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What Every Man Needs to Know About Mens' Suits

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Section: Essential Men's Suit Guide - Blog

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Not all two button jackets are the same, and there are many degrees of differences in lapels, pockets and other suit features. Throw in a few surgeon cuffs and sprinkle on some bespoke tailoring jargon, and it can seem complex and confusing. Here’s our guide to making it easy to know your men’s suit – inside and out.

Introducing…YOur Suit

Men's suits are the most versatile items in a man's wardrobe, and the cornerstone of men's fashion. If a man has an established personal style and a good grasp of fashion, he will rarely appear out of place when he wears a quality suit. A suit is simply a jacket and trousers of the same cut, made from the same material.

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Before we elaborate on the cuts and fabrics of men's suits, here's a fundamental style principle: Never wear an item if you cannot wear it confidently. Confidence is the secret ingredient that makes any outfit look good.

However, this is not a license to wear an outfit just because you feel comfortable in it. Instead, we're suggesting you be judicious when choosing what to wear - especially if you feel more comfortable in a style that is different than our guidelines suggest.

Suit Jacket Cut

The style, or cut, of a suit defines how good a suit looks. A poorly cut suit will not look right on the wearer. The cut of a man's suit is determined by the overall silhouette and the specific proportions of the person who will be wearing it. Most men choose custom made suits because they know their tailor can cut suits to enhance their best features.

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There are three major suit styles, each named for its country of origin. Today, you can find all three varieties in most countries:

  • English Style: This is typified by soft, unpadded shoulders; a long, hourglass body with a high waist; and a single or double breasted jacket with two or three buttons and side vents.
  • Italian or Continental Style: This is characterised by a lightweight construction with squared, high shoulders; a short, close-fitting, single-breasted body; two buttons and no vent.
  • American Style: This suit features a natural-shoulder with a straight and spacious body, three buttons and a back vent.

In our experience, bespoke, or custom-made suits, do more to enhance a man's appearance than an altered or made-to-measure suit; equally, an altered suit will flatter a man's appearance more than an unaltered or an off-the-rack suit will. The reason for this is simple.

  • Bespoke suits are tailored to specific measurements and built by hand, by a master tailor.
  • Made-to-measure suits are simply off-the-rack suits that have been fitted and altered to the wearer's frame. Unfortunately, they can only be altered to a certain point and will never provide as good a fit as a custom-made suit.
  • Off-the-rack suits are made to standard specifications and typically do not conform to the wearer's proportions.

Suit Fabric

The difference in fit between an off-the-rack and bespoke suit is obvious. However, it is the fabric that can make both types of suits appear stylish. Poor quality fabric can make an expensive suit look cheap.

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Wool is the traditional suit fabric, as it provides many options in terms of weight and colours. Suits made of silk, cotton, gabardine, linen, cashmere and mohair are ideal for summer wear. For weekends in the countryside, a tweed suit, with thick, coarse fabric designed to keep out chilly winds, is an apposite outfit. However, never wear a tweed suit at a social function in the city.

Suit Trims

The final indicator of a suit's quality is the trimming. Options like pocket styles, button materials, linings and other subtle inclusions like ticket pockets and functional sleeve buttons indicate as much about the quality of the suit, as they do about the man who wears it. As with men's accessories, fine details cannot make a poor quality suit look awesome; they will, however, enhance the appearance of a man wearing a decent quality suit.

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You can browse a variety ofsuit styles in our online galleries, stop by our Sydney showroom for a closer look, or even schedule an appointmentfor a personal style consultation. We're eager to help you suit up for whatever situations your future may hold.

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Tailor Made FOR EVERY OCCASION

We tailor make mens suits, jackets and shirts for all occasions. Each garment is custom designed, precisely made-to-measure and is guaranteed to fit you perfectly. Unlike others, we offer you end-to-end service and a personalised styling session where we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you get the colour, style and fit you want.

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Steve Fambo

Hats off to the team at Montagio Custom Tailoring Sydney. I was immediately impressed once I stepped into their boutique showroom... more »

Scott Lasak

The suit and shirts I received were terrific and much better quality than ones I've found in stores off the rack. I would absolutely recommend them... more »

Yun Zhi Lin

I would highly recommend Montagio for anyone else planning a wedding or looking for a trendy tailor made suit... more »


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