What makes up most masculine
uniform?

Written
by Kelsi Trinidad
It is said that the suit makes
the man—but what makes the modern suit? The suit is the uniform of men, meaning
that it should be your personal uniform and express unity in your individual
style. That being said, the modern suit and its components should be thought of
as a blank canvas with which you can express yourself. Your choices of elements
within a suit can take you from being assessed as “that business guy” to “that
interesting, confident, and creative man” Our world is filled with limitless
options for the modern man, and in turn, limitless ways to get confused by
those options. From lapels to pocket squares, the parts of a suit need to be
thoughtfully considered. The following article will give you the basic
knowledge to choose a great suit and help you express your unique style.
The Grey Two-Button Suit


The grey two-button suit is
the most essential staple of a man’s suit wardrobe. If you are new to suiting
or just looking to update your wardrobe, purchasing the grey two-button suit is
a great start. Unlike the serious formality of a black suit, the grey suit
remains formal but gives off an air of approachability. Wearing the gray
two-button provides you a classic foundation onto which you can add unique
elements like a loud printed shirt, a bold tie or maybe a new pair of shoes.
You do not want to overwhelm the suit, you want complement it. A wool fabric
will be the most versatile, is resistant to wrinkling and is appropriate for
every season. The two-button construction is a standard requirement of the
modern suit. The three-button suits have a tendency to create a boxy frame. New
trends in men’s suiting lean towards a trimmer fit and slightly shorter jacket
that accentuates a man’s natural frame, giving a more contemporary and sleek
look. The grey two-button suit is a great investment for those looking for new,
updated, and timeless suiting.

Make Sure it Fits


The fit is absolutely
essential when composing your suit. If you can afford to take your suit to a
tailor, please do. A tailor can customize and update almost everything about a
suit and will give you the best fit possible. If you do not have the means to
utilize a tailor, here are a few things to keep in mind that can help in
finding a suit well-fitted to your body. If you are on the larger side, do not
invest in an oversized suit that will end up adding pounds. If you want to draw
the eye away from your stomach, use a bright pocket square to draw the eye up
towards the chest and away from the midsection. If you are short, be realistic
about it and buy a shorter jacket. Wearing a too-long jacket will end up making
you look shorter and a tad sloppy. Whatever you body type, make sure that your
sleeves allow a little of your shirt cuff to peek out (ideally .25″ -to .5″).
The fit of the shoulder is another crucial component, make sure that your
shoulder is neither too loose nor too tight.
There are various fits and
styles for men’s dress pants that can allow your to express your personal style
while also being mindful of your body type. Knowing your true waist size and
inseam is always the best place to start. The decision between slim-fit versus
straight-fit should generally be dictated by your body type. If you have a
thinner build, a slim-fit will give you a sharp and clean look. If you have a
heavier build, a straight-fit can give you a contemporary feel without looking
too tight. As a general rule, avoid pleats as they can make you look heavier
and your pants look excessively loose. Instead, opt for flat-front pants. The
pant break is another element of dress pants that is highly critical and can be
expressive. A medium pant break that results in a half of a complete fold where
the pant leg hits the shoe is the general standard for business suits but a
pant with no break is being seen more often on the well-dressed contemporary
man. You can adjust the break of your pants by having a tailor customize it.
Don’t Forget the Details:
Lapels, Collars, and Shirts


The finer details must not be
neglected when choosing a suit. Choosing the specs of your suit is just as
important as choosing color, material and fit. The lapel tends to be the focal
point of a suit jacket. The common lapel for everyday office wear is the
standard notch lapel. The notch lapel comes in various widths. A lapel that is
on the slimmer side is the most current fashion and will give you a more modern
look. Other lapels styles, like the peak lapel and the shawl lapel, can be worn
to dress-up or dress-down a suit for different occasions or to express personal
style. The dress shirt that you choose plays a pivotal part in the overall
appearance of your outfit and should be treated with the same care. Buying a well-fitted
dress shirt requires neck and arm-length measurements that can’t usually be
summed up by small, medium, and large. The neck fit should abide by the
one-finger rule: you should be able to fit one finger in between the collar and
your neck. This allows you to retain sharpness while maintaining comfort. Find
a shirt that fits close to your torso to create a sleek line. Different collar
styles can also be used to express yourself or complement your features. Check
out the guide to different collar styles here.
Dress for the Season


If you’re looking for an
alternative to the staple gray suit, embrace the change in weather and opt for
different fabrics that will keep your wardrobe more relevant and comfortable.
Spring and summer can be a very uncomfortable time for wearing suits, however,
by integrating more cotton fabrics into your suiting such as khaki, seersucker,
and linen, you can make your mark as a modern man while also staying
comfortable in the heat. When one thinks of khaki, a flood of boring beige
comes to mind. But fear not, khaki is available for suits in several different
interesting colors such as blue and white (which are a great palette for spring
and summer.) A seersucker suit can be a bold seasonal statement that can be
paired down with a subtle shirt and tie. Wearing a linen tie with a suit that
you already own can be a festive addition that shows you are fashion savvy. In
the colder months, try the sophisticated look of flannel, corduroy, and tweed.
These fabrics will not only keep you warmer, but also give a dash of festivity
and dapper style. Knit ties can also add special touch to your seasonal
ensemble.
Go for a Bold Suit


A bold man may need a bold
suit. Though it can be easily overdone, it does not mean an attempt should be
altogether avoided. Plaids, bold tweeds, pinstripes, and colors can all be a
part of your repertoire by balancing them with your other pieces. Unification
and editing is key when composing an ensemble. Pinstripes should remain on the
thin side—larger pinstripes can look extremely outdated, distracting, and can
distort your body. Colored suits are also an easy way to make a style
statement. When choosing color, it is best to still stay within the neutral
range: navy, cream, maroon, even dark green. You can opt for pairing a colored
jacket with black or grey pants. Dressing in an audacious way shouldn’t come at
the expense of sophistication. Keep in mind that wearing a bold suit takes
balance and confidence.

Find the Right Footwear


Footwear is the window into a
man’s view on style and taste. The process of finding the right shoes doesn’t
have to be intimidating, just thoughtfully guided. Investing in a well-crafted
pair of shoes will always be worth the money. We recommend an all-leather shoe with
a leather sole. This will ground your suit with classic timelessness. A well
selected and cared for pair of leather shoes can be resoled over and over again
and will last a lifetime.  If you spend a
lot of time on your feet, rubber soles can offer better grip and comfort even
if a bit of classic style is sacrificed. Every man should own a basic black
lace-up oxford which is easy to pair with different outfits. Another classic
option is a brown wingtip.
Accessorize Your Suit


A suit can be made minimal or
elaborate by choosing the appropriate accessories. Accessories will complete
and personalize your outfit. If you want to add to some louder pieces to your
suit without the risk of looking overdone, we recommend going bolder with one
or two elements.
The tie bar is a classic way
to keep your tie out of your way and also create a put together look. Check out
our ultimate tie bar guide. If you’re a french cuff kind of guy, you can define
your persona even further by choosing a great pair of cufflinks. Whether they
express your polish or your individuality, make sure that they remain an accent
to the ensemble rather than the focus of it. If you’d like to spruce up your
basic dress shoes, lace them with colored waxed shoelaces. You could wear a
bright pair of socks that peak out from under pant leg when you sit down or
cross your legs. Don’t forget the value of a great pocket square.
Knowing how to pair a tie with
your suit is key to centering your outfit. The necktie gives a long vertical
line down your torso, creating a slimming effect that can be an added bonus to
those with a broader frame. When choosing a tie, keep in mind your whole
ensemble. If nostalgia is what you crave, the bow tie is an attractive if
slightly quirky option.

Now that you are armed with
suiting know-how, go forth and conquer!
Kelsi Trinidad
SOURCE:
THE GENTLEMANUAL
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.