Suit up for spring and summer

Come on, boys: Wear a suit! While some trends in menswear have carried over from 2009, 2010 does open the doors for several new or reintroduced styles. I think you’ll be surprised by the versatility of a well-tailored, fitted suit.

In 2010, the ideal men’s suit places modernity with the higher-ups, closely followed by classic suiting details and a masculine shape. Look for a slim-cut, European suit, but not anything overly skinny or tapered. Today’s suit is made to highlight the shape of the male body, no cigarette legs or typical American box-cuts. Look for a suit design that includes broad shoulders, a slim-cut waist and a slim leg.

Keep in mind a few more pointers for a modern-classic suit:

• Look for a suit jacket that accentuates the natural, V-like shape of the torso.

• There should be two side vents on your suit jacket for a streamlined silhouette.

• For a more European look, look for peaked lapels (vs. classic American notched lapels). This is visually striking. It broadens the chest and lengthens the torso (creating a distinct, upside-down triangle effect). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look up “lapel” on Wikipedia. They have good illustrations that clearly demonstrate the differences between lapel styles.

• Trousers should hit at the ankle. The cut is slim and neat, trousers with a narrow waist and fitted legs.

Three-piece? Double-breasted?

The three-piece suit was a trend on the rise in 2009, still gaining speed in 2010. If you are thinking about a three-piece suit, keep in mind…

This year in fashion, designers seek to create clothing with real wearability and longevity. This means classic: classic colors, conservative styles, reasonable patterns.

No more mismatching color, crazy fabric combinations or borderline absurd accessories. Purchase a three-piece suit in a uniform color, fabric and pattern. If you do want one piece of a different hue, pick the least risky — perhaps the waistcoat. Still maintain the same fabric but experiment with the color; if you choose a color in the same family — say, a charcoal-grey jacket and trousers and a grey, pinstriped vest — it will look more cohesive.

Buttons and breaks:

Look for a suit that breaks near the bottom of the rib cage. Also, remember that the higher up your waistcoat buttons, the more boxy the effect. For a modern take, the waistcoat, too, should be v-shaped (thus its buttons should also begin lower, not near the collar). In terms of jacket buttons, two buttons is my favorite. Jackets with more buttons will lengthen your torso; jackets with one button will not. If there are too many buttons, it tends to look uncomfortable.

Designer details:

Check out collections for Spring 2010 for more ideas:

• Armani for urban comfort: classic patterned suits (checks, stripes); shirts with oversized patterns

• Dolce & Gabbana for dressy casual: denim with ties, boots, and jackets.

• Bottega Veneta for the confident: purple, orange, striped and tie-dye pieces

• Tom Ford: He is one of the No. 1 names in modern, fashion-forward menswear, particularly known for his ankle-length trousers and his slightly over-the-top (fabulous) suits.


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