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THE AFFORDABLE SUIT
A SUIT SHOPPING GUIDE FOR A GENTLEMAN ON A BUDGET
Photography by Craig Landale
Every guy should invest in a tailored suit before they’re 30 – it is a statement and a staple that will be in your wardrobe for years to come.
Throughout the years my core tailoring style has pretty much remained the same, but I love experimenting with accessories, colours and patterns. My favourite bespoke suit from Sir Tom Baker has been in wardrobe for a long time now, and it will always be my classic go to suit.
While bespoke traditions and standards have been maintained, times are changing. The rise of the high street has done away with the need for custom-made clothing, and buying an affordable, well-fitting suit is a lot easier than you may think.
Zara and ASOS are my ultimate suit saviors, with ASOS being my main port of call due to the fact that they allow you to mix and match on pretty much all their tailoring. Both ASOS and Zara suits start from £100 and are great quality – their prices are credit card friendly.
I always try to carefully select classic items, all of which are super versatile and can be worn both for formal occasions and everyday wear. After, buying the foundation items for my suits, I then like to buy some statement pieces in more bold colours or prints; details like this are a perfect way to add a playful twist to your tailoring.
London is a great place to pick up luxury tailoring at affordable prices – my favourite hidden gem is the Paul Smith Sale Shop near Bond Street; 23 Avery Row. Whilst you may not always find what you want, they do have a vast selection of cuts, colours, classic and trend-led suits to pick from.
I have picked up a suits for as little as £399, with friendly staff that will help you from the minute you walk in and take time to advise you on an alteration service right around the corner.
A man will never look worse than when he wears a suit wrong (fitting and cut) and the right tailoring will make your suit look expensive and luxury – so a few small alterations and a little bit more money will be worth the transformation.
Before you start here a few things to take into consideration:
Know Your Measurements - if in doubt pop into a tailor and ask them to measure you up. The jacket should fit you in the shoulder. You should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket. It should fell snug, but with room to move. The trouser should fit you in both the thigh and the leg. If you are a fashion-forward and want to make a modern statement, the trouser hem should hit right at the top of your shoe.
Your body shape - know your body shape and choose accordingly, if you are a fuller figure, a skinny suit if not for you. Go for the double vents in the back, they are more modern and fashionable. A great detail and super flattering to the fuller figured man.
Mix and match - make the most of your classic staples and combine with statement pieces, it will ensure your style remains fresh and you won’t get bored.
Tools - a seam ripper or a small sharp pair of scissors are a must-have tool. Unstitch the jacket’s pockets, remove the tack stitches from the jacket’s vents, and remove the little embroidered label from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully to ensure you don’t actually rip the fabric or neighboring threads. This is a must, there is nothing more unseemly than leaving these unstitched.
Don’t be too formal - remember to experiment with colours, patterns and fabrics... make tailoring your own.