HOW TO: MEN'S SUITS

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There are a number of videos and articles out there that talk about how to achieve the perfect fit for a suit. Men's style and men's fashion articles by the big boys like GQ. If you don't believe me, just google it and you'll see! So candidly, I'll spend less energy on how to find the right fit of suit. Instead, what I find there is far less of is not just the fit of the suit, but what to pair it with and how to make it work overall. Fellas tend to fall into one of two extremes: either far too boring of an overall ensemble or way too much. Striking that balance is what will take your suit game from good to great. From "He cleaned up nicely" to "Holy smokes look at that put-together man over there."

It matters because we all make judgments about those with whom we interact. From the moment we meet someone, impressions are made and decisions are formed. Decisions about the kind of person we think they are, the weight we place to the things they say, and so on. Our appearance is the absolute first impression. If your suit game is boring and uninspired, the initial vibe you communicate is boring and uninspired. Conversely if your suit game is complicated and over-the-top, the initial vibe also follows suit. (Pun very intended.)

Here are two thoughts on how to strike the balance:

FOCAL POINTS

Please, for the love. Don't be boring... but do not wear a tie bar, patterned shirt, patterned tie, pocket square, suspenders, lapel pin, patterned socks, complicated shoes, fancy watch, rings on three fingers, bracelet, cuff links, etc... all in the same outfit. I know that sounds absurd, but there are so many times that in an effort to look stylish, people go too far. Our eyes can only take in so much at once. The reason rules of composition exist in photography are so that the person viewing that picture can actually focus in on what matters. So if you have too many focal points, then you actually have no focal point at all. It goes from being interesting to being confusing. From good to gaudy. (Don't get me wrong, gaudy can be done intentionally and done well... but even then there are focal points!) So instead of throwing the whole kitchen sink in there -- decide what you want to stand out. Sure, go for a patterned shirt AND tie, but leave it at that and avoid any accouterments on the jacket like a pin or pocket square. Let those mixed patterns do the talking instead. Clean shirt and tie? Okay, feel free to add some flare with extras. After you complete your ensemble, step back and see if your eye naturally falls anywhere... if there are MOMENTS, or if your eyes continuously want to roam across the outfit in search of a visual home. If you have a hard time deciding where to focus, try stripping something back!

TEXTURES

Textures are a sneaky component to a good outfit. Here's why: textures interact with light in different ways. A texture like a wool sock-tie will absorb light versus reflect it. So if you choose a suit with more shine to it like merino, a tie that doesn't equally reflect light will look inconsistent and prevent your ensemble from looking complete. Choose textures with more sheen for evening affairs and more formal moments, and more natural looking textures for daytime and outdoor events. 

There is more that could be said, but for now we'll keep it focused. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know!