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Buying a Suit

Most candidates preparing for Army Officer Selection are likely to be at or recently graduated from university. The majority of graduates embarking on a new career in the Army will be plagued by the perpetual burden of debt that accompanies a university education. Unless you are lucky enough to have very generous parents or a healthy bank account (which is unlikely given that you are considering a career in the Army) it will be difficult to justify spending a hideous amount of money on the perfect suit.

Is now the right time?

For most people buying a suit is an investment that will hopefully last a number of years. Before making the decision to fork out for a brand new suit it is worth remembering that if you are successful in gaining a place at Sandhurst that during the commissioning course your body shape is likely to change considerably. Those of you who are carrying a few extra pounds can expect to lose a lot of weight during the 42 week commissioning course (the average person can expect to lose approximately 8 pounds in the first 5 weeks). Similarly, those of you on the skinny side can expect to be built-up. Weeks of rigorous gym sessions under the supervision of a Physical Training Instructor (PTI), not to mention the several thousand push-ups you will be doing for your Colour Sergeant as punishment for your various misdemeanours, will quickly put muscle on those bones.

With this in mind, now may not be the best time to invest in an overly expensive suit. Everyone who successfully completes the Commissioning Course is required to purchase the Mess Kit (a special uniform that is worn at official functions, balls, and dinner events) which is specific to the regiment or Corps that you will join.  This purchase is made at the end of the course and the Army will provide you with a grant to assist with the cost. An afternoon is set aside for military tailors to visit Sandhurst from which you can choose the tailor you would like to make your Mess Kit. More often than not these tailors will offer you a ‘special deal’ if you purchase a new suit at the same time.

Where to Buy a Suit

If you do not currently have a suit or it is not appropriate for AOSB then there are several options available to you. Unless your planning a trip to Thailand in the near future a cost effective option for a tailored suit is to visit one of the many online suit tailoring companies who will manufacture suits based on your specific requirements. If you are prepared to take your own measurements and have a general understanding of how a suit should fit you should be able to get a good deal using one of these companies that I have used in the past.