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Buying guides

Suit

BUYING GUIDE

CHOOSING A SUIT

A suit is an essential component of every man’s wardrobe.
Explore the fit details and design features you’ll need to consider with our guide.

HOW TO GET A GREAT FIT

Oxford

SLIM

A slim fit suit is the most contemporary of all styles; sleek, sophisticated and of-the-moment

Oxford

TAILORED

Achieve unparalleled elegance with a tailored suit. Elevate your on-duty and occasion wardrobes with this timeless fit

Oxford

REGULAR

Crafted for comfort, take it back to basics with the fail-safe regular fit suit

THE CHECKLIST

Shoulders

The first thing to look at is the suit jacket; the pads shouldn’t protrude beyond your shoulders.

The back

The back of the jacket should fall neatly in a straight line, with the bottom edge no lower than your knuckles

Fastening

When fastened with one button, the jacket should fit closely around your stomach, but not tightly.

Sleeves

Sleeves should never sit any lower than the base of your thumb. Aim to have a  few centimetres of your shirt sleeve protruding beyond the jacket.

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ALL IN THE DETAIL

The difference between suits is often in the little details.
These often say as much about the wearer as the suit itself.

Colour and Pattern

Suit fabrics can be plain, or come in many different weaves and patterns.

Pockets

Suit pockets are usually jetted or flapped.

Fabric

The fabric depends on how you plan to use the suit, but generally, the higher the fabric number, the finer the suit.

Lapels

Notched lapel for modern tailoring. Peaked and shaw for dinner jackets.

Buttons

Two-button fastenings are the most commonly found style but many variations exist.

Construction

Suits are constructed in one of three ways: canvas, half-canvas or fused construction.

COLOUR AND PATTERN

Pick and pick

An elegant twill weave suiting fabric that can sometimes have a two tone appearance due to the weave.

Birdseye

Cloth with a particular diamond shape pattern.

Herringbone

A cloth with a distinctive chevron pattern, created by the way the fabric is woven.

Prince of Wales

A Glen plaid with a coloured windowpane check over the top.

Windowpane

A large and simple check pattern.

CONSTRUCTION

Full canvas

  • Has an inner layer made of canvas to structure the suit and give it stability
  • Absorbs the heat and moisture from your body, helping it to mould to and memorise your shape so that for a better fit over time
  • Difficult and very labour-intensive, so is usually found on top-end and bespoke suits

Half-canvas construction

  • Has a canvas inner layer in the upper part of the suit for a great fit around your shoulders
  • Suits with a half or full canvas constructions have a free, more natural fit.
  • Featured on our Woven in Italy and Zegna range.

Fused

  • Still have a canvas chest piece, but an inter lining provides structure to the shell of the suit
  • Long lasting and practical
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BUTTONS

Tradition dictates that the bottom button of a suit jacket should always be left undone. So, if your jacket has two buttons you’ll only fasten one; if it’s a three button jacket you’ll fasten two.