How to Properly Style a Suit According to the Experts


The suit is the all-time, greatest symbol of power-dressing. A sharp, well-fitted suit can transform even the most unfashionable of us into James Bond himself.

With the return to work now well underway, suits are making a comeback as we swap out our slippers for brogues and our trackies for trousers. However, even those long-familiar with this territory may find themselves in need of a refresher as it’s been a hot minute since the suit has needed to make an appearance.

Even if you’re not suiting up for an important meeting or a job interview, we’ve hit up the experts at Australian-based custom suiting brand InStitchu to give us the professional run-down on how to rock the suit in style.

James Wakefield and Robin McGowan have been making top-quality dress wear since 2012 that’s perfectly tailored to each individual client. They offer the chance to skip the hassle of finding, fitting, and tailoring a suit with multiple time and money-consuming visits to various outlets. By bringing the whole operation in house, they’ve revolutionised suit fitting by connecting clients directly to tailors with the magic of the internet.

They make thousands of custom and tailored suits, shirts and smart-casual combos for corporate men and women each month and have put us in touch with their Assistant Showroom Manager, Scott Lewis, to show us how it’s done. Here his guide to properly styling a suit:

What to Wear and When to Wear It

There’s no doubt there’s a lot of suit options and even more styling options, but some are more in demand than others according to Lewis.

“The main two options or styles that are popular for us are a cocktail suit and a tuxedo or wedding suit,” he said.

“I like to think that your suit should match your personality. Are you a classic kind of guy, or do you like your bold ‘look-at-me’ style options? The main goal of any suit – or outfit, for that matter – is that you look and feel comfortable, the rest will follow”.

What Makes a Good Fit

There are a few things to consider when looking at the perfect fit, Lewis explained, with the most important three being the shoulders, length and waist. His tips for getting all three right include:

  • Shoulders: If the sleeve of the jacket seems to dip in slightly just under the shoulder, and then flare back out again, the shoulders are too big.
  • Length: A good suit or sports jacket should fall past the waist and drape over the top of the curve formed by the buttocks. The hem of the jacket should hit right around the middle of your hand — at or just past where the fingers meet the palm.
  • Waist: Front button strain is indicative of a bad fit in the torso.

“Ensure that everything creates a perfect balance for each individual. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily choose a larger, wide lapel for a client that is smaller in stature,” Lewis added.

How to Style It

At InStitchu, Lewis said they don’t have a ‘correct’ way to style a suit which is the beauty of custom-tailored.

“It can be crafted and styled to suit each individual’s taste. Accessories such as ties are a personal preference, but at InStitchu, we always recommend a pocket square. It is the final touch of any well-thought outfit,” Lewis said.

“Whatever your choice, always try to have two base colours in your outfit plus one accent colour. For example, A navy suit with brown shoes (base colours) with a red tie (accent colour).”

You can see InStitchu’s full custom, tailored offering and process at www.InStitchu.com

Read more stories from The Latch and follow us on Facebook.