In part two of the Modern Suiting Guide we explore Texture, Layering and accessories that will complete your look for the modern suiting. Now we look beyond the over all look to zoom into the details of your look and the elements that combine to pull off a complete style. Read fast and step into the world armed with style knowledge that will allow you to move with a modern edge through your day.
When discussing contemporary suit looks, it’s safe to step away from your standard wool suit and experiment with fabrication. Texture plays a massive part in creating a unique feel to a style. Look into blends of fabrics, wool, cotton, silk, and cashmere are all great base fibers that blend well together. To go for the ultimate elevated look, pick a silk suit, if you can afford to burn the cash. If you're on the hunt for a summer style I suggest linen blends, stay away from any fabric that is 50% linen or above as the fabric becomes very rigid in high volume. Linen is a great summer fabric as it is highly breathable and lightweight, so you will avoid looking like a hot mess in a linen blend suit during the warm months. Opt for fabrics that have different colored fibers to add a new dimension to the look, generally known as Pic and Pic, this fabrication has a soft texture and a two-tone woven appearance. From a distance, it appears to be a solid color but on close inspection, different dimensions appear. People will defiantly take note when you take on this selection. Birdseye and Nailhead fabrics also fall into the contemporary category, these contain little dots upon a darker background, so when you look at them together, they resemble a solid finish. The key difference between the two is Birdseye incorporates more rounded specks, whereas the Nailhead contains more squared specs.
Beyond the actual suit, a contemporary look can be ‘made’ in what you combine it with. Let's step out of the traditional shirt and tie combo, although this look can be tactfully combined to create a unique contemporary feel. When worn in a relaxed setting it generally brings to mind ‘traditional’, which you are wanting to avoid. Actually, the majority of tie choices I see make me want to vomit a little. To be on the safe side just ditch the tie all together. If you're opting for a solid color shirt, loosen the buttons a little and show a little skin. Don’t go full Italian and have busting chest hair crawling out of your shirt, but go ahead unbutton the top few holes and relax. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color, consider sage, burnt oranges, pale reds, and lighter blues. A printed shirt is also a great contemporary choice. Ensure you stick to similar colors of the suit if you go down this route. If you are wanting to add a bold color, keep the print to a minimum. Monochromatic prints with small pops of color is a good place to start. If you're really struggling to make a choice, remember the underlay is there to compliment the suit, not to upstage it. Some of the best brands to get a good quality and affordable shirt from include Boss Hugo Boss, Love Moschino, Closed, A.P.C, Kenzo, Calibre Australia, and Wood House Army,
That brings me to T-shirts, do it, it is not douchey to wear a high-quality T-shirt under suits. Really, it’s standard. Keep them to natural tones and solid colors, stick to navy, blues, creams and black & whites. Stair away from printed t-shirts or anything too loud. Focus on the neckline details, a great crisp collar band reigns supreme. V-neck and round necks are your best choice and please step away from the deep V T-shirt, that is douchey. Seek fabric of high quality and spend the extra dollar, it will make all the difference. Mesmerized cotton is the best for tops, it holds shape well and has a glossy finish to really elevate a look.
TURTLE necks under suits is an epic contemporary look if you have the confidence to pull it off. This look is a strong choice; however, it is the quintessential modern look. Look for turtlenecks that have a solid neck banding that holds its shaped well, nothing worse than a frumpy turtleneck. Go for a medium weight knit to ensure the weave holds shape well, you don’t want loose looking knit. Follow the same rules of color from above and remember you’re complimenting the suit not upstaging it.
Accessories are often over-looked when guys style suits. You can do a lot with accessories and often with men-styling, it’s the small details that make all the difference between a weak and strong look. Let's just get one thing clear, do not over accessorise when you wear a suit. Remember wearing a great fitting suit is already a powerful look. You want accessories that complement the suit and add value to the look but does not overpower it. Also, you don’t want to look like your trying too hard with lots of bling and shiny shit all over your suit.
We have already moved away from ties, it is too safe of a choice and one we want to avoid. The next logical step is to dive into pocket squares, go for bold color or a vibrant pattern, but choose a secondary color from your shirt as the primary color for your pocket square to keep a cohesive palate. If you’re sporting a solid colored suit you can go for a bolder print in your PS. If you're wearing a patterned suit keep the PS a soild color. Look into different folding methods to develop the look, you can find great tutorials from Rampley & Co Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, create an origami swan and stuff it in your pocket.
Suit jewellery is often an underrated accessory in the menswear assail. Once you have rid yourself of the tie you can start exploring collar bars and chains. I know you're slightly terrified but trust us, it will create an award-winning like. Look for simple designs and nothing to over the top, don't pin giant stones or something covered in rhinestones onto your collar. For collar pins, again, keep it simple stupid. Lapel pins and brooches along with pocket brooches are also great, again keep it simple. Stick to gold, rose gold and silver metals. The most important style tip to keep in mind with selecting jewellery for a style: Only go with ONE feature. DO NOT, add everything to the suit in an attempt to make up for your lack of personality. It looks bad and you will come off as a try hard. You can always hit up Esty to find some interesting pieces, however, it's best to spend a few bucks on these items and look at the purchase as an investment in your wardrobe. Alexander McQueen, Lavin and Vivian Westwood are some of the best brands for menswear accessories.