I’d like to introduce myself – my name is Art Solop. I am a custom clothier with Benchmark Clothiers. I am a professional clothier and wardrobe consultant to many successful people in the Baltimore / Washington, DC, area. I am a trained and certified master custom tailor by the Custom Tailors and Designers Association of America. I have developed and cultivated a great knowledge of style and fabrics that has allowed me to assist my clients in creating a wardrobe that is appropriate for any occasion: formal, business, or casual.

Benchmark Clothiers is a full-service provider of men’s and ladies custom clothing. Benchmark Clothiers provides ready made and made-to-measure clothing such as suits, sport coats, trousers, shirts, skirts and casual clothing to their clients. Benchmark visits their clients in their office, home or you can visit us in our Savage Mill location where we bring you an unparalleled collection of the world’s finest cloths and styles to choose from. You can learn more about myself and Benchmark Clothiers by visiting my website Baltimorecustomsuits.com

I hope to use this column (“If the Suit Fits …”) as a way to share with you some of the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years about dressing, so that you may be properly prepared and dressed for any occasion. Please remember you only have one chance to make a good first impression! So, why not make that impression last by dressing well?

People make an assumption or evaluation about you (right or wrong) the second that you walk thru a door and they are judging you first on your appearance. Now they will change that impression after they have had an opportunity to meet you and get to know you and learn your story.

People draw impressions of other people based on the colors that they are wearing in their clothing. The right color clothing will help you to land that job that you want, get the big deal that you want or help to make you interesting to a potential romantic partner. The most important colors:

Navy and gray – Navys or grays are always the key colors to wear for that important job interview or big meeting. Patterns to wear would be a solid, a textured solid such as a fabric with some surface interest, possibly a herringbone (an upside down V pattern in the same color as the background fabric), a pinstripe & a windowpane. However, you want to be careful when selecting a pattern to err towards the conservative side, you don’t want to select something that would be considered to bold or flashy and may not be appropriate for that special meeting. In other words, choose a very subtle pinstripe with a narrow faint striping versus a thick, bold pinstripe in a bright color that will almost certainly stand out. Men almost always want to select a darker colored fabric and ladies can choose something a little lighter like a medium gray for their big meeting suit.

Black – Black can make the wearer appear to be someone who should be taken seriously and be very dominating, because it is a strong color. So … depending on the occasion you might want to brighten things up a little bit using a brighter color tie or scarf.

First impressions if you have a suit on – make sure that the suit fits (no pun here). You should have some freedom of movement in the suit. The suit should not be too restrictive or skinny, despite the current style trend, or, oops, you put on a few since the last time that you wore that suit. The suit should also not be too baggy because you just lost a ton of weight. The suit should look sharp, classic, and not dated looking because it was sitting in the back of your closet for ten years. If the suit you are wearing does not make you look sharp and relaxed looking while wearing it, then you need to re-think wearing that suit. You can make the right decision to have it altered or invest in a new one. Dress well and be great!