Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 43, Tuesday November 6, 2007


suit up!

Ah that one perfect suit- the suit that can make or break the deal. We've gushed at Bond's suaveness in a suit. We've gaped at Ally Mcbeal's, often preposterously provocative suits. Suits are an integral part of one's wardrobe and while our local whether permits limited use for a suit, somehow they still manage to wheedle their way into our wardrobes.

What is the perfect suit?
Well that depends. What is the occasion? Classic dark suits are ideal for work while black or navy suits are good for weddings. For a job interview, wear something great but try not to outshine your interviewer with the price tag. And if you're more on the fun side and want to pull off the suit-T-shirt-sneaker look, definitely go designer but not with classic designer like Brooks.

Where's the best place to buy a suit?
Ideally? At a department store. But you can only avail that option if you're shopping abroad. While Bangladesh might not have department stores like Bloomingdales, it does have a great line of brands and suit boutiques to choose from. For custom suits Ferdous and Pop's at Elephant Road are ideal. While Ferdous does made-to-measure suits, Pop's does the same but uses an Italian sizing chart. Fit Elegance does both readymade and made-to-measure suits. For anything they export, they do it according to that particular countries sizing chart. But for local markets they've established their own sizing chart through trial and error. Women interested in wearing suits should know that Fit Elegance is the only company that caters to their needs as well. Cats Eye is a great brand for readymade suits as well and they follow European sizing charts.

What's with all those styles?
It doesn't matter what's in vogue, you need to find out what style suits you best. That being said, knowing about different styles of suits helps. Three-button suits sprouted in the 90's and are now the usual choice. Two-button suits are conservative and reminiscent of Washington politicians but designers are modernizing the design and the suit's cut defines the style. A one-button suit is highly edgy but not for everyone.

Tiny details like the vents and lapels also factor into the suits style. Centre vents are multi-faceted: both modern and traditional and they are a safe choice. For a smooth European look try side vents. But whatever you do, don't ever wear a ventless suit. Notch lapels are classic while peak lapels have comeback to please those who want a more out-there look.

Ladies, opt for flat-front pants for a slim look. Straight skirts make or break the deal solely based on fit. A-line, pleated and slit skirts are ideal to move in. The length should be according to your individual needs but make sure you can slide two fingers down the waistband or else it might be too tight.

What's the right fit?
The fit determines whether it's a good suit or not. So pay careful attention. There are three things to pay careful attention too when trying on a suit: the chest, the shoulder and the length. The suit should button easily without strain but shouldn't have too much space between the button and chest. Make sure the shoulder pads don't stick out and the suit's shoulders hug yours. If you can cup your fingers under the suit jacket's sides, it's the right length. But don't be alarmed if the suit jacket is shorter, because shorter jackets are now in vogue.

What are a few tricks to getting a good suit?
Well for one, don't rely on the sales personnel. They're here to sell, so they'll tell you what you want to hear. And don't pay attention if they say the shoulders can be altered to fit right because if the shoulders don't fit well, nothing else will. Tailors can alter tight pants or large waistbands but only if there is an inch variation. Anything larger and you should try on another suit. Sleeve lengths can be altered and good tailor can correct the collar roll at the back of the suit jacket. Know what needs to be tweaked and that'll tell you which suit is most feasible.

And the best way to find out if the suit is for you is by trying it out in front of a three-way mirror. Check out the jacket and the pants. The pants shouldn't be tight and the rise shouldn't be too high or too low. More importantly if the pants don't fit, try another suit.

Why go local?
Because for many, there is no other choice. But more importantly local suits are actually very well made. Sure you won't find too many styles but brands like Fit Elegance and Cats Eye do have boatloads to offer. Cats Eye has been producing suits since 1986 and brings in imported fabric while Fit Elegance's massive export line up proves that they maintain an international quality. Fit Elegance's personnel were also trained by foreign technicians from Russia and Italy - after all who knows more about suits than the Italians?

A suit makes a style statement all by itself. It reflects your personality, style and taste. And when the style's just right and it fits beautifully, know that you have a keeper. So the next time you want to buy a new suit, pay very careful attention and take your time. The right suit will last a long time and always make you look great.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob
Photo courtesy: Cats Eye


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