Buying a suit off the rack shouldn’t bring your style down a peg or two. Shop wisely, and you can pick up tailored quality for a stitch of the normal price. Read ahead on how to spot the little-known features that make for a money-looking suit.
Fabric is arguably the most important element of a quality suit, and it should be breathable, soft and strong. Avoid man-made fibres like polyester – they may look passable to begin with, but since they retain heat, the suit is prone to wrinkles throughout the day. Instead opt for wool fabrics.
High-quality stitching is easy to spot since it will be clean and strong – something that adds shelf life to a suit. Look for consistency within the stitching, as lower quality suits usually boast irregular patterns.
Most – if not all – suits have buttons on the cuffs, but fully-functional buttons are a sign of a quality. Working buttons mean extra effort has been taken at the construction stage, and is therefore a tell-tale sign of craftsmanship.
First and foremost, check that the suit lining lays flat. Poor stitching ensures bulges and ripples that make for a sub-par suit, and stitching to the edges should be checked for consistency. If you commit to a suit regardless of this, expect the lining to strip away over time due to poor construction.
A well-fitted suit should allow free movement. Look for a blazer with a chest front shaped through the waist – this’ll grant a masculine shape, and will move with your body allowing for a better fit. If you don’t have that off the rack, it may warrant a visit to your local tailor. Since a blazer should fit as opposed to hang, a minor alteration will result in a more flattering shape (and won’t cost the world, either).