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Business, Weddings, Formal & Casual Styles


Do You Know What Basic Suits You Need to Own?

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Section: Essential Men's Suit Guide - Blog

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In an ideal world, blessed with unlimited funds, you could own suits of every style and colour to suit any circumstance or event. However, if you are like most and live in the real world on a finite budget, you may be lucky to own one or two foundation suits while you save up for others. If you can only afford one suit, what should it be? Here's our expert answer to this dilemma.

The suitability of men's suits

Mark Twain, noted American author, said: “Clothes make the man”. A perfect example of this happened when one of our clients, who is a software developer, had the opportunity to attend a dinner with Tim Fairfax a couple of years ago.

Our client had purchased a tailor made suit from us, but rarely wore it to work as he preferred casual shirts and men's trousers. Given six hours' notice to dine at one of the fanciest hotels in town, he dressed in his best suit and leveraged an opportunity many of his colleagues missed out on because they didn't own the right outfits.

The moral of the story? If you own at least one quality tailored men's suit, you'll never need a second chance to make an exceptional first impression and edge out your competition.

If you only own one men's suit, go dark

If you can only afford to own one suit, regardless of whether it's a standard business suit, a 3-piece suit, or even a slim fit suit, make sure it fits perfectly and complements your body shape.


Choose one in a dark colour with a timeless style rather than one that will go out of style quickly.

The best investment colours are:

  • Solid dark navy
  • Charcoal
  • Black

Want to add subtle distinction? Play it safe and choose self-striped patterns or patterns with a mini cross-hatched effect because when viewed from the distance, they still look like a solid colour.

Why do we emphasis a dark-coloured suit? Typically, dark-coloured suits are perceived as more formal than the light-coloured ones. This makes them more versatile as they are appropriate for a wider range of occasions and events than light-coloured suits.

Lastly, choose a timeless style - it denotes class - and it won't look outdated in future years the way suits with skinny or overly wide lapels or excessive amounts of buttons will. A classic men's suit gives you years and even decades of serviceable wear.

The ideal men's suits

Most men look sharp in a charcoal grey, single-breasted, 2-button jacket with double vents. The trousers should be made from the same fabric as the suit. For pleated trousers, go with a cuff; if your pants have a flat front, you should avoid cuffs.


Other fabrics to considered for your main business suits are:

  • Medium-grey
  • Navy solid
  • Grey
  • Charcoal-grey
  • Navy semi-solids

If you have dark hair with a medium-to-dark complexioned skin, opt for black suits. Suits made of pure wool fabrics are recommended for their breathability, durability and superior fall, but they cost more.

If you'd rather have an economical fabric, you can usually find woolen blends that work well for limited occasions, although they do tend to crush more than pure wool does.

As you build your wardrobe and add more suits, it's wise to stay away from memorable patterns so people don't recall it when you wear the same suit later in the week.


Similarly, because they are less versatile and harder to dress down, we'd advise you to avoid adding double-breasted suits to your closet, especially when you are in wardrobe building mode.

If you can only afford one suit at this time, why not get the most for your money and invest in tailor made? A well-made suit fromMontagio Custom Tailoring will give you years of service, which means its cost of wear decreases every time you slip it on and head out for the day. Few garments can give you a better return on your investment than custom made suits - don't you deserve the best?

Original idea for article from Antonio Centeno, author of the internet's most actionable men's style guide. We recommend a read!

Image Credits © Mimagephotography | Dreamstime.com © Julia Pfeifer | Dreamstime.com © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com © Gotstock | Dreamstime.com


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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Simon Frazer

Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »

Kiran Dosanjh

I have bought a total of 11 pieces custom made so far - quality and attention to detail is spectacular, material choice is broad and the input customers have in creating the exact look they want is a great experience... more »

Roy Soliman

I went back for another suit, a few shirts and some ties. Outstanding! I had so many complements on my new suit yesterday! more »

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