How do you feel when you hear these words?
“The name is Bond, James Bond!” I don’t know about you but each time I hear these words, it feels like an electric charge surge through my entire body. I am deeply fascinated by his oozing machismo, impressive physique, wit, combat skills and his access to a vast array of cutting-edge gadgetry, thanks to the ever-faithful “Q”. James Bond is the “perfect spy”, the “real man”. However, there is one more thing which makes him the “icon of the ages” and that is his wardrobe!
Yup! From Sean Connery’s peak lapel to Roger Moore’s notch lapel suit and, of course, Daniel Craig’s majestic shawl lapel suit from “Spectre” (black and white, a beautiful sight!). Bonds have been known for their impressive fashion style for decades.
Suits first appeared in the 19th century and since then, they have been a symbol of maturity. They have been making men appear “responsible” for centuries (why do you think it is the quotidian apparel for men during weddings?). Although suits are here to stay they have been abused for ages too!
I have therefore decided to set out five expert tips which will help you select the perfect suit for you… Bond style!
Here we go!
- THE SHOULDER TEST: When getting suits, you want to look as slim and sleek as possible right? Well, slim is great! It accentuates your features and improves your general appearance. However, how slim is too slim? Many people make the error of getting suits that are too tight and this leaves them uncomfortable and nervous. When an outfit makes you uncomfortable, you will lose confidence in its appearance and yourself.
Here is a quick test to know if the suit you want to buy is your exact size or too tight. Once you get to the boutique, try it on. How do you feel? Can you move around freely in it? Do the buttons of the jacket barely stay in place? If this is the case, then it is a sign that your suit is too tight.
You are not convinced? Well, you can also do this to be sure that it is too tight. Okay, let’s get down to the “shoulder test”. When you are about to get a suit, try the jacket on and rest your arm on a wall close to you. If every part of your arm touches the wall then it’s a good fit. However, if your biceps alone touch the wall while the other parts of your arm can barely make contact with the wall then it’s too tight. If it fits you well, every part of your arm should touch the wall when you rest your arms on it.
2. WHAT LAPEL WORKS BEST FOR YOU? Basically, there are three major lapel styles for suits. There is the shawl lapel, the peak lapel and the notch lapel. When it comes to choosing suits, you need to put your body structure into consideration. Are you well built and above 5 feet? If you are, then you are a lucky man because you can use suits with any of these lapel designs. However, if you want to look your best, go for suit jackets with shawl or peak lapels, they will look great on you.
If you are barely above 5 feet with a slim torso, stick with suits that have notch lapels. If you try to use jackets with peak lapels, the huge size of the lapels will make you appear smaller. If you are short and muscular, you can also use any of the three lapels but just be careful with lengths. The trick is, to enjoy any suit with any of the three major lapel styles, you need broad shoulders.
3. THE LAPEL/NECK TIE RATIO: I want you to be aware of this rule. Your lapel width must never exceed that of your necktie. If your tie width is wider than your lapel, it will make you look childish and immature. It will also make the suit appear smaller. On the flip side, if your lapel width is wider than that of your necktie, your suit jacket will look oversized so keep this rule in mind.
4. THE POCKET SQUARE: They may have bright colours and they may have dull ones. They may even have patterns, but the role of a pocket square cannot be over-emphasized when it comes to using suits. Though they are small and tucked into a corner of your chest, they will make you stand out as a “man of style”. So in my opinion, always use them.
5. CREATING ILLUSIONS: In case you are not aware, colours are magical! Here’s what I mean. Do you know you can make yourself look bigger simply by using certain colours? You can also make yourself look smaller by using certain colours. Bright colours like white make you look taller and huge while darker colours like black make you look too small. Therefore, if you are on the “big side”, the dress shirt you should use with your suit should be one of a darker tone and colour. However, if you are short and slim, use brighter colours while getting a dress shirt for your suit.