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How To Buy Your First Suit: Buy Online Or In-Store?

20 days ago

How To Buy Your First Suit: Buy Online Or In-Store?

A suit is a symbol of style, maturity, and class, but only when you’re buying a suit that fits correctly, of course. Here are Dobell’s hassle-free top tips for buying your first suit online and getting it absolutely spot on!

There’s always something special about wearing your first suit, and it’s an iconic item in any men’s wardrobe. You might need a suit because you don’t know what to wear to a job interview, or you might need a new suit for attending a friend’s wedding. Or for a school prom. Whatever the occasion is, buying your first suit is a big deal and not so easy as it seems – and every man needs a great suit at least once in their life.

So what’s the next step? You can think that the easiest way is going to a shop and try, try, and try jackets and suits until you discover the best size for you. Or you can take your body measurements at home and check the availability of a suit jacket and trouser of your size online without the hassle of going to a shop and move to the next one because they’ve run out of your suit jacket size, a common occurrence, right? There are so many myths about buying a suit online… but the same pros and cons for buying a suit online are for buying a suit in-store.

The main concern about buying a suit online can be the possibility of ordering a suit from a website to discover upon receipt that is not the style or fit you were expecting. Knowing what you want – style, fit, fabric – is half of the battle, the other half is as simple as getting your measurements right and knowing your body shape and personal taste to choose the better style and fit for you. What are some good tips for buying men's suits?

The style of suit

Because suits are rarely cheap to buy – although our range compares favourably with high street prices, it’s hardly like buying a new T-shirt – it makes sense to choose a colour and style that won’t look out of place whatever the occasion. That way, the suit can be worn more than once and you’ll get great value from it. A funeral usually dictates a black suit but for everything else opt for a charcoal grey or navy blue look. Both of these colours are suitable for just about anything and you will simply need to change the dress shirt to change the outfit.

Photo: Dobell.

The fit of a suit

Of course, it’s a given that the trousers don’t either cut your waist in half through tightness or slide down to your knees without a belt. But in the world of suits, the right fit is something else entirely, other than just physically staying on your frame. That means the jacket fitting properly around the shoulders and not bunching tightly around the back, or sitting loose. It also means being able to fasten at least one button on the jacket without pulling it out of shape further up. The jacket should sit just below the waist when worn, not anywhere near the knees. The trouser break should just kiss the laces of the shoe, not too short to show any sock or bare leg, and not too long to crumple around the heel. A classic fit can be better for your body shape or you can prefer to get a slim fit and show up your body type.

Photo: Dobell.

The fabric of a suit

The style, colour, and price of the suit might be uppermost in your mind but don’t overlook the fabric. Consider the cloth weight of the suit; 7oz-9oz is at the lightweight end of the range and is great for the heat of the summer, but temperatures in the UK are rarely that high and this weight won’t be suitable in the winter. Until you’re able to enjoy the luxury of a range of suits, the very first should be 11oz-12oz, which is midweight.

The accessories

The suit itself will be the cornerstone of your wardrobe, and the key to wearing it brilliantly over the coming months and years is to keep it fresh with some sharp accessories. This is where season and occasion comes to the fore. For a job interview, for example, a crisp white shirt, plain navy tie and black Oxford shoes make a navy blue suit conservative and formal. Switching up with a sky blue shirt, ditching the tie, wearing tan brogues, adding a pocket square and donning a pair of shades – with the same suit – offers a cool look for a summer’s evening party. Bear these principles in mind when choosing and buying your first suit, and you’ll end up with a classic and perfectly fitted outfit.

The Pros about buying a suit online

Once that you know your measurements, you can think about buying your perfect suit online. You will discover how easy it is to do, and here are some top tips to order your first suit online:

1. Anytime, any day: you don’t need to leave your home and go to the shop, you can discover new lines and purchase products when shops are closed and when it’s the best for you.

2. Being online only reduces the in-store costs that the customer pays and it’s easier to compare better deals and prices – it can be cheaper than the high street.

3. Websites offer free returns and you have a customer services team available to talk in case of problems.

4. It’s usually faster than in-store because you can save a lot of hassle when you make sure you know your size.

5. No distractions, get exactly what you want so it’s easier than you expect.

6. The product description and product details on a website add useful information that you don’t see when you’re in the shop.

The Cons – What should you know before buying a suit online?

1. Know your chest, waist, and inseam measurements, as well as your height and weight. If you are looking for tailored or slim-fit suits one-inch difference can be massive!

2. Be aware of the fit: you might not find a skinny suit as comfortable as a tailored suit.

3. Read the delivery information and the return policies and make sure the time schedule for each service.

4. Make sure of the quality of your screen device, as some colour shades or patterns can differ from the real product on the website.

5. Get ready for alterations: each body is different and you need to ensure the shoulder pads and the first button of the jacket fit beautifully in your body – otherwise, the lapels will wrinkle, and that’s not elegant.

Still some doubts? You can find out more information in this guide about how to dress well in a suit and our online size guide has more details on how to measure properly for a suit, including collar, chest, waist, inside leg, sleeve, outside leg and jacket length.

Ready to go? You can find your perfect suit in our range of men’s suits.