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Picking Out the Perfect Suit With Joseph Abboud of Men's Wearhouse

Joseph Abboud

"Dressing well can open doors for many people..."

Men's Wearhouse has long been an American staple in picking out professional work attire. What you may not have known, however, is that this year the retail supermagnate celebrates the10th birthday of its Suit Drive.

Through the Drive, the company has collected and donated more than 1.3 million pieces of clothing from men and women around the country donating old suits and professional pieces, redistributing them to a score of national charities.

"Dressing well can open doors for many people getting back into the workplace after unemployment," explains Joseph Abboud, Men's Wearhouse's Chief Creative Director. "It's a confidence builder, and we're so happy we're able to do that."

We asked Abboud how he, a seasoned suit designer and retail mogul, goes about choosing the perfect outfit for a first day on the job.

"The dark suit is the most sincere suit. It's professional, it looks serious... I think if you're applying for a job, a dark blue or gray is always the best."

So darker is better. But what about fit?

"The pieces in this drive are refurbished, so I'd recommend tailoring, so that the suit looks like it belongs to you. It's important the suit looks like it belongs to the wearer."

What about patterns? A sensible plaid, perhaps?

"In this particular case, with the suit drive, I tend to like the more subtle patterns. Men have donated these garments over the last 10 years, and we want to make sure that guy feels professional. So we try to keep them in the navies and grays. But darker is definitely better for interviews, so we're appealing to be as professional as possible."

We couldn't help but wonder, what does a man who's built an empire on the refining and marketing of quality, tailored suits think about the future of menswear? Here's what he had to say:

"It's so interesting, young guys are getting dressed again. Our custom business is very strong. It used to be that custom suits were for guys that were odd fits--difficult to fit. But now we're seeing young guys embracing the individuality--picking their own lapel, their own lining. It's something I haven't seen in a lot of years--the young guy dressing himself again. They're getting dressed now not because they have to, but because they want to, to show their fashionable side."

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