Unlike buying a pair of jeans, what to look for when buying a new suit isn’t exactly crystal clear. And between job hunting, working out, and everything else that makes up today’s ultra-busy lifestyles, there just isn’t enough time to keep up with what’s hip in modern men’s fashion. But like the preferred fit for today’s suit, we’ll keep this primer lean and efficient so you can find the perfect suit for your body type and your tastes.
From industry to style, America has always been at the forefront of pioneering change. The long sleeved-suit of Europe didn’t make the cut in the early 20th century, as the “Ivy League Suit” of America hit the scene with its slightly shorter jacket sleeves and flat-front pants.
Traditionally, American Suits were designed to accommodate the large frames of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, which is why American suits were cut like swimwear compared to how we wear suits today. Still, American suits are incredibly versatile, great for all body types.
If you want to look taller, go with a three button jacket- the extra button will bring the jacket a bit closer to the body, giving your torso more of a V-shaped appearance.
British Traditional Suit
It’s the perfect design for guys of average stature, but still offers enough contours to provide that skinny, refined appearance. The British Suit is all about tweaking vintage style, which is why the pants are typically pleated. Towards the shoulders, the jacket is somewhat closer and more narrow than an American suit, which is why British is not the way to go if you have exceptionally wide shoulders. But if you have an average build and are looking for something that’s a bit more sophisticated, the British Suit is right up your alley.
The double-breasted suit is as timeless as it is swanky, and comes in 4 buttons and 6 buttons. To stay consistent with the athletic fit that’s so popular these days, go with 6 buttons if you choose double-breasted. The extra set of buttons near the lapels adds a little muscle, making the 6-button double-breasted suit a great option for tall and skinny frames. But be sure to keep the top two rows buttoned for that coveted V-shape.
Fit is absolutely crucial to the suit, and even the slightest flaw in the fit can make a dynamite suit look like a dud. The good news is that most tailors are down with today’s lean fit, but keep these guidelines in mind when the tailor asks for your preferences:
Jacket length. With your arms at your sides, the jacket should end just below the palm
Slim sleeves. Unless you want to look like a little kid playing around in his old man’s coat, make sure the sleeves are slightly firm around the upper arms.
Sleeve length. Jacket sleeves should leave about one-half of an inch of the shirt sleeve visible. Besides, showing off your masculine hands and wrists is a good thing.
Shoulders. The jacket should fit square on the shoulders, not rounded.
Pants. The rule of thumb for pant length is one break near the ankle – no more, no less. Pants should be high on the waist, slightly firm in the seat, but not tight.
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Remember, finding the right suit takes time and patience, so be sure not to rush it. Remember,
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