Tips for your suit to make it look a little nicer
There are a few tricks you can use once you buy the suit to make it look a little nicer. Master these moves and you might even find yourself wearing a suit without being asked to.
- Take in the sleeves.
In a perfect world you’d be prepared to spend about $150 to have your tailor tweak every last detail of your suit so it looks custom-made. This includes having him or her take in the sleeves. You want a narrow, tapered sleeve that hugs, not hangs off your arms, while giving you enough range of motion to do what needs to be done (i.e. pose for Instagram photos, hold onto the subway rail, etc).
- Replace the buttons.
Cheap suits tend to come with flimsy shiny plastic buttons that are easily broken or lost during a particularly hectic work day. While you’re at the tailor anyway, ask him or her to replace the buttons with genuine horn. Simple but worth it.
- Add a cuff at the ankle.
Not only should your tailor give your trousers a slim, tapered leg and that has virtually no break at the hem, but you can also ask him or her to add a 1.5” cuff while they’re at it. It’s a detail you don’t often see on budget suits, so by default it looks expensive.
- Try monochromatic styling.
Working within a limited palette when selecting your shirt, tie, and shoes is a modern move that tends to make the fabric of your suit look richer and finer. Switch up the colors and patterns ever so slightly with each piece to create depth. The 202-level move: Add one item like a pocket square or soft briefcase from a totally different color family.
- Finish with expensive shoes.
Cheaping out on every element in your look makes the job of looking great that much more difficult. If you invest in one thing (other than tailoring) make it a pair of sturdy, bench-made dress shoes that you can wear over and over—and over again. Grab them on sale, or NIB on eBay, and you won’t even have to pay the cringe-inducing price. Not a dress shoe guy? A pair of Achilles Lows works fine too.