How to choose a (bespoke) business suit or jacket?

A guide on how to choose a business suit.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression". It's an old adage because it is undeniably true. It is therefore imperative that to succeed in business it makes sense to wear great looking business suits.

Ulysses S. Grant & Li Hung Chang 1874

Ulysses S. Grant & Li Hung Chang 1874

Below are our 4 top tips to help you choose the perfect business suit:

Choosing the perfect business suit – tip 1
The style of the Cloth.

The cloth dictates more than anything else the overall 'look' of  a business suit, and it very much depends on your style whether you opt for solid colors, pin-stripes, checks, herringbones or other patterns. But always take care to consider your environment. Just because you are a very outgoing person that doesn't necessarily mean that a loud, audacious suit is going to reflect well in the business world. Similarly, there are many industries (such as advertising and the media) where a conservative suit will make you look stuffy and out of touch. At De Oost Bespoke Tailoring we take the time to talk to our clients about the role the business suit has to play in their working life, so that the cloth compliments that role completely.

Choosing the perfect business suit – tip 2
The Practicality of the cloth.

In general business suits need to be the 'toughest' suit in your wardrobe. City life, travel and commuting is very hard on suits - whether it's running for a cab or sitting on a park bench they are susceptible to considerable wear and tear. The general rule of thumb is that the heavier the cloth the more hardwearing it is (although we offer exceptions if you prefer). Also, the medium to heavy cloths will hold their shape throughout the day, so you're looking as crisp in the evening as you did first thing.

Choosing the perfect business suit – tip 3
The cut / style options.

Some cuts and style options are too casual for a business suit, and it is important to know that your choices are appropriate. We recommend 2 or 3 button jackets, depending on your shape (and taste), and style options can range from the ultra modern (such as contrast stitching on the boutonniere) to the very traditional (such as pleated trousers and side adjusters). The wrong combinations of options can make the suit look strange – so be careful!

Choosing the perfect business suit – tip 4
The fit.

We know from experience that when a customer puts on a perfectly fitted suit it can change everything. Their whole demeanor can improve - they become more confident and feel more powerful and respected. To wear bespoke is to join the ranks of the most successful business people in history and while it would be absurd to attribute their prowess to their pin-stripes, there is no doubt that if you look the part you feel the part. The fit of a business suit is absolutely vital. At De Oost Bespoke Tailoring we take up to 30 measurements to ensure accuracy, and we offer a fit guarantee – we won't let you take your suit away until you are entirely happy with it. 


Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Designs: Herringbone

If you are looking for a proper business or city suit, think about having your garments tailored with the Herringbone fabrics available at De Oost. Then again if you are looking for a more heavy outdoor Tweed suit these are offered too in Herringbone. Technically Herringbone is not really a fabric, it is a method of weaving a fabric. Herringbone is a twill-weave with threads running alternately to left and right to form an inverted -V design that could be construed as the bones of a fish. This is a popular style for suits and sport jackets. Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool, and is one of the most popular cloths used for suits and outerwear. Tweed cloth is often woven with a herringbone pattern. 

History of the Herringbone pattern

The use of the Herringbone pattern is not limited to the weaving of fabric. Some say the V-shaped pattern was developed around 500 B.C. during the Roman Empire as they developed an expansive world-class road system called the Viae Publicae. The basic principle for the construction of this super road – which allowed for accelerated communication and rapid transport of people and materials throughout the empire – was called Opus spicatum, or “spiked work”. It was discovered that this simple pattern of interlocking bricks creates an intensely durable and stable  geometric matrix, perfect for roadways and infrastructure. 

In fashion design these patterns are also often used symbolically to connect a modern garment to it’s historical predecessors, since patterns are like flags; they have the potential to evoke a sense of identity and place. The fact that herringbone’s roots are in Rome make it a no-brainer that plenty of suits, sportcoats, and blazers have been done up in the pattern.  The Herringbone pattern can be found in Celtic history too; horsehair herringbone cloth has been found in Ireland from around 600 B.C., which explains why it’s also a traditional choice for tweed. That being said let us start by showing you some of the tailored tweed herringbone garments by De Oost. Following with a selection of the herringbone business and city suits tailored for our clients.

Herringbone pattern often seen in Tweed fabrics

Tweed is popular for equestrian, hunting and other outdoor activities.  The smaller details of having a Herringbone pattern in your tweed tailored garments give one a fast and dynamic look while coarsing or horse riding. The herringbone pattern is vibrant and alive.

Grey Herringbone from the Harris Tweed Collection from  Holland & Sherry - HS 1389, available at De Oost.

Rust Herringbone double breasted waistcoat and notch lapel. Click here to see the complete portfolio.

Light Grey Wool Herringbone Flanel 3 Piece Suit

Herringbone popular with Business Suits

As is seen on our Business Suits page, many clients have chosen  to have their business suits tailored with an herringbone weave fabric.  Today herringbone cloth can be found in just about any garment type, in an endless variety of sizes, scales, textures, weights, colors, blends, etc. It’s one if the easiest ways for a man to introduce pattern into his wardrobe, too, because it is  so subtle and monotone that you don’t really have to worry about it clashing with other patterns. 

Dress Wear with Herringbone pattern

 In our collection of bespoke tailored tuxedos, tailcoats, morning coats, waistcoats, dress wear and formal wear, the herringbone pattern appears too.  One of our eye-catchers in the atelier of De Oost is a morning coat and waistcoat with a strong visible herringbone pattern.

The Morning Coat: Coat, Waistcoat and Trousers with Morning stripe. Click to see complete portfolio here.