Harvey Specter from 'Suits'

tvfash904.jpgA sharp suit can make even a schlump look better. However, put a terrific suit on a handsome man, and he becomes dashing.

To prove this, check out Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter on USA Network's aptly named "Suits," which ends its freshman season Friday, Sept. 8.

Before the pilot was shot, the costume designer, director and Macht met to get a handle on who Specter is.

"We knew he was one of the sharpest guys in the room, if not the sharpest, and all about his presentation. Hands down, he's a guys' guy," Macht says.

"We wanted to do a modern-day Cary Grant meets Steve McQueen," he says, "and put him in the world of law."

This translates into suave, masculine and confident - if not overly confident - in impeccably tailored suits.

"My biggest contribution was putting different color schemes in his suits, and I added the pocket square which, to me, is adding a little more romantic (look)," says Jolie Andreatta, the show's costume designer, who came on board after the pilot.

For the same romance factor, she outfits him with vintage cuff links from Sandy Wolson.

His suits are Tom Ford, and they are tailored for the character. Shirts are also Tom Ford and Harry Rosen.

"In Toronto, it is the center of the universe for men's clothing," Andreatta says. "It is very, very fashion forward. They have four floors and have very, very classic and handmade (clothes) on the top floor."

His shirts are Pink Tartan, Canali, Brioni and Boss.

Set in the cutthroat world of a top New York law firm, this isn't the sort of office where ties are optional. Specter's ties are from Tom Ford, Burberry, Armani, Etro, Hermes and Barneys.

Originally, the character was a Wall Street financier, Macht says, and he has some of that Gordon Gekko flair.

When he's not racking up billable hours, Specter has been in casual clothes including a black button-down from Banana Republic and a pair of dark chinos from The Gap, which were Macht's suggestions.

Though some show's costume designers say they don't pay as much attention to shoes, Andreatta says, "shoes matter a lot. I just put him in a pair of handmade Italian shoes. They are just beautiful."

Though Specter wears A. Testoni shoes, Macht comes to the set in his own Birkenstocks.

"So I shed that guy," Macht says. "I am totally not clean-shaven; my hair's all over the place. I don't have the slickness or swagger."

Yet any man can achieve that look - if he pays enough. Andreatta maintains that ultimately the high-end suits and custom-made shirts are worth it because the fabrics are better, and they clean better, meaning they will wear longer.