The Anatomy of a Power Suit

In the current landscape of skinny ties, notch lapels, and short hems, it’s the traditional power suit that is a serious standout. For an exemplar of power suit style—and the swagger that comes with it—look no further than SUITS’ big shot lawyer Harvey Specter in his impeccably tailored three-piece numbers. Harvey shows us how romantic old school haberdashery can come off as truly modern (and how a sharp-shouldered jacket with a bold tie can persuade a jury or charm a cocktail waitress). With the Pearson Hardman partner as our inspiration, we took a look the essential elements of this timeless style, from the proper tie knot to the precise break of the trouser leg.

The Fit: No matter what body type you have, a traditional power suit should be slim—neither roomy nor skinny—allowing unencumbered movement, while also fitting snug enough to discourage bad posture. Decision makers don’t have time to slouch.

The Fabric: Sober tones and rich textures show that a gentleman takes himself seriously enough to care about the details. When the Italian wool-silk blend on Harvey’s suit catches the light, the emanating sheen underscores its exceptional quality.

The Jacket: Stronger padded shoulders and a chest-widening low button stance create a masculine deep V-shape, while peaked lapels, the most challenging for tailors to cut on a single-breasted suit, project formality, swagger, and a man who means business. To keep the look refined when the jacket is slung around a club chair during afterwork drinks, wear a suit vest.

The Tie: Skinny ties are great for DJs, models, and the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Price, but if you’re presiding over a courtroom or boardroom, you’ll want to live large with a wide tie in a striking pattern and a Windsor knot.

The Shirt: A dress shirt with a spread collar accommodates larger tie knots like the Windsor. French cuffs pack more flair than plain ones and allow for accessorizing with an elegant pair of cufflinks.

The Trousers: Besides fitting slim around the leg, trousers should hit the top of your shoe, covering just a smidge of the laces to create a subtle horizontal crease.

The Finishing Touches: A pocket square, especially a silk one with an eye-catching pattern or texture, adds a playful accent, while a fine watch with a leather strap or chain link conveys the importance of your time.

Photo: USA

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