From First Job to CEO, 5 Suits for Each Stage of Your Career
– by Clare Sheng
There are essential mile stones in each man’s working life. From your first suit to your last, each one should be fitting to the occasion, and make a lasting and positive impression on your peers. The way you dress has a profound impact not just on the way others perceive you, but also on the confidence you bring to the office each day. They say “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. That’s why it’s important to dress appropriately, and choose a suit befitting for each stage of your career.
Here we have compiled a short guide to the FIVE suits and grooming tips you will need to match each stage of your career, from your first job to stylishly retired.
Your first work suit
You’ve just started your first real job, you are excited about the future, and you want to look good without spending a fortune. You want 2-3 suits that are sturdy, practical and not too flashy. Buy suits made from fabrics that are wool or blended wool, and avoid tacky polyester suits. Choose from a range of cuts that are available to find one that suits you the best, and get it tailored to a professional fit and length, not too tight and not too loose. You want to look modern, clean cut and well groomed, without trying too hard. This is not the time to try and look fashion forward. Your employer wants to see you as someone who respects their job enough to put effort in looking presentable. The muted professional attire shows your humility and willingness to work hard to get ahead.
Your haircut should be tidy and professional, and facial hair groomed.
Where to buy: Tony Barlow
Spend: $200-$400 per suit + tailoring
Your first promotion
You’ve got your promotion and you are going places. Now is the time to start putting more effort into your attire. Looking clean, sharp and extremely well-tailored will empower you to meet and mingle with colleagues and attend those ever important meetings. Keep a wardrobe containing the essentials for putting together work outfits every day without the hassle of preplanning. Make sure you have three basic suits, in charcoal, blue and a muted pinstripe. Made to measure will make sure your suits fit well and allow you to add your personality and flare.
You no longer need to travel to Thailand or wait for a travelling tailor to get a custom suit made. Made to measure service is now very accessible in Brisbane, with more suppliers available to choose from. Select from a large range of styles and fabrics from their look books, and choose your own suit style and accent features. Make sure you meet the stylist, and ask them to measure you so they understand your body shape. To save wasted money, avoid trying out new online tailors where you have to measure yourself, as they cannot see you to understand your shape.
Where to buy: In Stitchu
Spent: $500-$1000 per suit
Your first manager’s suit
You are the manager of the office, you need to step up your game and look more professional. Ill-fitting worn out clothing is not an option. You are the leader and everyone looks up to you for guidance. How you dress reflects on the image of the office. The quality and fit of your suits is key to making a strong impression when meeting clients or showing leadership.
Invest in 5-10 quality suits in classic colours that are versatile with different shirts and ties, try different shades of black, navy and check patterns. Now is also the time to invest in some well-fitting shirts. Brisbane weather is not suitable for wearing a suit all day, so you still want to look professional and well-groomed when you take off your jacket. 10-15 good quality business shirts, tailored to your shape will become an invaluable asset in your working life. Don’t forget well matching (but not the same colour) neckties and pocket squares to finish a polished look.
Where to buy: Hugo Boss
Spend: $1500 per suit + tailoring
Your first CEO suit
You are the CEO of the company, it’s time to splurge and go custom hand made. You have no time to shop around the shops for a suit. Let the expert tailors come to your office for fittings when it suits your schedule. You’ll become familiar with terms such as canvassing, pick stitch and basting.
You want suits that says don’t mess with me, I don’t compromise when it comes to quality wear. With custom hand made, every line is expertly and meticulously tailored, and you can choose from a large array of quality fabrics, in the most unexpected colours and combinations. Start your collection by having three custom made suits in standout colours such as dark purple, wine, or blue checks. Don’t forget to also collect a variety of styles such as large lapels, shawl collared tux and skinny notch lapel in a linen fabric. Having a waistcoat also adds sophistication and gives you more options to mix and match your style.
Where to buy: Tom James
Spend: $5000+ per suit
The first luxury bespoke suit
You’ve made it! You no longer need to work for money and you don’t need to dress to impress anyone else. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. When money is not an object, every garment you wear is top of the range, made by the most expert hands, and in the world’s finest fabrics. Bespoke suits are usually 90% made by hand over 3 to 6 months and finished on a floating canvas. The patterns are not cut off a block but unique and cut just for you and your measurements. This means that fabrics are softer, sits perfectly on the body, even when you are moving.
Ermenegildo Zegna produces the most sought after suit fabrics in the world. A custom bespoke tailor trained for two years in Milan will take dozens of body measurements while other staff will cater for any needs and provide a 6 star rating service. The finished product is of one of the highest standards in the world. The details to attention is unsurpassed, even each hand-sewn buttonhole has an exact loop count, so each one is identical. You can even choose to have custom fabric to be woven just for your suit, making it truly unique.
Where to buy: Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke
Spend: $15000+ per suit
Which stage are you at?
Are you underdressed or overdressed?
Take this reference with you and share it with whoever you think need a nudge in the right direction.