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The plain suit is the mainstay of any formal wardrobe. It’s versatile. Can be dressed up or down and adapted to any occasion. It’s timeless. And if you choose well, it should look effortless. So, what’s the secret for finding the right plan suit for you?
More than any other consideration, the fit of your suit is what will make or break it. The jacket shoulders should follow the natural line of your body without riding up high or overhanging. When buttoned up, the chest of the jacket should be able to comfortably accommodate your hand but not your fist.
Jacket length is often down to personal preference these days, but the general rule is that the hem should just cover the pocket of your trousers and your sleeves should just reach to where your hand meets your wrist.
Trouser length varies according to personal taste and occasion. Crops are fine if styled well, but probably aren’t a great choice for formal occasions. Then, aim for the hem to brush the top of your shoe.
For most formal occasions, more traditional colourways – navy, black, brown, beige – are the preference. A suit like the Ellroy skinny fit in navy or beige will answer for literally any event: work, dinner date, wedding, interview, court appearance. It’s sleek and professional with an edge that denotes an awareness of style.
If you’re seeking a suit for the most formal of occasions, black is always going to be your go-to. A skinny fit tux like the Hunter takes an absolute classic and gives it a contemporary twist with a narrow waist, sateen detailing, peak lapel and single button fastening.
Of course, plain doesn’t need to preclude brighter colours. A suit like the Viggo Gothenburg in burgundy or blue can deliver formality and character in one. With slim fit and exceptional cut, these suits carry the gravitas of traditional couture. But the colour adds both personality and style. The darker shades are a great way to liven up a winter wardrobe, while softer shades work well for summer. The only thing to remember when wearing a coloured suit is to keep your shirt and accessories muted.
In warmer weather, suits like the Runner skinny fit in stone come into their own. It’s a look that maintains formality when paired with a crisp white shirt, but made from 100% linen can help you to keep your cool. The Shades skinny fit in light blue offers the same versatility. Worn sockless with loafers, at the end of the day you can take off your tie and you’re ready to go out-out, right rom the office.
The plain suit is an absolute essential for any man’s wardrobe. If chosen well it doesn’t just make you look good, but feel good. As Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” And that’s what you get when you wear a really good suit.
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