The Top 10 Mistakes Men Make When Buying Suits

men buying suit
men buying suit

Every man will eventually need to buy a suit. The process seems pretty straightforward; you just walk into a store or browse online, pick out something you like, and pay for it, right? Unfortunately, most men make critical errors during the suit shopping process, setting them up for less than stellar results.

So what are the top mistakes that men make when buying suits and how can you avoid them?

The Biggest Mistakes Men Make When Buying Suits

These are some of the biggest mistakes that men make when buying suits:

1. Cheaping out. Yes, clothes can be expensive. Yes, it’s a good idea to shop around so you find the best deal. Yes, it’s absurd to pay thousands of dollars for a piece of clothing you don’t especially love. But at the same time, there’s a risk of being too cheap. It’s possible to find suits for $100 or less, but these are rarely well-made. These types of suits are generally made from inferior materials, with inferior craftsmanship, and they’re simply not going to look as good on you. Furthermore, they’re going to wear out and degrade faster, forcing you to update your wardrobe more frequently – and costing you much more in the long run.

2. Assuming that money is everything. While there is some truth to the idea that more expensive suits are better made, that doesn’t mean that spending more money is going to fix all your problems. It’s definitely possible to look better in a mid-range suit at a reasonable price than you do in an expensive suit from a luxury brand. You need to consider a host of variables, including quality, material, overall style, fit, and more when making these types of decisions.

3. Blindly following a brand name. It pays to do your research on the brands you buy from, but it’s a mistake to blindly follow a brand name just because it gets a lot of attention. Sure, lots of men may genuinely love this brand, but that doesn’t mean they make suit and accessory products that will look good on you. Narrow your search down to brands with good reputations, but make sure brand name is only one consideration factor.

4. Failing to measure yourself. You can ballpark your measurements if you know your existing shirt and pant sizes, but a ballpark isn’t going to cut it if you want a good fit. It’s important to measure yourself thoroughly, at the neck, chest, arm, and shoulder if you want your suit to fit you as perfectly as possible.

5. Getting the wrong sleeve length. Even if they measure themselves appropriately, men sometimes get the wrong sleeve length. With the right suit, and when your arms are at rest, the sleeve of your shirt should stick out an inch or so from the edge of the jacket sleeve.

6. Ignoring materials. There are many types of materials worth considering in a suit, including wool, linen, cotton, and tweed. There are also heavy and light versions of some of these materials. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all these materials, so you can choose the right fit for your needs.

7. Neglecting the shoulder shape. The shoulder fit of your suit is one of the most important elements to consider – and yet it’s commonly neglected or undervalued by men. A shoulder that fits perfectly is easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. If the suit is too big, the shoulder is going to be rumpled. If the suit is too small, it’s going to look tight and constrained. The shoulder should flow naturally with your shoulder in an ideal fit.

8. Assuming the fit is “close enough.” Many men, when shopping for clothes, try to finish the process as soon as possible. As a result, they’re willing to settle for a fit that’s “close enough.” However, fit is arguably the most important factor to consider in fashion, and you’ll need to do better if you want to look your best.

9. Leaving in the stitching. Many suits come with labels or extra stitching that are designed to be removed. While it’s certainly a forgivable faux pas to leave in the stitching, this is also an easy mistake to avoid.

10. Overly accessorizing. While accessories are a somewhat tangential topic, they’re still important to address because of how relevant they are to your suit style. Adding a tasteful accessory can elevate your look, but overly accessorizing can make you look gauche. Exercise caution here.

Building Confidence in Your Decisions

If you’re new to the world of men’s fashion, or if you’re unfamiliar with suits, specifically, all these little nuances can seem overwhelming or intimidating. However, dressing well is a skill that you can learn like any other, and with enough deliberate practice and focused attention, you’ll eventually develop a kind of intuition for suits that fit your style and needs. Pay attention to men wearing suits you like, with fits you admire, and try to replicate their success with your own selections. And when in doubt, professional tailoring is never a bad option.

Eventually, these mistakes and others are going to become obvious to you, and you’ll have much more confidence in your suit buying decisions. With a wardrobe full of perfectly fitted, viable options, you should never have to worry about what you wear.