Sidewalk Style: Suit-tastic

We stop a well-dressed man and find out his tips for picking the perfect suit.

By: Rachel Cothran

Nicholas Runyan, 27
Creative Marketing Manager, Roll Call

What he’s wearing:
Cour Carre suit purchased in Hong Kong while visiting his father. The waistcoat is custom, the shirt is Paul Fredrick, the boots are Lucchese, and the tie is Wilke-Rodriguez (a gift from his grandparents).

How would you describe your style?
“I try to dress as old-fashioned as I can, within reason. I like that a suit wasn’t always considered dressed up; it was like a uniform—it was just what people wore. I think it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”

Do you wear a suit every day? What is important when looking for a suit?

“I wear a suit three or four days out of the week. A few details can make a big difference. Here are my thoughts: (1) It’s been said a million times, but a lot of people really do wear suits that are too big for them. It’s cheaper—and the end result will almost always be better—if you buy a suit that’s a little bit small and have the tailor let it out some. (2) I look for suits with relatively narrow lapels where the notch or peak in the lapel sits really high. High-lapel notches make your posture look a lot better. (3) Some people find it uncomfortable, but I really like my suits to have high-cut armholes. They make a suit look very sleek. (4) High-waisted pants are also pretty important. Laugh all you want, but some slim-cut, high-waisted pants make you look taller and slimmer.”

What should every guy have in his closet?
“I feel like the most important thing any man can own is a really nice solid-navy suit. It’s worth spending extra to make sure it fits perfectly, and it’ll be appropriate in almost every situation except for black- or white-tie formal.”

Where do you like to shop? Any favorite designers or lines?
“I do most of my shopping online. I think it’s hard to find a nice suit in DC without paying a lot of money, but I’ve had some luck at Barneys Co-op, Banana Republic, J. Crew, and sometimes Brooks Brothers. I’m a big fan of Thom Browne and Theory for understated styles as well as Etro—it can get a little too wild sometimes, but it’s a lot of fun. John Bartlett and Ralph Lauren have a good sense of classic American style.”

Rachel says:
Nick caught my eye immediately. A well-cut suit in an interesting fabric really stands out in a crowd. And I always like to see a plain white pocket square, simply folded. So clean and classic.

Weigh in on Nicholas's look!

Earlier:
Sidewalk Style: Adaptable Africa 
Sidewalk Style: Hitting All the Right Notes 
All Sidewalk Style interviews 

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