- Wearing a suit is an absolute minefield.
- Colin Hunter, the CEO and cofounder of the bespoke menswear brand Alton Lane, says overcomplicating things is one of the biggest mistakes he sees men make with their suits.
- He also says men tend to underinvest in themselves.
“I always hated shopping.”
Colin Hunter understands the struggles men face when shopping for clothes. That’s why he quit his job as a management consultant to open his own menswear company “from the perspective of a customer who hates to shop.”
Alton Lane is now in its ninth year of business and has dressed high-profile clients including former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
As someone who deals primarily in bespoke men’s suits, Hunter is accustomed to the myriad mistakes guys make when wearing them.
Speaking to Business Insider, Hunter narrowed down the two biggest faux pas he sees on a regular basis.
1. Don’t overcomplicate things.
“We remind our clients a lot to keep it simple,” Hunter said. “Don’t overaccessorise or combine too many patterns – I think that’s a mistake people make a lot.”
According to Hunter, men often pair patterned suits with bold accessories in a way that’s overpowering.
“If you’re going to have one piece that stands out, limit it to one,” he said. “If you have a fun tie or a fun pocket square, team it with a solid shirt and a solid suit. It’s good to have style that’s understated and makes you come across as more confident than cartoonish.”
2. Don’t underinvest in yourself.
Lots of guys simply don’t spend enough money on themselves, which seems odd if they have to wear a suit most days of the year or even just for a special occasion, Hunter said.
“Investing in self-presentation – outside of health and education – is critical for your career, for social circumstances,” he said.
Hunter advises maximising whatever budget you have to invest in a good suit that will last.
“I would rather have one nicer suit than four suits that will fall apart,” he said.
You can make that suit go a long way – if it’s the right style.
Hunter says guys should build their sartorial wardrobe around a navy suit because of its sheer versatility.
“A blue suit is something you can wear for everything from the office to a cocktail party,” he said. “When you wear it as a blazer with a pair of jeans or chinos it will look less like you’re wearing a suit jacket. It’s going to stand out a little bit more.”
So if you can, maximise your budget and invest in a beautiful blue suit. And don’t go and ruin it with crazy accessories.
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