jacket is below your shoulder, or the sleeves run farther than 1/2 an inch past your wrist than the jacket is too big.
The trouser break is the bottom of your pants, below the pants cuff. Pants have a couple signs of them being too big or too small. Sometimes the most obvious one is the trouser break, they should rest slightly on the top of your shoes. If it doesn’t go to the top of your shoes it is too small, and if it goes below the middle of your heel it is too big. You don’t want your pant bottoms to drag on the ground, you will step on them, they will rip and tear and it looks tacky. Looking Tacky isn’t ideal when wearing a suit!
The jacket collar should rest easily on the back on your neck and shoulders. If it hangs farther back, or is bunched up causing “ripples” behind your neck, the jacket is too big. If it is tight and has little scrunches the jacket is too small.
When your jacket is buttoned make sure it isn’t making an “x” as shown above. This means the jacket is too tight! It is pulling all the extra fabric it can find to make the button fit.
- The one-button single-breasted suit jacket: Generally used on a tuxedo. These jackets are suited to lean men and worn for black tie events. They are not versatile.
- The two-button single-breasted suit jacket: Is one of the most classic looks in men’s fashion. This style of suit looks good on all body types.
The cut of the suit makes just about every man’s frame look longer. Two-button suits are great for both social and business events.
- The three-button single-breasted suit jacket: Because of the arrangement of the buttons – three button suit jackets suit taller men.
A word on the rules of buttoning a single breasted jacket:
- One button: Always closed except when sitting.
- Two buttons: Use the top one and leave the second button undone.
- Three buttons: Button the center and top ones and leave the third button undone.
Never button the bottom button of a suit jacket.
Types of Suits:
A single–breasted shirt or jacket has a narrow overlap and only one column of buttons. Single-breasted suit jackets and blazers typically have two or three buttons (jackets with one or four buttons are less common), and a notch lapel.
A double–breasted garment is a coat, jacket, or vest with wide, overlapping front flaps which has on its front two symmetrical columns of buttons. Double-breasted suits have a more sophisticated look.
Seeing the quality in your suit:
The first sign to look for regardless of where you buy your suit from is the fabric quality. The only words you want to see are “100% Wool.” If you do not recognize the name of the fabric it is being made of or if it is a concoction of multiple different fabrics, RUN! If you buy something with multiple different fabrics together the chances are it is going to fall apart quickly and last you about 1 nice event… maybe 2.
Look at the lining- A fused lining that’s held together with glue is about as bad as going for a $99 polyester suit. The cheapest quality suits will have a fused lining. The highest quality suits will have a full canvas or at least a half canvas.
Check out the stitching- The ability for mass-manufacturers to replicate what used to be hallmarks of a custom suit has never been greater. With that said, you still want to examine the quality of the craftsmanship and look to see how the suit comes together.
You do not want a suit with jagged, loose, crooked stitching. If the stiching is messy and loose it was probably made quickly and it will not last very long. If you are in a tight spot and can’t afford a high quality suit, just make sure to be careful. Cheaper suits will not last going to the dry cleaners.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS:
From the way the pockets come together, to the drape, the buttonholes, and the boutonniere loop. Each of these small details often have the biggest impact when it comes to how you look. Machine-sewn pockets aren’t as sturdy and will wear quickly when utilized. Stiff lapels without a slight roll are a hallmark of a cheap suit. Plastic buttons can break, and even horn buttons that use plastic anchors can fall off in the middle of your board meeting.
PAY ATTENTION TO HOW IT WAS COLORED:
The last thing you want is to leave the store with a great navy suit and have it look four shades of blue by next summer. Look at the design. How is it dyed? Is it even and are the colors vivid? Will they fade? Is the pattern perfectly done across the suit, or are they misaligned where the fabric was cut?
Bottom line: look closely and pay attention.
HOW TO TELL A CANVASSED VS. FUSED JACKET – THE “PINCH TEST”
It’s easy to check whether the suit jacket you’re looking at is fused or canvassed. Simply pinch the chest fabric and lining between the fingers of each hand and pull them apart slightly. If it’s canvassed, you should be able to feel three distinct layers: the outside fabric, the canvas, and the lining. If it’s fused, you’ll only feel two layers. To distinguish between Full and Half Canvassing, perform the same pinch test down by the buttons.
How to Store your suits:
If you wear the same suit every day, all day long it will never give the fibers time to relax or air out. It will always stay loose and never have the great “first fit” like it did when you first bought it.
Round, wood hanger:
Using round, wood hangers will give the suit enough space for air to flow through and getting the smells of your every day out. It also helps keep the suit fitting nice and tight. The rounded edges mock the shoulder make so it won’t stretch the suit out, only create enough space for it to relax in the natural form.
Cover it up:
When you aren’t wearing the usit, it should be on the wood hanger as discussed earlier, as well as in an appropriate suit bag. This will keep any bugs or dust from getting into the bag or onto your suit. It also protects it from any unfortunate events that may happen, and makes it easier to travel with.
How to Clean/Maintaine your suits:
Brush your suit with a clothing brush:
This will extend the natural fibers in the suit, allowing it to last longer. It also helps keep the fibers up allowing it to breathe more and not hold in strong odors from the day.
Roll your suit:
Do this after brushing it. Rolling your suit will grab any loose fabric pieces or hair stuck on your suit. It is a little extra step that takes your look a long way!
Steam your suit regularly:
Steaming your suit opens up the fibers, removes stains and marks, as well as the smells from throughout the day. Dry ironing your suit will push the fibers down trapping all stains and stenches, so try to avoid ironing your suits!
Avoid the dry cleaners:
Dry cleaners shorten the lifespan of suits. They use strong chemicals to treat the suits so they are clean. It is only necessary to take your suit to the dry cleaners if you absolutely cannot get the stain or smell out of your suit by brushing it, airing it, or steaming it.
How to fold your suit:
Lay the suit face down on a flat surface with the front up.
Flip the jacket over and fold the left shoulder back. towards the right.
Turn the right shoulder inside out, then tuck left shoulder into the right.
Fold it in half lengthwise, then fold it horizontally.
Place the folded jacket in the center of the outstretched trousers.
Fold the trouser bottoms over the jacket and repeat with the top of the trousers.
- Don’t go crazy with color. If you haven’t experimented with color before then stick with less intense colors like your Blues, Blacks, and Greens before expanding into bolder, brighter colors.
- Understand color scheme. A simple way to keep track of color to pair lighter and darker versions of the same color. This is a monochromatic color scheme and its a simple way to add some flair to your look. Another color scheme involves pairing colors that fall next to each other on the color wheel, such as wearing a dark purple shirt with a blue tie. On the other end you could also pair colors that fall completely opposite each other on the color wheel, such as a blue shirt and a red tie, a classic look that provides great visual contrast.
- Be careful with patterns. You don’t need to be scared of patterns and now that you have a better understanding of color, adding a pattern to your wardrobe is the next logical step. There are many different options – shirt and tie with a pattern, solid tie and patterned shirt, etc. – but the one rule of thumb to have when using multiple patterns is to vary the proportions of each design.
If you decide you want patterns you need to keep these things in mind:
- Pattern- The pattern shouldn’t be too distracting. The pattern on your shirt should not be the same pattern on your tie.
- Size- The size of your patterns should not be the same. Go with a bigger pattern on your shirt and a smaller pattern on your tie, or vice-versa.
If you decide to go with patterns keep in mind they should ALWAYS vary in size and design.
Jacket & Bottoms:
First, we are going to start with the basics! Every suit needs a jacket and bottoms! Of course, you can always play it safe by having them be the same color, or you can venture out of your bubble! We will give some great examples and help give you confidence as you pick out your outfit for the day! You can have a dark version of a color jacket and a light version of the same color as your pants, or vice-versa! Dark neutrals (first picture) scream confidence. As long as you follow those few rules and don’t use extreme colors, you really can’t go wrong.
Once you have your pants and jacket, we can move onto your shirt!
A classic white shirt will never fail and it sits with all suit colors and tones. Lilac and purple are just two tones that work well with grey or navy suits, while soft greys and periwinkle are great choices with black or charcoal. You can always play it safe by keeping things neutral!
Now that you have a matching jacket, bottoms, and shirt…we move onto the tie!
Click here to learn how to see the quality in your suit before you buy it!
There are so many colors, fabrications, patterns and textures, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Once you’ve confirmed the general dress code of the event, identify the overall color: your tie should, ultimately, complement the dominate shade with an overall color or patter. Try matching a rich blue tie with a sky-blue shirt and dark navy suit for a tonal look, or a red tie for some color-pop and contrast. If you’re wearing grey, stick with muted tones such as brown or burgundy, or choose a black tie for a sharp salt-and-pepper effect.
Try to avoid any pairings that invoke thoughts of a specific holiday; while it is possible to pull off such combos, it’s a delicate balancing act that can come across as costumey as opposed to polished and sophisticated.
If your occasion is more than business casual, than you should also have a pocket square in your jacket pocket.
For most cases, your pocket square should match your tie. You don’t want to have too many colors and patterns going on or you will just look like a hot mess instead of hot. If you choose to venture out, it is important that the color should complement either the shirt or tie. The safest option is to pair a white shirt with a white pocket square. For a more advanced approach, look for a patterned pocket square where the secondary color matches the tie, or go tonal with a subtle change of shade between the shirt, tie and square.
Classic dressers should opt for black, burgundy, or dark grey socks. Of course, you can always play it safe and have your socks match your jacket and bottoms, shirt, or your tie and pocket square!
Always wear black shoes with a black suit and recycle them for deep navy business suits when you have a day in the boardroom. Chocolate brown shoes will work with your staple navy and grey tailoring. Our advice, keep it simple. Stick to the neutral colors, black, white, brown, and grey.
Click here to read about leather and leather shoes!
Once you’ve got the main show sorted, it’s onto the supportting acts. Some accessories, like cufflinks, can lift a look from standard to headliner – providing you pick the right ones. When wearing a white shirt, you can experiment with any color, pattern or shape cufflinks, unless you’re in a strict formal environment. Gold designs really stand out against a light blue or navy shirt, while black onyx is better suited to black tie
- Eldridge Knot
- Trinity Knot
- Van Wijk Knot
- Fishbone Knot
- Rose Knot
- Elli eKnot
- Tuelove Knot
- Boutonniere Knot
- Merovingian Knot
- Atlantic Knot
- Cape Knot
- Grantchester Knot
- Windsor Knot
- Half-Windsor Knot
- Nicky Knot
- Plattsburgh Knot
- Balthus Knot
- Onassis Knot
- Piatt Knot
- Four in Hand Knot
The Eldridge Knot:
There is no doubt that this knot is one of a kind. As opposed to the vast majority of tie knots, this one is produced by using the small end as the active end, creating a tapered fishtail braid-like effect. It’s a very fancy knot that will leave a great impression on your boss.
The trinity knot:
This beautiful knot has a three-way symmetry and resembles the Celtic Triquetra. The pattern converges at a center point, producing a very eye-catching effect. It might seem a bit intimidating at first glance, but the moves are actually fairly simple.
THE VAN WIJK KNOT
An augmentation of the Prince Albert, adding a third turning of the active end. When tied correctly, this long and slender knot creates a striking and unmistakable layered cylindrical effect. A very cool knot that works best with light colors. It’s best suited for narrow collared shirts and paired with a vest.
THE FISHBONE KNOT
This awesome work of tie artistry is shaped in the form of a fishbone, hence the name. It’s a remarkable formal knot that is increasingly gaining respect. While somewhat challenging to tie, it’s definitely worth the effort, because it never fails to make the ultimate impression.
THE ROSE KNOT
Looking to get in touch with your romantic side? Check out this amorous necktie knot crafted in the shape of a rose. It shares similarities with the Trinity Knot, but is tied with an extra loop. This knot is sure to be a hit on V-Day.
THE ELLIE KNOT
It’s a simplified variant of the Eldredge Knot, but easier to tie and consumes less fabric, leaving a tail that allows it to be tightened or loosened like a normal windsor. It works best with semi-wide collar openings.
THE TRUELOVE KNOT
A sophisticated complex knot that is divided into four quadrants. This is a very difficult knot to tie that will take considerable practice. Consider a striped tie for a pinwheel effect. This knot isn’t for little boys, it’s for lady killers.
THE BOUTONNIERE KNOT
This knot is characterized by its long loops, making it good for wide collar openings. The moves are very similar to that of the Fishbone Knot, but it has a somewhat cleaner finish when tucked under the collar. Use it semi-formally.
THE MEROVINGIAN KNOT
Originally known as the Ediety Knot, if you’re a big fan of The Matrix, you’ll recognize this knot sported by the merovingian. This knot is very special. It looks like your tie is actually wearing a little miniature tie.
THE ATLANTIC KNOT
This is quite an unusual knot. It’s a reversed version of the Pratt Knot, resulting in an inside-out knot that shows the intricate tie knot structure that’s usually hidden on the back. It’s recommended for festivities or informal social events.
THE CAPE KNOT
The Cape Knot is a fundamental improvement on the quick and easy Atlantic Knot, which has greatly improved its symmetry and aesthetic value. This loosened-up knot works best with mono-colored ties and never passes unnoticed.
THE GRANTCHESTER KNOT
The Grantchester Knot is a large, thick, slightly asymmetrical tie knot. It’s basically a larger version of the St. Andrew Knot, by an additional turning of the narrow end. The key to wearing this knot is to stick with silk or other lightweight materials, since wool or knits tend to look uncomfortably bulky.
THE WINDSOR KNOT
A fabulous necktie knot that is ideal for business scenarios. The Windsor Knot is a thick, wide and triangular tie knot that projects confidence. It is especially suited for the spread or cutaway collar.
THE HALF-WINDSOR KNOT
This is a modest version of the Full Windsor Knot. When tied correctly, it produces a neat symmetrical triangular knot that you can use with any dress shirt. It’s extremely versatile: appropriate for work or play.
THE NICKY KNOT
A great alternative to the Pratt Knot that requires fewer moves, producing a symmetrical knot that will fill the semi-spread collar, if tied properly. It looks great with wool ties, without causing too much bulk.
THE PLATTSBURGH KNOT
In contrast to the St. Andrew Knot, it produces a symmetric knot characterized by a broad cone with a narrow opening. A very sophisticated knot that’s perfect for business or work. For best results, we very much recommend wearing it with a knitted or woven ties.
THE BALTHUS KNOT
A terrific knot that should be worn at weddings or formal events. It works best with a paisley tie, a wide collar shirt, and a nice-looking vest. It’s also recommended that you use a long necktie, because this knot consumes a lot of fabric.
THE ONASSIS KNOT
The Onassis Knot is deceptively simple: at the end of a standard Windsor Knot, you simply loop the wide end of the tie behind and over the existing knot. Use with semi-wide or wide collar openings and long ties.
THE PRATT KNOT
The Pratt Knot is versatile, elegant, and of a medium size. It’s indeed well suited for any dress shirt and somewhat wider neckties made from light to medium fabrics. You can’t go wrong with this elegant knot for formal meetings, as it looks very neat.
THE FOUR-IN-HAND KNOT
This is an easy to tie, slender, tapered, asymmetrical, self-releasing knot. It’s best suited for the standard button-down dress shirt and works best with wide neckties made from heavy fabrics. Use for semi-formal events, when you want to be discreet.
Thank you for reading our whole blog! Today we wen’t over the in’s and out’s of owning a suit. We talked about the different types, how they should feel if they fit correctly and how to clean, store, and fold the suits! We also shared 20 different ways to tie a tie! If you have any other questions or have a request for what type of blog you;d like to read next, please leave us a message below and we will get it taken care of for you! 🙂 Hopefully, after reading this blog you feel more confident going out dressed up! Make sure to click the links within the blog! If you take good care of your suit, keeping it clean, you can add YEARS onto your suits life! Fill out the form below or come into the store if you have any questions!
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