13 Ways to Pick the Right Suit for You Online
Working out how to buy a suit online isn’t easy. Suits are probably the only outfit you reckon you’d need to be there — getting measured, fitted and checked out from all angles — in order to ensure you get the right choice.
But this isn’t true. Thousands of men buy quality, good-looking online suits every day. Why? Because it’s easier, faster and cheaper with no inner-city parking and sales assistant small talk required. Granted, of course, that you remember a few tips and tricks to avoid making a mess of it.
Know your shape and measurements
Buying suits online means that you aren’t wasting hours trying them on, but it also means you must find out your measurements. If you already know your lengths and widths, then happy days, but if not, either ask someone to come at you with a measuring tape or get a qualified tailor to do it.
The main thing to consider is the suit’s ‘drop’, which is the difference between your jacket measurement and your trouser waistband size. Once you know this and you’ve checked your arm and leg lengths, you’re good to go.
Browse suit scenarios
Since you’re online anyway, spend a few minutes Googling suits and get a feel for what colours work well what with shoes and ties, and even what style of suit complements where you’re going. You might find that your body build looks better in a certain style of suit that you hadn’t even thought about. Then again, you could stumble on a particular pattern or shade that you think would go well with a formal shirt and pocket square you already have; , which saves you money and time in the long run.
Are you going formal or casual?
Considering the level of formality you need is key to making online suit buying a breeze. A three-piece with cravat is going to be ideal for sophisticated events, while a two-piece tweed number with no tie and casual shirt hits the nail on the head when what you want to look effortlessly smart.
Events like Christenings and weddings are becoming much more casual when it comes to suits, while occasions like funerals and crucial business meetings are always going to demand respectful formality. So, getting a rough idea in your head will shave hours off your online suit-buying mission.
What’s your build?
It’s great that you have your measurements sorted, but you also need to look in the mirror and think about your overall build. If you’re a slim guy, you might want to opt for a suit with broad lapels and well-padded shoulders to accentuate your frame. If you’re thinking about buying a slightly bigger suit to compensate, don’t. The only thing larger clothes do to a slim man is emphasise his slight build. We suggest searching for a slim-fit suit (never skinny, this works the same as the over-sized suit and accentuates your thinness). Although, perhaps go for slightly thicker materials, like tweed or corduroy, to add a subtle touch of bulk.
Similarly, bigger and broader men should maybe go for a blazer with a double vent for better comfort and movement, while also browsing for thinner fabrics to avoid extra bulk. You’ll find a good selection of all these varieties online and it’ll help give you a more focused suit search.
Decide on style and structure now
The final part of online suit buying you should pin down early is the style and structure. Do you want a three or two piece? Are slim-fit/skinny-fit trousers important? Is it a full-canvas, half canvas or fused suit that you’re looking for?
All these questions make up the structure of your suit and affect how it hangs on your body. So, even though you can’t physically try it on when you’re online shopping, combining this with your measurements gives you a far improved guess of how your suit will look when it arrives.
Play it safe?
Buying on the Internet is a Godsend, but it does prevent us from getting a real estimation of the cut, fit and feel of a suit. To boot this downside, try and avoid anything too elaborate and quirky. Make sure you get a colour you’ve worn with success countless times before and avoid flamboyantly-sized lapels or crazy patterns until you know for certain you’ll rock it in public.
Of course, this is no big worry if you’re a man with a strong sense of style. Knowing what does and doesn’t work for you eliminates all the dross and makes it much more likely that your choice will be a winner.
Check your shades
Most men go for standard grey or black suits, as they’re versatile and can match plenty of shoes, watches and other accessories. However, if you’re browsing for another colour, make sure you double-check the tone in the suit’s ‘Product Description’.
You’ve probably had it before where you’ve ordered something off a website and it’s arrived looking slightly lighter or darker than you thought. On-screen shades are sometimes slightly off (depending on which site it is), so making sure something listed as ‘blush’ and not ‘salmon’ is definitely worth doing.
Make the most of your filter!
The big bonus of shopping online is that you can get rid of everything you definitely don’t want in just a few clicks. Don’t mess about. Get the most out of your filter sidebar. Even if you’re not dead-set on what you want, using the style or colour sections immediately slashes the amount of suit possibilities. It’s much simpler to scroll through the streamlined options on screen than it is to search through tens of suit varieties on a rail.
Read the reviews
Another thing you don’t get in a shop; past customer comments. Almost every site has something where you can praise or wound with your feedback, whether it’s a simple star-rating or a comment box. Before you buy, check these out to make sure previous customers value the suit you’re thinking of buying and got their purchase within the stated delivery times. Another sweet advantage of online suit buying.
Use the zoom
We’ve gone on and on about the snag of not being able to touch and try on your suit. But actually, it’s really not that big a deal when you use the right web features.
We’re referring to the zoom tool. Use this to inspect the finer details of your suit, like inner pockets and buttons to make sure everything’s in order before you click ‘Buy’. You can also make sure the actual design is professional, too. Move your zoomed cursor over any pattern on your suit to make sure it’s aligned properly and runs correctly, then double check that the collar lies flat on the model and isn’t creased. If it’s wrong online it’ll be wrong on you.
Before you head to ‘Checkout’; sit back and consider exactly how you’re wearing your suit. If you’re buying a new suit, chances are you want to look smart and stylish, and no suited man can be this without a few key accessories on him. Is the suit you’ve picked going to match with a tie and pair of socks easily? Will your best watch go with it? Do you already have shoes for the occasion? Will suit-shoes-watch complement your cufflinks and tie? And are you going to need a cravat or pocket handkerchief for the event?
The logical method is to get your suit ordered and then work the rest of your kit around it. But all we’re saying is, you’re making it harder and dearer for yourself if you’ve chosen something off-the-wall and exclusive.
Double-check product details
You’re nearly done, so don’t fall at one of the last hurdles. Make sure everything in the ‘Product Description’ and ‘Delivery Estimation’ tabs sits well with you — especially fit, material and care instructions. Wool suits look great, but the fibres can irritate some men, while stretch material is spot-on for some but others want a more fitted feel. Either way, doing this could save you the aggro of sending your suit back or the panic it won’t get to you in time.
While we’re on the subject of sending back, our last entry for how to buy a suit online is the one we hope you don’t have to use. Otherwise, this article failed.
What we’re talking about is the site’s return policy. This might be detailed next to your suit on the screen, or it could be found on the homepage. Wherever it is, quickly scan over it and make sure you’re not going to get ripped off with terms and conditions if the suit’s not up to scratch for you.
We hope you have more confidence to buy your next suit online now. Feel free to check out our suits range before you go.