How Many Suits Should a Man Own?

by JJ
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This is one of mans biggest fashion questions: How many suits should a man own? Taking into consideration work, parties, evening events and formal attire, how many suits do men need and how many is too many? This style guide will talk you through the best suits for men, so you can find out.

How Many Suits Should I Own

Naturally, there is no limit on how many suits a man should own. The question is more ‘how many suits do I need?’. There are so many great men’s suits out there that it can be tricky to limit yourself to just a few, and sure, you don’t have to at all. However, if you’re money conscious (and good suits can be pretty expensive), then figuring out exactly how many nice suits you really need can be a way to avoid the extreme costs. We will talk you through a choice of suits so that you can home down on the ones you want to incorporate into your wardrobe.

The Black Suit

To be perfectly honest with you, if you don’t own one black suit, we have a problem. The black suit is the most basic suit variety you can have. It works for all occasions and is a classic, timeless look that you can take with you to every sort of event. No, it’s not the only suit that does this, but if you want to own one suit and one suit only, let it be the humble black one.

The great thing about the black suit is that it allows for a multitude of suit combinations making it a versatile suit to own. You can wear this as a casual suit to a formal suit and everything in between. If you are thinking ‘what shirt colour shirt should I wear with a black suit?’, fret not. We are here to give you the full rundown of how to wear this staple two (or three) piece.

Wearing a black suit is easy, but the first step you have to take into consideration is the fit of the suit. Having a well-fitted suit is a must because if it’s ill-fitted, you’ll just end up looking scraggly which completely defeats the point. The key to a well-fitted suit is making sure the legs are the right length, the arms are the right length and the chest is the right measurement. If you’re struggling to find a suit that fits on all of these accounts, go for one that fits you the best and take it along to the tailors where they can alter it for you. It’s better to have one great suit than multiple ones that fit terribly.

As far as pairing a black suit with a shirt goes, for the most classic and timeless style, go for a white Oxford shirt. You can always colour up this look with the accessory of a red tie. If you want to dress down the suit, a black or grey jumper would work instead of wearing a shirt. Finish the look off with some men’s dress shoes such as some loafers, monk straps or even Chelsea boots.

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The Grey Suit

Just like a black suit, The Grey Suit is another classic which can be adapted in many different ways. Knowing what to wear with a grey suit isn’t too hard to grasp, and actually, The Grey Suit is the easier colour to pair with different colours. If you’re a fan of pink shirts or blue shirts, now is your moment to shine. The Grey Suit blends well with the tones of the other colours making for a smooth and smart ensemble. When it comes to pairing The Grey Suit with shoes, we would suggest sticking to black or brown shoes. Finding the right shade of brown can be tricky, so play around with shades that suit your shirt and skin tone (a lot to take into consideration). If this is all too much, a pair of black dress shoes is fine. 

The Grey Suit is a great option to have if you’re looking one for your office attire. You can switch up and change the shirts, ties and shoes meaning you can get more outfit variations from it. Nonetheless, if you have to wear a suit every day, we would recommend getting one in black as well, so that when you need to wash your grey suit you don’t have to go in naked.

Suit For The Occasion

Be it a wedding suit or a funeral suit (and the same suit can easily cover both), you will always have a moment in your life when you need a suit for a special occasion. This could even cover you for black tie events or formal work parties, so if you’re worried about how many dress suits you need – don’t.  We know, it’s a little morbid wearing the same smart suit to weddings and parties and then to a funeral, but at all of these events, people will be much more focused on everyone else than what you are wearing (and if it saves you some pennies, who really cares?). If you are going to go with one suit for all special occasions, however, you need to make sure that is it a) high quality but b) not too bold/whacky – if it is, everyone will know you are re-wearing it as it won’t be hard to miss.

A decent dress suit isn’t hard to come by. You just need to make sure that is is a classic cut and, like every suit, a good fit. It’s up to you whether you go for a tuxedo style suit or just a really well made one, but what really makes a big difference is the shirt you wear underneath. When you wear a shirt for a normal occasion you would usually go for one like an Oxford. For a special occasion, however, opt for a smarter shirt like a poplin. To pull off a more traditional look, stick with a white shirt and a pair of well-polished black dress shoes.

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The Navy Suit

When it comes to the navy suit – much like the black suit – you are limited to the colours you can wear with it. Knowing what to wear with a navy suit is straightforward once you get to grips with it because almost everytime you will have to wear a white shirt. A navy suit, white shirt and red tie combination is a classic, so if this is your first time wearing one, try to put together this ensemble. 

If you are limited on how many suits you can afford and you want to only buy the basics, we think you should leave the navy suit for now and instead nail down on how you can style the grey and black ones.

The Patterned Suit

Patterned suits enter you into a whole new playing field. There are endless suits that fall into this category, therefore there are endless patterned suits you could own to pull off multiple styles. If you are trying to stick to only the essential suits, it’s a good idea to give the patterned suit a miss. It’s far bolder than a plain suit and it will be more recognised if you wear it frequently. Nonetheless, if you want to own at least one patterned suit in your wardrobe, we can guide you to the best one.

When it comes to a patterned suit, minimal always wins. Unless you are completely whacky and want to go full-on red tartan, we strongly suggest you keep the pattern subtle and toned down so that you can still wear it with ease. A wool check suit in grey is our favourite patterned style. It is subtle yet still obvious and you can style it will different cuts and colours of shirts to mix up the look when you need to.

How Many Suits Should a Man Own?

  • The number of suits a man should own really depends on the man. If you’re working in an office every day then you’ll need more than someone who does manual labour, for example.
  • A black suit is a must-have for every man. If you are only going to own one suit, let it be this one.
  • A grey suit is another classic. This is is easier to pair with different colours for a variety of looks.
  • A formal suit can be expensive. Don’t worry about re-wearing it for events such as weddings, parties or even funerals.
  • A patterned suit is great fun for varying up your look. We suggest opting for a grey check suit to wear for those exciting days.

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On That Note

Knowing how many suits to own can be tricky to nail down on. No man wants to own too many to have them sit there, but equally, no man doesn’t want to own enough to not be able to cover him for all occasions. This is why we have riddled suits down to their basics, so you can decide which ones are the most important for your wardrobe and which are the easiest to wear.

Feature image from Pinterest

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