You’ve got the perfect suit, but that’s only half the battle – wearing a suit properly is trickier than it may seem. Tailoring has rich traditions and rules attached to it, so it’s important to get it right.
We’re not saying you have to adhere to all of them – 50 years ago, nobody would’ve dreamed of wearing trainers with a coloured suit, but now it’s one of the strongest looks in smart casual! We’re talking about the nitty gritty details that must be obeyed, like correct colour coordinating, knowing which buttons to fasten and, the most annoying of all, cutting the thread on your vents and pockets.
If your blazer has two buttons, only button the top one. If it has three, only button the top two. If it’s double-breasted, only do up the top one. Seeing a pattern here? Always leave the bottom button undone (the same goes for waistcoats).
In suiting folklore, this trend came from King Edward VII who became so large he couldn’t do up his bottom button on his jacket. If you look in the mirror with both buttons done, you’ll notice it does look quite unflattering to your shape, whether you’re skinny or portly. So there you go, a bit of good pub knowledge for you.
For black suits, wear black shoes or burgundy. Steer clear or brown, as more often than not it clashes.
For grey suits, brown and burgundy shoes are a great way to show off that you know how to wear something other than the simple black shoe.
For navy, the most versatile of the suit colours, you can wear any. All men should have a go-to navy suit that can be worn to absolutely everything.
For extreme coloured suits like electric blue and deep-red, you can play it safe with a black shoe, but if you’re really wanting to stand out, a pair of sleek white sneakers will do the job.
Whether you’re wearing the Super Skinny or classic Slim fit, there are some elements of the blazer that should be maintained across all styles.
The shoulders: The seam should hit right at the end of the shoulder.
The sleeves: The end of the sleeve should fall between your first thumb joint and your wrist. Any bigger it’ll look like your wearing your dad’s blazer; any smaller it’ll look like you’re wearing your old school one. Our tip would be to take it to a tailor to get it properly fitted as you’ll want to have a bit of shirt cuff on show. Opt for around half an inch of shirt visibility (it’s cheaper than you think to get your suit tailored, by the way).
Blazer length: The bottom of your blazer should fall mid crotch if you’re under 5″9, and then slightly lower than that if you are over.
Your belt should match your shoes:
Black belt + black or burgundy shoes
Brown belt + brown or burgundy shoes
Burgundy belt + burgundy or black shoes
The number one rule of the pocket square is it shouldn’t be an exact match to your tie, it should complement it. For example, if you’re wearing a black tie with a black suit, maybe try out a burgundy pocket square with white polka dots. If you’re wearing a red tie with a navy suit experiment with a white silk pocket square. This smart accessory is supposed to add a point of interest to your suit, so don’t be afraid to go a bit brash with it. And yes, you can wear one without a tie with an open collar shirt.
There are many different variations of tie knots and styles, but you haven’t got all day to read a 5000-word think piece on that nonsense. So, we’ll stick with the basic rule that the end of your tie should fall at your belt buckle/waistband with an everyday Oriental knot. Simple.
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a vent still threaded out in the open world. We’ve all been guilty of it plenty of times, but if we can nudge you to avoid it, we will. All it takes is a pair of scissors before you leave the house.
The same goes for your suit pockets – they aren’t just for show. We wouldn’t suggest tearing them open by hand – minimise the damage risks by using the scissors again.
Now that you know how to absolutely boss a suit, check out our range and find the right looks for you.