Finding the perfect suit is like finding the perfect mate; it needs to make you feel good, a lofty investment may be required and it needs to last. Even though professional attire nowadays is leaning more towards the business casual realm and drifting away from corporate suits and ties, it is still important to know how to find the perfect suit if and when that time comes. From seeking out the best tailor to recognizing good fabric qualities, here is expert Laci McKinney’s top five tips on finding the perfect suit.
Laci McKinney is a fashion stylist and fashion industry insider in Dallas. No stranger to the hustle and bustle of fitting models backstage at designer fashion shows, McKinney is in tune with fitting clothing items perfectly for different body types. Also heavily familiar with the standards of corporate America and the lifestyle that goes along with it, McKinney combines her fashion sense along with her experience in a corporate atmosphere to deliver her top five tips for finding the perfect suit.
Find a good tailor.
Suits will come in all shapes, sizes and cuts. It is rare that you will be able to purchase a suit right off of the rack and it will fit your body perfectly. A good tailor will adjust the length of the suit pants so that the bottoms just barely graze the tip of the shoe. Tailors will also ensure that you have the appropriate arm length for your suit jackets and for women, adjust the waistline of the suit jacket to create feminine appeal. A good suit is not meant to be ill-fitted or baggy—getting to know your local tailor can greatly enhance your appearance when it comes to your professional wear.
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A quality made suit will go a long way.
Suit shopping is not the time to play it cheap. Not to say that you should be in the market for an Italian-made suit, but choosing less than quality fabrics will cost you more money in the end and have a negative impact on your appearance. Invest the money in a good tailor-made suit—one that will be your staple suit and last for many years. Good suit fabrics will be wrinkle-free and made of wool or a mixed wool-blend.
Know your fit.
With suits, there are many options to consider: peplum or a belted waist for women and wide versus the slim lapel for the men. While there are a variety of suit options, it’s important to note the trends and know ahead of time what target areas on your body you are trying to accentuate and which areas you want hidden. For example, if you are a woman attempting to slim or minimize your hips and lower half, avoid peplum suits. The peplum jacket, which is heavy in trend, attracts eyes and attention towards the mid-section area of the body, leaving the hips and lower portion of the body exposed; making it a direct target area for an onlooker’s vision as it is in the exact line of vision where the peplum design will appear.
A little less color and design pay off.
With suits, the staple colors such as grey, navy blue and black will make the fashion statement necessary if matched with the perfect pop of color. The suit itself should stay neutral without showcasing overpowering patterns and busy textures. Add some personality to your suit by choosing a complementing colorful blouse or shirt, handkerchief or tie that goes well with your eye color, skin tone and hair. If you must wear a colored suit outside of the basic colors, tone the color of the suit down with a neutral blouse or shirt. Most professional work environments lean more towards conservative fashion, so stay in dress code compliance by wearing a grey, navy blue or black suit.
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Treat yourself to a tailor-made suit.
This tip might make you cringe as the state of the economy these days does not lend to tailor-made clothing. A tailor-made suit can cost anywhere from $500 to upwards of thousands, so many will throw away the idea of a custom-made suit and gravitate towards the sales racks. But for those who wish to own that one suit that will withstand the test of time, from interviews, to important business meetings to corporate dinners with clients, a tailor-made suit is well worth the investment. A tailor-made suit will become a standout in your closet. Most tailors will take you through the entire design process by allowing you to choose the fabrics, the style of cut and even the smaller details such as the buttons. Having a tailor-made suit is well worth the investment and upgrades your entire professional look within seconds.
Leah Frazier is a freelance writer covering all things Dallas. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.