Sure, it’s true we all have that idealized version of ourselves - stepping out of the house in our new suit like we jumped right out of this month’s GQ photo spread...
Not everyone has that, “I woke up like this” moment - or knows exactly how to dress for their body type. Here are some tips to keep you on your A game when searching for the suit that makes you feel like a rock star!
As if we didn’t hear it enough growing up - everyone is special in their own way - and it’s TRUE! The difference is in the details when it comes to picking the right suit. The key is accenting your most attractive features and keeping yourself proportioned. That being said, your new favorite F words are as follows:
• FRAME •
We’re all built a little differently. Once you identify what type of frame you have, it trims down your suit options - which isn’t such a bad thing! You can better identify what colors, patterns and textures work best for your build.
• FIT •
The right fit makes all the difference. Once you get a suit that fits you to the T, you will feel much more confident. The right fit will help you draw attention to the points on your body that make you look longer and leaner.
• FLARE •
This is where we pull it all together. Many men don’t realize how important accessorizing is to suiting (and it goes far beyond your 7 fold tie). Adding just the right amount of flare in the right places can balance your suit - giving you that well-proportioned modern look - garnering the best first impression.
But how do you find the suit that suits you... here's some helpful tips that will point you in the right direction.
• SHORT BUILD •
Some may refer to the lack of height as a stifler of style, but don't let that stop you from looking awesome!
- For your FRAME, you should stick to a 1-button suit. The 2-button is a good alternative, but a 1-button suit offers you a deeper V to elongate your neck and chest - stretching you out. Lower button = longer lines.
- PEAK THAT LAPEL! Whether you do 1 button or 2, when balancing your frame, a narrow peaked lapel is the perfect option for you.
- Show off that cuff! A short sleeved jacket is just what you need to lengthen your arms.
- Very little break on the pant leg will give you some visual height.
- Vertical prints (i.e. pin stripes) can also make you look longer.
- For your FIT, keep it slim. You don't want to look like you're drowning in your suit.
- A shorter jacket is the way to go. The jacket should cover your bum, but also be short enough to comfortably cup your hands in your pant pockets.
- For the FLARE, ditch the belt. instead try a pair of suspenders! Where a belt is a horizontal line that will draw attention to your shorter physique, suspenders are vertical lines that'll give you a taller stature.
- Slim ties are a contemporary way to look less heavy around the neck.
- Add a pocket square to draw attention to the chest.
- A slim, pointed toe shoe will give you a longer leg.
• BIG MAN •
If you can't seem to get rid of that beer belly and still want to look like a stud, we have some tips just for you!
- For your FRAME, stick to a 2 to 3-button suit. A 1-button will gape, accentuating your mid section; where a 2-button takes attention away from the stomach and makes you look better proportioned. For a more conservative look, go for a 3-button.
- Standard notch, peaked and wider lapels work best for balancing your torso.
- Go Light! Bring attention to the chest with lighter colors near the face.
- Darker suits help to slim a wider frame.
- For your FIT, keep it classy. A classic fit will keep you looking fresh and not frumpy. Don't go oversized!
- Stay simple with solids. Prints (especially linear repeats like plaids and checks) will make you look robust.
- Tuck it in! Keep your shirt tucked and your jacket buttoned to refrain from the unkempt look.
- For your FLARE, the pocket square is your new best friend to add a point of interest to the chest.
- Above or Below the Waist? Scrap the belt and the worry with a pair of suspenders.
- Heavier shoe to balance your weight.
• ATHLETE •
There's nothing to hide with your type of build, but let's pack those guns away the proper way.
- For your FRAME, your chest and shoulders are already big assets. No need to overstate that fact. If you like peaked lapels, keep it slim or go with a standard notch. A wide lapel will broaden your shoulders adding girth.
- A mid-length, 2-button jacket will fit your torso best. A double breasted jacket is a great alternative! Steer clear of 3-button suits - they tend to have a tighter fitting chest.
- Keep your collar on the larger side to balance the girth of your neck.
- For your FIT, keep it slim. Your suit will most likely have to be narrowed at your waist to fit your triangular shape. This will give your suit a sleeker definition.
- Narrow sleeves and tapered trousers! Make sure your arms and legs look lean and long with a slim - tapered to the hem - cut.
- For your FLARE, skip the pocket square. You don't want to have the rooster effect (all eyes on your chest).
- A standard or wide tie works nicely to balance your large upper body. Steer clear of thin ties.
- A belt can keep you proportioned; adding a nice point of interest to your waist.
- Stick to a heavier looking round toe shoe to add that finishing touch.
• BIG AND TALL •
There's no denying the amount of field play you'll have with the proper suit. We got you covered from tie to toe.
- For your FRAME, your lapels should be cut on the higher side. Wider lapels will balance your torso and length.
- 2-button suits are your best bet, but you have quite a bit of room to play with.
- Experiment with 3 piece and double breasted suits for a more classic look. 3-button suits will shorten your neckline to look more formal and balance your proportions.
- Stay light in suit color to widen your frame. Monochromatic (suit and shirt) ensembles also broaden the shoulders.
- For your FIT, keep yourself looking trimmed. The modern or slim cuts are great for your build.
- To cuff or not to cuff? When it comes to your trousers, cuffs actually add some weight to the hem of your pant - visually shortening your leg. Make sure to give yourself enough break to expose some shoe and reduce the puddling effect. You don't want your pants too long.
- As for your sleeves, minimize the shirt cuff exposure to about 1/2 inch. If your jacket looks too short in the sleeve, it will make your suit look inbalanced.
- For your FLARE, the wider the tie, the better. A narrow tie will make you look even longer.
- Add points of interest with a pocket square, belt and shoe combo to stylize your look and break up the suit.
- A rounded toe shoe is a great way to pull it all together!
• TIPS FOR THE ROAD •
Here are a few general tips to remember:
• Keep your internal button buttoned for a better hanging suit
• Always button your center or top button, never the bottom
• Jackets should always be short enough for you to comfortably put your hands in your pockets
• Flat front pants are key to keeping it sleek
• A good suit should hug your shoulder, slim your torso, make you stand upright and feel like a million bucks!
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