Friday, July 11, 2008


Having previously discussed seasonal fabrics, this week I'd like to look at the importance of fabric in any men's suit no matter what the season. We all know that the cut of a bespoke suit makes the difference between standing out in the crowd and having a standardised version of the suit you'd like, but let's not forget how important the right kind of fabric is in the equation.

Your choice of fabric emphasises why getting a made to measure suit is a much better investment than an off the peg quick fix. Any tailor worth his salt will spend time choosing the right fabric for your suit with you so that the suit maintains its best look no matter when you wear it. As an integral element of suit buying, choosing the right fabric is dependent on two main factors:

Fabric Weight

Getting the right weight of fabric for your suit so that it hangs in a flattering manner is as important as getting your measurements right. After all, if your jacket buckles or the trousers wrinkle half way through the day, the impact you have at that all-important presentation may not be quite the one you intended when you left your home in the morning.

The weight of any suit fabric is determined by the mix it is comprised of, wools and flannels being the heaviest. Suit fabrics are measured in density of metres; and the heavier your fabric the more sturdy your suit will be, but in some cases the less breathable. You can of course get wool mixes, which are created for breathability and will still keep the shape of your suit. But bear in mind that generally the denser the fabric, the hotter you'll be.

Most men's suits are made of mid-weight material to allow ten month wear, meaning you can wear the suit on all but the hottest days of the year. Discuss with your tailor where and when you intend to wear your suit in order to get the right weight recommendation.

Thread Count

The quality of fabric you're buying is determined by the thread count. Simply put, the higher the count, the better quality you're getting. Often associated with linens, which is one of this season's most popular fabrics, the thread count should be applicable to every kind of cloth that you might buy a suit in and is usually referred to as the “Super number”. Depending on what you're wearing your suit for, a Super count thread which is in the 400+ range, indicates a fine cloth that will not endure constant wear. Unless you're committed to replacing your suit often, these kinds of cloths are best left to special occasions and not for office wear.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

7 tips to make sure your suit always looks its finest

1. The defining feature as to whether any men's suit looks its best is the fit. Bespoke suits are of course a perfect choice for the man who wants to look as stylish as possible with as little effort as possible.

One aspect of the fit, which defines the overall impression your suit will make, is the shape of the shoulders. Shoulder pads are used in most modern suits these days to accentuate the shoulder to look broad and straight. These pads should stand stiff with a sloping edge to give you a relaxed look and a frame to the suit. If the pads stand out too much, no matter whether you're compensating for shoulders that naturally slope or not, you look like a Star Trek character and that is never a good look!

The shoulder shape dictates how the suit sits on your frame. Most men do not have perfectly even shoulders, so make sure the buttons on your jacket are positioned to suit your unique shape.

2. The fit of the armholes is also very important for your overall impression. Any pinch age in the fit will irritate the armpit and cause perspiration, so try your jacket with a jumper underneath before committing to the size. High armholes give a suit a good drape. Make sure your men's suit has the right movement by making big gesticulations while having it fitted. A well fitted men’s suit jacket will not lift up while you are flapping about.

3. Choosing the right colour for your suit according to your hair and skin tone can also make or break a suit. Choose the wrong tone and you will be detracting from your face - a disaster in anyone's books.

4. How you care for your suit is crucial to how it looks and how long it will last. While bespoke suits are generally built to last and most suits do not wear frequent dry cleaning too well, have your suit steam cleaned to remove wrinkles (hanging it in the bathroom while you shower will have the same effect).

5. The length of a jacket is important, as it should always cover your behind. The suit should give an impression of height when it’s done right, and getting this wrong will create a stumpy and bizarre look!

6. Match your socks to the suit and not the shoes or belt. This attention to detail will mean that even when sitting, any glimpse of the sock will not detract from the suit’s look.

7. Slim down your wallet to avoid bulges in the lining. After all the care you have taken to get your suit looking great, don’t then go and add an enormous lump to its overall look. As well as looking awful, the constant wear on the fabric will spoil its integrity.