The Dos and Don’ts of Buying Men’s Suits Online


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All men know that there will come a time in their lives when they will want to wear a great suit. And that only makes sense because every man deserves a suit that makes him stand out in a crowd!

There’s a difference between owning a suit, and owning the right suit. You want to go for the latter as only that will ensure that you not only look dapper, but also get your money’s worth.

While you can always run to the nearest showroom and try on a few tailored suits before purchasing the perfect one, you may also want to consider looking for them online as well. By doing so, you widen your range of alternatives; and when you like something, you can but it with a click of a button!

Buying a Suit Online

We can understand concerns about buying a suit online as online shopping is known to be tricky. Sizes, fits and lengths can vary with varying brands. And when it comes to suits, there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’.

When buying a men’s suit online, it is important to know and understand your body type and get your measurements right (more on this later). Some ways in which you can ensure that you buy an elegant suit from a reliable website are as under:

> Read website reviews. Customer-review websites can be a great source of information and feedback about the quality of the suits, the materials used, and the service provided by the suit-making brand.

> Examine the product details, even those that are mentioned in tiny prints. This should be done in order to learn about the fit, material, and care instructions of the suit. Look at the images of the suit. Zoom in/expand the pictures if you have to to learn about its intricacies, such as inner pockets and buttons. This information is essential when buying a suit online as it can help you make an informed decision.

> Make it a point to familiarize yourself with the website’s return policy before you make a purchase. Not all websites will be accommodative of your every need. Some will not accept returns without the price tag retained on the product or a copy of the order form.

Once you decide on a men’s suit online retailer, there are certain factors to keep in mind before you pick your suit. Pay careful attention to the dos and don’ts of buying a suit and you’re guaranteed to land yourself one that always helps you make an impression.

Need help with that? Read on for some of the biggest yeas and nays to consider when buying your suit.

The Dos

1. Get Your Measurements Right

The first step involved in buying a suit is to know exactly what your measurements are. If you aren’t already certain of this, you can measure yourself at home or get it done at any good men’s apparels store. Getting your measurements right is crucial in order to get the drop right. The drop is the difference between the jacket measurement and the pants waistband. In fact, this aspect will have bearings on all of the following pointers.

Typically, the drop of a store-bought jacket is six inches. If your jacket is 42”, for instance, the waist will be 36”. While this kind of measurement is the standard, it may not be right for every man as physiques vary. This can be a problem, which is why it is necessary to make a distinction.

If you’re wondering why retailers do not make this distinction, it’s because they follow a particular production process and their suits are mass-produced. Customization isn’t a possibility, which means you may not be able to find a suit in the size you need. This also implies that having a good tailor who can make adjustments according to your size could work in your favour.


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2. Consider Suit Structure

Whether you prefer a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit, one element that you do not want to get wrong is the structure. Once you’ve identified a suit you like, make sure to check the shoulders of the jacket. If it seems puffy and wrinkled at the seam, feel free to put it away; that’s not what you want.

The ideal jacket will have a smooth surface from the shoulder to the sleeve with zero creases. Finding a suit with a flawless line may be difficult, but it will be worth the effort as you’ll find a suit that will make you look elegant. Two-piece suits are preferred by modern men for a chic appearance.

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3. Look At the Fit

Most men (rightly) consider the fit to be the most important factor when buying a suit. Getting the fit right is one way of ensuring that you wear the suit and it isn’t the other way around.

It goes without saying that you want to sport a suit that is comfortable, easy to wear, and sits well on your body. You need to ensure that the jacket and pants actually fit snugly. If you think you’re making the right choice by buying a large-sized suit for get more room to move, you couldn’t be more wrong! A large-sized suit is an ill-fitted suit and will make you look like an awkward teenager wearing his father’s attire. Needless to say, no good can ever come out of wearing a smaller-sized suit.

Further, the way the shoulder pads fit matters. They should end at the shoulders and not over your arms or bunched behind them. Similarly, the sleeves should hang straight along your arms instead of crowding around the forearm or the elbow.

A few other factors related to the suit’s fitting to consider are:

> Your hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is secured. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button.

> The top button of a two-button suit, or the middle button of a three-button suit, should not go below your navel.

> Jacket sleeves should end where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.

> Around a quarter to half-an-inch of the shirt’s cuff should be visible.

> There should be one inch of break (in the leg).

The good news is that you can choose to buy your suit online. Simply visit a measure-to-fit online retailer, browse through the options, choose what you like, and send them your measurements. They will craft a suit as per your specifications and send it over to you within a stipulated period of time. Buying suits online can make the shopping process extremely convenient, and you can do it at leisure.

Once again, the importance of getting your measurements right cannot be stressed upon enough. Wherever you get your suit made from, make sure that it is tailored to your measurements. Also, always have a good men’s tailor’s number handy in case you need to make alterations in the suit’s fit. Don’t hesitate in spending on this because it will be well worth the sharp, well-fitted look you get.

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4. Timeless Styles Work Best On Every Body Type

Most men tend to go for a bespoke suit that can be worn to almost every occasion. However, all occasions entail varying degrees of formality. A job interview is different from a wedding dinner or a business dinner. This is why it is important to choose a suit that is timeless in style, helps you make a statement, and lends you a suave look in all kinds of events.

Going according to your body type can work well in helping you pick a classic style. Slimmer men can get their jackets made with broad lapels to make their shoulders look broader, and include a single vent to retain the slim look. Larger men, on the other hand, can go for two vents to enable comfort and maximize movement.

Avoid going for pleated pants as they tend to look bulky and old-fashioned. Flat fronts should do you good instead. Modern custom suits are slim-fitting; however, if you want to go for a timeless yet flexible style, you can consider the traditional fit. Of course, you can always get it tailored so it sits well on you.

Consider customizing your suit when it comes to including pockets. Slanted pockets are considered chic and modern, while flat pockets are a classic style. Think about whether or not you want to include pocket flaps. If you do include them, but don’t want to see them later, you can always tuck them into the pocket.

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5. Make It Versatile

A well-tailored suit comes a price, which is why you may want to ensure that it versatile. This goes one step ahead from the previous point. Choosing a suit with timeless style and cuts will ensure that you have a suit that can be worn to any occasion. Versatility, however, is all about choosing the right colour and fabric that further enables you to wear the same suit confidently in different situations.

When it comes to colour, stay away from black. Black suits are meant to be worn to funeral and should not be worn to other occasions. You can get a navy suit as this colour is versatile enough to be worn to almost every formal event.

Still, a lot of men gravitate towards black custom suits. Flat black may seem like a colour fits everything, but does it lend flexibility to your suit, especially if you have just one? Similarly, a plain black can look splendid, but more often than not, it looks highly formal and dark. It also limits your accessorizing options. If you must wear black, go for a charcoal suit instead and you’ll surely look great.

Apart from charcoal and navy, dark grey us another great option, especially if you already have a black suit. This colour has a timeless feel to it. You can still see a number of men on TV and in movies donning dark grey suits. A suit in this colour is sure to make you stand out in a crowd, and let others know that you’re a man of impeccable taste.

If you’re looking for patterns, it is best to choose something conservative and understated such as pinstripes. Fabrics such as wool and wool blends (merino and cashmere) will go a long way in sharpening up your suit.

A word of caution: one major outcome of owning a versatile suit is that the wearer invariably ends up teaming the jacket or the pants with other garments. For instance, he may wear the suit jacket with slacks or a vest or sweater. This is what flexibility is all about; it gives you the freedom to mix and match the same outfit for different occasions. However, you need to be careful about how often you do this. After all, you don’t want your suit pants to fade faster than the suit jacket (or versa). This will render the complete suit mismatched and un-wearable.

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6. Be Attentive Towards the Small Things

Sometimes it pays to sweat the small stuff.

Not many men pay attention to this aspect, but the buttons on your suit deserve adequate thought and consideration too. Examine whether or not they are securely attached to the suit, and if they fit properly into the button holes. Button up the suit jacket and see if it sits evenly on your body.

A few other elements you do not want to take for granted are as follows:

> Look at the suit jacket collar. It should be stiff and lay flat without creasing.

> Put your arms in the sleeves and check whether or not they are lined down to the cuff. If it isn’t, put it away immediately as jackets can be difficult to wear and take off smoothly.

> If you’re going for a patterned suit, check if the patterns are consistent and flow throughout without breaks or gaps.

> When examining your jacket, get hold of the front panel of the jacket and bend it back and forth between your hands. It needs to have some heft, i.e. it needs to have an interlining too so that it doesn’t end up a wrinkly mess when you take it off.

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7. Try Different Materials

Once you’ve got the hang of the basics and are in a position to go beyond the essential suit, you can try and experiment with various materials. Go seasonal. While tweeds and (sometimes) corduroys can be perfect for winter, linen can be just the material to wear and look cool in summer.

8. Give Ample Thought to Accessories

So you’ve got yourself a great suit that makes you look slick! If you want to amp up your style quotient even further, you need to invest in the right accessories.

Go for a bright, colourfully designed pocket square to make your suit more fun. The colour or colour scheme of your chosen pocket square should complement your tie, instead of matching it.

The colour of the tie you wear should belong to the same family as that of your suit. Typically, dark coloured ties are worn with dark-coloured suits.

Colourful or patterned socks can add a dash of chutzpah to your look. However, be careful when you do this. Consider geometric patterns, instead of awkward themes like cartoon characters or polka dots, and so on.

Do not hesitate to flaunt smart-looking suspenders that harmonize your outfit and give your overall look a distinctive touch.

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The Don’ts

While we often hear about the things that should be done in order to end up with an outstanding suit, we seldom get to know about the things to steer clear of. While there is something called the “right” suit, there is also a wrong suit that you want to avoid like the plague.

If you’re wondering as to what you should doing when buying a suit online, then here are a few helpful pointers:

1. Don’t Overlook Certain Factors

Regardless of how much you like a suit, you cannot afford to overlook certain factors such as body type, for starters. Men have different shapes and sizes and you need to pick a suit that flatters your body type. Your suit jacket should be comfortable, but you cannot expect to be overly active when wearing a suit. The shape of your suit’s trousers matters too. Do not go for awkward styles and colours; and stay away from unusually wide lapels and jackets with more than three buttons.

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2. Don’t Neglect the Tailoring

Just because you don’t go for a bespoke suit or buy a suit online does not mean you will not land yourself a great suit. Buying suits online is becoming increasingly common among the masses. All you need to do is make sure that it is within your size range. Thereafter, you can always take it to a tailor to get the fit perfected. The charges for these alterations are usually reasonable.

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3. Don’t Settle for a Bad Fit

Watching out for certain fit-related red flags can tell you whether or not you should be buying a suit. Wearing a tight jacket will lead to ridges on the back (among other things), which means a terrible fit. Similarly, a loose jacket will lead to creases at the shoulder and the back seam. You don’t want that.

Wearing a jacket with sleeves that are too long is a sartorial disaster. The cuff the shirt should be allowed to peek through to a certain extent.

You also need to avoid wearing suits that treat the trouser length as if it were a pair of jeans or chinos.

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4. Don’t Forget about the Shoulders

Pay extra attention to the fit of the shoulders of the suit jacket. Getting this measurement right is extremely critical as if you get this wrong, even a good tailor may not be able to help you much. A suit with short or droopy shoulder padding is a big no-no.

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One of the first steps towards getting your suit right is buying it from a trustworthy website. Once you zero in on that, you need to focus your efforts on getting the various elements of the suit right. This requires close attention to details, which may be difficult, but is worth the effort. The above pointers should help you work out all the critical details of the suit meant for you. After all, you will get to buy a suit that fits you to a T and makes you the cynosure of all eyes.