Ah, the suit. As integral a part of a man’s lifestyle as a bottle of champagne in the fridge and golf umbrella in the hallway. Because you never know when you’ll need it, but it’s always good to be prepared. “A high-quality, well-tailored suit will always be the gentleman’s uniform for important events,” says John Totolis, VP/DMM Men’s Tailored Clothing at Barneys New York. “Even Mark Zuckerberg, King of the Hoodie, wore a suit to his congressional hearing.”
Undeniably, suits are having a moment right now. You can go updated classic with incredibly well made looks by Brioni or Zegna, or you can take a more modern approach with casually elegant styles from The Row and P. Johnson. “If you ask me, every guy needs at least two suits,” adds Totolis. “One that is exceptionally well fit and structured, and one with a softer aesthetic that you can wear with a knit shirt and smart pair of sneakers.”
Here, our team’s top picks for the best suit styles this fall.
The label: Ermenegildo Zegna
The look: “This is one of the biggest men’s luxury brands in the world, for good reason,” says Totolis. “They represent the boardroom guy. The look is updated classic, but it’s definitely not your dad’s suit—the cut is trimmer and sexier than it once was.”
How to wear it: With a dressy suit like this, you’ll want to complement it with lace-ups or loafers, and pair it with a crisp shirt and smart tie.
The label: Brioni
The look: “The image of Brioni is, ‘We own the C-suite,’” says Totolis. “They are known for the power suit.” The Italian house is also renowned for its exceptional construction, strong shoulders, and updated classic fit that exudes confidence.
How to wear it: This season’s emerald-green dinner jacket can be worn with a tuxedo shirt and tie or with a turtleneck for a more modern approach. Says Totolis, “Brioni is bending the rules of black tie here. It works because it’s still very elegant, just a bit unexpected.”
The label: Lanvin
The look: From the first French house to do made-to-measure for men beginning in 1926 comes a suit style that seamlessly blends artisanal quality with a fashion-forward design.
How to wear it: This suit is styled for the guy who favors a little runway flair, but can easily be worn with a classic shirt and shoes in a more traditional manner. “This particular style is more about the fashion, but trust me, the brand has tailoring in its DNA,” says Totolis.
The label: The Row
The look: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s much-anticipated menswear line launched exclusively at Barneys New York this fall. The line is celebrated for its understated aesthetic and impeccable attention to detail. “This suit is handmade in Japan,” says Totolis. “The Japanese tailors are known for making beautiful garments with an incredible drape. This suit combines traditional workmanship with extremely supple fabrics, creating a garment of the most sophisticated ease.”
How to wear it: “This suit caters to a gentleman who truly wears a suit because he wants to, not because he needs to,” says Totolis. This style has a softer construction. You can roll the sleeves and cuffs, and leave it unbuttoned for a relaxed feel—making it ideal for pairing with knit shirts and smart sneakers.
The label: Thom Browne
The look: “Thom Browne is a game changer,” says Totolis. “When he came out with his short suit, the entire industry was forced to reconsider jacket lengths and their approach to how clothing should fit.” The brand’s ability to rejuvenate the suit conversation stems from its extremely well made designs that emphasize ratio and balance with a focus on the lapel, vents, and button stance.
How to wear it: While the suit here is executed in the designer’s typically unique fashion of shorts and no socks, you can also play this more traditionally with tailored trousers.
The label: Cifonelli
The look: A perfect blend of modern feel and classic make, Cifonelli brings French tradition, Italian lightness, and British structuralism to its suits, reflecting the label’s multinational heritage. “These suits fit a little closer to the body,” says Totolis. “They are known for their powerful rope shoulder and slim fit.”
How to wear it: The suit’s clean lines are complemented by a crisp, collared shirt and monochrome tie, but it can also be worn with a sleek turtleneck or knit polo for a slightly casual, yet still dressy, feel.
The label: P. Johnson
The look: Taking elements of formal dressing and wearing them in a soft, informal manner sums up what this house is all about. “Their DNA is in unconstructed tailoring,” says Totolis. “There is very little padding in the chest and shoulder, lending this a more relaxed feel.”
How to wear it: “Because of the soft tailoring, you can easily wear P. Johnson with either a T-shirt, collared shirt, or a chunky sweater,” says Totolis. Finish the look with a pair of drivers and you’re ready for weekday-to-weekend dressing.