GQ’s guide to suiting up. I’m in need of a new suit, and this guide here is pretty spot on in my eyes, it’s GQ after all, they know what they’re on about. For me, it’s gotta be side vent, never a single button, and a double breasted will have to be something special for me to consider it; I’m actually a fan of the slit pocket. And hopefully the writer here shares my view on pocket squares; an absolute necessity, there’s no comment on it but the model is sporting one so I should hope so. Another point they’re lacking, the lining! Never over look the lining, even if you’re wearing it buttoned, it’s about you knowing that you’re on top form, I’ll completely ignore a suit if the lining is no good.
That’s our mantra here at GQ. It’s what we preach every issue. Doesn’t matter what kind of suit you’re investing in, whether it’s $200 or $2,000, flannel or seersucker, two-button or three. We’ve seen plenty of guys who’ve bought the right suit and let it hang off them like an NBA rookie on draft night. And we’ve seen men in cheap but well-tailored suits who look like a million bucks. The thing’s got to fit right, or else there’s no point in wearing it. Question is, what’s the right fit, and how do you get it?
A. Take It from the Top
A good suit should hug your shoulders, not slouch off them. Most guys think they’re a size larger than they are—say, a 42 regular instead of a 40. When buying a suit, go ahead and try sizing down. When you pull on the jacket, there should be a firmness to it. You should snap to attention and stand taller. If it doesn’t fit right in the shoulders, don’t buy it.
B. Lose the Flab
Think about the width of the sleeves. This is an obsession of ours at GQ. For pretty much every photo shoot, we have a tailor slim down the sleeves, trimming them of excess fabric. It cuts a mean figure.
C. Show Some Cuff
Your suit sleeves should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows. It’s like the frame on a painting—the elegant finishing touch.
D. Taper, Taper, Taper
Your jacket should contour to your body. Have a tailor nip it at the sides. This will accentuate your shoulders—whether you’ve got strong ones or not.
E. Break It Down
We like flat-front pants, cut slim, with very little break at the ankle. This produces a long, clean look. Your pants should just clip the tops of your shoes, not bunch up over them.
You know how a suit should fit. But what about all the details that define the style of a suit? You’ve got countless options. Here are the ones that matter most, the ones that make for an infallible suit.
F. Start with the Lapels
Nothing does more to dictate a suit’s character than the lapel. We like a slim one, about two inches at its widest point. It’s modern without being rock-star skinny.
G. Go for Two
We swear by a two-button suit jacket. Sure, a three-button that’s cut well can do the job, but a two-button is much more consistently reliable, no matter your shape or size. We typically opt for ones with low-button stances, because they create a long, slimming torso. They’re foolproof.
H. Ticket, Please
Ticket pocket? Sure. If you’re into more of a British-dandy vibe, go for it.
I. Cause a Flap
J. Feel Free to VentFinally, don’t ignore the back of the jacket. It plays an integral role in a suit’s character. Generally, we prefer a center vent; it’s unobtrusive and keeps the lines of the suit clean and simple. Side vents, like these here, make more of a statement. They’re a bit more…rakish.
We like a traditional flap pocket. There’s something a bit too ’90s about those slit pockets.
Photos: Eric Ray Davidson