Let’s face it — suits don’t mean what they used to. Men used to wear suits to communicate their power, style, and class.
Now, they’re something men wear begrudgingly. They look out of place on most men, because most men don’t dress nearly that nice in their casual lives. Men wear suits because they need to, and so they look uncomfortable in them.
However, men aren’t doomed to live in this style-free world forever. If a man avoids the most common suit buying mistakes, they’re far more likely to turn a suit into a symbol for power.
Keep on reading to learn more about rocking suits.
1. Lack of Purpose
The biggest mistake most men when buying suits is not considering the effect the suit is supposed to have. You have to think about the event you’re using the suit for, how your hair, face, shirts, shoes, and accessories will look with it, and which body types work for different suit styles.
What works for you? You might not have quite the look to pull off an old-school southern-gentleman Seersucker suit, but you might have what it takes to rock a slick, black, secret-agent suit.
Everyone needs to wear their suits based on their own strengths.
We highly recommend you find some fashion icons you can style yourself after who have similar body types and hairstyles as you. These don’t need to be the most trendy contemporary actors and musicians (in fact, it might be best to stay away from them). Look back on suits that old-school actors like Lee Marvin wore in their movies, the Italian threads that Miles Davis rocked in the ’50s, and so on.
2. Too Many Accessories
If you’re walking into a truly great menswear store, it’s easy to get excited. Men have fewer options than women when it comes to accessories — especially when it comes to formal events. Whereas women can make use of statement necklaces, bags, scarves, earrings, makeup, etc, men are limited to more modest accessories.
However, it’s still possible to overdo it.
You have to wear a belt, shoes, socks, and tie. However, only one of these should call particular attention to itself.
If you have a vintage pair of suede dress shoes, you should go with a neutral belt, black socks, and a tie that doesn’t distract anyone. This will help the shoes shine.
If you happen to have a cowboy belt that works perfectly with your suit, that can work if it’s your personal style. However, go easy on the watches and pocket squares. The last thing you want to do is to look clownish by putting too many things on.
It’s always better to wear too few accessories than too many. Someone with a normal-looking belt, shoes, socks and tie, no pocket square, no tie clip, and no watch, is better than someone with… well.. all of those things maximizing attention. It will pull people’s eyes in too many directions.
3. Forgetting About Alterations
Forgetting about alterations can affect how stylish a man ends up in several ways.
First of all, it can mean a man wears a suit that doesn’t fit him exactly right. Here’s a bit of brutal truth — suits are ruthless. Unless they fit you exactly right and match your personal style, you can wind up looking like a dork.
Everyone’s body is different. No standard size is going to be able to perfect the proportions of your body. Make sure you take alterations into account when you buy your suit.
Forgetting about alterations can also limit your suit options. Say there’s a suit you really like that doesn’t quite fit you. If you’re not taking alterations into account, you could easily write this suit off simply because it doesn’t fit you exactly.
When you make use of alterations, you can shop for suits that don’t quite fit you right because you know you can change them.
4. Not Considering All Styles
When you get right down to it, most men wear the same boring sports coat or blazer-based suits. While they’re extremely in right now, they get old quickly.
It’s perfectly fine if you wear these suit styles because they happen to look good on you. However, if you’re defaulting to them simply because society tells you that you should, you’re missing out on some serious style opportunities.
Double breasted suits should be on any man’s style radar. They’re a little more old-school, a little more flashy, and altogether a fantastic look.
A double-breasted suit is a wonderful option for anyone who wants to impress without ostentation. Rather than investing in some flashy pair of pants, a uniquely patterned shirt, or novelty shoes, instead, go with a unique double-breasted suit.
Don’t let the popular trendy fashions of the day sway how you dress. Go with something that’s benefited people for a number of years.
5. Not Considering the Tailor
At the end of the day, not all places that you buy your suits from are made equal.
It’s not the best idea to get yourself hung up on one particular style of suit, one particular fabric, one particular pattern, and the name of one particular designer. It’s also poor form to get hung up on one tailor.
Make sure you explore several places to buy from when you go to buy your suit. You want to make sure you give yourself the biggest number of options possible. You always want as much support as you can get.
Don’t Make These Suit Buying Mistakes
Unfortunately, suits aren’t the powerful, stylish symbols that they used to be. Instead, they’re what men awkwardly fit themselves into when they have to go to a wedding or have to appear at court.
Take the power of suits back by putting purpose into your suit, staying away from too many accessories, remembering alterations, thinking about all styles, and caring about your tailor.
Stay away from the most egregious suit buying mistakes, and your look is far more likely to shine.
For more articles like this, check out our “style” section.