Where do I begin?


Isaiah asked: I'm 17 years old, and I need to buy my first suit. I am pretty sure I am done growing, so that won't be an issue, however, I have absolutely no clue on what type of style, color, fit etc.. to buy.

 

First, my friend, allow me to commend you on the fact that you are actually giving considerable thought to this at 17.  As I recall, it was near that age when I hastily flung myself at the mercy of the department store tailor mere days before my prom date expected me to arrive in a dashing getup fit for high school nobility—what I got instead only solidified my place as a single court jester with a very imminent appointment with the fashion gallows.

That said, I do not feel I would be exaggerating to say that most, if not all, men at some point share your exact question.  Where the blazes DO you start when it comes to suit shopping?  And while I cannot presently recall a time when I've felt more inadequate to give advice to a person such as your remarkably frugal and style-conscientious self....if I had to compile some tips about your first suit purchase, it might go something like this: 

COLOR:  A really safe route to go here would be to stick to the classics—navy, gray, or black.  Black is the more formal of the three.  So if you’re looking for something you can either dress-down or up or even split up the pieces into separates, I’d opt for navy or gray. 

FIT: I’ve mentioned before on this blog, that fit is all about tailoring your suit to match your specific body type and strengths. A good tailor will be able to mold a quality suit into an undeniably suave work of art--one that will not only fit your silhouette but also your age and personality.

STYLE:  The style of your suit is honestly a matter of taste in most respects.  Obviously, slimmer cut suits are very In at the moment, as well as double-breasted, and even single button with super slim lapels.  But for your first serious suit, I’d recommend you go with the absolute classic of classics—the two button with a moderate lapel.  This is the kind of suit that’ll disintegrate off of you before it falls out of style--and it’s by far the easiest to pull off.

In my experience, I'd highly recommend beginning your search by checking out some places like Zara or Topman.  They're both great places to start for styles that fit the younger demographic without draining your college savings account.

Thanks so much for the question, Isaiah, and I hope this helps!  Remember friends, you can submit all your style queries by clicking on the Ask A Gentleman tab above.

All the best,


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