Shopping For Your First Suit

The tree outside my apartment complex just started to bud. To me, this means a couple of things; that it’s Spring, the weather is finally getting warmer and it’s time to prepare for Summer. It also means that school is over and it’s time to start taking the initiation of your professional career seriously. The definition of Summer is—unfortunately—time to start applying for jobs, and everyone you know is getting married so I’m here to relieve your stress by explaining to you how to kill a couple of birds with the same stone and to prepare you for a wardrobe upgrade once you’re settled.


Whether you need your first suit for an interview or a close colleagues wedding, you want an investment that will be put to use over and over again. Nobody wants their interviewer to be distracted, even though a loud fabric may be better than a coffee stain on your shirt, which is why it’s probably best to stick to a solid fabric. For the same reason that no groom wants another person at his wedding stealing his thunder, you should not wear anything that will make you stand out more than anyone else. Let’s be honest, nothing is more respectable than humility.


One of the biggest mistakes men make when they’re looking for their first suit is the notion that the colour black is the most essential place to start. When you’re walking around a classy neighbourhood like Yorkville, or up and down Fifth Avenue in New York; you can begin to observe all of those you see wearing black suits. You see security guards, sales associates, and possibly even Mormon missionaries so wearing a black suit amidst these people might give the right people the wrong impression. Don’t get me wrong, black is essential. For funerals. So let’s not hope that a black suit becomes necessary anytime soon.

The two most versatile colours for fabrics, plain and simple—no pun intended—is blue and grey. They are easy to pair with any colour shirt and any colour tie. Whether it’s a light grey or a charcoal, it will go well with blue, and blue goes great with either grey; additionally, nothing is more striking than a powerful red tie to each of these suit colours individually. Since we’ve established that you need a quiet suit for your interviews and your weddings, once you’ve planted that initial seed into your wardrobe, you can begin to have more fun looking for suits that will make you look more professionally powerful. Several examples of these classic fabric patterns are those such as pinstripes, window-panes, and glen checks or Prince of Wales. 


One thing you should always try to keep in mind is the weight of the fabric, you’re shopping for versatility because you might not be ready to be willing to buy a new suit every season of the year. Wool is the most ideal because it will always last longer, a worsted wool is a soft, lightweight wool that is stretched thin and tightly woven making it a good all-year-round fabric. The less the wool is stretched, the heavier it is woven which makes good flannel fabrics for autumn and winter, and the thinner it is stretched, you’ll start to see labels that read Super 100’s (the higher the number, the thinner the wool) which make the fabrics perfect for Summer. It is most ideal to find a fabric that won’t be too light or too heavy.

The work week consists of five days, if you don’t want to be caught dead wearing the same suit twice in a week, the simple solution is to have a rotation of five suits. Five suits. That’s it. Two greys, three blues; three greys, two blues; two greys, two blues and a brown (I’ve been preaching for the longest time that brown ought to be brought back into the rotation of being one of the essential suit colours that everyone must own). So, hang on to your black suit, set it aside for an emotionally rainy day, this is all advice I wish I had when I first started building my suiting wardrobe. 


Columnist: Timothy Hanchett

Photography Credits: Jayson

Make-Up Credits: Emily

Model Credits: AJ, Mitchell and Luke

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