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Style = Confidence
Calgary, Alberta


Ensemble Style is a Calgary fashion stylist stylists personal shopper shoppers and wardrobe consultant consultants. Menswear styling and closet edits. Custom suiting for men. Made-to-measure suiting




Key things to look for when purchasing a suit


A men's fashion/style blog, for the modern, stylish man. Personal shopping and styling in Calgary Alberta, Canada. New York fashion styling and consulting.

Key things to look for when purchasing a suit

Lauren Larsen

As most of you know by now, I have become completely and utterly obsessed with suiting (see Atelier), and since starting my own made-to-measure suiting business, my obsession and eye for cheap suiting has been getting stronger and stronger. I'm going to share with you some of my suiting knowledge, and key things I've learned along the way {and why shopping off-the-rack is now one of my biggest nightmares}.


The fabric of your suit is arguably one of the very most important aspects, and definitely one of the first things people will notice. If you're buying a cheap suit, and the fabric is also cheap, the likelihood of it not only having a short life, but also probably being a waste of money is quite high. Knowing where your cloth was made is very important, and having it be from a reputable fabric mill is one of the best ways to know whether or not the Super Scale number is accurate {believe it or not, sometimes this number is a lie}. Make the fabric of the suit a priority, and dear god, steer clear of anything with a polyester blend. 


The other most important thing is the fit of the suit. If you have a beautiful fabric and a poor fit, the perceived value of the suit will be diminished. 

Key things to look for in fit;

Shoulder width - the shoulder should match yours perfectly - i.e. it should not hang past your shoulder bones and should not end before your actual shoulders do. If it is too big, you're going to look like you're wearing your dad's suit, and if it falls short, it is going to look... well... just bad. 

Sleeve length - the sleeve should end just at your wrist bone. Too long will look sloppy, and too short will give you too much cuff. Keep in mind that in order to get that perfect 1/2 inch cuff, you shirt should also be exactly the correct length, which is approximately 1/2 - 1 inch past your wrist bone, but with cuffs tight enough that it will be held up. If you have short arms, it is best to have a suit made for you, because if you shorten the sleeve of the jacket too much, the buttons are going to look strangely close to the end of the sleeve.

Length - this one depends on your torso to arm length proportions, and differs significantly from man to man, but generally with current styles your jacket length should be just longer than your sleeve when standing with your arms by your side. Too long will look dated, and too short with look like a woman's jacket.  The best way to get the optimal jacket length is to have the suit made for you because it is very difficult for a tailor to shorten a jacket, and impossible for a tailor to lengthen it. 

Pant length - your pant should just touch the top of your shoe, with a small break in the fabric. Any bunching will look sloppy, trust me. If the shorter length means that you're going to be showing sock when you sit down... grab a pair of cool socks and rock the look!

There are obviously a lot more things to look for when it comes to achieving that perfectly tailored look (sleeve width, armhole height, back width, lack of puckering in the front when buttoned up. width of pant, etc.), but most of these are costly alterations, and if any of the aforementioned is happening to you, I'd recommend trying a different brand or trying custom

If you're buying a suit off-the-rack and need those inevitable alterations, make sure you find someone you trust. A good tailor is like having a great wing man. They're trustworthy, good at what they do, and are going to make you look (and feel) damn good. Ask around and get many opinions because bad tailoring experiences can be very. very costly (you'll pay for the tailoring, and perhaps not be able to wear the garment again if it is ruined). In my opinion (but I'll admit this is biased), made-to-measure is always the way to go if you're constantly needing to get things altered. Most of the time (if you have someone good), your made-to-measure suit is going to cost significantly less than a brand name off-the-rack suit (think Boss, Z Zegna, etc.), and you won't have any alterations to worry about. Once again, make sure you get a good feeling from the person who is making your suit. Who is making it, where is it getting made, where is the fabric from and is it from a reputable mill, how much experience do they have, what is their alteration policy, do they take care of fittings, etc. are all very important things to know to ensure you're not also wasting your money on a poorly made suit. 

I hope this was valuable information! If you have any questions at all, or have had any bad or good suiting experiences that you would love to share, leave a comment below or send me a message directly

- Ensemble Style

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