There are still a range of occasions today which require a suit or a jacket, with varying degrees of elegance.
But not everyone can afford suits and jackets for every occasion, from elegant weddings and formal evening events to professional business meeting and business casual events.
To solve this problem, you might want to create ONE elegant suit, which you can dress up for a wedding or gala, but also wear for occasions where you want to impress. Here are 5 tips to create this ONE elegant suit for any occasion.
Tip 1: Make it a 3-piece
You might not have worn a vest before, but if you want to create a truly elegant suit, which you can also wear at other occasions, then you want to make it a 3-piece suit.
A vest makes every suit more elegant. And it is the decisive note, which allows you to turn your everyday suit into an elegant evening suit.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a single-breasted or double-breasted vest, with lapel or without, a vest it should be. For more inspirations on how to design vests inspirations, read our blog post "Design a Vest to Impress."
Tip 2: Pick a strong fabric that speaks for itself
When picking your fabric and colours you need to keep in mind that you want your suit to also work in elegant evening settings. This means you should avoid colours which are too light, or rather casual colours like brown.
Since you want to wear the suit on more casual occasions as well, we recommend you to choose any of the following:
Other than black, these colours will allow your suit to be elegant but versatile. You might go for a pattern to make it lighter and more modern, but choose something discreet - no large checkers!
With regards to the fabric quality, of course a pure fine wool fabric would be the best choice. You can get away with a high quality wool/polyester blend if it has the right touch and feel. Stay away from anything that has significantly less than 50% wool in it.
Tip 3: Give it a "timeless" cut
When you create your one suit for all occasions you will most likely want to make sure that you can still wear it in 5 years without looking entirely out of place. These are the features which help you to stay on the safe side:
For the jacket:
Single breasted - not everyone can pull off double breasted, especially when you want to wear it more casually, with jeans.
Notch lapel - lapel fashion keeps changing over time, but the notch lapel is likely to stay the acceptable standard for some time.
2 buttons - Again, fashion keeps changing but the lower 2 button stance is likely to stay.
Medium length - your jacket should go to the crotch point (where your trouser legs meet). Fashionable length is constantly fluctuating but with this medium position you are "fashion independent," and on the safe side. If you lean towards a more dynamic, casual look you can go shorter, like the jacket on the picture above. Shorter jackets tend to work better if you want to combine it with chinos or jeans for a casual outfit, but the medium length also works there.
Lapel button hole - No longer a standard requirement for a suit, but if there is a chance you might wear it at a wedding, you'll want to keep this in mind, as often a flower is placed in the button hole.
Stick to pocket basics - Single-welted breast pocket on the left only, side pockets with a flap (you can also wear the flap tucked inside for a more dynamic look), no ticket pockets. The later tend to be in and out of fashion at different positions of your jacket, avoiding them is the safe bet.
If you like your lapel with visible stitching along the edge, only do it in a matching thread colour. Having a stitched lapel seems to come in and out of fashion regularly, but not having it is always acceptable.
For the vest:
Single breasted - double breasted vests are making a welcome revival and we love them, still single breasted is the safer bet.
5 buttons - especially when you add the vest in order to dress up your suit for elegant events - you want the vest to peak out over the button stance of your jacket.
Double welted side pockets - as for jackets, pockets change constantly with fashion, so stick with the basic.
Lining back - with the dominant lining colour of your jacket. You just can't go wrong with that.
For the trouser:
Conservative length - Fashionable trouser length continues to vary significantly over time, but the acceptable standard has always been that your legs should end around 1.5 centimetres above the edge of the heels. This is around halfway up the heel of the shoe.
Straight or slim cut - We are going a bit out on a limb here- Straight cut will always be acceptable for all body types, but for most men a slim cut will still look better and more dynamic. An absolute no-go is a straight cut with short ankle-length trousers!
1/4 front pockets - Recently more youthful pocket styles like full pockets have appeared also in suits, but you can never go wrong with the basic 1/4 pocket.
Single welted back pockets without buttons - Keeping it lean and classical, under no circumstances should you put something in your suit trouser back pocket.
Tip 4: Keep it simple - don't over commit to colour combinations
Designing your suit with colourful offset elements is one of our specialties.
But when designing your ONE suit, you want to be careful to avoid limiting your choice of colour combinations. That means especially staying clear of black or brown elements, because they bar you from wearing your suit with shoes of the other colour. A grey suit with brown elements does not work with black shoes.
You rather want to work with flexible colour palettes. By far the most flexible are the different shades of red, from bright red to purple. They go well with most shirt colours as well as jeans.
Speaking of trousers, another great way to make your suit more flexible to wear is to use side adjusters instead of a belt.
It is often quite hard to find leather belts and shoes which match perfectly. Therefore, not wearing a belt gives you a lot more flexibility in your choice of shoes.
Side adjusters take over the functionality of a belt - making sure your trouser stays in place as well as 'adjusting' for small changes in weight.
Tip 5: Knock yourself out on the inside
While the core rule for the outside of your one suit is to keep it lean and simple, our recommendation for the inside of your jacket is to throw all caution overboard.
This is the place where everything goes.
Yes, the frame style of the jacket keeps changing, with a more simple, straight frame being fashionable at the moment, but nobody will ever look at a beautifully designed jacket inside and think that this is an unfashionable style.
The inside of your jacket is the place where you can shine. We have some inspiration for you in the blog post, "Designing the Inside of Your Suit."
Our in-person design sessions are free, and you are not committing to anything.
We will discuss your ideas and preferences, walk you through the styles, fabrics,
and all the finishing touches - and design your perfect suit for all occasions.