Stepping into a well-cut suit is transformative. It will make you that much more stylish, it’ll help you walk taller, and if you get it right—i.e. buy your correct size and get it tailored—it will even make you feel better in your own skin. What it won’t do is make any extra room in your closet. So here’s how to narrow things down to just the essentials. Keep on reading to see the only five suits you need.
The All-Season Navy Wool Suit
This is the workhorse. It’ll get you through everything from evenings out to job interviews, plus, the color looks great on everyone. Choose a breathable wool that’s not too heavy, and it’ll carry you through all but the coldest winter nights and swampiest summer days. Opt for single-breasted, with a two-button closure, and dress it up or down as you please. Just don’t ever button the bottom button.
The Spring-Summer Khaki Cotton Suit
Nothing says warm weather like a crisp cotton suit. Khaki’s the classic color here, for good reason. It’s appropriate for the office and has enough of an edge to pull double-duty on weekends. Try a patterned short sleeve shirt and a pair of white canvas sneakers (no socks, of course) to show the world you’re dressing up because you want to, not because you have to.
There’s no better way to prove you’ve got dandy chops than by rocking a double-breasted suit. Gone are the boxy cuts of the old days, replaced by a style that’s more trim, more comfortable, stripped of its padding, and designed to hug your shoulders, not swallow them. It’s still a power move, though, so if you feel like going for, say, an understated Prince of Wales check, we’re not going to stop you.
Prince of Wales check suit ($787.78) by Boglioli, farfetch.com
Once the uniform of suffering American salary-man, the grey flannel suit is now a bit more rebellious, much more stylish, and still totally versatile. Look for a mid-gray color, throw on a white shirt with a black knit tie, and you’ve got a perfect nine-to-five look. For weekends, layer on a sweatshirt or break it up and wear just the jacket. The grey flannel suit is about freedom now, which is why it’s better than ever.
Lazio light gray plain suit ($499) by Suitsupply, suitsupply.com
Skip the rental game and buy a tux instead. It’s an investment, but you won’t just be buying a suit: you’ll be investing in a better looking you. You’ll wear it for years, so make sure to get something that’ll age well. Black is a solid bet, but midnight blue is great for men who want something different. Go for peak lapels or a shawl collar, avoid flapped pockets, make sure it closes with one button, and you’re golden.