Men’s suits aren’t just clothes. Men’s suits define a man – more precisely, they make a boy into a man. For generations, men have worn suits to important events such as business events, weddings, graduation ceremonies because they portray a certain type of seriousness.
Wearing a well-stitched suit gives a man confidence and instills trust in others to take him seriously. A man in a suit has taken his time to look good and cares about what others think of him in a professional and social setting – he wants to come across as a gentleman.
What is a gentleman? A gentleman is someone with class, intellect and chivalry. He knows how to treat others with respect and is confident enough to get what he wants in a classy way, be it love, respect or success.
A well stitched suit allows a man to portray his personality and we like to agree with cheesy lines such as “a suit is a modern knight’s armour” because if you really think about it, it is.
For this reason, we will be publishing a series of blog posts on suits that will enable you to buy the right kind of suit that looks good on you and builds your confidence. A good suit will make you stand out and be your first step in achieving your goals in life that matter, both professionally and socially.
For our first post on men’s suits, we want to focus on the material that makes a suit. We interviewed a businessman who has been selling suiting materials for a while now. Here is our exclusive interview and hopefully it will give you some tips on the best type of materials to select for a suit.
What is the difference between buying a ready made suit and a bespoke suit? Are the suiting materials of a better quality?
Ready made suits are made of pre-selected materials (obviously). Depending on where you buy the ready made suits from, the materials may/may not be of a good quality. Consulting the suiting retailers will allow you to get a good idea of what materials they use to make their suits, and you could check with a couple of retailers to find a suit that is comprised of a material which you are comfortable with. This can be tricky because you may like the material of a suit, however, you may not like its style.
On the other hand, if you have a bespoke suit made for you, you can select a material that is of high quality as well as the style of suit that you want. Higher quality materials are usually more expensive so the quality of material for your suit depends on your budget.
What is the best mix in terms of materials for suits when buying a bespoke suit?
The best mix in terms of materials for suits will depend on what you want to buy the suit for and where you will be wearing it.
If you are looking to wear the suit in hot weather/summer, it would be good to buy a light suit so that it is breathable. You could buy suits comprising of breathable wools with lower weights or if you are looking for cheaper options, you could consider linen/polyester.
If you are looking to wear the suit in cold weather/winter, it would be good to buy a heavy suit comprising of materials with higher percentages of wool.
What are the pros and cons of the following materials:
The benefits of a material depend on how breathable/non-sweaty, soft, comfortable and wrinkle free they are.
As mentioned above, some materials are good for hot weather as they are breathable, whereas some are good for cold weather because they are heavy and compact; they are able to keep the cold out and prevent body heat from being lost easily.
1.Polyester – Suits made from polyester will usually be a blend with another material such as wool. This is good for spring and autumn and may also be a cheaper alternative to suits comprising of wool. They are fairly breathable and wrinkle-free depending on the type of polyester blend. They may not be as comfortable/soft as cotton or wool.
2. Cotton – Cotton is great for hot and humid climates/summer as it is breathable, however, it creases quickly. Suits comprising of cotton are soft and comfortable but not as wrinkle-free as wool. These are good for office wear, apart from the fact that they crease easily.
3. Linen – Linen is breathable and is great for summer, but creases easily. It may also be good for casual/party events. It is also durable and great for fashion sustainability.
4. Wool (Cashmere, merino, worsted) – Wool is great for colder climates as it helps to keep one warm. It is usually the most popular choice of fabric as it is breathable, soft and wrinkle free. Different wool blends include flannel, tweed, cashmere, merino and worsted, with worsted being the most popular. These would be great for office wear. Cashmere has a soft shine to it and is quite luxurious so would be great for party suits.
5. Silk & Velvet – Silk and Velvet are breathable fabrics, soft and may be fairly comfortable. These are usually worn by party goers eg a velvet-combination blazer with jeans on a night out, or performing artists on stage. Do not wear to the office unless you are Snoop Dogg.
For more information on these suiting materials, visit DMARGE.
What is cloth weight and why does it matter? Which cloth weight would be good for summer, holidays, winter? Which is the best weight for everyday use?
Cloth weight is exactly what it means – the weight of the cloth. The heavier the weight, the heavier the cloth will be.
Heavier weights of cloth are good for colder seasons, whereas lower weights are good for warmer seasons.
- 7oz – 9oz: Ideal for the height of summer here in the UK, as well as other hot climates abroad.
- 5oz – 11oz: Light to mid weight. Good for the transitional seasons (moving from spring to summer and late summer to autumn).
- 11oz – 12oz: Mid weight. Perfect for the majority of the time, perhaps nine to ten months of the year. If you’re building a formal wardrobe from scratch, there is no better weight to start with.
- 12oz – 13oz: Mid weight, but on the heavier side. A sound option for around eight months of the year. During the summer months it can be a bit warm.
- 14oz – 19oz: Heavy weight. These are not as popular, but they’re a tailor’s dream because they make up so well. Great on a cold autumn or winter’s day.
For more information, visit Fashion Beans.
Does cloth weight reflect on the quality of the cloth?
Cloth weight does not determine the quality of the material, however, the fineness of the material may have a part to play in its quality.
The fineness of a suit depends on its yarn count. Each suiting material usually has a yarn number to it. The higher the yarn number, the softer the material. A good base yarn count starts somewhere in the 80s and can go up all the way to a super yarn count of 200s. However, it is best not to pay attention to this yarn count as there is no way to monitor whether the industries would specify this yarn count accurately.
The best way to know that a material has a yarn count is to check if the material is soft to the touch and lighter. They will be more expensive, however, it is worth nothing that the higher the yarn count, the more prone the material is to wrinkling and they won’t be as long lasting. For work, it might be best to buy a suit with a lower material yarn count. For luxury/party wear, a higher yarn count material would be more suitable.
Does the height and body shape of a person determine which material they should choose?
Most suiting materials suit all body shapes. Thicker wools may make one look less slimmer than normal but this is about weighing the look of the suit against the warmth of the season.
The height/body shape/colour of a person would most likely affect the cut/fit of the suit rather than the material. More luxurious materials may look better on slimmer individuals, but tailors usually do take pride in making anything look good on anyone with the right fitting 🙂
Any tips when buying suiting materials?
If you are buying ready-made suits, do check the composition of the suiting material.
Ask the retailers as many questions to get a good understanding of what you are buying.
If you are buying a be-spoke suit, ask even more questions.
Tailors will be more than happy to tell you all about the different materials, which will be appropriate depending on where/why you will be wearing the suit, and even possibly which will look good on you. They have an abundance of information and experience and will help you buy a suit that will look good on you and give you the confidence to look the gentleman.