There are very few problems in life where a solution is as simple as it appears. The first question from most men approaching their first suit is usually 'what colour suit should I get?' Our answer is always NAVY.
Regardless of our recommendation, a navy suit will likely be your first suit purchase. Followed closely by the charcoal grey, no other suit blends as formidably as the navy suit. Once the navy suit has settled into your wardrobe, try adding another suit to your collection, possibly a medium grey, or begin exploring patterned fabrics (the bold pinstripes in a linen fabric perhaps a windowpane navy suit?).
The navy suit will blend with your shirts and accessories. You can wear almost any shirt you may have available and pair black to medium brown shoes and belt without much concern. The navy suit works with almost any office wardrobe and, styled correctly, the jacket can also blend smoothly into any casual wardrobe.
You want your first suit to be as marketable and accessible as possible. Keeping the details of your suit rather, errrr, plain will allow you a degree of flexibility between the office and the party. During the working week, you can wear your full suit to the office. On the weekend pair your jacket, if the jacket style details are versatile, with a pair of chinos or denim and your favourite casual shoe.
Below are some of the more important style details we believe should be included in your first navy suit.
The lapel should not be exceptionally wide nor thin - think 3 to 3.5 inches. Any more may appear bold, which is perfect for a casual jacket but will not go unnoticed by senior management. The same logic applies to the lapel style: a simple notch lapel is preferable to a bold peak lapel if a suit’s primary use is going to be in the office.
The shoulder padding should be light to medium (although we would always keep it on the light side). An unpadded shoulder can be acceptable for the workplace if styled correctly with shirting and ties. The lighter the shoulder the more casual it will appear. We're big fans of "dressing down" the suit.
The actual shoulder should roll off nicely without much else to distinguish it from the usual office attire. Remember, your first navy suit needs to be versatile.
- 3 - 3.5 inch notch lapel
- unpadded or light padding
- regular shoulder (not Neapolitan)
- dark brown buttons
Like the suit jacket, the suit pants should be understated. Belt loops are the norm and are preferable as a conservative option. Hip cinches are a more risky: your boss may consider you old-fashioned, as they spent the 1980s tightening hip cinches on every pant they owned, or they may consider you unconventional and bold, confused by a novel method of holding up pants.. We prefer hip cinches. Get used to it Boss-man.
We prefer cuffed pants in the office, and anything up to 2 inches should be acceptable. Pockets can either be regular or a slit pocket. These details will not draw unwanted attention from stodgy upper-management.