Over the course of 2018, Country Life is releasing a series of style guides, in conjunction with Huntsman, detailing the proper way to dress for a modern gentleman. This is the fourth part: the business suit.
Double or single breasted, two or three piece, flannel or cashmere- dressing appropriately for the office can be a minefield. Huntsman’s Head Cutter, Campbell Carey, explains how to negotiate the sartorial choices of the boardroom. Watch the video here.
When it comes to whether to go single or double breasted, with the business suit, it’s all down to personal preference.
A double breasted suit only really works well when buttoned up, so it can be quite limiting.
A pinstripe suit doesn’t really work out of the office environment, but if you have your heart set on one, think about the size and proportion of the stripe. A bold stripe can highlight a good physique, and a fine, narrow stripe can elongate the body, making the weave look taller and slimmer.
A three piece suit is incredibly versatile; a three piece, with the jacket undone, gives the wearer a sense of elegance and confidence. If it’s not too cold in winter, then a three piece suit in flannel with a scarf can go a long way.
The main thing to consider when ordering a suit is cloth choice. A charcoal grey or a navy blue, in a decent weight will see you through 10 months of the year, and, if looked after, should last you 10 or 15 years, or more.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of trying to make a suit look your own. A properly cut suit in a well-considered cloth will ensure the garment will fit into many occasions, be it business or social.
Then there is the question of which shoes to wear. I can still hear the words of an aged gentleman in the store when I was an apprentice, bellowing out “Brown shoes east of Ascot!”- he was absolutely horrified! I occasionally wear brown or suede with my sports jacket, but it’s mainly black for me.
The Huntsman business suit style is one button, with slanted pockets and side vents. The trousers have a flat front, with plain bottoms, and no belt.
The ideal business suit is in Huntsman’s ready to wear collection, with a lovely grey and navy blue fabric- it is the perfect combination of subtlety and sharpness.