Breathing Life Into The Suit
Buying a suit is the most important sartorial purchase a guy can make. But it’s also one of the costliest, which means it’s important you know how to get as much mileage out of your tailoring as possible.
Start by thinking of it as the modern man’s armour: an indispensable piece of kit that forms the backbone of not just your formal wear arsenal but your casual wardrobe too.
With that in mind, take a look at a five modern ways you can wear a suit for the season ahead.
1. Checks And Basics
We’ve already extolled the virtues of the check suit and its ability to turbo-charge your formal wardrobe this spring, but patterned tailoring, by its eye-catching nature, is notoriously difficult to pull off.
So, we suggest keeping things simple by eschewing the customary shirt and tie combination in favour of a neutral crew neck T-shirt or polo shirt.
As seen in the Canali AW15 show, when a large windowpane motif is set against the backdrop of a plain tee, the suit takes on a reassuringly minimal look – ideal for a spring wedding that doesn’t have a strict dress code.
2. The Shirt & Tie Replacement
Sure, it’s March and our sights are fixed firmly on the arrival of balmy summer days. But it’s hardly linen suit and poplin shirt season yet.
In terms of smartening up your transitional wardrobe for the changeable spring months, opt for lightweight roll necks in natural fabrics under your suit. Not only does this look sharp, but when it’s too warm to wear your suit jacket, yet too cold for just a shirt, exchanging your button-down for a merino knit offers just the right weight and gauge to keep you cool and comfortable.
Consider light grey, blue or mustard versions for a fresh, non-Dermot O’Leary take on the trend.
Despite the all-black everything trend’s refusal to die, wearing a black shirt with a suit of the same colour is still perceived by some fashion insiders as a step too far.
However, we’re here to silence the haters (we’re looking at you, John Varvatos), put our full weight behind the trend, and let you guys know that suiting up in the dark stuff looks seriously slick and sophisticated.
The important thing here is to ensure the shirt is exactly the same shade of black as the suit. Any variation in tone will make whichever item is lighter appear as though it has faded.
4. Suits & Sneakers
Done wrong, pairing some box-fresh sneakers with a suit can make it look like the only thing standing between you and a midlife crisis is a new Porsche.
Yet done properly, swapping your smart shoes for a pair of trainers appears cool and effortless. The key is to pick a ‘grown-up’ pair: minimal, neutral and preferably leather.
For the more adventurous among you, try dressing down a dinner jacket by swapping the tux trousers for a pair in flecked charcoal wool and then finishing with some crisp Stan Smiths.
This is the kind of thing that Kanye and A$AP do regularly on the red carpet, but is a look you can easily replicate for dinner at a high-end restaurant.
5. Switch The Blazer For A Leather
The idea of separating your suits may be nothing new to you, but switching your blazer for a leather jacket probably is.
It’s a look we’ve seen time and time again over this awards season, with everyone from Ewan McGregor to Justin Theroux partaking in the trend.
Ditching your suit jacket in favour of some lambskin channels an effortlessly cool rockabilly vibe, and is a smart choice for men who want to bring an edge to their formal wear.