The "only one suit" thread

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by Doc4, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Some guys will have a closet full of suits, and wear them to work daily or a few times a week/month, or whatever.

    But then there are guys who don't wear suits generally, but want "a suit" for the few special occasions when they need one (funerals, weddings, interviews, when SWMBO draggs you to the opera, &c.)

    So, in the interest of helping those guys pick the one right suit to wear, let's start this thread and debate what is the perfect one-suit.

    I'd go with a medium-wieght, medium gray suit, single breasted and probably a two-button rather than a three-button front. The material should be wool (not cotton like some summer suits), and should be free from any pattern, pinstripes, &c. ... a blank canvas, as it were.

    This suit gives you considerable "wiggle room", as it were. You can make it sombre for a funeral with white shirt and black tie/belt/shoes. You can be more lighthearted for a wedding with a coloured shirt (pink, lilac, or boring blue) and tie with light brown shoes/belt. It's light enough to wear in the summer without too much discomfort, and with an undershirt it's not uncomfortable in the winter.

    Okay guys, weigh in with your opinions!!
  2. Sounds about right, although I would not wear brown shoes or a brown belt with a grey suit.
  3. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Oh, you've got to try it. Especially a light brown/tan shoe/belt with a lighter grey suit. :biggrin:
  4. I'm a one suit guy. Happens to be an inexpensive black Stanford wool suit, single breasted, three button, from JCPenney's that I got when my grandfather died in 2004.

    Maybe it's time I get another one....
  5. I think you have it covered. That is exactly what I would recommend. Does anyone have experience buying a suit from Hong Kong, if time is not of the essence? It seems it usually is if you suddenly are in need of a suit... It seems the quality from the HK tailors is quite high and the price comparable to, say, the Men's Warehouse.
  6. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    I agree with Ian but I think a wool blue suit is appropriate for most occasions.

    With Ian's suggestions, you can purchase a blue blazer and you have expanded your wardrobe considerably.

    Nice topic Ian.
  7. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    Not only do I agree, but that is the one suit, of the three or four I have, which gets worn most often. The sole divergence is that three button suits fit me better.

    Of course I love my Seersucker suit. It just isn't all that appropriate for interviews, funerals or many of the other places a grey wool suit can go.
  8. I agree with everything you say, except one: I would get black, not grey. Black enables you to go very dressy or much more casual, depending upon the shirt/tie/belt/shoes you wear with it. It used to be that black was considered only very dressy, but these days it is acceptable for everyday wear, plus you can wear it on a Saturday night!

    (BTW, in the interests of full disclosure, I'm one of the closet full of suits guys -- I wear a suit to work every day -- so my opinion might be a little skewed.)

  9. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    The thought of wearing a black suit to an outdoor wedding on a sunny July afternoon ... :crazy::bayrum2::wacko:
  10. As someone who wears suits daily (banker) I would say you pretty much have it covered.
  11. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    I wear one to the beach. :cool:
  12. Jim

    Jim Moderator

    No argument from me Ian, just a dark blue/true navy would be my choice.
  13. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    That is seersucker's raison d'etre!
  14. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I agree that's the choice if you buy one suit.
    If you wish to cover every possible contingency, get one medium / light grey and one very dark grey.
  15. True enough -- although any wool suit is going to be miserable in that situation.

    I think we just made the argument for having more than one suit.

  16. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    I agree. Every gentlemen should have at least 3 suits for different occasions.
  17. No argument here. But if I would go for only one suit for all occasions I would pick black or dark blue/navy. For me gray doesn't seems appropriate for funerals.
  18. I agree with everything save the color. Navy blue would be my choice. This isn't much of a debate.

    I'd definitely agree that single-breasted two button is the way to go. That is a classic look that will never be inappropriate.

    Nice topic
  19. I would rank the order of suits as:

    1. Dark navy blue, single breasted, pure wool no frills.
    2. A grey or charcoal very light pinstripe, pure wool.
    3. A bolder pattern such as a check or fine houndstooth.
    4. More adventurous patterns and cuts for less formal wear.

    If buying off the peg, pay an extra few$ to have a fitting and tweak it.

    Since the purpose of a "one suit" is to fit into the formal mold, black shoes preferably lace up and polished and belt, white or very pale blue shirt and a reasonably mild tie. Low key cologne. Tan or suede shoes, and heavily patterned shirts are not consistent with a one-suit mode.
  20. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I'd be the first one to say a gentleman needs several suits, and I don't disagree that at the ends of the spectrum other suits would be better suited :)tongue_sm) to specific tasks ... charcoal better than mid-grey at a funeral, seersucker or cream linen better at a July wedding, and so forth.

    But the key here is "which suit will be on average best at all those uses?" I'll say that mid-grey is 'good enough' for a funeral, so long as you pair it with black tie/belt/shoes, and if you want to add a bit, a black arm band is traditional to demonstrate that one is in mourning.

    Well, wool ain't always wool, if you know what I mean. A heavy flannel or the like is going to wear a lot hotter than a lightweight wool ... "tropical weight" wool is very light, and you can get high-twist-loose-weave wool that is very good for having the breeze blow through it.

    My main gripe with dark suits, be they black, navy or charcoal, is that they are the wrong colour for summer: wearing dark clothes in the sun is a surefire way to turn yourself into a solar energy pannel ... yuck. (Heck, I once made the mistake of buying a black linen jacket ... even though it was unlined ... it was an oven!!)

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