How to Buy a Suit: The Best Rules to Follow

Buying a suit can seem overwhelming with so many options, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to consider a few factors. Determine your budget know your measurements, and choose the environment you plan to wear it in. You should also pay attention to the details, such as the fabric, fit, and style. If you got these right, your next suit will look stunning on you.

Man Wearing a Navy Blue Suit

Buying a suit can be a time consuming task, especially if you are not familiar with the world of men’s fashion. However, with the right guidance, buying a suit can be an enjoyable experience that results in a well-fitting and stylish outfit for any occasion. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to buy a suit.

Know Your Measurements

Going to the suit store and asking for a Size M jacket won’t get you far. The first step in buying a suit is to know your measurements. This includes your chest size, waist size, and inseam. You can measure yourself or have a tailor measure you to ensure precision. Knowing your measurements will help you find a suit that fits you well and flatters your body type. 

How to Buy a Suit: Know Your Measurements

If you want to skip the measurement, I recommend you visit a store with a wide range of sizes. Try a few on and pick the best fitting one according to your measurements – the exact numbers will be found inside the jacket. You’ll probably still need to make some alterations, but you will be closer to your measurements.

Determine Your Budget

Suits come in a wide range of prices, so it is important to determine your budget before you start shopping. A quality suit can be quite an investment, but there are also affordable options that can still look great. Decide how much you are willing to spend before you begin your search. 

How to Buy a Suit: Determine Your Budget

If you’re a young guy just starting your career, you may want to consider a suit in the price range of 300-600 euros. However, if you hold the position of Vice President in a reputable company and want to make a strong impression on your colleagues or clients, I suggest investing in a custom-made suit. The cost of such a suit will depend entirely on the tailor you choose.

Choose the Right Fabric

Suits come in a variety of fabrics, including wool, cotton, linen, and polyester. Wool is a popular choice for its durability and versatility, while cotton and linen are lighter options that are ideal for warmer weather.

Polyester is a budget-friendly option that is also easy to care for. However, I am deeply against having a polyester suit, as it can look cheap on you and will do more bad than good for you. 

Two Suit Jackets on Racks in Store
Photo by Alexander Naglestad

Consider the occasion and season when selecting the fabric for your suit. If you are not sure which fabric to choose, I’ve written an article on the topic: The Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Complete Guide

Pick a Style That Suits You

There are several styles of suits to choose from, including single-breasted, double-breasted, and three-piece suits. Single-breasted suits are the most common and versatile, while double-breasted suits are more formal and have a classic look. Three-piece suits include a vest and are ideal for formal occasions. 

How to Buy a Suit: Pick a Style That Suits You
Kent Handmade Plaid Cashmere Suit by © Ralph Lauren

There are also three well known styles including the American cut, the Italian cut and the British cut. Stay tuned because we are planning a separate article on the topic, until then, check out this infographic to find the right cut for you.

British American Italian Suits Comparison
British American Italian Suits Comparison by Bespoke Unit

Consider the Fit

The fit of a suit is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when buying a suit. A well-fitting suit should be comfortable, but also fit snugly to your body without being too tight or too loose.

Pay attention to the length of the jacket sleeves and pants, and the waist and chest measurements.

How to Buy a Suit: Consider the Fit
Green Double Breasted Suit © Rocketry

If necessary, take the suit to a tailor for alterations. It’s rare to see off the rack suits to look perfect on you but it can happen. However I recommend contacting a few local tailors that can make alterations on your suit if needed.

Think About Color and Pattern

Suits come in a range of colors and patterns, from classic black and navy to bolder shades like burgundy and green. Consider the occasion and your personal style when selecting the color and pattern of your suit. A solid color suit is versatile and can be worn for many occasions, while a patterned suit can be a bold statement piece. 

How to Buy a Suit: Think About Color and Pattern
Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson in © The Gentlemen, 2019

Think about the environment you plan to wear your suit in, is it the office, is it a summer wedding or a casual everyday suit? We’ve also made a few articles helping to choose the right suit for the right environment.


Complete your suit look with the right accessories. A tie and pocket square can add a pop of color and personality to your outfit.

How to Buy a Suit: Pick the Right Tie and Pocket Square
Photo by Jan de Keijzer

Dress shoes and a belt should complement the color of your suit. For the final details, consider a formal watch and cufflinks for a touch of sophistication.

How to Buy a Suit: Pick the Right Belt for Your Suit
Photo by Hermes Rivera

Final note

In conclusion, buying a suit doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By knowing your measurements, determining your budget, selecting the right fabric and style, considering the fit, and accessorizing appropriately, you can find a suit that looks great and fits well.

Remember, if you want to dress like a modern gentleman, a well-fitting suit can make all the difference in your appearance and confidence for any occasion.

Keep on reading: Old Money Aesthetics: What’s the Hype About?