All Business: How To Customise The Perfect Business Suit—We Take You Through The Design Details And Choices Step By Step
More and more people are opting to choose custom, made to measure suiting rather than buying off-the-rack, not just because of the quality, the perfect fit but the opportunity to customise every detail of your suit to your preference or occasion. Of course, greater freedom comes with greater choices. With that in mind, here’s our guide to designing a perfect and versatile corporate suit for today's workplace.
Let's start with the fabric—for a traditional corporate suit we suggest choosing wool (preferably Woolmark certified Australian Merino wool—the hallmark of quality). As well as being durable, soft and low maintenance, wool will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, due to its natural thermoregulating properties. Head to our fabrics page to learn more.
In terms of the colour, generally speaking, the darker the fabric, the more formal it will be. For everyday work-wear, we suggest solid, darker shades to start and then branching out to lighter shades and more daring patterns once you’ve got the basics covered. For versatility, start with classic navy—something you can get away with wearing every single day, changing up your shirts, shoes and accessories instead, to create an entirely different look each day. Grey or charcoal is also incredibly versatile for the same reasons as navy.
The most appropriate corporate lapel is a traditional, understated notch lapel. The width of lapel changes depending on current trends (note the #Menswear crowd in particular rocking absurdly wide lapels of late) so we suggest sticking to a nice middle ground—both classic (so it won't date quickly) and flattering to all body types. Tip: Ladies & Gents, if you’re thinner and want to accentuate your shoulder width, a peak lapel in medium width would also be acceptable in a corporate setting.
A dark to medium shade of brown will always be a safe bet for versatile, corporate navy and grey suits. Brown buttons are simple, elegant, versatile and subtle. Save the ‘look at me’ hero gold and shell buttons for your more out their looks, or once you have built up your wardrobe. Choose from our huge selection of shirt and suit buttons, including premium oxhorn and mother of pearl buttons that are more resilient to heat and cleaning products.
For a classic business suit that is on point with current trends and corporate requirements, we suggest opting for a standard breast pocket (just a slit, visually) and straight pockets with a flap. Patch pockets (though very stylish) suggest more casual/summery style, and a besom pocket (or welt pocket) tends to be too formal. The addition of an old-school ticket pocket is also perfectly acceptable for a work suit, just be wary of adding too many other details, lest you look like Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders (which, when you’re shopping for anything except for your every-day work suit, is completely fantastic).
Suit Structure — Canvas
The foundation of all InStitchu jackets is our floating, Freudenberg half canvas—a breathable, natural blend of cotton, horsehair and mohair that gives your jacket its shape. Sourced from Germany, the Freudenberg canvas is a symbol of quality and the term ‘floating’ comes from the fact that the canvas is sewn, rather than glued or fused into the arm holes and lapel, enabling the canvas to ‘float’ on the body, while the outer fabric is free to move elegantly and fluidly. Choose from our traditional half weight canvas, full canvas or no canvassing at all depending on the climate. If you’re going to be wearing your suit year round in a corporate setting in Australia, we recommend a standard half-canvas and then layering with a coat for the cooler months. Learn more on our Garment Quality page.
The different shoulder construction options are also another way to inject some personality into your suit—a standard shoulder is the most traditional for a workplace, but if you’ve naturally got broader shoulders (meaning you don’t need the extra structure) and prefer a slightly relaxed look, a soft shoulder is a nice touch (also a more Italian approach to tailoring). Then on the other end of the spectrum, for a more traditional design, a roped shoulder will extend the shoulder further and is more formal. All InStitchu shoulder pads are premium Helsa—made from natural fibres, high in comfort and flexible.
Working Jacket Button Holes and Initials Monogramming
To finish—a small but mentionable detail is the addition of working button holes to your jacket cuff. An instant way of adding some charm to your suit, and a sign to others that your suit is indeed custom, tailor made. Leaving the last button undone is a very subtle but knowledgable statement. Getting your initials mongrammed on the inside of your jacket pocket is another way to not only (literally) mark your suit as your own, but a subtle statement to the world that your suit is custom, tailor made.