Tailors usually ask customers to bring pictures of their favourite looks with them for their first fitting. However, I have had quite a few younger clients, interested in Made-To-Measure suits, that don’t even know where to start. They also don’t altogether ‘trust’ my stock pictures as they don’t look modern enough. While I am always updating my looks (Have you seen my Pinterest account of various looks I have been collecting over the last few years?), many guys don’t know where to start.
If you aren’t buying for a specific purpose, like a wedding or other ‘dressy’ occasion, and you are looking for a classic look that never goes out of style, let me give you an idea with some looks that have always been – and always be – present in any gentleman’s closet, and can be seen at a wide variety of Professional and Personal gatherings. Why? Because Timeless, refined and sophisticated, the five suits below are what we consider to be modern-day essentials – transcending seasonal trends, they will never go out of fashion.
The Navy 2-piece
A navy blue two-piece is arguably the only suit a man would ever need, with its rich and versatile tone enabling it to adapt to a job interview, high-end restaurant or wedding reception. The key with this style (when it fits perfectly) is to opt for a classic single-breasted, notch lapel jacket and always look to combine with brown footwear and accessories over black. Outside of the office, your navy blazer can do double time, combining with jeans, chinos or tailored trousers to produce a wealth of smart-casual looks.
The Black 2-Piece
Although the black suit often gets a bad rap, a well-tailored version will always look sophisticated and chic, not to mention slimming. However, don’t overdress it. A classic white dress shirt and black silk tie is a winning combination, especially when finished with a smart pair of black lace-ups or Chelsea boots.
This should be considered your go-to evening option; a full black suit is often too stark to wear in the daytime (it looks its best under artificial light), but you can take the edge off by splitting it into separates and pairing the jacket with slim grey trousers.
The Grey Prince Of Wales Check Suit
The Prince of Wales check has stood the test of time. First developed for gamekeepers in Scotland, who would watch over the countryside and monitor the wildlife, the motif has become a popular option for men of all ages and walks of life. The reason is simple and elegant: This suit will help you subtly stand out in a sea of navy and black tailoring. Just remember to keep your surrounding pieces pared-back and muted to let the pattern do all the talking.
Try combining the blazer with similar rugged and outdoorsy pieces at the weekend – think dark indigo jeans and a pair of tan brogues.
The Mid-Grey Three-Piece
Talking of Grey, this is a truly versatile colour that works just as well in the office as it does out of it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the mid-grey three-piece has remained a classic, proving a strong investment for those that prefer fully buttoned-up style. While the waistcoat may not seem like an everyday piece, it’s a great addition to have hanging in your wardrobe for those occasions when you want to make a real impression.
It also allows you to ditch the jacket (for example, in the heat of summer) and still look extremely put together. For a dressed-down look, wear just the trousers and waistcoat with a tie-less shirt – sleeves rolled up, of course.
The Beige Suit
With today’s guys finally realising the importance of seasonal dressing, the beige suit has quickly developed into a contemporary classic. Your default option for any warm-weather event, it effortlessly bridges the gap between smart and casual; dress it up with a shirt and tie, or down with a simple grey tee for a summer wedding.
With this design only really suitable during spring/summer, prioritise breathable cotton or linen-blend versions to ensure comfort in the heat and opt for a slim but not skinny cut so as not to restrict air circulation. Don’t be afraid to split it into separates either. Due to its relaxed nature, the individual pieces are extremely easy to wear – try the trousers with a polo shirt and minimal trainers, or the blazer with your favourite jeans and a pair of leather loafers to cover weekends and casual evening events. Complete with brown or navy blue accessories for a strong yet considered contrast.
By investing in these basic look for your wardrobe you will have the base you need to build upon, and look classic, timeless and smart no matter the occasion. Keep these pictures to take into your neighbourhood tailor !