When it comes to wearing a suit, believe it or not there are many mistakes that can be and are often made. If you don’t usually wear a suit, it can be harder to notice what is actually classed as a mistake, however, some things can be spotted straight away.
At Hemingway, we are experts in suits and we like to think we know everything there is to possibly know about men’s suits. Being a professional tailor, we believe it is important that a gentleman should look smart and sophisticated when wearing a suit, which is why we have put together a list of the ten most common suit mistakes you should avoid at all costs…
Trousers being too big
If your suit trousers are too long or too baggy, this can instantly make your outfit look sloppy, un-neat and appear like you found your trousers in a lost property box. Having baggy trousers can actually make you look shorter than you actually are, so make sure your trousers fit you properly. With leg length, Hemingway recommend you go for a trouser length that barely skims the top of your shoes.
Choosing the wrong shoes
Your shoes say a lot about your look and are what a lot of people instantly take notice of. With the toe shape, it is best to stick with a classic rounded or moderately pointed toe over a square shaped toe. With the colour, go for brown or black leather uppers and leather soles where possible as these two colours work best with any suit colour.
Tie is the wrong length
Your tie should be a particular length and this applies every single time you wear one. The length of your tie should fall in-between the top and bottom of where your belt buckle is and should not be any shorter or longer than this. To make sure you get the length right every time, practice tying your tie making sure it is tied firmly.
Shirt is too baggy
This can be easily avoided by making sure you try on your shirt first before purchasing. Clothes can fit differently especially when it comes to formal wear like suits so it is important to always try on before you buy. If your shirt is too big, it can be very unflattering for your shape and can look frumpy and messy, so make sure your collar has no more than two fingers of room. Also, make sure the shoulder seams hit the edge of the shoulder and that there is no excess fabric around your torso when tucked into your trousers.
Jacket sleeves are too long
Similar to the tie, the sleeve length on your suit jacket must be a specific length and if it is not, this can lead to an ultimate suit blunder. The jacket sleeves should be just above your wrist bone (believe us, this won’t be too short) and should allow half-an-inch of shirt cuff showing.
Fastening too many buttons
Although this may be something that a lot of men don’t really think about when wearing a suit, the number of buttons you fasten on both your jacket and your shirt can have a real impact on your overall look. There are certain rules that apply for buttoning up your jacket - if you have a one button jacket, fasten it when you are stood up and then unbutton it when you sit down; for two buttons fasten the top button and leave the bottom one open and for three, button up the top two or the middle one only and always leave the bottom one undone. For the shirt, stick to leaving one button undone and no more.
Undershirt showing underneath your suit shirt
If you’re going to wear an undershirt, make sure you choose the right one to go under your dress shirt. The right one being one that doesn’t show around your neck and is either low neck or v-neck. The best choice is to not wear an undershirt, however if you must wear one, make sure there are no visible signs of it showing under your dress shirt as this doesn’t comply with the formal look a suit brings across.
Leaving the tag stitching and sleeve tags in your suit
The tag stitching is often applied to the jacket shoulders, front pockets, breast pocket and the vents of the jacket. If the vents are closed this can make the suit look strange and like it doesn’t fit your body properly, and if the brand of suit is showing as you’re wearing it, this can be quite embarrassing. The brand tag is commonly found at the bottom of the sleeve, so make sure you remove this before wearing it before someone asks if you’re planning on returning the suit back to the store.
Wearing too many accessories
Accessories are a great way to mix up your look and add a little personality to your suit, however it is possible to go overboard. You should never wear no more than three accessories with your suit, and when you do wear them, make sure they’re subtle. Go for a nice watch, a pocket square and a tie bar and make sure they’re not too bright and gaudy looking. Too many accessories that have too much colour can hurt the eyes and give off a novelty look.
And the final mistake is… storing your suit incorrectly
Yes, this is actually possible and is something that a lot of men do wrong. The way you store your suit can have a huge impact on the way it looks once you put it on, so make sure you do this right. NEVER fold your suit up, always hang it up in your wardrobe using a wide, wooden hanger and avoid using plastic hangers. Using a small, plastic hanger can actually stretch the material and reshape the padding of the suit, so use a wooden one to keep the suit in its original shape.