Courtesy of Shay Merritté
Shopping for a suit is never easy.
As a college student, you need your own style and a fit that is tailored to you. Here are some tips from Nate DeMars, founder and CEO of Pursuit, a men’s suit store, on how to find your “first grown-up suit.”
Start with the color. If this will be your go-to suit, DeMars suggests choosing a charcoal gray. For a more formal occasion, like a wedding or funeral, go with jet-black. These are good neutrals that can be worn with any color shirt.
Next comes the hard part: fit. DeMars said you need to focus on the parts that you can’t alter, like the shoulders, contouring and length of the jacket.
Pinch the part where the sleeve meets the body of the jacket at your shoulder. If you can bunch the material into a tip, the jacket is too big. On the other hand, if you can’t put your arms down by your sides, the jacket is too small.
Jackets should contour to fit your torso. If you have a slender build, pick a jacket that slightly tapers in at the midsection. Guys of bigger builds should opt for more straight fits.
The hem of the jacket should hit just above your groin. Keep in mind that the sleeves can always be altered for length.
Amp up your basic suit with accessories. If you’re bored with your go-to tie, change it up with a bowtie or skinny tie. Bowties come pre-tied or do-it-yourself. Skinny ties are a great alternative if you want an unexpected element that doesn’t change the color. They also give your chest a broader look, a good option for slender guys.
If you want to start accessorizing on a smaller scale, try wearing fun cufflinks.
A belt is absolutely necessary. A black or gray suit looks best with a black belt. DeMars suggests keeping the belt understated, especially if you have a more funky accessory. Unlike jeans, a belt is not meant to hold up your suit pants, so make sure they fit your hips. You don’t want to advertise ill-fitting bottoms.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take your suit apart. DeMars advises thinking about your suit in terms of three different occasions: job interview, cocktail party and date night.
For an interview, wear the full suit with a crisp white shirt and “power tie,” which DeMars said means a bold color like red or blue.
If you’re attending a cocktail party or college event, wear the full suit again with a colored or printed shirt and skinny tie or bowtie — or skip the tie altogether.
On a night out, wear your suit jacket, colored shirt or T-shirt and a nicer pair of jeans.