The only 4 suits you’ll ever need to own
What are the four essential suits in a gentleman’s wardrobe?
Or, actually, better put, what are the four suits that you require the most? It’s an almost impossible question. We are so different and have so dissimilar personalities and taste in style and preference. But still. There are a few basic suits that could be said to be the foundation of a man’s suit wardrobe. You might be young, you might just have started a job and career and are thinking, how do you make sure you have what you need in your closet? You might be middle age and discovered that many of those “quite new” suits actually are 10, 15 or 20 years old. Or you are just a fan of nice suits. Like me and many of us.
I have said it before; it’s not a question of money. Not at all. But more a question of carefully selected materials and the right cut. And the confidence that it gives you.
1. The navy suit
The number one suit of all times and all categories. If you only have one suit, it should be this one. Single breasted and two-buttoned. Esquire calls it the “workhorse,” and it’s true. It takes you through all kinds of events, from high to low, private and professional. Evening out or the speech of your life in front of a huge audience. The navy suit will take you through it respectfully. Choose a medium weight breathable fabric so you can use it year around. It looks good no matter your skin complexion. You can wear it to all shoe and belt colours*.
2. The grey suit
Number two is also a given choice; the plain dark grey suit. Two-buttoned. A little more formal than the navy. You can wear it around the clock, day and night. The equivalent of women’s little black dress. Charcoal or more towards mid grey, it’s still the multipurpose suit that can be dressed up or down depending on occasion.
You can even wear it with a T-shirt* and jeans.
3. The dark double breasted suit
Some – especially North American style experts – would argue that the beige cotton khaki suit is absolutely necessary in the wardrobe. I would say that you have very limited use for it especially if you live in a colder climate. But a double breasted suit, preferably dark, is really versatile. It’s more casual than the strict business look. But make sure the cut is sleek! We have left the boxy cuts from the old days.
4. The black suit
Classic. It works well for the office, parties and evening events. It is never wrong in business occasions, even if you are not an IBM’er or a Mormon. If you don’t have or want to use a dinner jacket, the black suit is the perfect choice. The classic black suit. And you can use it at funerals with a white shirt and black tie.
5. The dinner suit
I said “the only 4 suits you need, and now I write about a fifth? Yes. How many black tie invitations do you get a year? (Not you Mr. Bond, I mean the rest of us). Not many, right? But they do come, even if they come quite infrequent. And at those occasions you want to look and feel the best. You can decline the invitation, or you can take the opportunity to get yourself a dinner suit.