When looking for a great suit this week, I took my client into M.J. Bale, a store I know that has high quality suiting. The price tag is around $800 - $1000 for a suit but the quality is worth it. Remember, there are many brands who make poor quality suits and throw a high price tag on it. Don't get sucked in by packaging or the way the suit is styled, feel the suit, find out about the quality. One major factor that should influence you purchasing a suit is whether the suit is fused or canvassed.
What is Fusing?
Fusing is in many suits today due to high production quantities and costs. It's the interlining of your suit. Years ago, most suits were canvassed, that's why they lasted so much longer than the $200-$400 dollar suits many men can pick up today. These cheaper, unfused suits are great if you need a quick and temporary fix, but if you don't want your jackets to bubble around the lapel or chest where any fusing is, then you should get a high quality canvassed suit.
Think of fusing like the polyurethane in a jacket, you may have picked it up thinking it was a real leather jacket, the price tag was high so you assumed so, but when you got it home you realised it was synthetic and, really, a bit of a rip off. Always check the garment tags and ask the sales assistant and remember, high end designers use Fusing to cut down costs too.
What about Canvassed Suits?
Canvassing on the other hand is what makes a suit last longer. Canvassed suits hold the shape of the fabric and stop it from dropping, like the foundations of a well built house. Even though you'll be fitted for a suit when you buy your next one, over time a canvassed suit will mould to your body and fit you even better.
What about the cut of a suit?
European, Classic and Slim cuts are all fairly timeless, but not every cut suits every man, try a few different cuts and see what you like best, remember to have the pants of your suit hemmed to avoid looking sloppy. If you like to slim cut suits a cuban or samurai fit shirt will work well, other wise, find a basic but slightly fitted shirt to go with your jacket.
Do I wear blue or black shoes?
The great thing about all these suits is that you can choose either. If you're more laid back and find you wear suits more to weddings, meetings and cocktail parties then a brown belt and shoes will be the way to go. You can then wear both with trousers, chinos and jeans. If you seem to go to more formal and black tie events, a black pair of shoes and a black belt will work best.
Now that you have a more informed point of view about your suiting choices, take your old suit out and consider your next suit purchase. Buy one you feel great in that's high quality and you'll wear it for years.