Your workplace attire speaks a thousand words about your professional image. Many people have an inherent knack for styling and know how to steal the show. However, most people don’t and unfortunately end up spending on suits that are most unsuitable for a smart and professional look. If you belong to the second category, knowing something about business suits will help you choose the right one.
Whether you are a traditionalist or a follower of trends, business suits are formal attires and look best in shades of solid navy blue or charcoal grey. These are classic shades that ooze style and understated confidence.
Suits in these two colours are a must-have in your collection of workplace attire. Both are versatile shades and look equally good at boardroom meetings and for everyday wear. All other shades of grey are acceptable as a second choice or when you want a little change in your regular wear.
The other shade is solid black but it is best kept for informal office gatherings.
These days trends are changing and other traditional bold shades such as deep green or burgundy are making a comeback. Even lighter shades are permissible at offices that encourage a casual, fun environment throughout the week.
However, it takes a lot of confidence to carry off such unusual shades with élan so don’t just buy them on an impulse. If you are not used to wearing such offbeat suit colours, it is safest to stick to grey and blue.
The way the suit is cut makes a huge difference to its appearance. There are primarily three different cuts to choose from. These are the Italian cut, the British cut and the American cut.
The Italian cut is a trendy silhouette with a slim fit. It flaunts padded shoulders and is usually made of lightweight fabric. This cut is ideal for those with a tall and lean structure.
The classic British cut or the ‘Saville Row’ cut is a regular fit suit that spells traditional styling at its best. The shoulders are thick with tapered padding and the suits are made from heavier fabrics. This elegant cut suits those with an average build.
The American cut spells confidence combined with casual corporate styling. The fit is loose, the shoulders have minimal or no padding and the material is of average thickness. This cut is particularly suitable for those with a large build.
Business Suit Style
The traditional business suit with two buttons and a straight cut is corporate styling at its simplest form. This is the most common style that looks great on most people. It also works for purists who love to stick to a particular standard.
If you are the experimenting type or are not afraid of flaunting diverse styles at the office, you can opt for the double-breasted suit or a three-piece suit.
The double-breasted suit is a vintage design that has made a comeback in recent times. Many people consider this old school design as really fashionable and a great way to make a style statement. The double-breasted suit has six buttons and an overlapping of the fabric at the torso region to add more bulk to the suit.
The three-piece suit looks extremely dynamic and trendy on those who can carry off the complex styling. As the three-piece suit requires you to wear a waistcoat beneath your jacket, it is quite bulky and needs to fit really well.
When you are investing in a good double-breasted or a three-piece business suit (these don’t come cheap), it is prudent to go for bespoke or made-to-measure tailoring. This will ensure a perfect fit, which is so important to create that right look.
As for patterns, nothing beats the pin-stripe; it’s the quintessential business suit pattern. It’s extremely popular and one you can wear to work every day.
There are several other patterns to choose from such as the wider chalk stripe, the houndstooth, herringbone, plaid, glen check (classic British pattern), windowpane and sharkskin.
Choosing the right pattern can be difficult and once the suit is made, it cannot be undone if you don’t like the final look. So consulting a tailoring house for a made-to-measure or bespoke suit is your best bet. Your tailor will offer sound advice and help you choose a pattern that suits you best.
The fabric you choose also plays a significant role in how your business suit looks and how long it lasts. Durability is of prime importance as a business suit is everyday office wear and it has to take a lot of impact.
From sitting for hours at your workstation to pushing your way around during your daily commute or covering a long-distance flight, your business suit goes through a lot of daily wear and tear. A durable fabric will last for years without losing shape. A heavier fabric is more durable and will hold its shape for years.
Of all the materials to consider, cashmere wool is the best for a business suit. It is lightweight, allows enough breathability to keep you comfortable and is sturdy enough to retain its shape even after years of use.
Apart from cashmere wool, other materials to consider include a blend of silk and wool or pure wool.
For important occasions like boardroom meetings or meeting notable clients, a suit made of heavy fabric has a deeper impact than those made from lightweight materials.
The way the trousers are tailored also adds a character to your business suit. The trousers should fit perfectly at the waist and be long enough to just touch your shoelaces. Or for a slimmer look, you may opt for a thin hemming at mid-ankle length.
Trousers with flat fronts look neat and traditional while those with pleats look trendier and offer more space just below the waist. The trousers should be thicker at the waistband, around the crotch area and at the seams to help them retain the fall.
Looking to stitch a bespoke business suit? At Christie’s Tailors, we craft the finest business suits that are completely made to measure and hand stitched. Click here to schedule a consultation with one of our master craftsmen.