Cotton or wool, formal or casual, shopping for suits can be intimidating... and expensive.
But you don't have to spend more than $500 on a suit to look great. Inexpensive brands are taking cues from high fashion labels and making fashionable suits more accessible to the average man.
Here are some tips on choosing the right suit from from GQ style editor Adam Rapoport, who says you that you really don't have to spend a lot of money to look like a million bucks.
If you're going to buy a suit for under $500, keep some things in mind:
1. Make sure it fits properly in the shoulders when you try it on. If it doesn't, the suit will never fit well — despite what the salesman tells you.
2. It pays to have your suit altered by a good tailor. After all, you're not a fitting mannequin — your suit needs to be tailored to your body.
3. At the least, have the sleeves shortened. They should end at the hinge of your wrist so a sliver of dress-shirt cuff peaks out.
4. Have the length of the pants altered. Most guys walk around with their pants too baggy, or as they say in the tailoring biz, with too much "break."
5. If you're a slimmer guy, have the sides of the jacket taken in a bit, so the suit contours to your torso.
6. Know what to wear with your suit. Unless you're a stylish confident dude, keep it simple: light colored shirt, dark tie. It worked for Cary Grant and Clooney, it'll work for you.
7. And you can never go wrong, with a crisp white dress shirt. Just ask John Edwards or Barack Obama.
8. Summer's on the way, go buy yourself a cotton suit. They're indispensable in the hot-weather months, and now more than ever, they're available in a variety of styles, from classic khaki to pinstripe business.
9. How do you care for your suit? Dry clean it as infrequently as possible, in order to preserve the integrity of the fabric. If need be, have it professionally steam pressed to remove wrinkles. (Or, do what a lot of guys do, and hang it in the shower with the door closed.)