Fashion Influencer Samuel Levi on Shopping For a Credible Yet Casual Suit

"Sitting front row for shows at New Zealand Fashion Week and watching other guests enter the runway, there was one thing I noticed...

The majority of males looked very similar in what they were wearing."

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to create a casual yet smart outfit that looks stylish but also is possible on a limited budget. Many suits will cost upwards of $500, and that doesn’t necessarily include extras like a tie, belt, and shoes, which (depending on your taste) can make the outfit considerably more expensive.

A few weeks back I decided to create a tailored casual outfit that looks contemporary and dapper, but won’t break the bank. The aim was to prove that style doesn’t have to be expensive, you just have to be willing to shop around and maybe head into town yourself (to avoid the delivery charges of internet shopping) to find a look that would be perfect to wear to a friend's engagement party, wedding, or perhaps on your own big day if your theme was more relaxed.

French Connection launched their latest collection a few months back and have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from both customers and media. Their fits are slim and comfortable, and the clothing doesn’t feel cheap despite having a relatively inexpensive price tag. Popping into their Newmarket store to grab a few pieces felt like a walk in the park: an open blazer, white T-shirt, and a pair of pants cost less than $300 and is an outfit I can wear together and separate for different occasions.

I also visited M.J. BALE – a brand that has recently been launched in New Zealand and has been my go-to for getting good quality accessories and attire for a reasonable price. They offer a variety of styles – both lavish and subtle – with classic and contemporary designs. Perfect for any guy building an outfit.

Above: Samuel wearing his favourite look during New Zealand Fashion Week, August 2016. #FedStFashion. All photography by Aki.

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