What To Look For In A Suit

Choosing a suit may seem daunting, but if you remember the four F's, you'll be able to shop wisely and make a good investment.

A new suit is a big investment.With all the options out there, choosing a suit may seem daunting, particularly if it's your first.Although it is possible to find a sale on a good suit, it is never a bargain to buy a cheap suit.Your suit is your professional image, and a poorly made, ill-fitting suit will detract from that.The four things to look for when purchasing a suit are:fashion, fabric, fit and finish.Although you absolutely have to try a suit on to ensure the proper fit, you can and should take the time to browse suits online before you go shopping.This will help you focus on the type of suit you want and make your shopping trip go more smoothly.

Fashion.Before you head out shopping, take a minute to decide what sort of suit you're wishing to purchase.If you are interviewing with an investment firm, you will want something quite conservative.If your business or clientele is less conservative, then you can explore a wider range of colors, textures, and cuts.If this will be your only suit, then you will want one that is fairly conservative and most likely black.Consider purchasing both skirt and slacks for the jacket, if available.This will give you two options with only three pieces.

Fabric.Women have more than one option when it comes to suit fabric.Heavy wool is a classic choice that will look sharp and wear well.The heavier the wool, the better the suit will drape.For summer there is also the option of a lighter wool garbardine.A linen suit is a lightweight choice for summer, but linen wrinkles very easily.Linen is rarely a good choice for traveling, unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time ironing or arranging for housekeeping to do so.There are also blends available in some women's suits.Although many of these will travel well, they may also look cheaper to the eye.If you choose a suit made from a blended fabric, be certain that the cut and sizing are of high quality.

Fit.This is the most important feature of your suit.If the suit does not fit you properly, it does not matter how well it was made or how much it cost.An ill-fitting suit makes the wearer look awkward and unprofessional.When you shop for suits you must be prepared to try many on before you find the ones that work best for you.This is more challenging for women than men, because there are a wider range of styles to choose from.A size 8 may vary from brand to brand, not only in general terms but in breadth of shoulders, length of torso, and so on.Wear comfortable dress shoes to try on suits.It is difficult to tell if a pant leg needs to be hemmed if you have tennis shoes on.If you are planning on wearing a buttondown shirt under your suitjacket, then wear one when you go to shop for it.The arms of a suitjacket may fit just fine with a sleeveless shell, but be too tight with a cotton Oxford shirt.

When you try on suitjackets, stretch your arms out to the side and in front of you.The jacket should have enough breadth in the shoulders to be able to do this.When you extend your arms to the side, the jacket should not ride up high enough to expose your belly.The ends of the jacket sleeves should fall at about your wristbone.If you choose to wear a buttondown shirt with your suit, this means that the sleeve of the jacket should expose 1/2" of shirt cuff.The armholes should be tight enough that the shape of the jacket hangs well, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable around your upper arm.Try the jacket both buttoned and unbuttoned.You should be able to comfortably button your jacket with no gapping or straining of the buttons.If you plan to always leave your jacket buttoned, then you may not care how it looks unbuttoned.If you wish to wear it both ways, then you will want to ensure that your jacket looks attractive and professional in both positions.

Women have the choice of skirts or slacks with their suit.Some suitjackets even come with both options.Slacks should be fitted and hemmed to the correct length for the business shoes you normally wear.Always sit down in slacks to make sure that the trouser legs are wide enough, and that the waist of the slacks neither digs into your stomach nor gaps low enough to expose your underwear.Similarly, check the length of skirts by sitting down and crossing your legs.The skirt that is an appropriate length when standing may become office-inappropriate when seated.If you like a skirt in all but length, ask to have the hem altered.Skirts can be hemmed up or down as easily as slacks, depending on the cut of the skirt and the length of the current hem.Test pencil skirts by walking around the store at your normal pace.If the width of the skirt inhibits your stride, you may wish to try on a different skirt.It is more likely that your skirt will rip at the side hem than that you will remember to walk more slowly.

Finish.Besides being well-fitted to your particular figure, a suit must be well-made.The jacket should not hang in folds and should not wrinkle, unless it is linen.The buttonholes should be neatly hemmed with a color of thread that blends into the color of cloth.Buttons should not be loose.All seams should be straight and even, and the shoulders should be identically set into the jacket, not one higher than the other.There should be lining on the jacket and skirt and it should be sewn in, not glued.

Keep the four F's in mind and purchasing a suit can be a lot of fun.A good suit makes its wearer feel more efficient and more confident.With a good suit, you can tackle anything--even the challenge of buying another suit.

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