A well-tailored suit is a great investment. It's greatest asset? Versatility. Gone are the days when a suit had one purpose and one purpose only. Today, you can wear a suit for formal occasions, for work, and even for informal gatherings and parties. It’s the most versatile item in your wardrobe.
Learning how to tailor your suit to fit multiple occasions means you get bang for your buck, and is there anything better than that?
In this post, we break down 6 ways you can mix it up. So, whether you’re going on a weekend break or just trying to be more budget-friendly, follow this guide to get the most out of your suit. Don't fancy reading then you can also watch our video
Protect Your Suit: The Cardinal Rule
Before we get into the different ways to dress your suit, we must first address the cardinal rule — thou shalt protect thy suit. If you plan on truly getting the most out of it, you need to keep it in pristine condition. However many tricks and hacks you use to tailor your suit to fit your needs, a crumpled, dirty suit will always fail to impress.
There are three stages of suit-care: clean it, press it, and hang it:
- Clean it: Take your suit to a dry-cleaner. They are the pros and they know how to clean your suit without damaging it. Just don’t be overzealous, as washing your suit too many times can do more damage than good.
- Press it: Your suit will last a lot longer if you steer clear of the iron. Steaming is always the best way to keep your suit wrinkle-free and in tip-top condition.
- Hang it: A suit belongs in the wardrobe, not on the floor (obviously). Steer clear of metal hangers that can deform your suit and instead use wooden or plastic hangers with rounded edges.
Remember these three steps, and taking care of your tailored suit becomes easy!
1. The Shirt
The easiest way to transform your suit is to experiment with your dress shirt. Go bold. There are so many different styles of shirt out there, so mix things up. A Mandarin collar gives your look an edge and is perfect for casual drinks or gatherings. A stand-up collar itself comes in a variety of styles, from detachable to embroidered, and is a staple for workwear and more formal gatherings.
You can also play with colour. A tailored suit with a pink statement shirt makes for a unique alternative to your standard white button-down. Depending on your suit, the fun you can have with colour is pretty much endless. Don’t be scared to mix-and-match.
2. The T-Shirt
Don’t be afraid to dress down your suit. Teaming it with a T-shirt or polo is a quick and easy way to revolutionise your look and is perfect for smart-casual events. You can also switch your shirt for a cashmere roll neck to keep you warm during the colder months. The key thing to remember is that a classic shirt is not the only choice.
3. The Tie and Pocket Square
Suits with pocket squares add a dash of colour and character to your look. Take a Navy White Spot Tie & Pocket Square — the dark, classic colour and design make this set perfect for your office. On the other hand, a Red Floral Tie & Pocket Square Set, with its bold colour and fanciful design, makes for a great summer party choice. Two ties, two pocket squares, and two totally different looks to take you from work to play. Of course, you can always completely forgo a tie and pocket square for a more laid-back look.
4. The Shoes
Oxford brogues, loafers, boat shoes, trainers, wing-tips — there’s a pair of shoes for every imaginable occasion. When designing your look, work from the bottom up. Switching out your classic brogues for a pair of boat shoes takes you from office-sleek to summer party in one fashion move. Quick, easy, and convenient.
To really make a statement with your outfit, roll up your trouser legs and skip the socks when wearing more casual shoes.
5. The One-Piece
There’s the three-piece, and there’s the two-piece, but what about the one-piece suit? Okay, we may have made that term up — but our point still stands. Deconstructing your suit is an easy way to wear it whatever the occasion. There are times when the combination of jacket, shirt and trousers is just too much. Who wants to roll up to a beach party in a full tuxedo getup? Instead, just choose one. Try pairing your suit jacket with jeans, or your trousers with a stylish polo neck. They’re both great looks that prove that taking apart your suit can open your wardrobe to a whole host of possibilities.
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! Hats, cufflinks and watches can all be used to change up your look. A classic tweed suit matched with a flat cap is the perfect outfit for a day in the country. But, take off the hat, and you’re instantly city-ready!
Accessories come in all shapes, styles, and sizes, meaning the possibilities are endless. Get creative and remember that when it comes to your look, it’s the little touches that count.
Looking to mix up your look? Check out Empire Outlet’s wide range of stylish suit accessories. From sunglasses, to ties, to watches, we have everything you need to look great, no matter what the occasion.