Men’s Suit Styles: A Guide to the Best Types to Wear


The Fashionisto


Updated July 5, 2023

Mens Suit StylesPin
Explore men’s suit styles, from classic and modern to slim fits.

In men’s fashion, nothing exudes timeless elegance and sophistication quite like a well-fitted suit. Whether you’re attending a formal event or job interview, or want to elevate your everyday office wear, owning a variety of men’s suit styles is essential.


Men’s Suit Styles

There are many different types of men’s suit styles to explore to make informed choices about your wardrobe. From classic cuts to contemporary designs, we’ll cover everything from fit and lapels to colors and fabrics. So, let’s dive in and discover the world of men’s suit styles together.

The Classic Suit: A Timeless Staple

Mens Suit Styles Classic Suit Full BodyPin
The Classic Suit is a timeless wardrobe essential with its matching jacket and trousers. Photo: FP

The classic suit is the foundation of every man’s wardrobe. As the name suggests, it is a timeless and versatile option for various occasions. The key to a classic suit lies in its simplicity and elegance. Usually consisting of a single-breasted jacket, matching trousers, and a dress shirt, the classic suit symbolizes sophistication and refinement.

The Fit: Embrace the Timeless Silhouette

When it comes to the fit of a classic suit, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between comfort and style. The jacket should have a tailored fit, hugging your shoulders and torso without feeling restrictive.

The length of the jacket should fall just below the seat, providing a clean and polished appearance. Similarly, the trousers should be tailored to your body shape, with a slim yet comfortable fit. Avoid excessively baggy or tight-fitting trousers, as they can disrupt the overall aesthetic of the suit.

The Lapels: A Touch of Sophistication

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Notch lapels suit the timeless nature of the classic fit suit. Photo: FP

Lapels play a significant role in defining the style of a suit. Opt for notch lapels, the most common and versatile choice for a classic suit. Notch lapels feature a slight indentation where the collar meets the lapel, creating a subtle yet elegant detail. This style suits formal and semi-formal occasions, making it a timeless option for any man’s wardrobe.

The Buttons: Simple & Elegant

The number of buttons on a classic suit jacket can vary, but the most common styles are two-button and three-button jackets. Both options offer a sophisticated and balanced look. Two-button jackets provide a sleek and modern silhouette, while three-button jackets have a more traditional and old-school charm. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and body type.

The Vents: Enhancing Comfort & Mobility

Vents refer to the slits or openings at the back of the suit jacket. Classic suits typically feature a single vent or no vent at all. A single vent is a vertical opening at the center back of the jacket, allowing for ease of movement and comfort.

On the other hand, no vent creates a sleek and streamlined look, ideal for formal events. The choice between a single or no vent depends on personal style and body type. A suit without vents can be a great choice if you prefer a more modern and fitted look.

The Colors: Timeless Neutrals

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Neutral colors such as black and grey make dressing for different occasions that require a suit effortless. Photo: FP

When selecting colors for a classic suit, stick to timeless neutrals such as navy blue, charcoal gray, and black. These colors are versatile and appropriate for various occasions, from formal to semi-formal. Navy blue suits are particularly popular due to their versatility and ability to flatter multiple skin tones. Charcoal gray suits add a touch of sophistication, while black suits are the epitome of formal elegance.

The Contemporary Suit: Style Redefined

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Cut a clean shape in a contemporary suit with a slim cut. Photo: FP

While the classic suit will always have its place, modern styles offer a fresh, contemporary take on men’s fashion. These suits incorporate innovative cuts, fabrics, and details, allowing you to make a statement while maintaining a polished and professional appearance. Let’s explore some popular modern suit styles and how they can enhance your wardrobe.

The Slim-Fit Suit: Embrace a Sleek Silhouette

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Kenneth Cole Reaction Ready Flex Slim-Fit Suit. Photo: Macy’s

The slim-fit suit has gained significant popularity in recent years thanks to its sleek and modern aesthetic. As the name suggests, this style features a more fitted silhouette, accentuating the body’s natural lines.

The jacket is tailored to have a narrower waist and slimmer sleeves, creating a streamlined and contemporary look. Slim-fit trousers are typically tapered, offering a more tailored and modern appearance.

This style is ideal for those with a lean or athletic body type, as it enhances their physique while maintaining a sophisticated allure.

The Modern-Fit Suit: A Versatile Choice

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HUGO by Hugo Boss Modern Fit Suit in Wool. Photo: Macy’s

The modern-fit suit strikes a balance between the classic and slim-fit styles. It offers a more relaxed and comfortable silhouette while maintaining a tailored appearance. The jacket and trousers have a slightly looser fit than the slim-fit suit, providing freedom of movement and a more casual vibe.

The modern-fit suit is suitable for various body types and occasions. It offers a versatile option for those who want a contemporary look with a touch of traditional charm.

The Double-Breasted Suit: Make a Bold Statement

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Hawes & Curtis Navy Chalk Stripe Double-Breasted Slim Suit. Photo: Hawes & Curtis

The double-breasted suit is a timeless classic with a resurgence in popularity. This style features a jacket with overlapping front flaps and two parallel columns of buttons. Traditionally associated with formal occasions, the double-breasted suit exudes elegance and sophistication.

It is an excellent choice for those looking to make a bold and confident statement. The double-breasted suit can be worn with peak lapels for a more formal and traditional look or with notch lapels for a modern twist.

The Three-Piece Suit: Elevate Your Style

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MOSS 3-Piece Suit in Blue. Photo: MOSS

The three-piece suit is a must-have for those seeking sartorial elegance. This style includes a matching waistcoat along with a jacket and trousers. The waistcoat adds a layer of refinement and sophistication, elevating your overall look.

It also offers versatility, as you can wear the waistcoat with or without the jacket, depending on the occasion. The three-piece suit is perfect for weddings, formal events, and occasions that call for a touch of sartorial flair.

Suit Fabrics: From Classic to Contemporary Choices

The choice of fabric plays a crucial role in a suit’s overall look and feel. Different materials offer varying levels of comfort, breathability, and durability. Let’s explore some popular suit fabrics and their unique characteristics.

Wool: The Timeless Classic

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J.Crew Ludlow Slim-fit Suit in Italian Wool. Photo: J.Crew

For a good reason, wool is perhaps the most popular suit fabric. It is a natural fiber with excellent breathability, durability, and versatility. Wool suits can be worn throughout the year, providing insulation in colder months and allowing airflow in warmer months.

The weight of the wool fabric can vary, with lighter options suitable for summer and heavier options ideal for winter. Wool suits are available in various finishes, from smooth worsted wool to textured tweed, offering a wide range of options to suit your style.

Linen: Embrace the Summer Vibes

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Todd Snyder Italian Linen Sutton Suit. Photo: Todd Snyder

Linen suits are the go-to choice for warm-weather occasions. Linen is a lightweight, breathable fabric that allows air circulation, keeping you cool and comfortable in hot climates. It has a distinct texture and natural wrinkles, which add a relaxed and casual charm to the suit.

Linen suits are commonly worn in lighter colors such as beige, light gray, and pastel shades, perfect for summer weddings, garden parties, and tropical destinations. However, it’s worth noting that linen wrinkles easily, so be prepared for a more relaxed and lived-in look.

Cotton: Casual Comfort

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Bonobos Italian Stretch Cotton Suit. Photo: Bonobos

Cotton suits offer a comfortable and casual alternative to traditional wool suits. Cotton is a breathable and lightweight fabric that provides excellent comfort, making it suitable for everyday wear and less formal occasions. Cotton suits are available in various weaves and finishes, from smooth sateen to textured seersucker.

They are often worn in neutral or earthy tones for a relaxed and effortless style. Cotton suits are perfect for outdoor events, Casual Fridays at the office, or adding a laid-back sophistication to your ensemble.

Synthetic Blends: Versatility & Performance

Mens Suit Styles Express Extra Slim Dusty Blue Wool-Blend Modern Tech SuitPin
Express Extra Slim Dusty Blue Wool-Blend Modern Tech Suit. Photo: Express

Synthetic blends like polyester and rayon offer a more affordable and practical alternative to natural fabrics. These blends often incorporate synthetic and natural fibers, enhancing durability, wrinkle resistance, and ease of care.

Synthetic blend suits suit those on a budget or requiring low-maintenance garments. While they may lack the luxurious feel of natural fabrics, they offer versatility and performance, making them ideal for everyday wear or travel.

Suit Colors: From Classic Neutrals to Bold Hues

The color of your suit plays a vital role in determining its versatility and appropriateness for different occasions. While classic neutrals are always a safe choice, there’s no harm in experimenting with bolder shades to showcase your style. Let’s explore some popular suit colors and their unique characteristics:

Navy Blue: Timeless Elegance

Mens Suit Styles NavyPin
Add a navy suit to your wardrobe for a striking alternative to traditional black tailoring. Photo: FP

Navy blue is a versatile and universally flattering color for suits. It exudes sophistication and can be worn for formal and semi-formal occasions. Navy blue suits are popular for business settings, job interviews, and weddings.

They pair well with various shirt and tie combinations, making creating a polished and put-together look easy. Whether you opt for a classic navy blue suit or a modern slim-fit style, this color is a staple in every man’s wardrobe.

Charcoal Gray: Understated Sophistication

Mens Style Suits CharcoalPin
Make a dashing statement in a charcoal suit. Photo: FP

Charcoal gray suits are a classic choice that offers timeless and understated elegance. This versatile color can be worn for various occasions, from business meetings to formal events.

Charcoal gray suits are particularly suitable for professional settings, as they exude authority and professionalism. They pair well with a crisp white shirt and various tie colors, allowing you to create different looks depending on the dress code or personal style.

Black: The Epitome of Formality

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Embrace tradition in a classic black suit. Photo: FP

Black suits epitomize formal elegance and are commonly associated with black-tie events and formal occasions. A well-fitted black suit exudes confidence and sophistication, making it a go-to choice for special events and evening affairs.

Black suits are typically worn with a white dress shirt and a black bow tie for a formal and classic look. However, black suits can be worn casually with a colored or patterned shirt for a stylish and modern twist.

Shades of Gray: Versatility & Subtlety

Mens Suit Styles Light GreyPin
Stand out from the crowd in a light grey suit. Photo: FP

Gray suits offer a broad spectrum of shades, ranging from light gray to dark charcoal. Light gray suits are perfect for summer weddings and less formal occasions, as they exude a relaxed and effortlessly stylish vibe.

Dark charcoal suits, on the other hand, are more formal and offer a sophisticated and timeless look. Shades of gray provide versatility, allowing you to mix and match with different shirt and tie combinations to create various looks.

Bold Colors: Making a Statement

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Go bold in bright hues such as royal blue. Photo: FP

While neutral colors dominate the world of suits, there’s no harm in adding a touch of vibrancy to your wardrobe. Bold and vibrant colors such as burgundy, deep green, or royal blue can make a statement and showcase your style.

These colors are best reserved for less formal occasions or when you want to inject some personality into your ensemble. Pair them with a neutral-colored shirt and accessories to strike the right balance and create a cohesive and stylish look.

Suit Details: Elevating Your Style

The devil is in the details, and when it comes to suits, the small details can make a significant impact on your overall style. From pocket styles to lapel choices, let’s explore some key suit details that can elevate your look.

Pocket Styles: Patch, Flap, or Jetted?

Pockets are not just functional; they can also add a touch of style to your suit. The three most common pocket styles are patch, flap, and jetted.

Patch pockets are sewn onto the outside of the jacket, creating a more casual and relaxed look. They are often seen in sports jackets and casual suits.

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Flap pockets are common amongst contemporary suits. Photo: FP

Flap pockets have a flap that covers the pocket opening, providing a more polished and formal appearance. They are the most common pocket style for suits.

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Jetted pockets offer suits a streamlined, modern look. Photo: FP

Jetted pockets are sleek and seamless, with no visible flaps. They provide a clean, minimalist look, often seen in tuxedos and formal suits.

The choice of pocket style depends on the formality of the occasion and your personal style preferences.

Lapel Choices: Notch, Peak, or Shawl?

Lapels are the folded flaps of fabric on the front of the jacket, framing the chest area. They play a crucial role in defining the style of a suit. The three most common lapel choices are notch lapels, peak lapels, and shawl lapels.

Mens Suit Styles Notch LapelsPin
Notch lapels are a standard feature of most men’s suits. Photo: FP

Notch lapels feature a slight indentation where the collar meets the lapel. They are versatile and suitable for various occasions, making them the most common suit.

Mens Suit Styles Peak LapelsPin
Showcase a more formal flair with peak lapels. Photo: FP

Peak lapels have pointed edges that extend upwards towards the shoulders. They exude a more formal and assertive look, commonly seen in tuxedos and double-breasted suits.

Mens Suiting Styles Tuxedo Shawl LapelsPin
Evening jackets and tuxedos commonly feature shawl lapels. Photo: FP

Shawl lapels have a smooth, rounded edge without any indentation or points. They offer a sophisticated and elegant look, often seen on tuxedos and dinner jackets.

The choice of lapel style depends on the formality of the occasion and your personal style preferences.

Vents: Single, Double, or None?

Vents refer to the slits or openings at the back of the suit jacket, allowing for ease of movement and comfort. The three most common vent options are single, double, or no.

Mens Suit Styles Single VentPin
Single-vent suits feature the detail in the center. Photo: Shutterstock

A single vent is a vertical opening at the center back of the jacket, offering a classic and timeless look. It provides a comfortable fit and is suitable for various body types.

Mens Suit Styles Double VentsPin
For added comfort, opt for a suit with double vents. Photo: Shutterstock

Double vents have two vertical openings at the sides of the jacket, offering a more modern and contemporary look. They provide ease of movement and are commonly seen in slim-fit and modern-fit suits.

Mens Suit Styles No VentPin
No vent suits offer a sleeker look but less ease of movement. Photo: Shutterstock

No vent creates a sleek, streamlined look, often associated with formal events and traditional tailoring. However, it may restrict movement and comfort compared to vented options.

The choice of vent style depends on personal style, body type, and the formality of the occasion.

Choosing the Right Suit for Your Body Type

When it comes to suits, one size does not fit all. Each body type has its nuances and considerations when choosing the right suit. Understanding your body type and selecting a suit that complements your physique can significantly affect how you look and feel. Let’s explore some common body types and the suitable suit styles for each.

Athletic Build: Emphasize Your Proportions

Mens Suit Styles Athletic BuildPin
Slim-fit suits emphasize the body’s natural lines for men with an athletic build. Photo: FP

You’re in luck if you have an athletic build with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. Most suit styles will flatter your physique, accentuating your proportions and highlighting your muscular body.

Slim-fit suits are an excellent choice, as they enhance your body’s natural V-shape and provide a sleek and modern silhouette. Opt for styles with structured shoulders to further emphasize your broad shoulders. Consider notch lapels for a versatile and balanced look.

Slim Build: Create the Illusion of Broadness

Mens Suit Styles Slim BuildPin
Create a broad illusion with impeccably fitting slim suits. Photo: FP

With a slim build with narrow shoulders and a lean frame, you can create the illusion of broadness with suitable suit styles. Choose suits with structured shoulders to add definition to your silhouette. Slim-fit suits can complement your body type, providing a tailored and modern look.

Consider peak lapels, which add width to your chest area, creating a more assertive and masculine appearance. Experiment with different patterns and textures to add depth and dimension to your ensemble.

Larger Build: Embrace Tailored Elegance

Mens Suit Styles Larger BuildPin
Focus on tailoring for a sharp look if you have a larger build. Photo: FP

You can still look polished and elegant in a well-fitted suit if you have a larger figure with a broader waistline. Opt for classic or modern-fit suits that provide more room in the midsection while maintaining a tailored appearance.

Avoid slim-fit suits, as they highlight your body’s proportions and create an unflattering silhouette. Choose suit styles with minimal patterns and textures to create a streamlined look. Consider single-breasted jackets with notch lapels for a timeless and balanced appearance.

Average Build: Versatility at Its Finest

Mens Suit Styles Average BuildPin
With an average build, the suiting world is your oyster. Photo: FP

You have the luxury of versatility with an average figure with balanced proportions. Most suit styles will complement your physique, allowing you to experiment with different cuts, lapels, and colors. Slim-fit suits can provide a modern and tailored look, while classic-fit suits offer a timeless and sophisticated appeal.

Consider notch lapels for a versatile and balanced look. Experiment with different suit fabrics and colors to showcase your style and make a statement.

Suit Accessories: Adding the Finishing Touches

Don’t forget the importance of suit accessories to elevate your suit ensemble. These finishing touches can add personality and individuality to your look. Let’s explore some essential suit accessories and how they can enhance your overall style.

Dress Shirts: Crisp & Classic

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Complement your sartorial suit with a crisp white dress shirt. Photo: FP

The choice of dress shirt can significantly impact the overall aesthetic of your suit. Opt for a classic white dress shirt as a versatile and timeless option. Crisp and well-fitted, it creates a clean and polished look.

Experiment with different collar styles, such as spread or point collars, to add variety and complement your face shape. Consider exploring patterns and colors like light blue or subtle stripes to bring depth and personality to your ensemble.

Ties: Adding Color & Texture

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Take your suit to the next level with the perfect tie. Photo: FP

Ties are a classic accessory that adds a touch of elegance and personality to your suit. They come in various colors, patterns, and materials, allowing you to showcase your style. When choosing a tie, consider your suit’s occasion and color palette.

Opt for silk ties for a formal and refined look, or experiment with textured materials such as knitted or woven ties for a more casual and contemporary twist. Tie knots, such as the Windsor or the Four-in-Hand, can also contribute to the overall aesthetic of your ensemble.

Pocket Squares: A Touch of Sophistication

Mens Pocket Square Tie SuitPin
Add a pocket square to your suit jacket for effortless elegance. Photo: FP

Pocket squares are a small detail that can significantly impact your suit ensemble. They add a touch of sophistication and individuality to your look. Pocket squares come in various colors, patterns, and materials, allowing you to create different styles and moods.

Opt for a pocket square that complements the color scheme of your suit and tie, or experiment with contrasting colors and patterns to make a statement. Fold the pocket square differently, such as the classic straight or the more intricate puff fold, to add visual interest and depth.

Belts & Suspenders: A Matter of Preference

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Exude charm with a pair of suspenders. Photo: FP

Belts and suspenders are accessories that serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. Belts support and keep your trousers in place, while suspenders add a touch of vintage charm and offer an alternative to belts. When choosing a belt, opt for a style that complements the color and texture of your suit.

Leather belts in neutral tones, such as black or brown, are versatile for wearing various suits. On the other hand, suspenders come in different materials and patterns, allowing you to showcase your style and add a unique touch to your ensemble. Choose what suits your comfort and personal preferences.

The Importance of Tailoring: Perfecting the Fit

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When it comes to wearing a suit, fit is everything. Photo: FP

A poor fit can undermine its impact, no matter how stylish or high-quality your suit is. That’s where tailoring comes in. Tailoring ensures your suit fits your body perfectly, enhancing your physique and exuding confidence. Let’s explore the importance of tailoring and how it can transform your suit.

Made-to-Measure Suits: Customized Perfection

Made-to-measure suits offer the highest level of customization and precision. With made-to-measure, your suit is crafted based on your specific measurements and preferences. A tailor considers your body type, posture, and individual style to create a suit that fits like a second skin.

Made-to-measure suits offer a level of comfort and confidence that is unparalleled. They allow you to choose every detail, from the fabric and color to the lapel style and button placement. Investing in a made-to-measure suit ensures a tailored garment for your unique physique and style.

Off-the-Rack Suits: The Power of Alterations

Man Tailor Waist Measuring TapePin
Elevate off-the-rack suits with custom alterations. Photo: FP

Off-the-rack suits are ready-made suits that are available in standard sizes. While they may not offer the same level of customization as made-to-measure suits, they can still be tailored to fit your body. The key is to find a suit that fits well in the shoulders and chest, as these areas are the most challenging to alter.

A tailor can then adjust the sleeves, waist, and trousers to achieve a more tailored and flattering fit. Alterations can significantly affect an off-the-rack suit’s overall appearance and comfort, allowing you to achieve a more polished and refined look.

The Importance of Fit: Confidence & Style

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A well-fitting suit is a boost in the confidence department. Photo: FP

The fit of your suit is paramount to achieving a confident and stylish look. A well-fitted suit enhances your body’s natural proportions, creates a streamlined silhouette, and exudes professionalism.

It allows you to move easily and comfortably without feeling restricted or uncomfortable. Whether you opt for a classic or modern style, fit should always be the priority. A suit that fits you perfectly will make you feel like a million dollars and leave a lasting impression.

Final Words

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With plenty of suit options ranging from color and fabric to fit, endless opportunities exist to personalize your sartorial pursuit. Photo: FP

Men’s suit styles offer many options to boost your fashion sense. From classic suits signifying refinement to modern styles embodying boldness, there’s a suit for every taste and occasion. Fabric, color, and detail choices further enhance adaptability and individuality. Suit selection should consider body type to highlight your physique.

Complementary accessories and attention to tailoring contribute to the final elegant look, highlighting confidence and style. Whether embracing the classic or exploring the contemporary, personal style and occasion should guide your choice for a well-tailored suit.

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