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Men’s fashion: Make a single suit work for multiple occasions with proper fit, color

Courtesy of Kerrigan Steger Photography & Pursuit

Jake Mendel is the director of development for Pursuit, a men’s clothing store located in the South Campus Gateway.

Perhaps the most common thought that crosses a guy’s mind when picking out a suit is “What event am I going to wear this for?” Do you have an interview? Need a suit for work? Want to dress up for a night out? A common misconception is that in order to be prepared for all occasions, you need to have a closet like an NBA player. The truth is, with a little creativity and a little sartorial knowledge, a single suit can carry you through most of your major life events without anybody realizing it’s the same suit.
The first choice when picking out your go-to suit is fit. The fit has to be spot on, otherwise instead of looking fashionable and creative you’ll look like you have no idea what you’re doing. Nail the fit first, and then move on to the more complicated stuff.
Color is the second main decision you have to make. If you’re only able to buy one suit, go for a sharp, classic charcoal or medium gray. Gray suits have the ability to be worn year round, and never go out of style. Gray jackets also look just as good with a pair of jeans as they do in a board room. Looking to try something a little closer to the edge of fashion? Go with a lighter gray suit and stand out from the crowd.
Now that you’ve nailed the color and fit, start crafting around those basics. The most common look for a suit is the office and interview look. Go for a clean professional look with a canvas color shirt (white, light blue, pink, lavender, etc.) and pair it with a patterned tie. Need to make more of an impression? A clean pocket square and sleek tie bar will show an employer your attention to detail.
Want to head out for the night after work? Throw on a pair of black or dark blue denim jeans, and lose the tie for a look that’s sharp enough to kill. Still feel too dressed up? A pair of clean sneakers and a polo will dress down the jacket even more.
Finally, let’s say you’ve RSVP’d for a wedding this weekend. Throw a bold patterned shirt and a bow tie on to take this suit from basic to formal.
Every suit has different characteristics, just like every person. Find a suit that mimics your form and your personality. Nail the fit and the basics, and all of the rest will come easy. But remember, if you can do all of this with one good suit, imagine what you could do with two.

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