Paul Smith Suit
Regardless of whether one works in retail or on Wall Street, a suit may be the most important investment piece a man can own. And there are a lot of options out there for a suit. So in our effort to address all things essential this month, it was paramount that suiting be part of it.
When it comes to buying a suit, a few axioms should be at the center of the process. The first being fit. Know your sizing (if you don’t, most suiting outlets can help with this) and your preference on shape (i.e. slim, relaxed, etc.). And if you haven’t made the investment into your first real suit, it should be grey or navy. Either color goes with just about anything, ready for any occasion, be it an interview, a night in Vegas, or to class up the Christmas party at your hipster office.
And whether wearing a suit is a daily or bi-yearly occasion, you don’t have to be stuffy about it — a little whimsy is more than acceptable, if not encouraged. A bold lining, coupled with a colorful tie or pocket square is just the right way to stand out with confidence.
Few clothiers check off these boxes like Paul Smith. A man who was knighted by the queen of England in 2000, Mr. Smith has been credited with much influence in the suiting industry. Born in 1946, he began working at the age of 15 in a clothing warehouse. After his dreams of becoming a professional cyclist were ended due to an accident, he changed his life’s direction. He started taking classes in tailoring in the evenings and then transitioned to working on the famed Saville Row in London, birthplace of the modern, bespoke suit. During his time on Savile row, his suiting designs were worn by celebrities about town, putting his talent on display.
In 1970, he scraped together some savings and opened a shop in Nottingham: Paul Smith Vêtements pour Hommes. By 1976, he released his first menswear collection under the eponymous label, Paul Smith. In 1979, he opened a shop in Covent Garden in London. Over time, Mr. Smith has taken the brand globally with multiple labels. The Paul Smith Jeans brand is a take on daily street wear, flush with bright colors and classic denim. Paul Smith London, the most expensive and highest quality, is the brand’s finest take on suiting.
The suits, though impeccably tailored, are relaxed in philosophy. It is modern, European in lines, and slim but not skinny. Canvas is in all the right places to hold shape. The pants are timeless in their taper. They are soft and contextually flexible. This makes the suit readily available for all sorts of events, not just weddings and funerals (though they’re appropriate in those environments as well). You’ll wear your suit everywhere with comfort, and once you’re confident in your cut, they’re an easy goto when you need another suit in your closet, as your budget or career path allow.
Mr. Smith always instills a bit of playfulness in his product. Most famously, his classic signature multi-colored stripe patterns on socks, pocket squares, and scarves demonstrate his twist on British suiting a way that rises through the noise. He chooses rich fabrics with subtle pinstriping and fine Italian silk linings.
Mr. Smith has also taken on the traveler suit to much acclaim. This line of suiting is woven with a small amount of stretch that allows for ease of movement for the man who is always on the go, whether on a plane or even commuting by bike to work. So when you’re in the market for your first suit, or at least your first great suit, Paul Smith probably fits the bill. Rest assured the investment will be worth it.