The 5 Suits Every Man Should Own

Classics that will have you covered for every occasion

"The suit is the basis of a man's costume," wrote Hardy Amies. "As such it must be respected."

No matter who are you or how you like to dress there will be times - your wedding day, your dream job interview, your murder trial – when only a suit will do.

But while American Psycho-style racks upon racks of the things are beyond the means or desire of most, there are at least 5 suits every man you should own to the highest quality he can afford.

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1 Navy single-breast

It is sometimes said that the navy blazer is man's answer to the little black dress. It may be more accurate to say it is actually the navy suit. When it comes to formal occasions nothing is as timeless, reliable and – if worn properly - guaranteed to make you look good.

A simple, good quality, two button navy suit can be dressed up for a wedding, kept formal for a job interview or worn as part of your every day work armor. Opt for something in middleweight fabric so you can wear it all year round, and think of it as your oldest, most trustworthy friend – albeit one you have to take to the dry-cleaners once a fortnight.

Richard James, £425

2 Charcoal single-breast

If every man's first suit should be navy (it should), then his second should be in grey. And while a light shade will look a touch too summery for the colder months, charcoal hits that all year round sweet spot perfectly.

Whatever shade you go for, a plain grey suit is the ultimate wardrobe workhorse and has the advantage of being easier to dress down than navy, which can feel a touch formal for a more casual evening do.

Thom Browne, £1,880

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3 Dark double-breast

It's a push to describe a DB suit as an essential, but if you're going to take dressing seriously there will be times when a hint of swagger is required.

A double-breasted suit in dark grey or midnight blue makes a subtle but powerful statement, distinguishing you from Mr. Average Office Worker and showing a touch of panache without going full dandy (unless you add a cravat).

Kingsman, £1,495

4 The summer suit

Wearing a suit in the summer – without mopping buckets of sweat from your forehead – demonstrates a knack for dressing well, and an understanding of fabric and colour that can go a long way.

Many light-weight materials and bright shades are on offer, but for your first summer suit opt for something half-lined or unlined made out of lightweight wool, cotton or even linen in light grey, blue or biege. That way you can look as smart as you do the rest of the year while feeling as comfortable as you would in your t-shirt and shorts.

Boglioli, £770

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5 The dinner suit

Unless you're fabulously wealthy or prone to winning awards, chances are black tie invitations don't come your way more than once or twice a year. But when they do, the whole point is to look and feel your absolute best by participating in a tradition that stretches back centuries.

That isn't going to happen by hiring something ill fitting that a thousand other men have worn before - or worse, being the guy who tries to get away wearing a dark suit and a literal black tie. Which is why at some point the only sensible option is to invest in your own plain black dinner suit, get it adjusted so it fits you perfectly and collect your Best Regional Sales Manager gong with style.

Polo Ralph Lauren, £795