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16 Top Tips on Knowing How to Buy a Suit Online

mens suits street style

It is always important to have a suit that fits correctly, and if you’re buying one online, you might not get that. We look at the dos and don’ts of buying a suit online. 

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FARAH Lake Hopsack Mens Blazer Navy
Farah – Blazer
CARHARTT WIP Civil Chambray Shirt Blue
Carhartt WIP – Shirt
THE IDLE MAN Mens Suit Trousers in Skinny Fit - Navy
The Idle Man – Trousers

Buying a suit online can be tricky. There’s the chance of short sleeves, tight middles, shoulders that are too big, and just a generally ill fitting outfit. This is obviously the last thing you want, especially when you’ve not only splashed out for the suit itself but the post and packaging as well.

On the other hand though, getting a suit online can save you a whole lot of hassle, and if you make sure you know your sizing there’s no reason you can’t get yourself a sharp and flattering suit. In this article, we’ll guide you through the sometimes treacherous waters of buying a suit online and take the risk out of your purchase.


Buy Suits Online

If you’re looking to take the plunge and buy a suit online, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you click buy. Even if you’re buying a cheap suit online, it’s going to be a waste of money if it arrives and it’s not the right fit, the right material or the right colour to truly compliment you. However if you take everything into consideration you can easily get yourself the perfect suit with just the click of a button.

how to buy a suit online for menPHOTO CREDIT: Digital Pimp


The Idle Man Tweed Blazer
The Idle Man – Blazer
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Dickies – Chinos
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G.H. Bass & Co. – Loafers

Know Your Measurements

It’s important, no, it’s crucial that you know your measurements. Those two inches on the chest could ruin your look by either leaving you with a baggy suit or having a suit that is simply too tight. Knowing how to measure your chest for a suit is essential. We don’t recommend squeezing into a suit that you can’t breathe in or wearing a suit that is so big that people will comment on its aerodynamic qualities. Your suit needs to fit you like a glove, and that’s not always an easy task if you’re not sure on your sizing.

The easiest option if you’re buying a suit online is to find a tailor to measure you. This will basically make sure you get your sizing absolutely right, and you’ll be able to work out what kind of shape suit you should go for. If, for example, your shoulders are a lot broader than the rest of your body then you’ll know to take this into consideration when you pick your style of suit, and you won’t go for a slim fit design.

If however you don’t have the luxury of a friendly tailor, you can always measure yourself. All you need is a tape measure and some knowledge on exactly which parts to measure. Make sure you keep your measurements up to date, and if you’re going to buy a suit, but you haven’t checked your sizing since last year, just give yourself a measure again to see if you’ve lost or gained weight.

Chest measurement menKnowing your measurements is crucial

Work Out the Best Fit

Are you a slim fit or standard fit type of guy? Were you aware there was a difference? Generally, all men’s suits have to fit the same way, with set rules on the length of the arms, the way it fits around the shoulders, and how tight it is across the chest. However, despite the set of rules, there are still different fits that you can go for which will help accentuate or flatter certain aspects of your body.

Slim or skinny fit suits give a modern, alternative feel to a look and are great for showcasing a slender form. If however you’re not quite the fittest guy on the street then it can tug and pull at your body and not give you the most flattering finish. So if the slim fit isn’t for you, then regular is the way to go. It has a more organic feel to it and will easily skim over your body, giving you a tailored, but less intensely fitted look.

If you’re not sure what fit will look best on you, you can always order a cheap suit that’s slightly too big for you, then get it professionally tailored to fit your body to a T. The money that you would have spent on a more expensive, but not necessarily perfectly fitted, suit will go towards the tailor, ensuring that your suit looks like a pricier, high end piece.

how to buy a suit online fit for menPHOTO CREDIT: Combat Gent


the idle man mens suit jacket for men in skinny fit black
The Idle Man – Blazer
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The Idle Man – Shirt
FARAH Denby Rigid Hopsack Trousers Navy mens
Farah – Trousers

Check the Reviews and Returns Policy

Not all stores have the same sizing as others, so not every small, medium and large is going to be the same as others. Reading reviews can help you see what kind of size the suit is, as well as the feel of the material and fit, and this can be vital when choosing a design online.

Next comes returns. Now hopefully it doesn’t come to this, but making sure that you’re aware of the retailer’s returns policy is crucial. Some retailers may allow you to return within 30 days, as long as the item isn’t damaged, while others may be less flexible. You might also want to see if you get refunded with store credit or actual money, as this can make a big difference in your returns.

What Colour Suit?

So you know some of the tricks of online buying, but this isn’t going to help you if you don’t know what suit to get in the first place. Different events can require different coloured suits, and if you don’t want to go for the classic black suit, you might want to brush up on some of the alternatives.

Best Suits

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for men’s suits online, let’s have a look at some of the best suits from the net. Just remember to keep the rules for your tailored suit in mind to make sure that your purchase is as successful as possible.

All Black Suit

Let’s start with the basics. The black suit is a classic, iconic piece that really does suit everyone. You can wear it to any formal occasion and you won’t look out of place, it can flatter any body type, and most people will agree that it’s one of the classiest things a man can wear. Although black is a versatile colour, it’s best to keep it simple when you’re dressing up your suit. Pair it with a white shirt, black formal shoes, and if you want to accessorise, try adding some simple cufflinks to the mix.

all black suit white shirt grey tie for menPHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man


The Idle Man Mens Suit Jacket Black men
The Idle Man – Jacket
FARAH Denby Rigid Hopsack Trousers Navy mens
Farah – Trousers
black patent dr marten shoes men
Dr. Martens – Formal Shoes

Dark Grey Suit

A dark grey suit is the perfect alternative to a black suit, with the similar tone ensuring you maintain a smart and sophisticated vibe but without having such an intense finish. As grey goes with anything, a grey suit is perfectly versatile and you can easily match it with a black shirt for a sleek, alternative look, or a white shirt for a classic, more traditional style. Pair it up with some black brogues and you’ll have yourself a timeless piece that’s ideal for various occasions.

mens dark grey suitPHOTO CREDIT: Gentleman’s Gazette


THE IDLE MAN Suit Jacket in Slim Fit-Grey mens
The Idle Man – Blazer
mens dark grey suit trousers
The Idle Man – Suit Trousers
GRENSON Archie Leather Brogue Black
Grenson – Formal Shoes

Light Grey Suit

If you like the idea of grey, but a dark grey is just too similar to black, just go a little lighter. A light grey suit is perfect if you want to achieve a clean, smart look that’s spring and summer appropriate. You can dress it up exactly the same as the dark grey suit, but the vibe will be less intense, giving you a less formal look. You can also pair it with different coloured shirts such as light blue and pink, to create an easy, more casual look.

mens light grey suitPHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest


the idle man suit jacket in skinny fit grey men
The Idle Man – Blazer
the idle man suit trousers in skinny fit grey men
The Idle Man – Trousers
Dr Marten's 3 Eye Black Out Shoe Black mens
Dr Martens – Shoes

Beige Suit

Because of its light, summery look, men’s beige suits are normally worn in more smart casual events, and avoid the serious look of black and grey suits. They go great with pastel coloured shirts and can easily be customised with additions such as coloured pocket squares to add some extra personality to your look. The only danger with beige suits is if you’re not entirely happy with your body shape, as they do tend to accentuate a person’s figure. Keep the looks light and clean with a white shirt and brown shoes, and finish with a coloured tie if you want to add a boost of interest.

mens beige suit suede loafersPHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man | Christian Page


SELECTED Willis Blazer Grey mens
Selected – Blazer
selected grey cropped trousers for men
Selected – Trousers
G.H. BASS And CO. Weejuns Mens Tassle Loafers Tan
G.H.Bass & Co – Loafer

What Material Suit?

If you’re buying a suit online, one of the things you obviously can’t do is feel the material, see how to stretches against your body and work out from touch whether it’s something you’d want to wear. It’s important therefore to know the negatives and positives of the most basic suit materials.

Linen Suits

  • Positive: Light weight and perfect for summer suits
  • Positive: Has a soft feel while being strong and sturdy
  • Negative: Creases easily
  • Negative: Is only appropriate for warm weather

Cotton Suits

  • Positive: Breathable material that’s good for both hot and cold temperatures
  • Positive: Strong but affordable
  • Negative: Can crease easily
mens navy suit white shirtPHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man | Christian Page


Selected Navy Blazer men
Selected – Blazer
SELECTED Carl Mens Trousers Navy
Selected – Trousers
g h bass co mens weejuns classic penny loafer black mens
G.H. Bass & Co. – Loafers

Polyester Suits

  • Positive: Cheap and comes in many styles
  • Negative: Not breathable
  • Negative: Looks the cheapest out of all of the suit materials

Silk Suits

  • Positive: Comfortable and with a soft finish
  • Positive: Breathable fabric
  • Positive: Helps keep the body warm in the winter, and cool in the summer
  • Negative: Expensive

Tailored Suits Online

Sometimes you just don’t want to take the risk with buying online. Even if you see a great suit online and it looks like it would fit pretty well, if you’ve got the cash to spare you might want to invest in a tailored suit. Now, not everyone has to the time or inclination to go all the way to a fancy tailor, so it’s a good thing that you don’t actually have to.

All you need to do is get your measurements and find one of the many customisable online sites. They offer a range of suits in various styles and fits, and once you’ve typed in your measurements and bank details you’re all set. This can be great if you’re looking for the best of both world – with the convenience of an online order as well as the reassurance that your suit will fit you perfectly.

how to buy a suit online look for menPHOTO CREDIT: Digital Pimp


selected willis blazer blue for men
The Idle Man – Blazer
the idle man mens smart shirt in white
The Idle Man – Shirt
DICKIES 873 Slim Work Pant Blue mens
Dickies – Trousers

How to Buy a Suit Online

  • Know your measurements –be aware of the basic shape of your body so you know what suit will fit you best.
  • Check the sites’ return policies –and reviews before you purchase anything.
  • Decide on a shape that works best for you –whether it’s slim, skinny or regular fit.
  • Decide on a colour– black is a good all round colour for a suit, whereas beige and light grey are better suited for summer occasions or more casual affairs.
  • Work out your budget and what material would work best for your suit –  weighing up the pros and cons of each one.
  • Make sure you know what sort of suit you’re after –different places sell different things and knowing where to buy suits is essential.
how to buy a suit online for menPHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man | Rob Crawford

 On That Note

The world of online buying can be a precarious one, but with the right information, some patience and knowledge of what you want, you can get a suit that fits you perfectly while you avoid the hassle of buying from a store. No changing rooms, no awkward measuring, just a suit that fits you like a glove and that you can wear time and time again.

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