It’s all about doing your research.

What’s the one thing that makes James Bond cool? No, not the cars. Not the gadgets either. No, not the endless stream of beautiful women or the incredible fight scenes . . . ok, so there are lots of things that make Bond cool, but what’s the coolest thing about 007? That’s right, the clothes.

The perfect suit can turn you from average Joe to classy gent in minutes, but pick the wrong suit and you could end up looking less International Man of Mystery and more Brian from Accounting. Buying your first suit can be daunting, so how do you make sure your suit suits you?

What’s The Golden Rule? Know. Your. Measurements.
While we’d all love the idea of buying from a top end designer or being measured up by a master tailor, much of the magic is in the measurements. There are plenty of suits out there that you can buy off the shelf that will look sophisticated as long as you have a clear idea of how you shape up. Pick an ill-fitting option, however, and you’ll either end up drowning in fabric or bursting at the seams.

So the first thing you need to do is get to know your body and your measurements. Grab a tape measure and take ten minutes to jot down your chest, waist and neck measurements, as well as your arm and leg lengths. Better yet, visit a tailor. Now you’re already halfway to finding the right suit for your body.

With your measurements in hand, there are some hacks to bear in mind for making sure your suit fits. For one, you should be able to fit one thumb in the waistband of your trousers as a sign that they’re not too tight or too loose. Your suit jacket should reach the knuckles of your thumb, and the joining of shoulder and arm of your jacket should match up perfectly with your own shape.

The Other Stuff You Should Know:

Less Whining, More Lining:
Look inside the jacket as well as outside to make sure the suit you’re getting is decent quality. Taking off your jacket should give viewers a flash of something good, and we’re not just talking about your sexy self! Good lining, whether it’s a swish pattern or a bold colour, can have serious impact.

Buying In Bits:
Some places will let you buy your jacket and trousers separately. This can be useful for giving you a wider choice of measurements, as those lucky enough to have an athletic build can opt for a larger jacket with slimmer trousers.

Try Trendy Touches:
A suit is a classic staple of a man’s wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put a modern spin on it. Peak lapels, double vents, turned up trousers and bold patterns can all make your suit stand out, so don’t be afraid to give them a try.

Don’t Fail On Detail:
Don’t make any compromises when suit-shopping. You’re looking for the perfect threads, so check all the details to make sure they’re up to your standards. What do the buttons look like? Are the pockets square or crown? How many buttons does the jacket have and what shape are the lapels? Ask yourself these questions and make sure you like the answers.

Get A Feel For The Fabric:
Don’t just look at a suit, reach out and touch it. Make sure you’re happy with the way the fabric feels as well as how it looks. If it feels good, you’ll feel comfortable. If you feel comfortable, you’ll feel and look confident.

Go Grey Or Blue:
Brown suits generally look a little too 70s, and black suits can have a whiff of funeral about them. If you want to play it safe, go grey or blue. You can’t go wrong with a steely suit paired with a black tie and black dress shoes. Similarly, a snappy blue suit with brown shoes can work wonders.

Don’t Be A Heavyweight:
Think of a suit like a steak and always order a medium. A good suit is made of good wool, and a medium wool will maintain a creaseless look without sending your body temperature into overdrive.

Shopping for a suit is one of man’s greatest pleasures, so make sure you know what you’re looking for. Follow these rules and you’ll be the most dapper chap at the party. 007 eat your heart out.

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