Cleanup: 5 Tips for Buying Your First Suit

Two weeks ago I had never owned, bought, or even worn a suit. Now, I’ve done all three of those things, and I picked up some valuable information along the way. I’d like to pass it on to any other nubes contemplating their first grown-up outfit. Keep in mind that less than a month ago I had never associated with a suit or an event that called for one, so if any of these tips seem a bit elementary you’ll have to wait for my Level 2 tips; these are for beginners.

1) Don’t button the bottom button

No matter what you do leave that last button alone. Two-button, three-button, even four; the one closest to your feet is never used. I’m not sure why it’s there if you’re not allowed to use it, but it is. I quickly made this mistake while putting on my first jacket and was reprimanded immediately. Turns out even buttons can be for show. It seems like extra work for whoever makes the suit. But I’m not Calvin Klein, so I’ll leave that sort of thinking up to him.

2) Some suits you can’t wear all the time

“I think I like the light grey one best,” I said to the tailor.

“What exactly are you buying a suit for again?”

“Well, I’m going to an award ceremony in a few days, but I also need something for job interviews and that sort of thing.”

“I can’t let you get the grey one.”

It turns out that some colors can only be worn during certian seasons. For example: light greys and browns are worn in the spring and summer. These are called seasonal colors. Since I wanted a suit that worked for a couple different functions regardless of the season I had to stick with black or navy blue. To be honest, I think I could wear any color suit for multiple occasions, but I also wouldn’t want everyone laughing at me in my light grey suit in the middle of winter. I’d look like such an ass.

3) Black does go with blue

I ended up picking out a navy blue suit. Of my two color choices it seemed the least formal, and since I like to give off an air of casualness at all times the decision was pretty much made for me. I did have the problem of not knowing what color shoes I could wear though. The one thing I remember my mom teaching me about fashion is that black and blue don’t go together, and since I only own a pair of black dress shoes I assumed I’d need a new pair; I just didn’t know what color. I was assured that black and navy blue is very acceptable, and I even learned that brown was making a come back. It seems, that for a long time it was believed that brown shoes clashed with a navy suit, but recently the look has been making a come back with Italian men and is slowly gaining acceptance around the world. If I wanted to be ahead of the game I could go brown. I opted to stick with what I had, but I must say, thank God for the Italians freeing men everywhere from the tyranny that is black shoes with a navy suit.

4) Pinstripes are baller

No matter what color suit you pick out, it looks better with pinstripes. I’m not sure exactly how this works, but little white lines running vertically down your jacket and pants make you look like a badass. It’s probably some sort of hippie-voodoo-magic or something. All I know is; I don’t need to understand it to look this good.

5) Get a gay man to help you out

This may be the most valuable tip I have, so pay close attention. Now, for all of you homophobes out there shut your bigoted mind up for a few seconds and listen to my reasoning; I think it’s pretty sound. I’m assuming that men know men’s clothing and fashion better than women; they wear the same clothes as me, and they should know exactly how something is supposed to fit and look. The problem is, straight men can’t tell you when you look your absolute best because they’re not attracted to you. Solution: find a man who could be attracted to you. You get all the valuable knowledge and experience he has and he’ll tell you when you’re hot. I have to give a special thanks to Justin for helping me find the right suit, and helping this boy take one step closer to becoming a man. Wait, that’s not what I meant…forget the boy to man thing, let’s leave it at a quick thanks for the suit.

7 thoughts on “Cleanup: 5 Tips for Buying Your First Suit”

  1. Great article, I'm actually buying my first "real" suit tomarrow so this article came at the perfect time. Thanks Marc Michigan State (if that is your real last name)

  2. Pierre Laurent

    The bottom button on a suit is never buttoned. Because the moment you sit down, it will be torn out…..

  3. Gentlemen,my father always wore Brooks Brothers its been a classic suit since the begining of time. After I finished at Ohio State the first thing he did was take me to Brooks Brothers and had them fit and cut a black pinstripe suit for me. It was a pivotal moment for me. Now I wear nothing but. I would suggest to you guys getting out of school find a Brooks Brothers and let them treat you like a grown up.It is worth every penny you'll spend.

  4. J clark, you went to Ohio State and wear Brooks Brothers suits? Are you the only person that has such high standards? Let me inform you about something things: your first suit shouldn't be black, it should be charcoal grey or navy as black suits should be worn sparingly and if your got the top tier model, and it sounds like you did, you grossly overpaid for your suit. You can find a considerably better suit for $1,000.

  5. With 3-button suits, follow this simple rule w/r/t buttons. Starting from the top, it goes Sometimes-Always-Never

  6. Great post. Bought my first ever suit last month and the salesgirl did mention about the last button being left alone, although no specific was given…

    Empowering Youth

  7. O Rly says :
    July 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm
    J clark, you went to Ohio State and wear Brooks Brothers suits? Are you the only person that has such high standards?

    No. but thanks for the compliment. C'mon OSU is a great school. Go Bucs!

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