Keenan’s Kept Secret

Many young men on Florida A&M University’s campus are in need of direction and instruction when it comes to dressing up. Specifically, wearing suits.

There are significant details to pay attention to when purchasing a suit, like tailoring.

Do not think altering a suit to fit cannot be afforded on a college budget, it can.

The goal is to share all the knowledge and keys of wisdom I posses in order to help maximize young men’s formal attire.

Tailoring does not mean custom made. It is purely taking the suit from off the sales rack and changing it from unaltered to form fitted.

Tailoring is just the proper term for the tailor who makes the alterations.

The first step of fitting a suit is making sure the jacket is the correct size.

Too often young men purchase suit jackets and pants that make them look unkempt.

The sleeve length, once the hands are at the side of the body, should stop at the top of the wrist. Second, the jacket shoulders should fall evenly on the gentleman’s shoulders and not hang over the sides, which gives the 80’s power broker look.

Third, the jacket should have no more then three buttons – two buttons is the best. Anymore than three is unsightly and very unprofessional.

Fourth, the back of the suit jacket should either have one slit in the back, a center vent, or two slits, side vents.

Lastly, the suit jacket should fall right before the end of the fingers so that they may be cupped under the jacket.

Jackets that are too long and come to the knees are just tacky.

It is much better to have a shorter jacket because it makes the legs look longer.

Tailoring a jacket to fit will be $40 to $50. A quality suit can be bought for around $200- $250 dollars.

Alterations consist of having the jacket taken in on the sides, giving an hourglass shape. It’s also good to have the sleeves lengthened or shortened to the gentleman’s exact measurement.

Remember, a slim is tie always best with any fitted suit as opposed to a 3 ½ to 4 inch wide tie.

As for the pants, that is very simple. No pleats unless you are heavyset. Pleated pants make thin men look wider; the pants should have a single crease down the middle.

To cuff or not, is up to the individual. However, cuffs should be on suits of heavier material like tweed or wool. The bottom of the pants should fall on the top of the shoe and not touch the ground in the back or cover the laces on the shoe. If they do, the pants are too long.

The best way to avoid this is to always buy pants unfinished, requiring them to hemmed in the store.

This will enable pants to be an exact fit with very little break in the front.

Pants that are baggy at the bottom look sloppy.

*Tip of the week, stay away from loud colors and very bold patterns.