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How to Dress Like Harvey Specter and Mike Ross from Suits

If USA’s hit TV show, “Suits,” doesn’t make you want to pick up an LSAT study guide and take a shot at law school, it sure as hell makes you want to get one of those Harvey Specter suits.

Suiting Up for Success

“People respond to how we’re dressed, so like it or not this is what you have to do.” Harvey Specter

The show preaches and epitomizes the idea of “dressing for success” as all the male characters are never without an impeccably tailored suit on. Harvey Specter and Mike Ross shine the brightest – one a superstar partner and the other his freshly minted associate at fictitious law firm Pearson and Hardman. The idea of dressing for success is not a new one. It is built on the premise that what you wear contributes largely to your success in the professional world. As you probably guessed, we are huge advocates of this idea, as expressed in our “What to Wear to an Interview” post. Here we’ll revisit it anew in the context of the TV series, “Suits.”

When Mike Ross frustratingly asks “Why does it matter how much I spend on a suit,” Harvey quickly retorts with “People respond to how we’re dressed, so like it or not this is what you have to do.” His point being that people are making prejudiced assessments based on how we’re dressed, whether we’re cognizant or not, or whether we give a damn or not. Every moment a judgment is being made, sometimes even subconscious to the one making the judgment—is he sloppy like his suit? Why is he wearing that hideous tie? Looks like this is the first time he’s ever put on a suit…

A Sensitivity for the Details of Your Look

Many men know that thick pinstripe suits often communicate that “boss” or “boardroom” look, but what about other aspects of the suits, such as peak lapels? What are you communicating when you opt for a peak lapel versus a slim notch? What do the differences mean to you, if anything?

To many, it may not mean a thing. But to those who are discerning of the details – an interviewer, a potential business partner or even that attractive blonde across the room – it may mean a lot. Just like how you wouldn’t wear a floral print shirt to a funeral, you wouldn’t want to head into a boardroom looking like this

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. – Will Rogers

Your Suit as the Language of Success

Dressing for success is a bit like writing, if you’re writing to communicate a message to your readers, you have to be mindful of the language, syntax, grammar and the choice of your words. Think of every element of your outfit as a word in a sentence—from the fabric of your suit to the style of your pockets. Make sure you know the meaning of each word and choose your words carefully.

Ask yourself this: What does your suit say about you? What do the details say?

The wardrobe stylists behind the characters Harvey Specter and Mike Ross in the show “Suits” obviously understand this “language.” While both characters look incredible in their well-fitting suits, the details of their looks convey two very different messages.

In the show, Mike Ross frequently wears a slimmer, more understated and conservatively (but still smartly) tailored suit (slim notch lapel, no vest, slim tie with a small four-in-hand knot), representing the young associate, a bit wet behind the ears, but quickly rising under the promising tutelage of the firm’s top star, Harvey Specter. Harvey, on the other hand, truly dresses like a boss. He’s the top closer of his firm, and his power suits convey his status at his firm perfectly. Everything in Harvey’s look evokes strength from the 3-piece suit to the spread collar and Windsor knot. This stark contrast shows how effectively an outfit can communicate a message of power.

Now we don’t blame you if you want to look like Harvey Specter. Like we said, the guy straight up looks boss. He’s there to make moves and it’s evident by his clothes alone that things have been working out rather nicely for him. Replicating a look like this requires a sensitivity to your context and the message you’re trying to get across.

Here’s the break-down of the Harvey Specter power suit look:

– a custom tailored 3-piece pinstripe suit with the following features:
– flapped pockets with a ticket pocket
– double-vents
– boutonniere
– wider peak lapels

Then add these power accessories:

pocket square
– pick up a custom tailored shirt and opt for spread collars and french cuffs
– pick up a 3-3.5 inch width bold tie with a larger knot such as a Windsor knot

Want to go for Mike’s younger rising star look? Check out our post on interview suits and wardrobe essentials.

Was this article helpful? Have any questions about Harvey’s “power suit” look or Mike’s “rising star” look? Leave your comments below!

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102 thoughts on “How to Dress Like Harvey Specter and Mike Ross from Suits”

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  2. Elvis says:

    DMITRY says:
    Dec 21, 2013
    An attache case from the 1st season is “Damiro Slim Executive Leather Attache Case 2″”(you can find a large logo in the episode 07, 09:14). There were similar attaches from Tumi and Piel. The only question is where to find this type of attache now


    1. Black Lapel says:

      This story focuses on the clothes and how to get the look, Elvis, so we don’t have any information on the bags. Have you tried the Suits Fan page on Facebook?

  3. Elvis says:

    An attache case from the 1st season is “Damiro Slim Executive Leather Attache Case 2″”(you can find a large logo in the episode 07, 09:14). There were similar attaches from Tumi and Piel. The only question is where to find this type of attache now.

    1. Hans says:

      Did you find the case yet, Elvis? Or a similar one?

  4. Good article! If you want to learn even more details about the suits of Harvey Specter’s Suti details, such as lapel shapes, buttonholes, shoes and hair styles, you should take a look here http://www.gentlemansgazette.com/suits-harvey-specter-hair-style/

  5. Phil says:

    When does Harvey ever wear a boutineer?

  6. Max says:

    Does anybody know what was the cardigan Harvey wore in s04e13? When he took Louis and Mike on a road trip.

  7. Brad says:

    Harveys Sunglasses are Persol 2953 in tortoise.

    Great show. Love the characters.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks for the info, Brad. And you’re right, it is a great show.

  8. design your own tshirt says:

    Hi there everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of familiarity, thus it’s good to read this web site, and I used
    to visit this weblog daily.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You keep coming back and we’ll keep coming out with more!

  9. Phil says:

    really looking for the kind of grey scarf which is worn by harvey in season 3 or 4 i think,wearing it along with his black coat while outside of the office. Are there any recommendations you could make anyone?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As we told Alex and LZ above, this post is really about the overall styles featured on the show, not identifying the exact items they wear.

      We suggest asking some superfans. Have you tried posing the question to the Suits Fans Twitter or Facebook communities?

  10. Mitch says:

    great piece

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hope we inspired you, Mitch.

  11. martin says:

    By any chance any one knows what brand and style the messenger bag that mike has is? I really like it.

  12. Marc says:

    Hi, just an opinion question:
    I am a salesmanager in an organisation responsible for advertising and marketing. That is more and more becoming a ‘non-suit-business’. My salesmen are dressing up for client meetings (although sometimes terrible) but in the office they walk around casual (or sometimes even casual is a big word). I don’t mind as long as they don’t walk around like the pulp fiction picture you posted earlier on 😉
    But I do like dressing up and would like to take more of the Harvey Specter look. But I doubt as it is not really the kind of business for big shots suits. My general manager suits up every day but he buys them at a retailer. I don’t want to outsuit him or outsuit the business we are in. Is that even possible in your opinion and if so what could I still take from the Harvey Specter look?


    1. Black Lapel says:

      Office politics can be tricky. Office style politics are no exception. We offered some recommendations for how to keep your style subtle so as not to offend by outdressing the boss in our How To Nail Your Interview Look story.

      The concept we always come back to is fit. A simple, straightforward navy or charcoal suit that fits great will look 10 times better than the flyest suit in the world if said fly suit doesn’t fit. The fit is the foundation of our suits and why so many of the photos you see on this blog look so great. After you nail the fit, if you still want to turn down the volume on the Harvey Specter look a tad more you can drop the vest and go with a notch lapel instead of a peak lapel. With these tweaks your suit will keep you looking like you’re in charge, at least of your own style, even in the presence of the boss.

  13. Jane says:

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me where the tie Mike wore in season 3 episode 14 heartburn is from? Or if your not sure an idea of where to try and look.
    Here is a link to an image with the tie.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      It looks like the photo you linked to has been moved, so we can’t eyeball it for you. That said, we don’t have any ins with the wardrobe folks over at Suits, so we’d just be making a guess. This piece is more about the looks and styles than the actual pieces they wear on the show. Have you tried asking the superfans on the Suits Fans Twitter and Facebook page?

  14. jordan arias says:

    this article was kool & the gang (sam jackson reference from pulp fiction)!!!!!!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Look at the big brain on Jordan! (More Sam Jackson/Pulp Fiction for you)

      Just stick with Harvey and Mike for sartorial inspiration. We don’t want you walking around in a jheri curl wig, black suit and skinny black tie or worse, this outfit. Although, for the record, we would approve of monogramming your jacket the same way Sam Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction monogrammed his wallet.

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  16. Carl says:

    I loved the dark shark skin where he wears it practically all the time, one simple question I have to you gentlemen, would it be better if we wear it with a dark blue tie or black tie.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We almost always select dark blue over black because black ties can feel sort of…black tie. A black tie pretty much locks you in to black shoes and we love gray suits with all manner of brown shoes.

      That being said, there’s something to be said for the sleek mod look of all gray and black ensembles if they’re cut slim. If you’ve got the body and the suits for that look, then go for it, otherwise, stick with the dark blue ties.

  17. Gaurav Gat says:

    Just used your article for my blog on Suits

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You mean there are lessons to be learned from the show on more than just style? 😉

      Well done, Gaurav.

  18. David says:

    Which BlackLapel suit looks most similar to the suit that Harvey’s wearing in the heading picture?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The second suit we linked to in above, this Navy Light Blue Pinstripe one, most closely resembles the one Harvey’s got on in the picture at the top. The stripes are not quite as narrowly spaced but the colors are similar and you can customize your Black Lapel one as we suggested above (with flapped pockets with a ticket pocket, double-vents, functional boutonniere and regular peak lapels (wider ones are available upon request, just email concierge@blacklapel.com for details).

      To get the look of the suit in the photo exactly, you don’t need the third piece, but a vest definitely amps up the power in a power suit, so we suggest getting that as well.

  19. lz says:

    Any chance anyone knows what time of leather jacket Harvey wears in season two on his date?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As we told Alex above, this post is really about getting the look more than identifying the exact items they wear, but try asking some superfans. Have you tried posing the question to the big Suits Fans Twitter or Facebook pages?

  20. Jay G says:

    Dibi has awesome ties, but they are 2″. Do you have a similar recommendation for a site with 3.5+?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re digging Dibi too.

      Finding ties with the European style, left shoulder to right hip, stripes that are 3.5″ or wider is easy if you’re willing to go upmarket. European brands like Kiton, Isaia, Ermenegildo Zegna and Prada all make ties that would fit the bill. You could also drop a few bills on just one of their ties (fine by us, though, they’re pretty much all insanely good looking ties). For a more affordable Euro-style striped tie the 3.5″+ territory, check out brands like Southern Proper, Collared Greens and True Forum on Freshneck. These tie makers don’t offer most of their Euro-striped ties on their own sites, but Freshneck’s got them.

      Happy shopping, Jay.

  21. alex says:

    there is a specific shoe that Mike wears, in season 1 (I think) when he is asleep at the office and Jenny drops off a suit for him and Rachel brings it up for him. It is a brown leather casual Chukka boot I think. I have looked all over for it. they show it for a quick second or two, and I took a picture and have been looking ever since. any chance of finding it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Wish we could be more helpful, Alex, but this post is really about getting the look more than identifying the exact items they wear. The picture ought to be helpful if you ask some superfans. Have you tried posing the question to the big Suits Fans Twitter or Facebook pages?

  22. Ulme says:

    Do you know what kind of Tom Ford`s sunglasses Harvey is wearing in the new episode (Suits Season 3 Episode 2 (at ~15min) ? I can not find em in the catalogue (the glasses seem to be matted).

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry, Ulme, we don’t have that kind of access to the wardrobe department at USA networks. We do have access to Gaffos.com. You have checked there, right?

      1. David says:

        I think its Tom Ford’s snowdon 05b….

        1. Robert says:

          I think its Tom Ford CAMPBELL SHINY SQUARE SUNGLASSES, what do you think ? please let me know 😉


    2. Lucas says:

      I want those glasses also. Let me know if you or anyone ever finds them.

  23. simon says:

    i want to purchase the clothes the para legal wears.where can i buy them.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hmmm…while many guys would probably like to get into Rachel Zane’s pants, actress Meghan Markle, who plays the paralegal, is a married woman, so we can’t help you there.

  24. Jc says:

    Most of Harveys suits, being tailor made, seem to have high quality wool with probably cashmere or silk. For the average guy, what kind of material should one look into getting? Because I’ve seen 100 wool and 120 wool. Is one better than the other?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You don’t have to be a big shot like Harvey to get a suit made for you with high quality fabric, you just have to come to Black Lapel! A Super 110s wool is a fine choice for a luxurious fabric that can stand up to regular wear. A suit with a higher super number will be softer and more lush due to the individual threads being smaller in thickness. However, a higher super number means it will wrinkle a little easier and will wear faster over time.

  25. John McHugh says:

    Where are Harvey’s ties coming from?? They are amazing!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Harvey often reps for the repp tie, a classic diagonally striped tie spotted in the lines of classic Americana brands like Brooks Brothers. But Harvey’s aren’t from Brooks Brothers. You can tell because the diagonals on his go the old European way (from left shoulder to right hip). These are harder to find stateside, and the big European brands can be pricey. Check out Dibi for power ties like Harvey’s with European stripes.

  26. Evgeni says:

    Hi! There are what ideas of the stamp Briefcase Harvey?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi Evgeni! Here’s a slim leather briefcase by Gucci that’s similar to the one that he carries. Hope that helps!

  27. Nik says:

    Hey, I’d like to know what kind of fit Harvey wears for his trousers

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Nik, Harvey’s suits feature a fitted but still comfortable look. The closest equivalent for his suits and pants to the Black Lapel standard of fit options would be Tailored Fit. A little roomier than our Slim Fit and trimmer than our Standard Fit. Hope that helps!

  28. Andrew says:

    Where can I find shirts, ties and jackets that Mike wears in the show?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Andrew, we’ve got a treat for you. USA’s got ALL of the outfits listed for you right here. Enjoy!

      1. Andrew says:

        Thank you so much!

        1. Black Lapel says:

          No sweat!

  29. Rick says:

    What are good casual shoes that Mike wears in the show?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Rick, we have to confess that we haven’t paid too much to Mike’s shoes. In fact, we don’t even think the wardrobe stylists for the show paid too much attention here other than “expensive Italian shoes” after Harvey helped Mike upgrade his office style. That said, here’s something we wrote about the subject of casual shows and specifically, going sockless. Enjoy!

    2. Black Lapel says:

      Rick, we did some more research on this and found the bible on the style from the show: http://www.usanetwork.com/series/suits/features/s2style/#prettyPhoto

      Scrolling through Mike’s outfits, you’ll notice that its overwhelmingly Armani dress shoes but the handful of casual outfits they show feature Converse and Clarks. Hope that helps!

  30. Tim says:

    On the second picture where both Harvey and Mike are on the streets Harvey wears a vest that I couldn’t find on your site, do you have these kinds of vest ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi Tim, we may not have the exact vest, but we propose Tim x BL > Harvey Specter. You can see our vest collection at http://www.blacklapel.com/vests.html or you can also add on a matching vest to any of our custom suits.

      1. Tim says:

        Do these vest with lapel have a certain name ? How many button should we have on the vest ?
        And as i’m thinking right now i’d be happy to read one of your articles on the 3 piece suit.

        Anyway thanks for your fast answer.

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Tim, no special name for these types of vests with lapels as far as we’re aware. The lapels do add to the formality of the vest and in fact will make the vest look even better on their own sans jacket. Depending on your height and the style you’re going for, we recommend anywhere from 4 to 7 buttons. Anything else you’re not sure about, just shoot our Concierge team an email at concierge@blacklapel.com. And we’ll see if we can work a 3-piece suit article into the rotation. 🙂

  31. Joe says:

    Just to clarify, all Harvey Specter wears is Tom Ford…. You want to pull off his look, there are no imitations…. Tom Ford is the best suit out there and all Harvey wears (with Zegna suits few and far between in his wardrobe and coming in as the second best). There are no imitations for those kind of suits. Of you spending to get the right kind of suit, people will notice. Of you go cheap on your suit, people will notice…. Makes sense….

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Joe, we’re going to have to respectfully disagree with you a little on that point. We love Tom Ford’s designs, especially his wide curved lapels. And a tip of our hat to the legendary reputations both he and the Zegna house have built up over the years on quality of construction and fabrics. That said, the most important elements of a suit comes down to Fit, Fabric, and Construction. The Fit is something only you and your tailor can control and fine tune and that’s irrespective of label or price. In other words, a Tom Ford suit made for one of us isn’t going to look good on you and vice versa. Fabric is something that any reputable suit maker will painstakingly source; Tom Ford, Zegna and many other top brands all do a great job of this. Construction is an area that has a wide range of qualitative differences across brands but top brands OTR and MTM all use half-canvas to full-canvas construction and all offer the nice little touches that should come with any luxury suit.

      Price doesn’t really factor into this discussion. Many top brands have incredible retail markups (as high as 90%)! Now, we won’t deny their quality or that their suits will look great on you (assuming the Fit, Fabric and Construction quality are there) or even the hard to define feeling of being able to tell yourself you’re wearing Tom Ford. But there are a new generation of brands (ours included) that provide an equivalent (and sometimes better) quality of Fit, Fabric and Construction quality without that retail markup (for distribution, wholesale profit, sales commissions, brick & mortar store overhead, etc). More power to you if you can afford to drop $2,000+ on your suits but we’d like to disrupt the status quo with a more affordable alternative for you. We hope you’ll give us a try some day soon! 🙂

      1. Zack says:

        This was possibly the best response I’ve seen from a retailer to a disrespectful and ignorant customer. Well done. I will buy a suit from you just for this response….and because it’s an awesome deal.

  32. Adon says:

    Any idea what tie Harvey Specter is wearing in Season 2, Episode 11 (second half). You can see it best 36 minutes into the episode. The tie is navy with a gold pattern.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry Adon, that’s might specific. Can you email us (concierge@blacklapel.com) a screenshot and maybe we’ll be able to figure it out?

  33. Aidan says:

    What size lapels does harvey have?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our best estimate would be around 3.5 inches for Harvey’s wider lapels. Hope that helps!

  34. Joe says:

    the suit of harvey is tailored fit or slim fit?!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Joe, looks like he’s wearing something closer to our “tailored” fit.

  35. Jur says:

    Great article and an undervalued show.
    In the show when Harvey is in a tuxedo with Mike he wears an arrow Bowtie that looks great in just the right amount of stand out poise.

    Any idea where to find that Bowtie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Jur, that bowtie definitely looks boss! Here you go brother: http://bit.ly/blackdiamondbowtie

      1. Jeff Bridges says:

        Awesome, thank you! I’ll be wearing this in my wedding next week!

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Congratulations! You’re going to look fantastic…but you knew that.

  36. James says:

    Any tips on Harvey’s casual look?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Harvey’s definition of “casual” is probably not wearing a vest. 😉

      1. James says:

        There have been a couple of episodes where he dresses very casually, for example in the flashback episode! I was just wondering wether you had knew the brands that he uses in that episode in particular?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          True, and unfortunately, that bit of knowledge is beyond our very capable research team’s sleuthing skills! Can anybody else help James out with this one?

  37. John says:

    I really like Harvey’s briefcase. Any idea on where I can find one?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey John! Sure, we can try to help you with that. If you’re looking to invest in a high quality briefcase, MRPORTER has a great selection: http://www.mrporter.com/Shop/Accessories/Bags/Briefcases

      If you’re looking for something at a lower price point, Zara has an impressive selection of stylish and much more affordable briefcases:

      Hope that helps!

      1. Roy says:

        Those are nice briefcases, but not the one he uses. He has a super slim tapered hard attache that I think is by Brioni (camera passes by too fast to get a clear look). I’ve been trying to find a good one for a while, any idea who still makes those? I can’t find it in any of the Brioni catalogues.

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Sorry Roy. If you do come across it, be sure to let us know too!

          1. Dmitry says:

            An attache case from the 1st season is “Damiro Slim Executive Leather Attache Case 2″”(you can find a large logo in the episode 07, 09:14). There were similar attaches from Tumi and Piel. The only question is where to find this type of attache now

  38. Rob Porter says:

    How come Harvey never wears a boutonniere? (yet you mention he does/should)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      By “boutonniere,” we were referring the to lapel buttonholes (and not a flower/accessory) which is a quite prevalent in a lot of his suits. Hope that clears things up!

  39. michael herbert says:

    i like a windsor collar and overhand windsor knot or a collar bar and four in hand. always a white collar and white french cuffs on a solid, vertical stripe or windowpane body. no pastels. pocket square is just that, square.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tastefully done!

  40. Jovan says:

    Looks like more of a half-Windsor knot to me, which (IMO) is the largest knot one should use.

    1. Peter says:

      /disagree. Windsor knots are the only type I’ll wear, anything else looks shabby (off-centre, lop-sided, too small, wrong length). This is a matter of personal taste. And Harvey’s are all full Windsors.

      1. Black Lapel says:

        Gentlemen, may we point you to the Eldredge knot? Love it or not, you gotta admit its pretty unique! Enjoy!


  41. James says:

    “Here’s the break-down of the Harvey Specter power suit look:

    – wider peak lapels”

    When seeking a Harvey-like look from a Black Lapel suit, you recommend a wider peak lapel.

    Do you mean wider than your standard peak lapel? i.e. a special request?

    Or do you mean your standard peak lapel? i.e. NOT slim peak?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey James, by “wider peak lapel” we meant wider than Mike’s slim lapels. While you can go wider, the standard peak lapels are probably your best median between practicality and achieving the “power” look. Hope that helps!

      1. James says:

        What is the approximate width of your standard peak lapels? Can they be made larger upon request?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          James, our standard peak lapels are approximately 3 to 3.25″ wide (depending on your frame). And yes, they can definitely be made to your specs so be sure to let our Concierge (concierge@blacklapel.com) know when placing your order!

  42. slim says:

    Love the show. But this helps me find the right look as I go into my next career

    1. Black Lapel says:

      And we wish you the best as you transition!

  43. Quen says:

    Love it! Thanks for the details on one of my favorite shows.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad you liked it Quen! We love the show too!

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