Here's One Thing Every Stylish Gentleman Must Have In His Closet

This wardrobe classic still takes the spot as the most versatile piece.

If there’s one thing that’s been constant when it comes to being a well-dressed gentleman, it’s the tailored suit. The world of made-to-measure suits may sound like something from a bygone era, especially with the numerous ready-to-wear options currently in the market… but, as they say, you can never trade quality for economy. The tailored suit is truly the only way to avoid the dreaded ill-fitting suit.

Most great things start with a good base; in this case, it’s a good fitting shirt. A good shirt allows you to have maximum movement, something you’d need to achieve at least a semblance of comfort beneath a suit. Some tips to consider: You should be able to fit a finger between your neck and the collar, the shoulder stitch should hit a few marks after your actual shoulders, and the sleeves should be the perfect balance of snug-loose all throughout.


Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about what you can expect at your first visit/trying out a new tailor. One rule of thumb is to communicate: Being specific about what you want will not only guarantee a good suit but it will also cement your relationship with the tailor. A tailor might be used to older clientele, in the sense that loose suits may be their norm, so you need to be firm and as detailed as possible with the look you want.

At the start, tailors will usually have you try on a barrage of fabric to check how well it drapes among other things. Various pattern and fabric combinations will always have different results. Suit cuts can be split into three general fits. Italian cut is wide with padded shoulders and no slit on the back; English cut is slim with a slightly tapered waist and two slits; and the American cut is a compromise between the Italian and English cut, moderate padding with a boxy look and a single slit for maximum comfort.

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Other questions to consider: Single or double-breasted, button count, lapel width, number of vents and of course, the construction.

For a basic suit it would be best to go with single-breasted, two-button with a notch lapel, and two vents. But this really depends on you, especially when it comes to vents: no vent is usually for tuxedos, one vent may work but it makes your backside look larger, and two vents tend to be flattering for everyone. Construction is another league on its own—depending on the tailor you use, suit jackets may be fused, half canvas, or full canvas, which is the priciest of all.

Assuming that this suit needs to be as versatile as possible, the best colors would be in the gray or navy spectrum. Both colors can go from day-to-night and if needed, may pass for some formal events. If you live in the tropics, cotton as material should be your top pick. Wool would be your next choice but it's noticeably thicker.


Last, we have the pants. Simple as they may sound, as with every other suit piece, there’s something to think about. The most important would be the length. Traditionally, pants are supposed to end when they touch your shoe (standing up) but more modern tailors opt for shorter cuts. Just be careful not to show too much. You also have the option to add pleats to your pants but if we’re going for the basic suit, this may be something for the future.


With a variety of luxury fabrics and expert tailors around, the perfect fit is, quite literally, a stone’s throw away:

For international suit makers that you can count on, Rustan’s Department Store houses these top luxury labels.

Rustan’s Makati
Ayala Center, Ayala Avenue,
Makati City, Metro Manila

Rustan’s Shangri-la Plaza Mall
EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard,
Mandaluyong City, Manila

Rustan's Cebu
Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu Business Park,
Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City

Rustan’s Makati
Ayala Center, Ayala Avenue,
Makati City, Metro Manila

Two go-to spots for many of Manila’s gentlemen: straight-to-the-point, no-frills tailoring shops.

68 Doña Juana Rodriguez Avenue,
New Manila, Quezon City

8485 Kalayaan Avenue,
Makati City, Metro Manila

The resurgence of the gentleman has also brought about a new generation of shops that offer more modern styles and slightly slimmer cuts.

LPL Mansions
San Agustin St., Salcedo Village,
Makati City, Metro Manila

Retail Unit GF3 Shangri-La at the Fort
3rd Ave corner 30th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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