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Men's Suits - 6 Things to Consider When Shopping for Men's Suits

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Men's suits: An ill-fitting suit can be seen from miles away and has a damaging effect on your image. So getting the right fit in a suit and having it tailored is rather important, that is if you have any concern about how you might come across in an interview, to a client or to your peers. The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is get properly measured (which any reputable retailer can do for you). This includes: neck, shoulders, sleeves, chest, waist and inseam. Once you know your size you are free to hit the dressing rooms. And when you do go shopping for men's suits, keep these six things in mind:

Choosing a Fabric
Let’s get one thing clear, unless you have a closet full of suits and want something different, worsted wools are your best bet for a suit. These include gabardines or mid-weight corded wools. You will often find suits that say “Super 100” which are very popular these days--all this means is that the yarn has been twisted more often than the usual 60-80 twist wools. Either way they are considered mid-weight. And good fabric will spring back without wrinkling after it's squeezed. Just remember that worsted wools wear well and are typically good year-round depending on where you live.

The Fit of Your Trousers
Make sure that the waistline of your trousers is comfortable and that you can stick two fingers into the waist while you're wearing them. And as far as pleats are concerned, it’s usually a personal preference. However, as a general rule, pleats are better for those with larger tummies and not a good idea for those who are thin. This is because a flat front trousers accentuate your tummy if you have one and pleats help cover it up. And conversely, pleats make a skinny guy look even skinnier, and not in a good way.

The Hem on Your Trouser
Nothing says sloppy more than a pile of fabric at your ankle. Your pants should reach your shoes and have a slight break. Cuffed or uncuffed is your choice, but keep in mind that cuffless makes you look taller if you happen to be a little shorter and cuffs looks better on someone with long legs. Cuffs also appeal to a more mature consumer.

The Length of Your Sleeves
Make sure your sleeve length is right on, otherwise you will look like you borrowed someone else’s suit. If the sleeve covers your shirt cuff, it is too long. It should just reach the base of your thumb, revealing a half inch to an inch of your shirt cuff—very classy.

The Waist of the Jacket
The jacket should fit easily across your stomach. The traditional American cut suit with two buttons, which has been a mainstay for many years, is being replaced by suit jackets which are more fitted and have three and four buttons. However, the classic two-button style remains popular, and some two-button jackets offer a fresh twist with higher button placement similar to the three-button style and is often more flattering. Whether your preferred style is classic or modern, look for fitted waistlines that enhance the shape of your body. Getting a close fit at the waist is, do I dare say it?, a good thing (sorry Martha).

The General Fit of Your Suit
When it is all said and done, you should be able to stretch and bend easily in your suit. Make sure that you that you have free movement of your arms. As a test, bring your arms out straight in front of you, and also try sitting in a chair and pretend you are working. You should always be comfortable.

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