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Suit Shopping For Dummies

A guide to form fitted suits for the everyday man i.e. you

Part I: Intro to the Suit Shopping Experience

Gents, buying a suit isn’t as simple as going to the grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Even though these days you can spend a solid hour browsing through the 200000 varieties of milk… Fancy a bit of homogenized? How about 1%? Or, is lactose your kryptonite? There’s always soy, almond milk. I digress, this isn’t milk chatter weekly… Back to suits. You might think it’s not fair since I’m comparing apples to oranges. Fair enough, how about going to lulu to get some sweatpants and sweatshirts? You go in, find the right aisle, find the right colour/style, check the price; overpriced? Check… Then you do a quick try-on and check out. No muss, no fuss.

You’re thinking to yourself. Why can’t I do the same when it comes to suits? Why can’t I just go into a menswear store, find a suit that looks good, find my size, which I know is a medium like duh… Alright, let’s play it out. So, you’re going through the rack but can’t seem to find a medium… What’s up with this numbered sizing system, you think to yourself? 38, 40, 42…. Surely, it’s not based on your age. Or is it similar to dress sizes? Arbitrary numbers assigned to different sizes? Doesn’t sound rational enough. Perhaps it’s based on the number of crunches you can do? Sounds like a harsh sizing system since you can only do 20, whereas the smallest size starts at 34… You start feeling hopeless and frustrated. Then, this sharply dressed man with a smile straight from the smile factory comes over; asks you to lift your hands up. You’re a bit taken aback by that… order? Am I under arrest detective Holmes? You oblige since he seems authoritative. He then wraps a measuring tape around your chest and tells you that you’re a 40. Then you have this moment of epiphany; imagine Jim Carrey in the movie “the number 23”. “All the numbers make sense now!” Jacket sizes are based off your chest measurement. Now if you’re thinking to yourself, I know my chest measurement, so I just need to find my corresponding jacket size on the rack and I’m golden… Wrong. I’m afraid you’re still not getting it my friend. Even though your chest measurement might be a 40 but it’s not universal one size fits all measurement. Different brands have different cuts; different styles have different cuts. In other words, different cuts will fit you differently. With some cuts you’d go with a 40, with others you might go into 38 and others a 42 even. The reason? Lots. Shoulders, shoulder padding, arms, arm hole depth, sleeve circumference, jacket full girth… (grow up boys) just to name some of the factors that will determine your suit jacket size.

Sounds a bit too complicated? I’m afraid suit shopping is a process. If you want the right fit, then you’ll have to enlist the help of a suit guru. Suit shopping is an experience unlike any other when it comes to clothes shopping. That’s where that dude with the measuring tape all so eager to help will come into play; he’ll make that process as seamless (pun intended) as possible. Just ask him, “show me what’s good my good man.” Anoint him your suit guy and he will serve you well. Give him the pertinent parameters. Colour preference, are you in the market for a blue suit? How about a nice sharkskin grey suit? Unsure about which colour to go with? Then why not ask your suit guy what would be a good addition to your wardrobe? Then, there are financial constraints; if you’re working with a shoestring budget then tell him to not bother showing you the Rolls Royce of suits. You don’t want your suit purchase to burn holes in your pocket. Even though a suit purchase should be viewed as an investment. A good quality wool suit will stay in your closet in pristine condition for years to come. There’s nothing like a bang for your buck quality purchase. Next, will be fit preference, do you want it to fit like a glove. Accentuate those curves and give the ladies something to gaze at… eh gents?

When you wear a form fitted suit, boys will want to be a real man like you and women will want to be with a real man like you…

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