If you’re one of those lucky people who get to wear a uniform to work every day, then it’s important to get it right. And by uniform, I mean suit. Suits are classic, smart, stylish, simple; get the suit right, and everything else will fall into place. Here are some tips on selecting and buying the perfect suit.
The jacket: a good jacket starts at the shoulders; it should fit your posture and flatter your frame. It should be neither too tight nor too loose, sitting smoothly across your back when buttoned; it should gently hug the body but not restrict you in any way. Whether you chose a single or double vent, it should not pull or gape. Jacket length is really important. For men, avoid jackets that end much further than just under the bum. Proportion with any dressing is important, so a jacket that is too long makes legs look shorter. Women can be a little more experimental with jacket length, depending on body shape. A pear shape should always wear a jacket that ends at the same length as above, or a little shorter. Women with slim hips and thighs can wear cropped jackets. For women it’s also important for a jacket to accentuate the waist; one or two buttons is most flattering and ideally the top button should be able to do up just under the bust.
Different body shapes suit different jacket styles. Sally discusses single and double breasted cuts along with advice about how to look contemporary and stylish.
The pants: the most important thing to remember with trousers is to get the length right; the one hem doesn’t work for every pair. The height of the heel on your shoes should determine the length of your trousers, so for women who wear different heel heights, ensure you take the appropriate shoes to the tailor when getting them hemmed. In general, trousers should fall to the bottom of the heel, regardless of heel height. The most current look for guys, and most flattering, is flat fronted trousers. In short, lose the front pleats; it’s an outdated look.
The cut of men’s suits remain fairly classic from season to season. The biggest change men have seen in recent years is cut. Men’s suits have gone from being square and boxy in style to tapered and fitted. This is great for guys who want to show off a trim physique but also works for most men. The great thing about a slim fitting suit is that it shows off a man’s natural physique- broad shoulders and slim hips. There is a fine line however between slim and skinny; a too tight jacket and restricting trousers is not flattering, or comfortable, on anyone.
The style of women’s suits can be dictated by what’s in fashion. One example is the ‘power shoulder’. Exaggerated, padded and angled shoulders are very fashionable on the runways and have made their way into the corporate wardrobe. But beware, this style will not only date quickly, it does not suit everyone. If you are broad shouldered, thick or short waisted or big busted, the power shoulder is not for you.
Some quick tips:
* Cuffs on trousers shorten the legs
* Choose single breasted jackets – double breasted suits are outdated
* Pinstripes create illusion of longer leg
* Navy and charcoal are good neutral colours, and are a little less formal than black
* Don’t be afraid to mix and match your checks and pinstripes (including ties)
* A good tailor can alter anything for the perfect fit- a suit is worth tailoring to your body shape
* Add some personality to your suit with colours and bold accessories, e.g. tie, necklace, cufflinks, shoes