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Uncomfortable Suits

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 in Q&As

My suit is really uncomfortable. How do you make suits more comfortable or wearable?

I hear this a lot, and my answer will sound odd, but it is very important: get your suit tailored, and if possible, get a better suit.

In my opinion, the most common reason guys feel uncomfortable wearing suits is that the suits feel horrible. Cheap, poorly tailored suits feel baggy, childish, flimsy, and utterly nasty. Cheap excessively padded suits (like wannabe sack suit slash Italian cuts) can have huge shoulders and can be far too long both in the length of the body and in the sleeves to be anything close to comfortable. Suit pants, usually pleated excessively, can also feel uncomfortable, if not outright old-man-ish.

First off, hunt down a better suit. Don’t go for the typical cheap-y baggy stuff at your typical department store unless you must — invest in a real suit. If you want to buy one off the rack, go for a decent and reasonably affordable brand such as J.Crew. If you live near an outlet mall, Brooks Brothers’ outlet mall offerings (their 365 line) is incredibly good, and ridiculously cheap compared to their main line. If you want something Made to Measure, look for a modern but educated company, such as Thick as Thieves LA.

Whatever you do find, make sure it fits you. The sleeves should never feel excessively long or baggy — if the sleeves are too thick/bulky/large, an adept tailor can fix that problem. If the pants are too long, hem them, but aim for a subtle break (or none at all, if you feel like channeling Tom Ford). While you’ll obviously feel like you are wearing a suit in some respects, a well fitted, comfortable suit will feel more like a second skin than a wool prison.

Also, make sure your shirt and tie fit you well. If the shirt feels too tight on your neck, size up. Get the shirt tailored, never accept a baggy shirt. Tie the tie properly and keep it at your neckline, but never choke yourself.

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