How many suits should a guy own? Is there some standard like two black and one grey wool? Or one black, one grey, one linen, one tuxedo? I think I remember my father had five or six and around a million ties.

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It really depends on what you fancy to wear, how much and/or where you are planning to wear a suit. As being someone who has been pounded with a rather archaic dress sense I really prefer the suit, or jacket for that matter, over casual clothing. I have a small collection of jackets (sports jackets, blazers, suit jackets) and trousers matching said jackets.

For more serious occasions I currently have 5 suits.

1 black tie (tuxedo for US or dinner jacket, GB)
1 white tie (full evening dress, tailcoat and all)
2 black suits (actually dark blue, but so dark that they look black)
1 grey suit

I have the white tie for the more formal occasions and the black tie for general going ons that require some etiquette but not too much. The other suits I have just in case I need to go somewhere that needs me to dress smart but not too smart.

But yeah, in my opinion a guy should have at least one dinner jacket and two black or blackish grey suits.

Also, as a tip on black suits, check out if the colour of the fabric you're getting looks black or grey in fluorescent light. I've seen too many people walking around with a nice looking suit which turned a horrendous greyish black on formal occasions because they didn't think about what their suit would look like in fluorescent light. I have a nice dark blue for my suits that is so dark that it looks black and stays black in fluorescent light.
It depends on your position in life. If you wear suits as uniform for work, you need at least a dozen. If you don't, I would recommend 7 suits worth of components made up of 7 distinct suits.

1. Black tie. Formal wear for an evening out. Casual cut, loose fabric, Two piece.

2. Dress. Funeral or Wedding. Two ties, one bright one dark. bright for weddings, dark for funerals. Different from work suit. Three piece.

3. Tuxedo. Formal occasion. Rare but good to have. Buy don't rent. The difference is worth it. Trust me. Three piece.

4. Evening Dress. Tuxedo with tails. Remember the cummerbund, spats and the trimmings. Get it tailored. Two and a half piece, unless it's done in the British style. Then three piece with a faux vest.

5. Day suit, business. Thrusting Young Executive. Always have one on hand for interviews. Three Piece.

6. Day suit, casual. Wool or tweed perhaps. British teacher sort of suit. Three Piece.

7. Nehru suit. Wear this when sailing, to occasions your not sure of, and when you want to add a dash of formality to an occasion. Dark Blue, Grey or Black, no pockets except for side and rear. Two Piece.

As a rule, single breast except for your tail coat. Remember to get these suits tailored if you can. It makes a real difference. make sure your tie matches your belt. Make sure to own one dress overcoat, one work over coat, and one casual overcoat. int the following respective colors, black, blue and tan. Always carry an umbrella to a formal occasion, not just for your sake, but so as to insure that any lady that has forgotten their own will be covered. If two ladies have forgotten their umbrellas, sacrifice yourself and give them your umbrella.

Material is not as important as pattern and color coordination as giving an impression of class. Match your tie, shirt and suit color choices to your complexion. A fob watch is an acceptable accessory. As a rule, minimize bulges that you don't tailor for.

This is the extent of my suit lore without consulting my journal on the subject.
A blue blazer will go with khaki slacks, white shirt (no tie), and taupe or brown shoes for a casual look, or jeans, white shirt, and cowboy boots (in Texas, anyway!)for casual Friday or Saturday night. Blue blazer, grey slacks, white shirt, rose-colored tie for church or a luncheon. Bottom line: blazers rule!
Do you guys really own a tuxedo? I wouldn't even know where to buy one! I don't think that black tie is all that popular in programming circles....the gatherings I've attended would be lucky to have any ties at all :)
Shaun,

My profession requires a certain degree of dress I'm afraid, and after you wear comfortable suits for business for a while, you start to wear suits all the time. Not to mention that I have spent some time in old money aristocrat circles in the days when tail coats and tuxedos were still required. i have no doubt that the new money and upper class has every intention of ushering in an era of more relaxed dress, I simply speak from the past and of the dress of the mythical gentleman. You and your friends are no less genteel or masculine for dressing in the manner you do, you are simply introducing a new style. All I would ask is that a certain manner be retained, that of the gentleman, rather than the dress of the gentlemen, because lord knows we don't really need another generation of Merchant Ivory tailcoat Penguins sipping highballs and champagne in tented pavilions while the lord of the house makes deals with the Nazis in the drawing room.

And a gold star to the first person who guesses which two movies I'm referencing.
"It depends on your position in life."

I would agree with this most, I have a gray one. I find that gray and navy will fit most purposes, without being as stark as black
Business wear is required where I work, so I have six suits of varying colors (3 blue, 2 charcoal, 1 olive) and patterns (pinstripe, solid, and plaid). You don't have to be a fashion plate in my business, but you do need to have something on that you could wear into court. Mine are from the Men's Wearhouse and come right off the rack with a little custom tailoring to fit the pants and sleaves. With four blue and white shirts (each) and a pair of black and burgundy shoes with matching belts, I generally have enough diversity to mix it up using a variety of ties and some pocket squares.

In addition to the six suits, I also have three sport coats (blue blazer, black blazer, and a plaid blazer). These allow me to give the suits a rest on occasion, or to wear on business casual Fridays. They are also good for semi-formal social situations (church reception, special dinner with my wife, golf outing, banquet, etc.).
This pretty much covers me for work and business casual situations.

For more formal social situations like weddings and funerals I have a nicer suit from Macy's (Jones New York) in a dark blue.

The one thing missing from my wardrobe is a tuxedo. I think every man should have at least one formal tux, and perhaps even a white dinner jacket. I would certainly use mine once every other year, if not at least once a year.
After reading these posts, I can see my life is a lot less formal than some other posters. :)

I have a single blue (navy) suit. 1 pair of black shoes, 1 pair of brown shoes (matching belts), and a multitude of ties.

I use my suit jacket as a blazer in a pinch.
I work as a freelancer, so my work attire changes dramatically. I wear suits to meetings, and to studio shoots, I also prefer dressing up to dressing down, and wear suits out a lot despite being in my early 20's and not going to formal events that often. currently my wardrobe is a mix of jackets, sweaters, bow ties, ascots, and trousers.

Suits:
1 Dinner jacket (black, double bested, black tie) for formal occasions
1 gray (winter wool, vintage 70's, 2 peice, tailored and updated) this is my conservative suit
1 Blue pinstripe (Paul Smith, peaked lapels, 3 button) this is my modern cooperate suit worn to meetings and shoots.
1 brown (top shop, 3 piece) stylish, young, cheap enough to spill beer on or get dirty, nice enough for meetings.
1 black (tailored, 3 buttons, washed front trousers, ultra modern cut, young, cutting edge) worn to shoots or meetings with younger clients.
2 khaki (1 Conference Of Birds, 1 tailored, both modern cut) summer time shoots or meetings
1 linen (3 button, modern cut, 3 piece) summer time suit.
1 short (3 piece, short shorts, Hyden Yoo, khaki)I can pull off a short suit and still look manly, its just who I am.
1 tweed (3peice, washed front trousers, hunting vest, tailored) if a prince ever asks me to go hunting I have the suit.

so that's 10 full suits

Jackets (in addition):
Seersucker: 1 vintage double breasted (think Kentucky Derby) 1 Paul Smith (his SS09 line is spot on, exactly my style)
Linen: 1 (Uniqlo I think $40, bright blue, 3 buttons) i get endless compliments from guys in $1k and up suits on that jacket. Uniqlo is where its at for young cheap and hip.
Cashmere: 1 (Ralph Lauren, I tried it on in his West village shop and fell in love, its navy with a metal stitched medallion on it.
Wool: 3 (1 Ralph Lauren Cricket Coat blue and white, one black modern, one gray vintage)
Tweed: 1 (Ralph Lauren again, its modern 3 button, and the only one in my size they made)
Cheap: 4 (top shop/ Uniqlo i keep a rotation of 4 jackets that i don't mind spilling beer/ food on, they all cost under $100 and get rotated when they get ruined)

I have a grip of ties, I prefer bow ties and ascots, but i have a good few neck ties in skinny and middle widths. my style concept for summer is some where between gentleman farmer, and his laborer, with a fair amount of dandy thrown in. I work in fashion and rotate my wardrobe quite often.
Does your sister do her own line? or does she design for some one, if she is NYC or London based I probably know her.
I know painfully little about Independent designers Belfast, feel free to shoot me an email when she gets the website up chrisreedphotography(at)gmail(dot)com
Is it wrong to use a suit jacket as a blazer? I don't own any suits, but I would like to get something that I can use the jacket with a plain T-shirt and jeans.

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