Fine-Tune Your Look
FOUR TAILOR-MADE CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS
No. 1 Focus on Fit
Dressing well tends to make men feel more powerful, according to findings from a Cal State Northridge University study. But fit is the ticket – nothing undermines your self-image faster than an ill-fitting suit. Beware of stress areas, warns image consultant Mack Mozé. If the chest is tight, the jacket will pull open at the lapels instead of sitting flat. Mozé recommends a minimal break on trousers, unless they’re a wider, more traditional cut – then you want the back of the trouser to hit the top of your shoe heel. “Ask your tailor to hem the trouser bottoms on a slant,” he says.
2 No. Be Comfortable
You no longer need a grey suit to appear authoritative. A suit can be as comfortable as jeans and a T-shirt but still command respect. The options are endless, from stretch wool or cotton to unlined, unstructured jackets that still hold their shape. We like the form-fitting options from Tommy Hilfiger, L.B.M. 1911, and Bonobos. “Stretch blends are essential for wearing your suit with comfort and confidence,” says Michael Maccari, creative director for Perry Ellis. He also suggests a knit suit as an alternative to conventional fabrics: “Put it on and feel amazing.”
3 No. Be Timeless
Done right, a classic power suit can serve you for more than 10 years. Two things to keep in mind: first, choose a neutral colour. Blue, for example, looks good on everyone and works in almost every situation, Mozé says. “You can wear that suit five days a week and no one would notice.” Shades of grey are equally timeless. Second, opt for a notch lapel, which provides more flexibility to dress up or down. Maccari advises against lapels that are too wide or too narrow; if you stick to about 2½ inches (or about 6cm), you’ll be able to wear the suit for years.
4 No. Go Bold
The whole idea of a suit is to wear the uniform of a grown-up. If you want to make a statement but aren’t up for red pinstripes, don’t worry – you still have options, Maccari says. Texture is one. “We play a lot with cross weaves – two different colours woven together,” he says. “At a distance, it reads as neutral. But up close, people see all the colours weaving through the fabric.” There are also less traditional colour options, such as burgundy and shades of brown. Just avoid overdoing it: “Wearing too many conflicting details is when it goes wrong,” Maccari says.