Whether you are just beginning to build your first core wardrobe, or whether you have a closet full of suits, it's a good idea to review this Quality Checklist when you shop to be sure that you are getting your money's worth. A suit that is ill-made or does not fit properly will not help you present the image you want to present to the world. You are not likely to wear such a suit often, even if you can't put your finger on just what is wrong with it. The badly-made suit will gradually move to the back of your closet, where it will take up room without adding to your style repertoire.

photo by Wonderlane

When you are shopping for a suit, be sure to look for these items:


  • The Fabric Whatever fabric your suit may be made of, it should not feel overly stiff or heavy. It should have a flexible, yielding "hand" or feel to it, and should drape well without being flimsy or cheap.
  • The Lapels Your lapels should not have any evidence of wrinkling, and have a slight roll or curve where they fold away from the suit.
  • The Lining Don't waste your money on a suit jacket that is not fully lined. A well-tailored lining will hang smoothly about 1/4 inch above the bottom edge of the coat.
  • The Pattern If your jacket is made of a patterned fabric such as a pinstripe or a windowpane plaid, check that the patterns line up at the pockets and on the back where the collar meets the back of the coat.
  • About Those Pockets... Make sure they hang nice and smooth without any bunching or wrinkles.  And please...empty them out when you take off the suit!
Keep this checklist in mind when you are shopping and you can protect yourself from wasting your bank account on an unworthy suit.

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