The right choices will elevate your lifestyle and define your image.

By Bruce Liles, Liles Clothing Studio

In menswear, the suit represents a man’s own unique armor, the uniform of business and the mark of sophistication. As such, it should be approached with care and admiration. If you do not have a personal tailor, a clothing professional who can guide you to the correct fit, style, and fabrication is essential.

Start with some savvy spending rules: Designer names are of no help, as they are often of inferior quality and inflated pricing. Reputable manufacturers with a history of heritage and quality are a must.

Extremes in fit should be avoided, as either too tight or too loose is unflattering and uncomfortable. An ill-fitting suit, no matter how expensive, will look cheap, and a properly tailored one will put you at the top of the pack.

Fabrics should be chosen based on many factors. Higher “super” numbers will usually feel great, but can be delicate for everyday wear. Certain fabrics are known for luster, while others are known for resilience. Much like suit makers, fabric suppliers must be chosen with a careful eye.

Stylistic details may be chosen based on personal preference as well as professional appearance, and the choice of pleats, cuffs, button stance, lapel width, and other touches should be based—not on fashion—but on proportion to one’s build.

Color and pattern options may extend from bold to subdued, but the charcoal or navy suit should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe and the basis for flexible attire.

Summarize your needs for what the suit means to you. Is it for business or social occasions? A special event or weekly wear? Do you prefer off-the-rack or made-to-measure? The custom design is a popular choice, as it allows the greatest freedom and the most choices.

Questions on fit, fabric, quality, value, and style should be asked—and only when those are properly answered by your clothing professional will you truly be informed and prepared to make the proper choice for your next suit.


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