27 Unspoken Suit Rules Every Man Should Know
Clothes make a man, but the perfect suit creates a Gentleman.
1. The width of the tie should match the width of the
It’s all about BALANCE.
2. In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide
lapels are more old-school, Mad Men style.
So choose your look accordingly.
3. A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but
make sure it doesn’t match your tie in either pattern
or fabric choice.
Before you go totally conservative, remember that the pocket square is where you get the
most freedom and the one place you get to add a little pizzazz to your suit.
4. When buying an off-the-rack suit, the number one
thing to check is how the shoulders fit.
Tsk, tsk, John McCain. Shoulder pads should end at the shoulders. The shoulders are the hardest to tailor, so make sure they don’t stick out or stick up.
5. A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your
shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket.
It’s complicated. Read more about it here.
6. Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless
you’re attending a funeral.
Dark gray is more versatile and goes with more colors.
7. Your belt should be fairly thin and the same color
as your shoes.
8. You should match your shoes to the color of your
suit using this guide:
9. Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable.
This look is also more flattering for larger figures, and it gives you enough room to do
that effortlessly casual “hand in pocket” thing.
10. For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a
single-button peak-lapel jacket.
11. If you’re going for more formal business attire,
opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.
12. The Savile Row Fold keeps your dress pants
from falling off the hanger.
Watch the instructional video here.
13. You should be able to slip your hand between
your chest and your buttoned jacket such that it
feels snug, but with room to move.
14. Always unbutton your suit before sitting down,
or you risk ruining it.
15. The top button of a two-button (or the middle
button of a three-button) should fall at or above the
16. Always go with the classic windsor knot for your
tie, but use the size of your head to determine
whether you should go half or full windsor.
BIG HEAD = FULL KNOT. SMALL HEAD = HALF KNOT. If you’re not sure how your
head size compares, ask one of your male friends. They should be able to give you an
17. If you’re wearing a vest, always keep the bottom
But plenty of men break this rule and are still able to pull off the three-piece beautifully.
18. There are practical reasons for vests beyond
just how they look.
A vest is best worn with single-breasted suits (so it’s actually visible). if you’re going to be
wearing your suit in a cold climate, a vest can add a lot of warmth. It also adds a formal
touch to your suit.
19. Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.
For a harmonious look, try to match the visible cuff length to the amount of collar that is
visible at the back of the neck.
20. When you get your suit home, you’ll need a seam
ripper or a small, sharp pair of scissors.
Unstitch the jacket’s pockets, remove the tack stitches from the jacket’s vents, and remove
the little embroidered label from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully to ensure you
don’t actually rip the fabric or neighboring threads.
21. Make sure that your socks are long enough that
there’s no exposed leg when sitting down.
No one needs to see your hairy gams.
22. Your tie should always be darker than your dress
23. The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt.
24. Your tie should JUST reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter.
25. For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem
should hit right at the top of your shoe.
For a more conservative look, the pants should cover the top of the shoe and parts of the
26. If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt.
Preferably one with a deep neck so it doesn’t peek through. Nothing will cheapen the
appearance of a suit more than a glimpse of undershirt.
27. Finally, go for the dimple.
The dimple is the little hollow beneath the knot of your tie, and it gives a slightly disheveled
yet polished appearance to your finished look. Check out this handy guide on nailing the tie dimple.
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