Wardrobe Basics: The Suit Part III

Here is question that I have personally debated for years. Which suit and colour should I get? I tended in the beginning to go for suits that were unique. I wanted to put my stamp on the world. I wanted double breasted chalk striped, patch pocketed checks, and all other sorts of flamboyant gear that would set me apart. I was forgetting one of the most important rules of a suit and business wear in general – you are meant to blend in to your setting. There are plenty of occasions where you can appropriately stand out in life via your clothing – a business environment or formal setting is usually not one of them. That being said, a suit, especially when building a wardrobe, should be discreet. This will allow it to be worn with repetition, in several different environments and occasions, without drawing attention to the wearer (or at least his clothes).

Many people much more knowledgeable on the subject matter than me profess that the standard, two button, single breasted, navy suit is the most important suit in a man’s wardrobe and possibly the most important piece of clothing a man can own. Who I am to disagree? When I began to learn the concept of building a wardrobe and started taking advice, one of the first purchases that I made was a navy suit. At first, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t eye-catching. I felt stuffy, like I just blended in to the background. What I have come to learn is that sometimes that is a good thing. I have been wearing that suit for a couple of years now and I go through love-hate relationship with it. However, it does get worn, and quite regularly. When I have somewhere to go that requires me to be dressed up, my navy suit usually gets consideration and donned more than not.

Based on my own experience, I would recommend a two button, 9 or 10 ounce wool, solid navy suit. It allows an array of looks and can even be split up and worn as a blazer with a pair of jeans or a beautiful pair of tailored dress pants that will go beautifully with a sweater – adding even more value to those just starting out. Once you have that in the wardrobe, you can follow it up with a solid dark charcoal or mid grey solid or semi-solid. These suits will never go out of style when done conservatively and will free up the wallet over time for those more ‘peacocky’, impulse purchases.

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