Here are Navigate HQ, we are committed to providing the most accessible, practical and helpful advice for men’s fashion through our style guides.
We’ve combed through stores and online markets. We’ve polled real people. And we’ve created a handy source of style information and inspiration for your beady eyes.
The charge in menswear in recent years has been driven by a combination of enthusiasts, innovative menswear companies and the internet. This has provided an endless stream of choices for the discerning shopper. So much so that when looking to buy some suits or an entire wardrobe, you end up with a tonne of tabs open inside your head, as well as your browser. Sound familiar? You’ve come to the right place.
Suits you, Sir
A suit is a suit, right? Not quite. There’s a suit out there for everyone, but a few important things to consider when choosing the style of suit you wear. Suits are most commonly divided into two categories: two-piece, three-piece and tuxedo.
The two-piece does exactly what is says on the tin. You’ve got a jacket and some trousers. A three-piece suit will include a vest, usually – but not always – in the same fabric as the suit.
Finally, you have the option of a single or double-breasted jacket. Single-breasted includes one line of buttons down the front. Usually, two or three buttons to keep you smart and stylish. The double-breasted option is for the more intrepid amongst because it’s a strong look. They have two rows of buttons, with the front overlapping significantly to allow both to fasten.
If the suit fits
Owning a well-fitted suit gives you priority boarding into a new dimension of style. It will avoid you looking and feeling like a bin bag. Once you’ve nailed the right fit, you’ll be gliding int that boardroom, dinner or event with confidence! And we all know that is the most important thing you should wear.
Slim-fit suits are cut to follow the body’s natural shape without as much extra fabric as other suits. This is a flattering style of a suit – and not just for slim men. In order to avoid looking like a wetsuit, bigger frames should go up a size or two. The jacket goes slightly in between your ribs and waist and the trousers are subtly narrower at the ankle.
The Modern fit offers a sharp and sleek overall fit. It’s the go-to for most men because the design suits a wide range of body types whilst remaining stylish. It’s somewhere in between a classic and a slim-fit, with a little extra fabric and no danger of looking boxy.
Classic fit is comfortable, easy to wear and the perfect style for those who like to keep their tailoring traditional. The cut is looser through the chest and waist and a slightly longer hem.
An athletic body type is typically defined by clothing brands as someone whose chest measurement is eight inches more than their waist. Featuring more room to move and broader shoulders.
Trying it on
With arms hanging down your side, make sure that the seam of the jacket sleeves line up exactly with the outermost point of your shoulder. The shoulder pads should lie flat and not protrude beyond your own shoulders. lift your arms up to make sure the armhole is comfortable, but also be aware the suit will loosen up (a little) over time.
Jacket length – a test
With arms relaxed at your side, clench your fists – your knuckles should be even with the hem or just a little shorter.
The end of the jacket sleeve should reach exactly where your thumb connects to your wrist, with just enough space to let a shirt peek out.
Two-button jackets are the most common and most versatile type. Double-breasted are also making a resurgence. But it’s a bold look. Make sure you consult an honest friend.
The trouser hem
There’s a bit of wiggle room on the right fit, depending on how much ‘break’ you like at the hem. Having no break is the smartest and more modern look and is simple – the trousers end right at the ankle bone, leaving no fabric resting over the shoe.
There isn’t a huge amount of fabric designed for suits, so this makes the decision easier. You want breathable and soft. In summer, the fight is on against the sweaty back. Winter, you-re dodging wind, rail – and let’s face it – probably hail.
Wool is the most popular choice. It breathes well and can be worn in the heat of the summer and the cool of the winter.
The second most popular fabric and derived from plant fibres. They move and breathe well but do crease easily. Best for Spring, Summer and Autumn.
Lightweight and maintains coolness in soaring temperatures. A more casual alternative to cotton and wool. Creases and stains very easily, therefore best suited to summer.
Made with synthetic materials and blended with other fibres to cut costs. Wrinkles more easily and produces more fabric shine.
The colour of your suit is a simpler choice to make once you’ve found the perfect fit. It’s important to have a suit that is versatile for all occasions.
A dark grey, navy or black suit maximises your efforts as you can wear these colours to most events. Most brands will offer their suits in these options, meaning you can have one of each once you’ve found the right fit.