The suit makes the man. Buying a suave suit that fits your body perfectly increases your office swagger and your overall confidence exponentially. Purchasing a perfect suit requires forethought, expertise, and patience. The adage goes that it’s better to have one amazing suit than ten lackluster ones, so when you go in to buy a suit get it right the first time. Follow these tips to ensure you pick the right suit for you.

First and foremost, know the purpose of your suit. Certain fabrics, colors, and cuts simply suit some situations better. If you know you’re purchasing a suit primarily for office wear, stick with a more conservative, classic dark suit with an emphasis on maneuverability and breathability. On the flipside, suits for an evening out on the town can be slimmer and more daring in the patterns and colors.

It’s paramount to know your exact measurements every time you go to purchase a suit. Depending on your line of work, you may purchase multiple suits a year. Go to a department store and have your measurements taken every 6 months to a year to maintain a good fit as your weight and fitness level fluctuates. Don’t be content with knowing your general suit size – be armed with the exact measurements of your chest, your arm span, your waist, and your legs.

Before you go to your favorite outlet or department store, decide what type of fabric suit you want, how many buttons you prefer, and in general what the lapel should look like. This will help you walk out of the store with the exact suit you need, with as few distractions as possible. If it’s a winter suit for interviews, you’ll know you’ll require a wool suit with two buttons and a notched lapel. Having a plan and a general idea when you enter the store is vital to success.

As you try on suits at the store, don’t be swayed by the salesman. Their job is to get you out of the door with any suit as quickly as possible. Give yourself the time to check that the suit fits snugly at the collar, in the jacket, in the sleeves, at the waist. Everything should fall and break where you want, or it’s not the suit for you.

When you finally choose a suit and whip out the credit card, you’re not quite finished. Find a reliable tailor and always take new suits in for alterations. Even “perfect” fit suits can be contoured to your body at a tailor. Once you’ve had it altered, try it on one last time before adding your latest suit to your business wardrobe.