How to Build Your Suit Collection
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) How many suits are in your closet? Are they the right ones? Whether you need to wear a suit every day to work or just need something in your closet for special occasions, the task of buying suits can seem daunting. However, it doesn't need to be. Buying suits can be easy and even fun without breaking the bank.
How Many Suits Do You Need?
If anyone in the world wants you buying a closet full of suits, it's Kyle Vucko, co-founder and CEO of Indochino, a company making some of the best inexpensive made-to-measure suits around. Still, he says that the first consideration in how many suits you need is what you do for a living.
"Everyone needs at least one suit," he says. "You can even get by at a job where you have to wear suits every day on three."
Samantha Shih, founder and CEO of 9Tailors thinks that three is the magic number for all men.
"You need a grey suit, a black suit and a navy suit," she says.
What Suits Get Worn Where?
Another question guys building their suit wardrobe up often wonder about is where to wear what they have. Shih explained that black suits are very formal, while navy is more professional. Medium grays are good for just about any occasion.
Vucko recommends that you go with the navy suit first, or maybe a charcoal. After that, you should get a light grey or a sharkskin blue. Solids come first, then pinstripe, then checks. Why?
"If you're not wearing suits every day, it's important to keep them more neutral," says Shih. The reason being that you're more likely to wear the same suit on multiple occasions. "If you're buying suits to wear to special occasions, people are going to notice that you've recycled your suit if it's a more memorable pattern," says Shih.
Indeed, Vucko recommends that you avoid even pinstripes until you buy your fifth or sixth suit.
How Do You Buy a Suit?
"I'm a big proponent of purpose," says Shih. "Ask yourself, 'What's the purpose of what I'm wearing?'" After that, the main consideration is fit. "Definitely try things on," she says. And while not everyone can afford even the most inexpensive made-to-measure suits (which generally come in at around $600 to $800), basically anyone can afford to buy something off the rack and get it tailored.
"Zara is a great place for guys who want a mid-range suit," says Shih, who also likes what J. Crew has on offer for off-the-rack men's suits. Tailoring will come in at under $100, making even an off-the-rack suit noticeably less expensive than something bespoke.
What About Shirts?