Suit Up | The Delhi Gentlemen's Guide

13598 Interested |

First, there was Barney’s ‘Suit Up’ antics in How I Met Your Mother, then, the dashing lads in Mad Men flashed impeccably tailored suits. Finally, Harvey Specter {from the TV show, Suits} settled our growing suspicion – suits are back and they look better than ever.

The weather in India is warm, the roads are dusty and the people are laid back. There’s almost a sense of amusement for anyone who stands out on the streets and yet, it’s that distinction that garners respect for a man in a suit – He must be important. He must be professional. He must be a man of authority.

What are the most important aspects of a suit?

A suit has to fit the occasion, the climate, time of day and the season. A tailor-made suit should follow these rules |

Cut | How it falls on you. A well-fitted, inexpensive suit looks more elegant than an ill-fitted one with a designer label. For the Indian build, it is advisable to avoid shoulder pads. A shorter man will benefit from a narrow-cut, with narrow lapels and close-fitting trouser legs. Suits for an athletic man must be cut to his natural measurement. A shorter trouser leg {breaking at the ankles} has become the preferred standard for international designers.

Colour | Is the colour complementing your complexion, hair and eye colour. Traditional colours are dark blue, charcoal grey and black. A brown or green suit can be worn for informal occasions. A navy blue suit with brown leather shoes is a classic Italian look and works for Indian men as well.

Fabric | Light-weight fabrics suit Indian climates. Pure wool is the preferred fabric because it elegantly drapes a man’s form and is crease-resistant. High-grade wool is a breathable fabric, which will keep you cool in summer as well. Linen is a great option, all year round. Avoid cheap, polyster blends.

Raymond offers pure wool with a thread count from 80s to 250s {expensive, high quality wool}. For a regular suit, a thread count of 80s-100s is sufficient.

Thanks, but I would rather buy a suit from a store…

If you prefer a ready-made suit, allow time for alterations and keep these sartorial rules in mind |

Shoulders | Shoulders are your first criteria. If the shoulder on the coat doesn’t fit right, the rest looks out of place. All other aspects of the suit can be altered.
Coat Length | The coat must cover your rear. If you stand straight and let your arms drop to your side, the bottom of the coat should line up with the base of your thumb.
Lapel | The suit’s lapel must be proportional to the width of the tie. Smaller lapels should be paired with slim or skinny ties. Peak lapels suit formal occasions; shawl collars are better for evening wear.
Ties | Slim neck-ties are now the standard. A tie clip will keep your tie in place and add a dash of panache to the appearance of your suit.
Shirts | Your shirt sleeve length should be 1/2 an inch more than the jacket sleeve.
Trouser length | The end of your trousers must break just below the ankles. A shorter trouser length makes your legs appear taller and shows off your good quality leather shoes. If the fabric of your trouser bunches at the bottom, have the length altered.
Shoes | Poor taste in shoes can ruin the look of a good suit. Tan or brown brogues, wingtips, double monks and oxfords will complement most suits. Black suits must be worn with black shoes.
Socks | Mix your colours and patterns with care. White socks are for sport; never to be worn with formal clothes.
Buttons | Fasten only the middle button or the top one for a two-button suit. Unbutton while seated.
Pocket Squares | Add a dash of colour to your suit. There are several options to arrange a pocket square. {See Here 6 Ways To Fold A Pocket Square}.

I think I’m ready to Suit Up!

1. Find a good tailor | An Indian man will likely benefit from a combination of the three standard fits – English, Italian and American. A good tailor will be able to tell the difference and recommend the perfect fit for your build.

2. Comfort | Comfort should be your deciding factor. If it feels tight on any part of your body, ask for alterations or try a different size.

3. Three fittings rule | Three fittings are standard for tailor-made suits. Don’t rush the process.

4. Shop around | Buying a quality suit could be an expensive proposition. Do your research, browse through magazines and look at celebrities for style inspiration. Store assistants can be helpful. Ask a female friend to help you shop – she will enjoy telling you what to wear and give you an honest opinion.

Armed with the most stylish choice of masculine attire, you have every reason to look your dapper best this winter.

About the Author

Jeremy Brian is a style consultant based in Hyderabad. He conducts training for men on attire and grooming and writes for lifestyle magazines. Follow his style tips  and connect with him here

Inputs from Surbhi, of Headtilt.