Say, you are going to attend a business event. Be it a networking party at a trade show or a gala dinner at an upscale hotel, you’ll want to look professional and sophisticated.
Many men, while brilliant in their professions, might stumble over style matters. We feel their charisma can shine through better if they turn up dressed tastefully at business events.
One can always use a better first impression, so we’re here to share some tips to elevate your suit game.
1. NO TIGHT FIT, PLEASE.
We get that you want a sleek look. However, wearing an overly tight shirt will make you look like you can’t wait to show off your gym results. You’ll feel uncomfortable, and so will the people looking at you. Contemporary and modern fit does not mean it has to be skin tight.
(An overly tight outfit. Image source)
That said, avoid an overly roomy fit as well.
Opt for a balanced fit, one that accentuates your silhouette and brings out your assets and yet camouflages your flaws.
(A balanced fit, created by Common Suits)
2 .CHOOSE YOUR SHIRT COLLAR WISELY.
Besides the conventional pointed collar that you see on most off-the-rack shirts, there are actually at least six to eight more options that you can explore. We will discuss in more detail later on, but in short, you can follow these guidelines.
● If your face is angular – spread collar (wide angle)
● If your face is round – point collar (narrow angle)
(Choose your shirt collar according to your face shape. Image source)
You’ll be surprised to see the difference that a shirt collar can make in relation to your face shape. If your face is angular, a wide-angle collar will soften it; if your face is round, a narrow-angle collar will sharpen it.
It’s not easy to find a shirt collar in the shops that’s just right for your face shape; do get your tailor’s advice.
In addition, you may need to pay more attention to your shirt’s colour. A white dress shirt is a staple that has existed since the beginning of time and still remains as a piece every man should have in his wardrobe. Here’s an in-depth article on shirt and pattern matching.
3. FABRIC MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
(A suit in100% polyester – avoid it if you can. Image source)
If you can, avoid 100% polyester. You can spot a polyester suit easily from across the room. One obvious tell-tale sign is that the edge of the lapel and the side seams of the trousers tend to turn shiny easily. The fabric also has an unnatural 'cheap' shine to it. The shiny parts (due to ironing and wear and tear) make it look at least two to three years older even though it may be new. Another disadvantage of having a polyester suit is the lack in breathability. Since polyester is a man made fabric, it does not breathe well and it can warm up the wearer pretty quickly.
Instead, opt for pure wool fabric. It’s natural and more resilient to heat, so it won’t turn shiny if you press it at the right temperature, i.e. the “pure wool” setting. If not, go for at least a quality wool-blend material. Pure wool is a lot more breathable, has a softer and smoother hand, and has a beautiful luxurious sheen.
4. POCKET SQUARE.
The pocket square is a very useful accessory for self-expression and a well-chosen one can set you apart from the sea of navy blue and charcoal grey suit in a corporate setting.
● Get the right type of pocket square. Make sure the colour and pattern of your pocket square do not exactly match those of your tie; that will look tacky. Alternatively, you can match the colour of your pocket square to that of your shirt, or choose complementary colours. ● Try different ways of folding your pocket square and have fun with it.
Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. With more practice, you’ll know the best styles for yourself.
(A good example of matching your pocket square with your outfit. Image by Common Suit)
5. CONSIDER WEARING A DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT.
A man in a well-cut double-breasted suit will definitely get him more double takes. It is a very empowering and authoritative look. It creates an inverted triangle shape that makes your silhouette more streamlined, especially if you are a bigger or wider man.
It makes a man look more masculine and classy.
(A tailored double-breasted suit makes for a more flattering silhouette. Image by Common Suits)
It’s safe to say that in general, a tailored double-breasted suit looks more flattering than an off-the-rack one, because a double-breasted jacket requires a more precise fit.
It thus demands a more advanced level of drafting as compared to a single-breasted jacket. If you are keen on a double-breasted suit, be sure to look for a local tailor.
6. TRY BELTLESS TROUSERS.
A well-fitted pair of trousers doesn’t need a belt to be held in place. It also shows that you probably care about your outfit enough to go to a tailor to get your trousers done instead of getting it off-the-rack.
(A variation of beltless pants. Image by Common Suits)
You’ll also gain an additional 3–4 cm in height because your visual leg line will now start higher. Simply put, you’ll look taller.
A beltless option also makes your entire outfit more streamlined and cleaner, since there isn’t a clear division between your top and bottom, allowing a smooth transition from top to toe.
It makes your life easier too: you don’t have to worry about matching your belt to your shoes.
7. GET A DECENT PAIR OF SHOES.
(Double Monkstrap in oxblood from Stefano Bemer, Italy. Image source)
Some men are not willing to spend a little more on their dress shoes. They believe that it is unnecessary to spend more than S$200 on a pair of dress shoes, as long as their outfits look good. This is simply not true. Here’s why:
● Shoes complete your outfit. Hence if you're investing in well fitted suit, you should also invest in a decent pair of shoes otherwise the entire outfit would not look coherent. You may look really immaculate in your suit, but a scruffy pair of shoes will spoil the look instantly.
● Women pay attention to your shoes. We can’t control how women see us, but according to a study, 64% of women judge a man’s fashion sense based on his shoes.
● A really great pair of shoes reflects who you are because it takes a lot of time and effort to take care of your dress shoes. It involves discipline, patience (try it, and you'll understand why.)
8. BE A TRUE GENTLEMAN.
(Image by Common Suits)
As the saying goes, "Manners maketh man. You may look like a million bucks in a perfectly fitted suit, however, people do make judgments based on the way you carry yourself too.
When you behave as a true gentleman, you may or may not be able to stand out from others. But one thing is for sure: if you’re rude and inconsiderate, you’ll look uncultured, no matter how well you’re dressed.
Whether we're wearing an off-the-rack, tailored or bespoke suit, bear in mind that every effort we put in represents our sincerity and respect for the people we’re meeting.