While the Silicon Valley crowd may prefer a hoodie for just about any occasion, the uptick in men who are donning a tie and obsessing over the drape of their trouser has been on a steady rise in all age categories. Maybe it is because more of us are working for ourselves so there is a need to stand out in our WeWork world. We certainly can’t rule out the pressure the Instagram influencer puts on our personal style. Regardless, well-dressed men make the world a better place. But with all the options out there for suits, it can be difficult to know what style, cut, and fabric is right for you.
We spoke to one of the best-dressed gents on the globe, Mark Cho, co-founder of The Armoury, to help guide us in the right direction when it comes to picking the perfect suit—from notch lapels to the ideal number of buttons. Established in Hong Kong in 2010, The Armoury is a sacred space for the sartorially inclined who value well-crafted menswear. The New York store opened in 2013 and is well known for their wide selection of suiting, shoes, and accessories, as well as trunk shows with master tailors who fly in from Florence, London, and Tokyo.
How many suits should a man own?
"Short answer: Around ten. Long answer: Good wool suits are generally quite durable but it's still good to keep them on rotation, ideally worn no more than twice a week. It's also helpful (and just much more comfortable) to have a set of suits for winter and a set of suits for summer."
Does silhouette depend on body type?
"There is an ideal silhouette that is worth aiming for but how to achieve it differs from person to person. Generally, the ideal silhouette would be broader in the shoulders and chest, leaner at the waist and long in the legs. For example, if you are a shorter, stockier, guy, you wouldn't want to emphasize broadness as much. If you have more of a belly, you should avoid overly tapered trousers or you end up emphasizing your waist."
What’s the best fabric for a suit to wear while traveling?
"I would recommend any sort of high-twist wool. This is wool fabric woven with high-twist yarn, the fabric has a lot of springiness and wrinkle resistance. One of my favorites of this type of fabric is the Drapers 4-Ply, we always have it available as ready-to-wear and custom at The Armoury."
How about if you have just one suit?
"Again, I would choose something made in a high-twist wool. If I had to pick something else, a medium weight worsted cloth. Lightweight cloth is great but too niche if you are only to own one suit. It will not hold up as well or be as wrinkle resistant as a heavier cloth."
Thoughts on lapel type?
"I mostly own notch lapel suits for their versatility but I also own a few double breasted and peak lapel suits for something different. They're all worth having in your wardrobe."
How about the number of buttons?
"I prefer 3 roll 2's, i.e. a three-button suit that rolls to and buttons at the second button."
Double or single vent?
"In general, double vent is a better fit for most men. It's much more forgiving if you have wider hips or a bigger seat. Single vent will gape open much more noticeably if the fit is slightly off."
Should we cuff or not cuff our pants?
"Except for tuxedos, always. The extra fabric at the bottom helps trousers hang a little better."
What accessories should men wear with suits?
"A white linen square is always nice. A little flower or pin in the lapel hole if you want to be dandy. I always like to keep a nice pen up there, just as my own little quirk."
‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ on a tie bar?
"Tie bars are ok, try wearing them lower on the body, though. The point of it is to keep your tie out of harm's way, which it doesn't always do if it's too near the neck. If I wear one, it tends to be right above the buttoning point."
Any trends to avoid?
"Any type of skinny clothes. Unless your body is in incredible shape, it will just highlight how short of that standard you are."