The suits on Suits

Precedent chats with the man behind the suits on the popular TV series filmed in Toronto

By Bruce Laregina

On Wednesday July 17th, 2013


When the third season of Suits premieres tonight on Bravo, most fans will focus on the storyline. But for “super-fan” Michael Nguyen, the show really is all about the suits.

That’s because his Toronto-based custom menswear boutique, Garrison Bespoke, is in charge of the styling and wardrobe for the legal drama’s current season. From junior associates to senior partners, Nguyen focuses on designing suits to, ahem, suit the personalities and lifestyles of both the characters on the show and his clients at his store.

“When we get clients at Garrison Bespoke, we have a long dialogue about what they like and dislike about their clothing…that way, they get the perfect suit,” says Nguyen, who admits he’s been “obsessed” with suits since he was eight years old. “All of the suits on the show are in line with what someone would wear in a top tier law firm in Toronto or New York.”

Nguyen shared his secrets about how he designed suits for three main characters on the show:

The Harvey Specter — Power suit

Harvey Specter is a senior partner at the fictional New York law firm Pearson Darby (formerly Pearson Hardman), and Nguyen created his suits to convey his level of power. Specter’s suits have stronger colours, bolder pinstripes or other patterns, matching vests and his signature peak lapels, which broaden the shoulders to make him look like the one in charge. “The guys who like Harvey have that bolder, make-a-statement type of style… [Harvey’s] the guy who’s king of the jungle.”

The Mike Ross — Modern energy

Mike Ross is a junior associate at Pearson Darby — the young, up-and-comer. He is dressed in more generic-looking suits that are far less bold in pattern and colour in comparison to Specter. Expect to see him wearing a well-fitted suit with notch lapels and subtle yet modern patterns to give him a more youthful look. “When it comes to versatility, these are the types of suits you would be able to wear two or three times a week and no one would notice.”

The Louis Litt — Sharp, understated

Louis Litt is another partner at the firm whose personality, and suits, directly contrast Specter’s. He’s not as outgoing as Specter, and so his suits are less fitted, feature slimmer lapels and have patterns that look bold up close but blend into solids at a distance. “In a room of people, he’s not going to be the guy that gets noticed first.”


 UPDATE: Harvey has since changed up his suit game. Find out what he’s wearing now.

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Images courtesy of Garrison Bespoke