Shopping & Style

Ask A Stylist: Tips For Finding The Perfect Suit

September 24, 2013 8:00 AM

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(Credit: John McDevitt)

(Credit: John McDevitt)

If you are in the market for a new suit, you want to make sure you go to a store that carries a large number of manufacturers and offers personal service. Les Shwartzberg, of Les Richards Menswear, says the most important thing to do when buying a suit is to visit a store that employs a professional. This will ensure you are fitted properly and leave with something you can wear for years. Professionals can explain the differences between the different colors, fabrics and fits, and will also be able to show you the detailing that makes one suit cost several hundred dollars more than another. At any of the family owned and operated Les Richards Menswear locations, you will find professional stylists who are passionate about their work and create a personalized experience for every customer.

Les Schwartzberg
Les Richards Menswear
Shops at Liberty Place, 1st Floor
1625 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-1155
www.lesrichards.com

After spending a few minutes with Les Schwartzberg, you know you are dealing with someone who knows his business. Whether you are seeking a formal black suit for an upcoming wedding or something a bit flashier, Les will fit you masterfully. He will work with you to determine what you need, how “fashionable” you want to be and will help you to let your personality show through, no matter your budget. His stores offer custom and brand-name suits, so no matter what you are looking for, he and his team of stylists will help you create your perfect persona.

Think about the color and fabric you want before you go shopping.

Color and fabric choices are plentiful, so you should think about what “look” you are going for before you even venture into a store. If you are going on an interview with a conservative company, you may want to opt for a more formal look in navy blue, gray or black – the best-selling suit colors. If you’re concerned this isn’t going to create a memorable look, add a flashy tie or unique shirt. When attending a less formal event, let your personality shine through. Play with stripes or plaids and take advantage of the many fabric options available. A new trend in suits is to select fabrics that are seasonal, rather than one that may be worn through most seasons. This provides buyers with fantastic fabric options like silk and linen for the summer months.

Buy the right model for your body type.

Know your body type before you shop, and don’t expect that the latest trend will look good on you. If you have a slim body type, experiment with the newly popular modern or trim fit suit. If you are a regular size man or even a little heavier, this is a trend that may not work on your body type. The right cut will flatter nearly every body size, so make sure you are open to suggestions from your salesperson. If you’re not sure what will work for you, spend time working with a personal stylist. They may offer suggestions for suits that will look best on you.

Related: Top Personal Stylists And Shoppers In Philadelphia

Be aware that sizes will vary from one manufacturer to another.

A size 40 regular in a Calvin Klein suit may not fit like a size 40 regular in a Bresciani. When shopping for a suit, be open to trying on different sizes to get the best fit. You may have to move up to a slightly larger suit to get the fit that is most flattering. Jackets that are tapered will often run a bit on the small side, so know that if you are seeking a particular style you may not be leaving the store with the same size as the other suits in your closet.

Spend as much as you can afford.

Whether your budget is $500 or $5,000, spend as much as you can afford when choosing a suit. The higher the price, the better the quality will be, but you can get a great looking suit at any price. Look to the inside of a suit to see the workmanship. The labor put into the lining is what will typically drive the suit price up. More expensive suits will often have flashier linings so you make a statement when you remove your jacket. Details at the shoulder seam, the buttons and lapels will also hint at the price of a suit, but most people aren’t trained to know these details, so don’t worry too much about this if your budget is lower.

Tailor. Tailor. Tailor.

If you are going to spend the time and money to buy a great suit, you want to make sure it fits perfectly. Most suit jackets have sleeves that will not fit every man. Manufacturers make suits in lengths that they expect will fit someone with short, average and long arms, which means most men’s purchases will require some alterations. Take the time to find a skilled tailor who will be able to fit your suit to your exact specifications. Let your tailor know how much linen you want to show at your sleeve and how much of a break you want in your pant leg. If you want to jazz up your purchase, replace the buttons with something a little fancier.

Related: Suit Yourself Right: The Top Five Tailors In Philadelphia

Maddie Wagner is a freelance writer covering all things Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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