questionsany advice on buying a suit?


When I prepared for retirement from the Air Force I got some good guidance. Charcoal gray and dark blue for starters.

Black is supposed to be more formal/funeral.


I prefer chain mail and lobstered gauntlets. And can't go wrong with pinstripes.

In all seriousness, I agree with @mtm2. The dark grey worked best for me: it was light enough to hide hairs, but dark enough that random particles picked up were hidden.


Dark blue or charcoal grey. Black is too somber and severe. Blue and grey give you lots of options for shirts and ties. When Spouse and I married I was absolutely stunned at how wonderful a well-tailored suit can make a usually-casual-wear man look. A good sales associate, one who knows the business, can help you with the details so you find a cut and style that flatters you, and a good alterations department can make off-the-rack look almost as good as hand-tailored. Best of all, they can make the shopping expedition an interesting adventure and learning experience rather than an odious and annoying chore.


charcoal is appropriate for any occasion. i have several of them, but only one each in other colors.

black is only good for formal and funerals, and a charcoal number will suffice for either as well.

stick to solid for your first suit (no pinstripes), keep it to single-breasted with 2 buttons rather than 3, and only buy wool. don't skimp on quality; you'll regret it later (i have several cheap suits that haven't seen the light of day in years). don't buy an off-the-shelf option from a department store, rather purchase something in a size you've been fitted for and (most importantly) have it tailored. people who know suits know a cheap or poorly fitted suit when they see it, so if you'll be using this in a professional setting you want it to be right. also remember the tag says dry clean only for a reason...never throw it in the W&D.

i buy a lot of suits from (amazon plug), but they don't come up too often. expect to pay $600+ for something worthwhile.

go italian.


for emphasis: tailor, tailor, tailor. if the pant legs of your new suit aren't 1-3 inches past the end of your toes when you try it on, you're doing it wrong.

oh, and brown is OK but (like olive) you need to have the right complexion and shirt color to own the look. go with charcoal first, venture off into lighter grays, navy blues, and pinstripes, then get into browns and olives. just my opinion.

yo i'm a suit junkie.


ok, I did a double take with this question...

At first glance I saw, "Any advice on being a slut"...

Anyways, My advice (on the suits of course).. is to go to Mens warehouse and try some stuff on. They will help you pick out the best suit, and give you valuable information..

Then you can say no thanks and go to JCPenneys with your newfound knowledge and buy a similar suit for less


In general, the rule is: "the darker the suit, the higher the authority." So charcoal trumps grey and navy trumps khaki. Suits are, essentially, costumes -- so it's important to have them match your role. Various body-types should refrain from various suit styles -- for instance, people who are heavy should avoid a two-vent coat like the dickens, as the way it breaks when they move will make them look essentially deformed; they should also use extreme caution with no-vent coats, as the slightest bit of mistailoring (as in, "it fit perfectly five pounds ago") will be wildly exaggerated.

Before you're fitted with a suit, get at least one long-sleeved dress shirt that really fits you so that you can see the suit in its proper light. And, BTW, most people in the US wear their collars too tight.

Finally, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious, life-threatening and quality-of-life-threatening problem strongly correlated with neck size -- if you snore and are > size 16, get checked!


I don't know where this stuff about black suits only being for funerals comes from. Black is black. It goes with everything.

I had to buy 2 suits for a new job last year. Went with black and navy. Both are dark and look good with all types of shirts/ties. The key is versatility and nothing is more versatile than black.

As everyone else said, make sure it's tailored. Don't forget to budget for 2-3 shirts and 2-3 ties right away.

I will add a little commentary on style: Decide if you like the look and fit of pleats and cuffs. Flat-front, no cuffs is how most people wear suits right now. Pleats give you a slight bit of extra room so it's a little bit more comfortable when sitting and taking long strides. Pleats or cuffs are more of a personal choice, though. A suit that looks good is a suit that looks good.

I also suggest buying a garment steamer. I personally hate using irons and steamers make it absurdly easy to get wrinkles out of suits.

Good luck.


Everyone likes pinstripe, which is why my first two suits were a charcoal and a black pinstripe. My advice though: pinstripes work best for loners. If you are going to be suiting up with a group, such as for work, you should get black without pinstripes. I've worked in groups before where I had to make the choice to try to match charcoal to their black suits, or wear pinstripes when nobody else is. I wish I had a straight black suit, but I'm not about to go buy a third.


Also, color coordination is an obvious must, but a suit's/shirt's texture is an often overlooked detail that makes a pretty big difference in the end.

Make sure to look at each suit at a distance--not everyone you are trying to impress is going to see you up close.


If you have some cash to spend, go to a suit shop and get a nice dark navy suit tailored just for you. It will be dark enough that it almost looks black but won't make you look pale if you are already pale. Get a white oxford and a light blue oxford dress shirt. One bright goldish tie and a red one and you will be good to go.


+1 on going to Men's Wearhouse.

Make sure your suit's jacket fits your shoulders well. That's one area a tailor can't fix. Are you dating, married to, or otherwise know a lot of teachers. Might want to pick up a lighter (both in color and in fabric breathability) summer suit.


@devexityspace: Have you got any advice on being a slut?

But seriously thanks for all the advice everyone. There are a couple of Men's Warehouses around here I'll go check them out and go from there.


I agree white everyone who recommended Charcoal Gray. It's pretty all purpose and looks great at a happy function but also is appropriate at a solemn occasion.

My new discovery is the Banana Republic Outlet if you have one near you. They sell very nice "tailored" suits but the kicker is they frequently have 50% off sales by category (i.e. Menwwear, ladieswear, etc) or everything in the store. I recently bought a very stylish suit for about $150.

Putting on a nice suit can really change your whole way of thinking. heeheehee

I hope you find something really great.


As someone who wore suits 5 days a week for over 20 years, I can say the number one thing about a suit is the fabric. 100% worsted wool is best for a first suit. A wool and poly blend if you need to save money, but it doesn't breathe as well. Tropical weight wool if, like me, you live in a hot climate, but it wrinkles a lot. Poly or microfiber only if you have to travel a lot. (less wrinkles, doesn't breathe) And most important, get it fitted right. It may be the most valuable $20-50 you spend on a suit. Good fit is more important than color.


Jos. A. Bank. Buy one, get ten free.


The most recent suit I bought was from Goodwill. It is a dark grey wool 2-piece with a Nordstrom label. It looks pretty much brand new and fits like it was tailored for me. $20. Just sayin' -- if you have the time and inclination to look, you might find a real bargain.


I think it largely depends on where you are in life, and where you'll be wearing the suit. That in mind, I recently bought my 18yo a black suit from blair. It was around $60 shipped and it looks quite nice on him. I am certain it wouldn't work for an executive or whatnot, but for a young man, it will serve nicely for the infrequent occasions he might wear it.

If you need something nicer than that, I agree that Mens Wearhouse is the place to go. Watch for them to run one of their BOGO sales.


I think everyone had covered color the issue of color pretty well so I will comment on fit. Make sure your suit is the right size. I know that sounds simple, but for years I was buying suits in size 44 regular, and always felt like there was something wrong with the way the pants fit. I finally went to a suit maker who told me to try a 44 short. When I did that my suits fit like a glove and I felt much more confident wearing them. I've bought my last seven suits from the same guy because he seems to know and actually care about what he is doing. Good luck


I've never bought a men's suit so I'm not sure if my advice is as valuable as some others', but from the perspective of a woman who has a bit of a kink for men in suits, I'd like to add my voice to the "get it tailored to fit" crowd. If your suit doesn't fit well, then you may as well not wear it (imo).


@purplefeather: Ah, out of the mouth of "babes." ;o)

Yeah that's good advice. It's funny how an ill-fitting suit, which is of course meant to class you up, can do very much the opposite.


I wear suits everyday, work and school.

Best advice (besides tailoring): Purchase your ties at Kohls/Macys. Seriously. Their clearance can't be beat. We're talking 70-90% off. For quality, especially at Macys.


Spouse came in, read over my shoulder, and said I should mention both Men's Wearhouse (where we bought his two most recent suits) and Jos. A. Banks, where my son bought his entire first "real" work wardrobe and continues to use it for replenishment. And they always have sales.


If it's your one suit, I'd pay the premium for a better one. Men's Wearhouse has a range of suits, but I've seen some mediocre ones on the racks, too. Just keep a good eye for fabric quality and another vote for proper tailoring.

I have a black, brown, and dark green/black suits, but I really prefer the black one for most occasions and mix it up with shirt color / tie design. It's a lot harder to mix with brown.


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