The Only Suit Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

When someone pictures a gentleman, certain things come to mind.  Dashing, distinguished, and the attire most people think of when they think of a gentleman is the suit.  Yes, the suit is the single most must have attire for the gentleman.

A good suit enhances Mother Nature’s gifts: it’s like wearing an Instagram filter, or walking around with flattering lighting constantly overhead. Slip it on, and suddenly you’re a new, better-looking man, as if God Himself has dressed you.

Don’t think that you can just go to the nearest department store grab a few suits off the rack and call it a day.  When you wear an ill fitted suit it will look as bad as a well fitted suit looks good.

This article will give you what you need to know about suits so the next time you head to the store you will have all the information you need to walk out the store with the perfect suits, and your closet will have the perfect foundation for a modern gentleman.

Gentlemen Dress Code

Suit Types

There are many different types of suits, picking the right suit for the right occasion is important.  Here are some of them

Suits can be divided by where the inspiration of the suit came from England, Italy or America.

  • Italian styles typically had padded shoulders, no vents, were full-chested and had a V-shaped jacket and “slash” – or flapless –pockets, and an ideal choice for slimmer builds.
  • In comparison, a British suit has padded shoulders, two vents, a pinched waist, flap pockets and came in striped or plaid patterns. This style is considered perfect for more athletic builds.
  • The American variety has natural shoulders, a single vent in the back, straight-hanging lines and flap pockets is the style recommended for men with larger frames.

Suits are more commonly divided into the following three categories: two-piece, three-piece and tuxedo.

The two piece is exactly how it sounds – a suit made of two garments, a jacket and the pants. The three-piece includes the vest, but not always, in the same fabric or pattern as the suit.

difference between suit and tuxedo

Now your next choice is whether to have a single or double breasted suit. The most common style of suit, the single-breasted, comes with a single row of buttons down the front, which only overlaps enough to permit buttoning.

These suits can come with anywhere from 2 to 5 buttons.  To keep it stylish with two buttons and formal with the 3 buttons.  Any more buttons than 3 you fall into the faddish area.

As a modern gentleman we try to stay away from fads. This is the go-to style for corporate environments or men who prefer a simple, yet no less stylish, aesthetic.

comparison of single breasted and double breasted suit

In comparison, double-breasted suits have two rows of buttons, with the front overlapping significantly to allow for both rows to fasten.

While becoming more common in some offices, double-breasted jackets are, generally, perfect for events where a more dramatic look is required.

Gentleman Hack

A word on the rules of buttoning a single breasted jacket One button: Always closed except when sitting. Two buttons: Use the top one and leave the second button undone. Three buttons: Button the center and top ones and leave the third button undone. In other words: Never button the bottom button of a suit jacket.


The tuxedo, in either two- or three-piece format, is the eveningwear.  Never worn before 6pm, and almost always black. Tuxedos are ultra-formal and the ultimate in the suit line.

It can be stylized for the ceremonial wear. Can be worn with a cummerbund, same color or of some dark royal tone in satin preferably.

Choosing your pants are different from the complexity of jackets, pant styles are a basic choice of either pleated or flat-front, cuffed or straight leg.

pleated vs flat front pants, cuffed vs straight leg

While a cuffed leg can add some weight to the leg of your average suit, a tuxedo always has a straight leg. Pleats are nice with more formal suits, while you do not need them for casual or business suits.

The Suit Fit Guide

Now that you understand the different types of suits, in order to look like a true gentleman, you must get the correct fit. It really is all about the fit. The saying “the suit makes the man” is right: an ill-fitting suit can make you look less dressed up than wearing no suit at all.

There are many different fits:

Extreme Slim Fit

The Extreme Slim Fit is perfect for a trim slim guy who wants to wear his suit, not the other way around. The jacket features a narrower chest and waist that is form-fitting without being constricting. The trousers are slim-fitting with a low rise. Only slim guys should wear these suits.

Slim Fit

This fit is extremely popular now. Slim Fit is fitted closer to the body, without excess fabric. That doesn’t mean it fits like a bodysuit; Slim Fit can be worn by a lot of different body types.

If you have a thicker frame you will have to move up a size or two to look right in a slim fit suit.  For instance, if you wear a size 46 suit that is a classic fit or modern fit, you need to buy a 48 or 50 in slim fit.

Modern Fit

Modern Fit falls between Slim Fit and Classic Fit: it’s not too boxy, but it has more room than a Slim Fit. Modern Fit is a great choice for guys who want something a little more fashion-forward than Classic Fit, but are not sure they can pull off Slim Fit. Fitted correctly it can look like a Slim Fit suit.

Classic Fit

Classic Fit is comfortable and easy to wear. It’s cut generously through the chest and waist, which means less constriction for you, but still maintains a clean body shape. Most men will fall in this category.

Athletic Fit

One size doesn’t fit all. Athletic Fit is perfect for guys who prefer even more room to move than our other fits offer. The jacket features ample room in the chest and body while the full leg of the trouser offers maximum comfort.

This suit usually has broader shoulders and a v shape.  If you hit the gym show it off in this type of suit.


While most men are concerned with how the suit looks up front, for the modern gentleman it’s equally important to get it right on your back side.  When a modern gentleman is seen in public he is looked at from the front and the back.

no vent vs center vent vs side vent suits

CENTER VENT- As the name implies, the cut goes up the middle of the jacket. It should lie closed when you are wearing your jacket or the jacket fit is not right.

SIDE VENT – Side Vents let you put your hands in your pants pockets without the jacket bunching up and allow the jacket to lie smoothly in the back when seated. Side Vents can also make a jacket appear slimmer. This will be seen in most cuts above extreme slim fit suits

NO VENT- Some jackets do not have a vent. This is a fine choice for those who want a clean, sleek look, but can make for a less forgiving fit.  This will be seen in Extreme or Slim fit suits.

Suit Color Choice

Now that you have an understanding of suits, now you can choose your suits.  Here are the Suits that every modern gentleman must have.  As a modern gentleman you must have more than one suit.

You can’t wear a black suit everywhere for every occasion.  (technically you could but who wants to only have one suit).  So not only will I tell you what colors you need but also since most men do not have money to burn, what order to buy them in. When it comes to suits and colors, some suit colors are simply more useful and versatile compared to others.

Since most gentlemen have the black suit already, we will assume that you already have that and let’s look at the next suits you must get.

navy blue light gray charcoal gray suit men

1. Navy blue suit

All stores specializing in men’s dress clothing will carry a navy-colored suits. Navy suits are ideal for the man who wants to fit in. He wants to be recognized for the effort that he puts in and not necessarily what he puts on.

This is the basic business suit. If you wear suits to work every day you need multiple navy suits. This is where your tie shirts and pocket squares come into play.  Another advantage to a navy suit is that if a gentleman wants to mix it up a little you can wear different color pants due to navy being so versatile.

2. Light grey suit

A light grey suit is distinctively lighter compared to its other grey brethren. This suit works well for spring, winter, summer and fall wear. Its versatility is why its ranked so high. The light grey suit is more casual but with the right tie shirt and pocket square it can look very formal.

Light grey suits look very good with a vest so get this in a single breasted suit. You can wear almost any color vest and give different looks. This shade is a great way to break up the monotony of wearing the more usual shades such as blue, black or charcoal grey.

The lighter the shade the easier it is to introduce pattern-such as checks or herringbone-into the suit as the patterns are easily more visible. Which is another reason this is the third suit you should buy.

3. Charcoal grey suit

This suit color  is just about as versatile as navy. Charcoal grey is extremely easy to match. As that charcoal is firmly on the grayscale (absent of color – a neutral) it goes well with a wide range of colors allowing a man to be more adventurous with the shirts and ties that he pairs this suit with.

This is ranked as number 3 due to the fact that it is very close to the color black. When it comes to formality – this color is great for work, church, weddings, funerals, or meeting the president.

Having the three suits mentioned above plus the black suit you will already have make for an extremely versatile wardrobe. This is the foundation, the must have colors of suits.  My suggestion is that you have mix up your single and double breasted suits (only light grey must be single breasted).  With vests and different ties, you can really have quite a versatile wardrobe.

These next 4 colors are great to round out your wardrobe.

dark brown suit or medium gray suit

light brown or tan khaki suit vs white suit

4. A dark brown suit

This suit can be effective in adding a little bit of color. This suit has to be very dark. This suit is to add versatility to your wardrobe.

5. Medium grey suit

Since there are many shades of grey which means that there is a marked difference between charcoal grey and medium grey.

A medium grey suit will be a little lighter compared to charcoal, and what separates it from light grey is that you will not be able to get this color with any designs that you can get in light grey.

This suit is almost as versatile as the other greys due to the fact you can wear lighter color vests and this look very good with light accent colors.

6. Light brown/tan or khaki suit

A tan and khaki suit falls under the category of a brown suit as they fall within the same color family. This suit is worn primarily in the summer or fall. This suit is used primarily as an accent suit.

7. White suit

The white suit draws attention to oneself, therefore it can be ideal for events like white parties, or when you have to make a major presentation and really command everyone’s attention.

These can only be worn during the summer or in tropical climates. In other words, this suit is a non-formal casual suit.

8. Any other color

These include any other color of the rainbow or any other color you can imagine that was not covered earlier. Burgundy, light blue, peach, purple etc. these are like white, non formal and should only be worn for special occasions and casual settings.

There may seem to be a lot of rules and different suits, but once you learn the rules and start seeing all of the looks and compliments that you will get you will be addicted to wearing suits and dressing up.

As modern gentlemen you must have the foundation, and that foundation is what you wear and what you should wear and be comfortable with wearing is a suit.  So enhance the gifts that mother nature gave you and wear a suit.


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