How to look good in a suit

From tailoring tweaks to accessorising accordingly, let us show you how close you are to suiting perfection

A suit is the one piece of clothing guaranteed to elevate you from man to gentleman. The issue, however, is that not all suits are created equal. And whilst it is actually very simple to look good in a suit, many men just need to slightly tweak their current get-ups to achieve the perfect look. So sit back gentlemen, read this guide, and discover the simple ways you can turn formalwear into your new strong suit.

Sort out your buttons

This is a sartorial misstep many men make over and over again. Whilst a matter of personal preference to some extent, you should never use all of the buttons on your suit jacket. We’d highly recommend buttoning the top button on a two-button jacket, and either the middle or top two on a three-button jacket. This will ensure you cut a sleek, chic figure, but without looking – literally – too buttoned up. But remember, as soon as you sit down, unbutton your jacket.

Get it fitted

An ill-fitting suit has no place in your wardrobe. But, even though a suit doesn’t have to be bespoke to look great on you, these are a few things to look out for when buying off the peg. If the shoulders of the jacket do not sit comfortably on your actual shoulders, then the jacket will either stretch or bag across the back. If your jacket does not button comfortably at the front without stretching then the jacket is, once again, the wrong size. If your trousers are either too roomy in the leg, drop over your shoes, or bunch up when you fasten your belt – you’ve picked out the wrong size. So do your checks and, if you need to take your suit to a tailor, waste no time in doing so.

Wear a waistcoat

The days may soon begin to shorten, and the weather cool, but don’t immediately reach for your overcoat. Instead, build out your suit from the inside, and adopt the three-piece suit. A waistcoat is a brilliant addition to your suit, but it is imperative that you ensure it is in keeping with the rest of your outfit. Many believe that the waistcoat must completely match the suit, but this is not necessarily true – just make sure it matches, or even complements your suit, and keep the bottom button unfastened.

Accessorise accordingly

Although your suit is undoubtedly the star of the sartorial show, what you wear with it can make or break the outfit as a whole. Your shirt should be either classic white, or a muted tone, and your tie should be a block colour – different to that of the suit, but a complementary colour. A simple pair of smart brogues add texture without noise. Remember, a suit is all about looking refined – so don’t try to jazz things up too much.

Don't spend for the sake of it

A common misconception about suits is that they must be expensive to look good. However, there are plenty of affordable suits out there. Just look for a tailored or slim fit if you have a slight figure, and choose material wisely.

The much discussed S-numbers have also become a popular way to weigh up a suit. Referring to the fineness of the yarn used in the wool fabric, your suit will be softer and have a nicer drape the higher the numbers go. But, whilst we’d advise against anything below 100, anything above 150 may be a little too expensive for everyday suiting. Stick to the 100-150 sweet spot and this’ll ensure that you can definitely do Savile Row style on a shoestring.

Further Reading