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The Secret to Finding your Perfect Suit

Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Carmen Montero as Spanish Bride – Killing Eve _ Season 3, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Why, you ask? No, not just because it’s spooky season (aka queer Christmas). After another hot girl summer, it is finally suit wearing season. As we find ourselves seemingly having gone from summer straight into long coat season, it’s time to fold away the linens and denim cut-offs as we move into shorter, toe-pinching days, where your iced latte order switches back to a hot flat white while you catch eyes with the hot barista in a turtleneck behind the counter.

One thing we love about autumn is it invites us into the perfect time for suit wearing. Be it with a vintage jumper or jacket, or for the colder evenings where the illusion of making an effort wants to be given in a way that is still comfortable, practical and nonchalantly cool.

We know that trying to find the perfect suit can be stressful for a variety of reasons. Price tag, finding the perfect fit, or knowing what style is for you are all things to factor in. Hopefully, the below options can cater for everyone with ease, so that you can find the look that works for you and your style for any occasion. Choosing the perfect suit is a very unique experience. It will be personal to you specifically and what feels right, so don’t get bogged down if it takes a while to find. 

We promise you, nothing feels more empowering than that moment you don the right suit, as our favourite women’s tailor Daisy Knatchbull (founder of The Deck) once told us. Think about the power that radiates off some of our favourite women in a suit. Think Jodie Comer in Killing Eve, or Cate Blanchett in basically anything.

Where to shop?

The question of where to look really can’t be prescribed. From price tag to cut, places will have very different vibes depending on what you need. 

For weddings, more formal events, we suggest somewhere like Reiss to look for inspo. They tend to have options across slimmer fitting tailored suits with feminine cuts with a casual single breasted look or double breasted for a more formal, decorative option. Add some slim fitting flared trousers or a tapered leg for a more neutral, cropped look. They also have great casual options with wide leg trousers and a loose-fitting blazer in various vibrant colours.

Mango is another good option for simple and classy styles. It offers the perfect balance for work and play. Mango’s suit styles tend to follow the season, so it depends what kind of suit you’re looking for and what the event may be. They tend to be more affordable without jeopardising quality.

Massimo Dutti has a slightly higher price point, similarly to Reiss. But it’s a great place to bag some very unique styles which have a flared leg with high jacket buttons to create a resonant 70s style. 

Those of you who are regulars around here wouldn’t be surprised at another mention of The Deck from us; it’s more of an aspirational luxury, but perfect for your WLW wedding or accepting an Oscar. You can have it tailored exactly to your size and be walked through the whole tailoring process picking exactly the style you want, selecting colour and texture to create your ultimate dream suit. 

Uniqlo is a great option for more unisex, androgynous options in clean, neutral and natural colours and materials. We recommend visiting a store to rifle around for matching items and colours as you may have to move between men’s and women’s. But it’s a great way to find things you can mix and match and get the staples for your wardrobe. It’s also the perfect place to stock up on black and white or other block colour t-shirts or turtlenecks. The perfect look to accompany your suit in an effortless way. 

What’s more, it’s layering up season, and Uniqlo is the perfect place to pick up shirts, tees, light jackets, and whatever else you need to perfect your autumnal look.

Go vintage or second-hand for better quality and sustainability 

Pre-loved clothing is always the best and most ethical option if you want to save money while finding better quality. For those of you in London, shop around the vintage rails of Brick Lane in East London. You will find an abundance of vintage stores selling everything you could possibly want. You’ll be destined to find something there. Or why not try Peckham and Camberwell? You’ll find Rye Not Retro in on Rye Lane among a selection of second-hand shops like Traid and Crisis. The Camberwell Crisis is a particular gem for good labels at low prices (and you can hop next door to The Nunhead Gardener to pick up a new plant for your room).

Often the sizes of pre-worn suits can be better as they are made of better-quality materials. This means you don’t have to worry about your new purchase losing its shape, because it will remain as you bought it. If you don’t live in London, seek out your nearest charity shops and vintage shops, or even car boot sales. Seek out those undiscovered gems, and you never know what you might find. If not there, go online. But, of course, this comes with the risk that you won’t be trying on the suit, so it’s always good to know your measurements to check with the seller.

Try second-hand sites such as Depop, Vinted or eBay. We suggest you snoop around for inspo online. Get a good idea of the cuts, colours and styles you like, and use this to search for secondhand, cheaper alternatives of the same styles.

Top tips for the ultimate queer look

For the ultimate queer look, we suggest a loose-fitting wide leg trouser. Pair this with an oversized style jacket (perhaps get it a size or two larger than you usually would go for). Then add a nice pair of platform trainers and a crisp white tee for the perfect smart casual look. You’ll look like you put nearly no effort in at all to look this good. You’ll feel yourself begin to ooze confidence in the way you hold yourself.

If you want to take it up a notch for more formal or party vibes, why not make it a 3-piece with a waistcoat? Maybe even add some pointed boots? Blake Lively in A Simple Favour is the best inspo for this, in the blue pinstripe three-piece.

Now you’ll never have to worry about what to wear to a date again. Just put some Fletcher on, pull on your new dream suit with a spritz of perfume and a zhuzh of the hair and you’ll be a total dream, no doubt. Meanwhile, give Jodie Comer a follow on instagram as a suit-donning queen. Study every picture of Cate Blanchett in a suit to hone the craft (particularly Blanchett’s character Lou in Ocean’s 8, a great film for outfit inspo in general; watch out for Cate’s three-piece green velvet suit if you needed a reminder of the lesbian agenda). Follow all the fashion accounts you can find, or style icons of your own. We highly recommend following @everylesbiansandtheirfashion on Insta for regular posts spotlighting hot fashion moments.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of options and ideas to find the perfect suit. Good luck! If you liked this article check out our other Fashion articles for some more inspo.

Love Team Nonchalant xx

Lauren Hurrell
Lauren Hurrell

Lauren is a writer and editor based in Peckham, covering all things queer culture, books, travel, arts and lifestyle, fashion and creativity. She is also a features editor at New Statesman Media Group, writing on sustainability, cities and tech. She most recently had a chapter on Reykjavik published in an LGBTQ+ travel book published by Rough Guides.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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