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Gentleman in a suitI have invested in a few good suits that I wear for work and also for special occasions, however I received a call from a certain house that lies behind the Victoria Memorial and looks down The Mall towards Amiralty Arch. Needless to say I decided that a lunch and business meeting with distinguished guests required something a bit more special than the suits that currently resided in my closet.

At this point if my name started with Lord and ended with Sugar, then I would of course shout loudly at my driver Jeffery and jump into the Rolls to hastily make my way to Saville Row for some of the finest English tailoring. Unfortunately my title is Mr and ends with Smith, I also don’t have a Rolls I have a push bike and live of my wages from John Lewis and my student loan. Thus the row sadly wasn’t an option, so this is my guide to getting a suit fit for royalty on a budget.

When suit shopping the first thing I always do and always recommend to do is to start up Google and look through some style blogs such as The Perfect Gentleman’s Pinterest. This has two added benefits, firstly you can see what styles you like, in terms of colouring, fit, tailoring and secondly it also gives you a great idea of what accessories to wear with certain styles. This allows you to visualise the look you want making it easier to achieve, after all it was Arnold Schwarzenegger that said “the mind creates the body, shapes the body, allows you to achieve the body you visualise”. While the quote is inherently referring to body building the same principle goes with fashion and style.

After a browse through various blogs and tumblr feeds I decided that I wanted to go for a dark navy suit as I already had a black pinstripe and a plain grey suit. This was due to its flexibility of colours of accessories and shirts that I could use with it, combined with the fact that a good dark navy suit is a strong statement and clearly stands out when correctly fitted and accessorised with vibrant colours. I started my visualisation of everyone in their grey and black pinstripe suits blending with the masses and my navy suit and gold tie standing out and turning heads as I walked in.

I next set myself a budget that would not be broken for the suit jacket and trousers. I decided to stretch my bank to the max and invest, the price for the jacket and trouser must come in at £250 or less. Now I realise this is a lot for most students, but when you consider this is going to be a special occasion suit that would be up against made to measure and bespoke suits from some of the world’s finest tailors that costs many thousands just for the jacket without even considering the trousers, £250 is a bargain in comparison. I started searching various websites of designers and shops to see the various styles that where on option and within budget. Ideally I wanted a three piece suit, but due to the added cost of the waistcoat quickly realised that a two piece was a better choice for my budget.

After browsing through many designers I narrowed it down to these 5.

The first suit that matched my specification was the Next signature navy suit for £189 (jacket and trouser), I was attracted to this suit due to its slim fit, two button style and 100% wool composition. Due to spring being just around the corner the weight of the suit was very pleasing, it is heavy enough to ward off a spring shower yet light enough to be comfortable in warmer temperatures. The style was also very complimentary to my body type (mesomorph), with the right accessories such as a gold tie and complimenting pocket square it has all the qualities of a suit 5 times its value.

The only things that worried me was the company reputation, Next use to be plagued by poor quality, resulting in me steering clear of the brand for quite a long time, however in the last few years it has sorted out its quality control and some of the clothing is now at an acceptable standard for the price. This particular suit seemed to be well tailored and produced to a high quality; my only gripe was I noticed one of the jackets was not stitched in the same colour throughout. In summary for the price this suit certainly is a good buy, notable features are the 100% wool composition, slim fit, good price point and the style.  

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