By Ryan Alphonso
“There are two things that define a man in the business world,” said senior engineering major Louis Wolff, “his handshake, and his suit.”
According to a study by Statista.com, men spend more money on suits, sport coats and jackets than shirts, footwear, coats and sportswear combined. “If you want to be taken seriously, you need to have a serious suit,” said Wolff.
In the midst of job hunting and interviews, he’s no stranger to dressing for success. “It’s more than just clothes. It’s a statement of professionalism,” said Wolff.
When searching for a new suit, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: the fit, the style, and the color.
Suit jackets, blazers and sport coats, unlike normal shirts, are sized by measurements, not simply small, medium, or large. Instead, they’re measured from the chest size and arm length. Together they result in a number/letter combination to determine sizing (i.e. “38R”). The chest measurement gives first the number in inches (“38” for a 38 inch chest). Arm length is more general, only having three options for most suits, “S” for short, “R” for regular, or “L” for long. Therefore, if a man has a 38-inch chest and longer arms, he would wear a 38L, where a man with a 40 inch chest and shorter arms would wear a 40S.
“They say every man should have a gray, black, and blue suit,” said junior Stephen Bates, “and I totally agree.” To Bates, a suit is an essential part of a man’s wardrobe, and a suit’s color is widely seen as a reflection of professionalism. “In my business classes, they say blue and black suits are traditionally more corporate, but colored suits, not so much.”
Fit is up to the wearer. Suits are available in a variety of unique fits and styles depending on the vendor. Recently, retailers targeting younger demographics, such as Express or Joseph A. Bank, have advertised a new “slim fit” suit as a modern, fashion-forward style. However, this is not the only style or the best fit for every man. It’s up to the man to find the best fit for him by exploring the options available.
“Every man needs a suit that suits him,” Wolff said. Both he and Bates agreed; a suit is something every man will need at some point in his life, be it in the business world, or just for a job interview.
“The best way to get started is by shopping around. It might not be Armani, but a man’s got to start somewhere,” said Wolff.