The average man buys a new suit every two and a half to three years, according to national retail research firm NPD. We get it, it’s not a cheap investment, and not one you’d like to have to make more often than necessary. The thing is, three years is a long time — and odds are you’ve got suits in your closet a lot older than that. Unfortunately, like haircuts and microbrews, tastes change. Fashion, even suit fashion, is not a static thing, and sooner or later you may get around to worrying that the brown tweed number you wore for Uncle Jimmy’s wedding in ’89 is a bit past its prime.
Not to worry. Our panel of suit experts is here to tell you how to spot an over-the-hill suit, and what to look for in one that’s au courant. “The language of a suit is like a typeface,” suggests David Reeves, owner of the New York-based bespoke tailoring house REEVES. “You want your message to be legible, but still unique.” Here’s how to make sure you’re not still typing in Arial when everyone else has moved on to Calibri Light.