Wearing a suit isn’t just about putting it on, adding some accessories and away you go. There are actually several rules you should follow to ensure you nail your suit look every time, however many gentlemen are not aware of what these rules are.
Being specialists in suits and tailoring, Hemingway have put together 20 rules on wearing a suit that all gentlemen should know from rules on your tie and even your socks…
1. The last button on your suit jacket and waistcoat should always be open
If the last button is fastened, this can cause the waistcoat or jacket to pull to one side and cause wrinkling and bulging which isn’t a great look, so make sure you leave the last button open at all times.
2. The button at the top of the shirt should always be fastened
Contrary to the first rule, the button at the top of the shirt should never be open. At the same time, ensure that you’re not choking when you fasten it and if you are, then your shirt isn’t the right fit or style.
3. Go for an opposing colour pocket square to your suit colour
If your suit is dark, make sure your pocket square is a fairly light colour and vice versa. Also, remember that your pocket square acts as a focal accessory to your look so never wear the same coloured pocket square as your suit.
4. Make sure the shoulders fit on the jacket
You may think you’ve found the perfect suit, but ask yourself this - do the shoulders of the suit hug your shoulders or are they bunched up looking like you’ve got shoulder pads? It’s all about getting the fit right and one thing that will determine whether the suit is right for you rests on the shoulders.
5. Make sure your trousers fit
By this, we mean make sure that your trousers aren’t too baggy and that they aren’t too tight either. If the trousers don’t fit right, people will notice instantly so make sure that there is just the right amount of room in your trousers.
6. Don’t go overboard with accessories
As the saying goes, less is more and too many accessories is a bad look. Hemingway recommend a maximum of three accessories such as a nice watch, a pocket square and a tie bar and make sure that your accessories aren’t too bright.
7. Shoes should complement the colour of your suit
You may have got the perfect suit, but do your shoes match? With either a black or dark grey suit, you should only ever wear black shoes and with a brown suit, only wear brown shoes. With light grey or navy suits, either black or brown shoes will work best.
8. Pay attention to your socks
Yes, it is actually possible to get your socks wrong when wearing a suit. If you’re attending a formal business meeting with clients, your socks should always cover your legs and should NEVER be white or brightly patterned.
9. Choose the right tie length
Is your tie too short or too long? To determine whether your tie is the right length, it should just reach the waistband of your trousers or be slightly shorter. If it doesn’t do either of these, then it isn’t the right size and should be avoided.
10. Don’t wear a belt if you’re wearing suspenders
The purpose of suspenders is to hoist up your trousers like a belt would, so the need to wear a belt as well as suspenders isn’t necessary. Just like accessories, don’t go overboard and wear both.
11. Shirt cuffs shouldn’t go over your hands
If this is the case, then you’re wearing the wrong size shirt. Never turn your shirt cuffs up either if you’re wearing a suit jacket, so shop around and find the right shirt that fits you well.
12. Colour of tie should be in contrast with suit colour
Just like pocket square colours and suit colours, the colour of your tie should be in contrast with your suit. This means if you’re wearing a dark coloured suit, go for a lighter coloured tie and vice versa.
13. Always remove the stitching in your suit
If you don’t remove the stitching, this can lead to your jacket hanging strangely while you walk which is never a good look, so make sure you remove it once you get your suit home.
14. Tie-bar should not be wider than the tie
Think about if you wore trousers that were too long for your legs. This is the equivalent of wearing a tie bar that is wider than the tie, so make sure it isn’t too wide.
15. The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel
Generally, thin lapels are more modern and wide lapels are more old-school so however wide your lapels are, make sure this matches the width of your tie for a clean cut look.
16. Belt should be thin and match the colour of your shoes
A chunky belt with a suit is a big no and drags your look down losing that whole formalness. Also, if it doesn’t match the colour of your shoes, this can look a bit odd with too much colour going off.
17. The occasion depends on the suit jacket
For a more casual and modern look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket. If you’re going for more formal business attire however and really want to pull out all the stops, go for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.
18. Consider whether your jacket fits
To ensure your suit jacket is the right fit, you should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your jacket when buttoned up. It should feel snug but also with room to move and if there is a gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar, this shows that it doesn’t fit properly.
19. Tie knots should be a decent size
If your tie knot is too big, it will look out of place. Anything too small however can fail to make a mark, so make sure you get it right with practice. The common tie knot is the windsor knot, so opt for this.
20. Consider wearing an undershirt
It may not sound pleasant, but if your sweat-glands get activated too easily you may want to consider wearing an undershirt. Opt for a deep neck undershirt so it cannot be seen under your dress shirt.