Guys, where are your suits?

Natalie Netzel

October 25, 2013

On Sunday, Chris Mann serenaded the audience with his classically trained voice at the Opera House.

Even though Mann is a classical artist, he brings a modern edge by singing contemporary pop songs. His set up was simple with candles lighting up the stage and a piano and he also wore a suit bringing a polished appearance.

The suit perfected his image and brought about a distinguished look that only a suit can bring.

Perhaps men need to be introduced to the suit once again. Since there are many styles and trends, I’ll just keep it simple and explain the basic layout.

The suit involves a jacket (also known as a blazer), pants (also known as trousers), a button down shirt with a collar and are worn together to comprise a winning combination known as a suit. Additional items can include a handkerchief in the jacket pocket and a tie that is meant to wear around the neck. Dress socks and shoes are not an option.

When guys wear the suit, it’s roughly equivalent to women wearing the Little Black Dress. Now, the suit is not expected for all occasions. Guys would look out of place wearing a suit to a picnic or at a tailgate party.

If guys are confused about where to wear a suit, here are some places suits are expected. Yes, there are exceptions but when in doubt, ask.

— Weddings

— Funerals (Not the same as a wedding)

— Job interviews

— Dates (Depending on the activity)

— Public speaking events

— Formal concerts and events

Men do not need to keep their suit wearing to a minimum. There’s always something to be said about going the extra mile.

There are many styles of suits and they are not all representative of our grandparents age. In fact, in addition to Mann, pop star Justin Timberlake is often featured wearing a suit and the modern version of The Great Gatsby helped to familiarize guys with suits and style.

This is to point out that suits are not boring.

There are three types of suits to help guys out when they shop for a new suit. It should be pointed out that while suits are not cheap, they typically last for many, many years and if weight magically appears or disappears then that’s what tailors are for.

The three main suit types are English, Italian and American.

The English style has soft,unpadded shoulders, a long, hourglass body with high waist, single or double breasted jackets with two or three buttons and side vents. The Italian is also known as the Continental and features squared and high shoulders, a shorter and more closely fitted, single breasted body with two buttons and no vent. The American is a natural shoulder with straight and more roomy body, two or three buttons and a back vent, according to the website Real Men, Real Style.

The vents on a jacket are meant for movement and there are different styles to accommodate guys. There are also jackets without vents if that’s what the guy wants. Typically, guys with larger frames may prefer vents because of the movement.

The jacket is meant to be a center piece but pants should not be forgotten. Guys have the option between flat front and pleated. Just like with women’s pants, pleated may add bulk but it can allow for extra room. Flat fronts typically give a cleaner and more modern appearance.

As for the cuffs at the bottom of the pants, generally cuffs are better suited for taller men because cuffs tend to shorten the man’s height.

As for the color, that’s up to the individual man (or his better half). However, sticking to a classic color will garner the most use and get the most bang for the buck.

Men should also keep in mind that matching is out the window. It’s okay to mix black and brown and even black and navy.

When it come to ties, men should have fun while still wanting to maintain that distinguished look. For men, wearing a tie is almost like women and their purses. The tie can pop the outfit.

However, here are some general rules courtesy of

— Choose your shirt and then your tie. The colors in the tie should repeat from the shirt.

— When wearing patterns, use the smaller pattern on the shirt and the larger pattern on the tie.

— It’s OK to mix and match patterns but don’t mix large patterns with large patterns.

Suits are a timeless and every man should have at least one suit. When guys wear a suit, it helps them appear more professional, polished and confident. And confidence is always attractive.

Natalie Netzel is a staff writer for The Newberry Observer and can be reached at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.