We've been there. A few years out of school, trying to climb the professional ladder and attending weddings while wearing the same suit you wore to graduation.
You have to face the truth: The suits you got fresh out of college don't cut it anymore. It's time to upgrade your suits to reflect who you want to be.
But where do you start? Right here is a good spot.
We're discussing the essential suits for men. They form the foundation for a modern gentleman's wardrobe that propels you to a promotion and turns heads at every formal event.
But first, we have to get one thing out of the way.
You Probably Know, But We Have to Say it Anyway
We feel it's that important. When looking your best in a suit, the fit is king.
A great-fitting suit will never go out of style. The suit should complement your frame. It should drape along your body without pinching or billowing as you move.
Walk in your suit. It should move with you, not against you. You shouldn't feel tugging or resistance as you transition from one activity to another.
For more information about achieving a timeless and classic style, read our Pillars of Style.
Now that our PSA is out of the way let's discuss the first suit that should reside in your closet.
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts: THE Essential Suit for Men
Versatility is key with the first suit you purchase. You can't get more versatile than a two-button, single-breasted navy blue suit.
Wear it to the office or open the collar for a smart casual look. Dial up the formality by pairing your navy blue suit with a luxurious burgundy tie for weddings and special occasions.
You'll have a few options when you choose the proper navy blue suit. Get the most out of this staple and pick a middleweight fabric you can wear all year.
For ways to enhance your navy blue suit, read: Spice Up Your Essential Suit: A Burgundy Tie and Navy Suit.
The Suit to Unleash the Cary Grant In You
If your first essential suit for men is navy blue, your second suit investment should be grey.
Channel your inner Cary Grant with a stylish and adaptable grey two-button suit. Wear it to the office with dark shoes and a navy blue grenadine tie, or let the tie go for a more casual look at the lounge.
Choose charcoal grey for a more formal and wintry vibe. Light grey is better for casual occasions in the summer. But if you want the best of both worlds, a mid-grey will serve you at any time of the year.
The suit's versatility allows you to play around with different coloured ties and pocket squares to add a splash of colour to your outfit should the occasion call for it.
Yep, this suit can do it all. It will even keep looking great after a showdown with a crop duster. Wait—don't hold us to that.
Stay Fresh in a Summer Suit
You're in good shape with a navy and grey suit in your arsenal. But you'll want a suit built to keep you cool for the hot summer months. That's where your summer suit comes in handy.
One characteristic that makes a summer suit ideal for hot weather is its construction. Your navy and grey suit are likely fully lined, meaning there's an extra layer of material between the jacket and your body.
Summer suits are either half-lined or not lined at all. Limiting that extra layer of material creates a breathable jacket that looks great while keeping you fresh for those hot summer days.
Aside from construction, a good summer suit sets itself apart with brighter shades and more breathable material like cotton, linen, seersucker, or fresco wool.
For summer suit inspiration, look no further than Bond, James Bond. Daniel Craig's light-brown linen, silk and wool blend jacket in Spectre is summer suiting at its finest. Pair your own light brown summer suit with Aklasu's Burnt Orange Grenadine Tie (as suggested by Iconic Alternatives), and you have an outfit that smashes box office records.
Learn more about picking the right summer suit: No Sweat: A Guide to Staying Effortlessly Cool in a Summer Suit.
Gentleman's Choice: The Formal Suit
Can you wear your grey or navy blue suit to an industry awards reception? Absolutely. Will you wear your summer suit to an outdoor wedding in August? It would be advisable.
So why do you need a formal suit like a tux or double-breasted dinner jacket?
The answer depends on you. If you expect to attend a few black-tie events, then, by all means, invest in a tuxedo. Everyone looks great in a tuxedo. The classic silhouette of a black tux radiates sophistication and elegance. Tie on a black batwing bow tie, and you'll emanate James Bond vibes all night long.
For ultimate versatility, invest in a dark grey suit and a black grenadine tie for your formal events. Pair the grey suit with the grenadine ties in our Set for Life - Essential Grenadine Tie Collection, and you're ready for life's biggest occasions.
The need for a dinner jacket or tuxedo depends on you. Think about how you will wear suits and assess how many you will need.
If you wear a suit every day to work, you'll need to invest in at least one more blue or grey suit. If you expect to attend numerous black tie events, then for sure, a tux is a worthwhile investment.
These four essential suits for men form the foundation for a wardrobe that you can build out for years to come. They'll serve you from interviews to weddings to black-tie cocktail parties as you grow to become the best version of yourself.
Looking for more ways to polish your style? Upgrade to timeless style with topics in our Journal.
A great suit is just a suit until you add a great tie.