First it was “casual Fridays.” Then it became more acceptable for men to “dress down” in the office. But nothing says success and professionalism like a well-fitting suit.
It gives a man an air of authority and confidence.
Buying the right suit needn’t break the bank. But having a little know-how before purchasing a suit will go a long way in helping you to dress for success. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little research, talk to professionals in the business. And if you admire someone who always looks polished, ask where he shops for his suits.
Men in the metro Jackson area have been visiting The Rogue and Good Company (www.therogue.com) in Northeast Jackson for 40 years to buy their suits and accessories.
According to co-owner Luke Abney, “without suits, men would have very little. In the hierarchy of style, a good suit remains one of a man’s trump cards. Even in this day and age of casual-wear, the suit still carries an aura of success, taste and style. It is, in its best form, a complete outfit that will not let you down.”
Abney and his business partner, Keith Kincade, purchased The Rogue from founder Billy Neville in August 2005.
“Keith has been here 15 years, and since we’ve bought the store, everyone working here has stayed. We’re blessed with over 150 years of experience on our sales floor,” said Abney. “The proper fit done by a trained professional can make a world of difference in how a suit fits a man’s body. One way we make sure the suit leaves the store fitting the customer properly is that we provide our own in-house alterations, free of charge.”
Scanning the racks
Buying a suit off the rack can be a bit of a challenge, but again, with a little know-how, it can be done with great success.
“We carry many different brands of suits, and we suggest trying on several brands at first to get a good fit.” said Abney. “A 42 regular in one brand may have a different drape in the shoulders, body and legs than the same size made by a different vendor. The same goes for body types. While one guy wears a 42 regular, he may have a more athletic build, while another guy may be slim from head to toe. We help find the right suit for each body type. Once a person finds a brand that works best for him, he may want to stick with that brand, because he knows he’ll always get the fit he desires.”
Materials used in making a suit can determine how the suit will look as well as the cost.
“Most people are familiar with thread counts in sheets. The higher the thread count, the better the sheet. The same holds true in fabrics used to make a man’s suit,” explained Abney. “The higher the thread count, the finer the garment.”
Most men’s suits are made of wool, with different weights for winter and summer. “We do carry a suit that can be worn year round,” said Abney. “Our introductory priced suits range from $395 to $495. That’s the perfect suit for a high school graduate who needs a suit for college, up to a college grad who needs a couple of suits to start a job. As a man steps up in his career, he can also step up to the next level in suits.”
There are also style considerations when purchasing a suit.
“Trends come and go in suits like anything else,” Abney said. “A few years ago, the three-button stance was popular, because it gives a man a longer, leaner silhouette. But now the two-button stance is just as popular. Another style consideration is the venting. Some men prefer a suit coat with side vents, but men who have a few more pounds on them prefer a back vent, because it drapes better over their rear end. Younger guys sometimes prefer a coat with no vents at all.”
According to Abney, every man needs a charcoal gray suit first, then a navy or black suit. But there are ways to avoid a cookie-cutter look. “You can make a suit look more distinctive by the shirt and tie that you wear. And pocket squares are coming back, which is a good way to make that charcoal gray suit stand out a little. It’s a little element of fashion, but is actually a very traditional look. Of course, we also carry everything else you’ll need to complete your look, including belts, socks and shoes.”
For those who want a suit that is made to fit like a glove, custom tailoring may be the way to go. For 23 years, Al Guevara has been making suits for men in the Jackson area. He opened his own business in Highland Village, Custom Tailoring by Al, six years ago, and just over a year ago he opened a second location in Colony Crossing in Madison.
“But it’s not just men who are having custom suits made,” said Guevara. “Our business has evolved and now almost half of the suits we make are for women.”
Guevara said a good suit begins with a good fabric. “We make most suits of 100% wool, although we also have some wool/silk blends, cotton for summer, and even a little poplin. We have plenty of quality fabric from lighter to heavier weights for all seasons.”
The advantage to having a custom suit made is that the customer gets exactly what they want. “So many times I hear people tell me that the reason they bought their last suit is that they like the fabric, but they weren’t necessarily crazy about the style, or vice versa. With custom tailoring, they can choose the fabric they want as well as the style. The balance and shape of the suit is custom made for the client, so there are no compromises to be made.”
According to Guevara, a custom-made suit isn’t always more expensive than a suit purchased off the rack. “In the long run, our customers can save money, because we save some of the fabric from each suit made. If a client gains or loses weight, we’re always prepared to adjust the suit accordingly.”
Men in the metro Jackson area have a range of other options when it comes to shopping for a suit that will carry them from the office to the boardroom to dinner. In addition to The Rogue and Custom Tailoring by Al, well dressed men also frequent Great Scott, Henry Torrence Men’s Clothing, Latham Thomas and others to find just the right suit.