Buying a suit has become a must, writes Amanda Ngudle

The first time I took a good look at Brown Dash was the first time I saw him in a white suit for the 2003 Samas. He looked dashing and gave me an idea about suits and thugs.

The first time I took a good look at Brown Dash was the first time I saw him in a white suit for the 2003 Samas. He looked dashing and gave me an idea about suits and thugs.

It was in that same era that P Diddy was making waves with his newly found style of elegant wardrobe. And ever since the realisation, I have ogled men in suits - how they carry themselves and how they accessorise.

I have looked at the President's unimpressive suits and wondered if investing in one would not change the image of the ANC. Men like Patrice Motsepe have not escaped my hawk-eye as they strutted their stuff at functions and funerals. Yet many black men still don't want to buy suits.

The thinking is always that a suit is an investment, that one can afford only one or two and spend the next 15 years shamelessly unleashing it at funerals, weddings, christenings and graduation ceremonies.

As if mother nature is trying to teach them something, most find the suit gets tighter with each wearing and it often lacks the applause from the women due to the suit's "last season" nature.

Buying a suit has become a must. If you are trying to get somewhere in life, by all means, sir, buy suits.

Inexpensive brands are taking cues from high-fashion labels and making good-looking suits more accessible to the average man. So money should no longer be an obstacle.

Here are some tips on buying perfect suits:

l Every suit, cheap or expensive, should fit properly on the shoulders. Unless you are 12, you will not grow into it, despite what the salesman tells you.

l For that one expensive suit, you might consider getting your perfect measurements from a tailor. They know better.

l At the least, have the sleeves shortened. They should end shortly before the wrist so that a small piece of your shirt peeks out.

l Have the length of the pants altered. Just because it fits perfectly on the body doesn't mean it will work the same magic regardless of your height.

l Know what to wear with your suit. Unless you're a stylish confident dude, keep it simple: light-coloured shirt, dark tie. It worked for Brown Dash and P Diddy.

l If you're a slimmer guy, have the sides of the jacket taken in a bit, so the suit contours to your torso.

l Just as there's a suit for each occasion, there's a suit for every season. Cotton and linen suits are summer's indispensable buys.

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