Archives: Suits

5 things about suits you have completely wrong

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about wearing suits. And in today’s typical work environment, where so many men are wearing dark jeans and polo shirts, these myths are easily reinforced.

And so this week I want to take a closer look at the typical complaints men have of wearing a suit. Here are 5 things about suits you have completely wrong.

Myth #1: Suits are always uncomfortable

Truth: We all have memories when we were young and the parents would dress us up in a heavy wool suit. It was invariably a low quality fabric and so yes, it was a little scratchy, didn’t feel very good against your skin, and you couldn’t wait to get out of it. Fast forward to your high school graduation and your first real job interview, and not much changed. Right?

You developed the perception that suits were always uncomfortable.

But the truth is that there are suits and there are suits. The latter are comfortable and do feel good when you wear them.

What it really comes down to is the quality of the fabric. A high quality wool can actually breathe relatively well. And it’s going to feel light and slick, almost like a silk. If it is summertime or you live in a warm climate, you can always look towards cotton and linen-blend suits to help keep you comfortable.

The takeaway is that suits are not inherently uncomfortable. If you look for high quality fabrics, it is entirely possible that you’ll find something just as comfortable as your casual clothes.

Myth #2: Dark suits are all there is

Truth: There’s a time and a place for a dark suit. And if you only own one suit, it should honestly be of a darker hue. The reason being, is that it’s just going to end up being a more versatile suit for you.

But it’s easy to think that this is the only way suits can be. But remember, a suit is just a style of clothing, the color can be anything you want it to be. So, take a look at some of the interesting fabrics out there. Sharkskin, plaid, windowpane, houndstooth, etc. You have plenty of options besides charcoal and black!

Myth #3: You can’t stay cool

Truth: Ask me about my experience as a groomsman and the first word that will enter my mind will be hot. Indeed I rocked that rental tux like a pro, but what I’m talking about here is the temperature.

When you need to look just like 5 other groomsman, that usually means you will be renting a tux from one of the big chains. So, yes, I was guilty of many of the bullet points in Myth #4, below.

But what I really remember was that I was sweating bullets more than the groom! Under all that heavy wool, I felt like I was in a sauna. And that’s the same reaction most guys have when they think about wearing suits, that they will be hot and scratchy and all around, uncomfortable.

However, fine woolens and cottons and especially, linens, are all very comfortable fabrics. It’s the lower quality fabrics that you find in off-the-rack stores that are going to feel heavy and coat-like. And remember to actually feel the fabric. Does it feel light? Does it feel comfortable? Always touch a suit fabric before you buy. 

Myth #4: It’s easy to find something that fits

Truth: Odds are that your suit doesn’t fit. That’s the harsh truth. If you own a BE suit, you’re obviously exempt :).

But if you’re still wearing an off-the-rack suit, one of the following items is probably a trouble spot:

  • Your jacket is too long
  • Your jacket is too short
  • Your arm hole is way too big
  • Your lapel wasn’t sized proportionally to your body
  • Your pants have too much of a break at your shoes
  • Your pants are baggy

This is just a short list of what we regularly see when we work with new clients. And it’s the reason that I spend so much time blogging on a wide range of topics – because we want to start putting good information out there and help you look your best. Even if you don’t end up shopping with us, you’ll at least be better educated when you work with another clothier.

Myth #5: You should treat your suit like a prized possession

Truth: One of the things I always notice in James Bond movies is how willing Bond is to absolutely destroy his suit! You’ve seen the movies, haven’t you? One moment Bond is at a baccarat table and the next, he’s in a full sprint or kneeing a bad guy in the gut in self-defense. And he’s doing all of this in a dinner jacket (aka, tuxedo).

Growing up, we are all taught to wear your nice clothes to “such and such event.” That our nice clothes are to be treated as though they are prized possessions.

I’m certainly not suggesting you take to changing the oil in your car wearing your BE suit (please, please don’t do this!), but what I am arguing for is that you remember that your bespoke suit or custom shirt are still just clothes. That you shouldn’t be acting any differently when you wear these clothes. Instead, you should be living in your suit just as you would with your gym clothes or what you may wear to a baseball game on opening day.

Clothes are just clothes.

I can’t remember who it was that said the following quote – if you recognize it, please email me – but this gentleman said that “style is all about putting care into how you dress yourself, and then completely forgetting about what you’re wearing.”

I think Bond would agree.

Wrap up

Did I forget something? What are some of the other big misconceptions about wearing suits? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

By Ryan Wagner

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Why we don’t sell suits online

custom wedding suit your new style

We don’t compromise.

That’s what makes BE, BE.

It’s a lesson my father taught Brett and I when were were still young.

We could sell suits online, but…

We would not be able to stand behind the fit.

And that’s very important to us. Our reputation is built on great fitting clothes.

Sure, we could put in the time and energy to build out an online customization process for ordering suits. We could build in options for surgeon cuffs and lapel options, and so on. And we could make videos to teach a friend how to measure you.

But we just don’t think that the finished product would fit you like you had imaged.

To better understand our reluctance to sell suits online, consider a typical BE appointment:

Ron meets with you in your home or office and gets an idea for what it is you’re looking to accomplish. And the occasion. Once you decide on a fabric and appropriate style details, then Ron pulls out the tape measure. For the shirt, the process is relatively straight forward.

However, a suit can get a whole lot more complicated. Ron takes 21 measurements. The whole time he’s pulling the tape measure across you, he’s applying “the art form.”

A little tolerance here, a little tolerance there…

All a function of your posture and the line of your shoulders.

It all adds up in a way that will meet (or exceed) your expectations in fit. These tolerances are based on your conversation with Ron – the occasion, your sense of style, your goals – all integrated together to constitute your measurement profile, one as individual as your own signature.

That’s tough to do in an online store.

We won’t ship unless we are sure the fit is correct

Sometimes, we’ll ship your shirts to you. But only if you’ve purchased clothes from us before. Why? Because we want to be sure that the fit is perfect.

That’s why for new clients, Ron will always personally deliver the suit, shirt, pants – whatever it may be – so he can be sure you’re happy with what you ordered. The second time around, if it’s more convenient for you, we can ship your order via FedEx.

But for suits, they just aren’t something we are willing to ship. Instead, we take the time to freshly steam your suit purchase and make sure it’s looking like a million bucks. Then, Ron will deliver it to you in a valet cover and you’ll get to see it in all its glory.

Other ways that we refuse to compromise

  • Ron could end the appointment the moment his parking meter expires, but that would be compromising your experience.
  • We could save some money by not offering any further tailoring, but that would be compromising.
  • We could offer you fewer fabrics, but that would be compromising.
  • We could tell you that we’re only available for appointments Monday through Friday, but that would be compromising.
  • We could choose to partner with any vendor we wanted to – including those that may not reflect our same level of quality in their product – but that too, would be compromising.

And you could shop at the mall for your suit, but we know you don’t want to compromise either….!

***

From all of us at The Bespoke Edge, we want to remind you that we are in it for the long haul.

You’ve put your trust in us, and so it is our duty to you to never compromise. To keep exceeding your expectations, day after day.

By Ryan Wagner

Featured image credit: Ash Imagery

Notched lapel versus peaked lapels

peaked lapel suit

When shopping for a suit, one of the first big decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want a notched lapel or peaked lapel. Understanding the differences between the two options, and more importantly, what occasions call for which lapel style, can help you to build the suit that’s right for you.

Notched lapel or peaked lapel?

So, what exactly are the differences? And when should you wear one over the other? First, a little background: For those that may need a refresher, the lapel of a man’s suit is the folded flap of cloth on a jacket. Typically, it is formed by folding over the front edges of the jacket and sewing to the collar. There are actually (3) types of lapels – notched, peaked, and shawl. The latter is basically what you see on a dinner jacket (aka tuxedo). Since the dinner jacket is in a world all its own, this blog will focus on the two most common lapels, the notched lapel and peaked lapel.

notched lapel vs peaked lapel

The Notched Lapel

The notched lapel is the venerable standard in men’s suiting. It’s traditional yet contemporary and will be found on jackets ranging from your weekend sportcoat to your go-to business suit. By definition, the notched lapel is categorized by a ‘notch’ where the jacket collar meets the lapel at a 75 – 90 deg angle. If you have one suit, make it a notched lapel, simply because this style is the most versatile. You can wear it to work, to the bar, to an interview, just about anywhere you like.

If you are used to buying off-the-rack suits then you’ve probably owned all notched lapel suits. On the other hand, with bespoke suiting, you have the choice. You may even adjust the size of the notch. For instance, a slimmer lapel demands a very subdued notch, whereas a wider lapel has more room for creativity.

An example of a notched lapel suit

Tip: If you only need one suit, make it a notched lapel, but go with a dark charcoal or near-black fabric selection. This way, you can still navigate a formal event when paired with a black silk tie and white pocket square.

Body type considerations? None at all. As a testament to the versatility of this lapel, all guys can make this look good.  A notched lapel will even take you to some rather elegant occasions. However, if the event is significantly formal or if you are shopping for a double breasted suit, you better consider the alternative – the peaked lapel.

The Peaked Lapel

A peaked lapel is defined by the lapel edges pointing up and towards the shoulder. Traditionally, this lapel was seen in very formal garments like the morning coat or the tailcoat. In modern times this look is (unfairly?) constrained to the realm of executive offices and formal events. You can’t really dress down a peaked lapel. Whether it’s on a double breasted suit or not, you’ll stand out from the crowd. If you choose to widen the lapel and then go peaked, well, now you are really making a statement.

Regardless, don’t shy away from the peaked look. Yes, it’s generally a more formal look than the notched lapel, but is there anything wrong with dressing up? Of course not! Aside from turning some heads at a wedding you’ll look great in your Denver office. Read: dark pin-striped, peaked lapel suit, striped tie, & a great pocket square.

Tip: If you are a shorter guy looking to gain a few virtual inches, give this lapel a try. Similar to the effect of wearing a slim suit, a peaked lapel will induce a lengthening effect by moving the eyes upward towards the shoulders. Larger guys may also employ this technique to lose a few virtual pounds by appearing taller. Wear a dark suit and the effect is amplified.

custom peaked lapel suit

So, what’s the best lapel for you? In summary, there are a couple of general rules:

  1. Notched lapel – business and everyday wear
  2. Peaked lapel – formal and bold

Besides that, it’s really up to you. A man’s style is all about knowing the rules and then bending them just far enough to match your personality. And remember, good fashion is about wearing what makes you feel confident.

So, the next time you’re building a suit, keep in mind what the lapel style says about the occasion. Like so many things in men’s fashion, understanding the subtleties will make it easy to be the best dressed man around!

By Ryan Wagner

About Bespoke Edge: BE is a leading men’s custom clothier, serving the Denver and Scottsdale area by appointment.

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