The right suit can make you feel as dapper as Frank.

Guy’s guide: Assembling the perfect suit with Carriages

An undisputed staple, the tailored suit has long been the tried and true avenue to timeless style in menswear. Whether it be for those last few summer weddings, the upcoming end-of-the-season party, or your everyday workwear, the perfect suit can open endless possibilities in expression and opportunity.

In hopes of learning the secrets to being the best suited in the room, we reached out to buyer William Aguirre of Carriages Fine Clothier for his suggestion on picking the perfect suit.

Step 1: Fit

Aguirre says that the very first thing to consider when selecting your suit is the fit you’re looking for. “The trend is moving towards more modern styles– cleaner, shorter, trimmer,” he says. “However, we’re a bit of a more traditional town, more Deep South. So trimmer and modern may not be what everyone is looking for.”

Step 2: Purpose

Different suits are suited to different purposes, Aguirre explains. “If it’s a business suit, people typically are looking for something darker, cleaner,” he says. “But you might want something more interesting for, say, a wedding or a party. Big patterns or bright solids are very relevant right now. And often, you can find something in between–something toned down and dark, but with some interest.”

Step 3: Shoes

Aguirre suggests brown dress shoes for most any color suit except solid black. “If you’ve got a dark, say, charcoal suit, though, you’ll want dark brown shoes,” he says. “Lighter browns are great for almost everything else though.”

Step 4: Belt

“The belt should always coordinate with your shoes,” he says. “Coordinate, not match. People can get really stuck on comparing them side by side to get just the right color. Your belt is like four feet away from your shoes. It just needs to coordinate.”

Step 5: Shirt & Tie

Ties can be one of the most personal touches to a look, says Aguirre. When selecting a shirt and tie combo, his biggest advice is to pay attention to pattern scales. “If the pattern on your shirt is small scale, you want a large-scale pattern on your tie,” he says. “Really try to avoid large scale, large scale or small scale, small scale. That’s when it gets too busy.”

He also encourages customers to pay attention to the seasons. “In the summer, it’s good to incorporate linen or cotton fabrics,” he says. “And in the fall, you can find woolen, more interesting textures.”

And what about bow ties? “You’re either a bow tie guy or you’re not a bow tie guy,” he says with a laugh.

Photo courtesy Carriages Fine Clothier

Step 6: Final Touch

If you want to really show that you’ve put some effort into your look, Aguirre says to consider getting a pocket handkerchief to tie it all together. “It is just one more step to getting yourself dressed, and can really make a difference,” he says.