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10 Commandments of Tailoring


         By guest writer, Jon Moy and Lawrence Schlossman



It’s 2016, and we’re officially in the future. Okay, flying cars still don’t exist and “hoverboards” still touch the ground and have wheels, but at least your phone can do everything from ordering entire sushi platters to calling a private driver to finding your next date. All of this is to say that if you’ve purchased a suit recently, you most likely did because you wanted a suit, more so than you actually needed to do so. The growing casualisation of the office doesn’t mean the death of tailored clothing. When you don’t have to wear something, wearing it becomes so much fun.



The so-called diminishment of the suit means that it’s oddly appropriate for even more occasions because wearing it has become a choice as casual and voluntary as deciding to wear a t-shirt and jeans. That doesn’t mean that you can throw all the rules out the window—you just apply them differently. Here are the new rules of menswear, The 10 Tailoring Commandments.


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Thou shalt pay attention to fit

It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing it with a long shirt and rare gold chains or an impeccably handcrafted spread collar shirt. If your suit fits like trash, you’re going to look like it. Sure, you’ll look like trash in really nice fabrics, but still, you know…trash. People who wear ill-fitting suits, especially nice, ill-fitting suits, probably had something to do with the global economic collapse.

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Thou shalt not go “full turbo”

Going all-out on any particular trend (camouflage, floral, super shiny fabrics) will result in a suit that you wear once. Instead, follow the fundamental path of the middle way. It worked for the Buddha and we’re sure he’d have no problem with us applying his teachings to materialistic pursuits. Pick one accessory. You get a lapel pin or a showy pocket square. Not both. You want to look like a normal human being in a suit, not a street style fashion victim.

Thou shalt not wear a bow tie—unless it’s for a black tie event

Bow ties are for people who love to argue with Facebook commenters. Bow ties are harbingers of Beelzebub. The so-called “casual bow tie” is an oxymoron. Once a welcome injection of alt-prep cool, its ubiquity led to its own downfall. Sure, one day it’ll be acceptable again, but certainly not anytime soon.

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Thou shalt break apart your suit

Normally, breaking up is emotionally and physically exhausting. Not so with a suit. You actually can make even more outfits. Wear your suit jacket with different trousers. Or wear the trousers with a nice sweater. Just don’t ever try and match the color of the alternate trousers to the suit jacket—that only ends in tragedy. Go with a gentle contrast, like grey trousers with a navy suit jacket. Subtle contrasts like that create quite the complimentary pair. Like how you’re just responsible enough to pay the Internet bill, but reckless enough to buy a new suit instead of making a student loan payment.

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Thou shalt cut the string on your jacket’s vents and pockets

This should be the first thing you do when you buy a new suit. Pocket space is precious, and how else are you going to fit in furnishings like pocket squares? Skip this, and you risk looking like you have no idea what you’re doing—or worse, an undercover policeman.

Thou shalt not wear novelty ties

Even ironically. Wearing anything ironically is the sign of true struggle. Haters feed on your struggle.

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Thou shalt mix leisurewear and tailored clothing carefully

A decade ago, terribly fitting blazers were regularly paired with casual hoodies. Do not make that mistake. See commandment 1, and make sure both items actually fit you before pairing them together. Opt for unstructured jackets that are relaxed at the shoulders to complement a hoodie’s relaxed look, and avoid graphic prints. Also—try mixing trousers with a sweatshirt for once. You’ll like it.

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Thou shalt avoid looking like a television host

Ryan Seacrest. Graham Norton. Ricky Gervais. What do these men have in common? They’re hilarious hosts, just not style icons. The last thing you want to look like when you’re in a suit is a host or celebrity interviewer. Why? Because they tend to follow the rules a little too closely, and when you do that, you look boring.

Thou shalt know the power of an overcoat

A good overcoat will always look good—no matter what’s underneath it. This is a patented lazyboy fancy brunch maneuver. Wear a tailored overcoat over some slim sweatpants, a crewneck sweatshirt, and rare sneakers, and the snooty maître d’ won’t bat an eye at you while trying to spend the last of your paycheck on overpriced Bloody Marys.

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Thou shalt take advantage of looking dressed up

Wearing a nice suit grants you access to the bathroom at any fancy restaurant and hotel lobby in the city. Here’s how to use this newfound power: Walk in and simply state, “I’m meeting someone, they’re here already, I’m just going to wash my hands,” and then quickly look at your mobile phone with a mixture of annoyance and urgency. You’ll look very official and before you know it, you’re pooping with impunity.

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                    This article is taken from The Tailoring Issue, the upcoming Topman magazine landing in stores May 19th