There are few things in life which match the irritation felt when I see a poorly fitted suit. Admittedly, this is a rather shallow and materialistic cause for concern. I can already see my sister rolling her eyes and spouting her favourite “first world problems” phrase to me which she uses way too often (especially when in conversation with myself).
Yes, some would say that it isn’t exactly in the same bracket as famine or disease, but I am already doing my bit for the third/developing world via a selection of direct debits transferring from my account on the 3rd of every month. And while I am busy feeding and healing those less fortunate than myself, I feel that it is also my duty to help and guide those who may be missing the mark somewhat whenever they put on a suit.
I clearly love suits. In fact, I have a few that I hold so dear to me that I would save them first over my family and friends if a fire broke out at my house. I mean sure, I would feel awful at their funerals but at least I would be the best dressed there. Silver lining and all that (which ironically is the lining in one of the suits I would save).
When it comes to suits, there are however a few rules that I never break and this my (soon to be enlightened) friend is your lucky day. I am going to share my top 10 with you from fit to general suit etiquette, ensuring you look more James Bond and less James Nesbitt.
If I could only draw your attention to one thing about a suit, it would be the suit’s fit. The fit is everything and I really mean everything.
It doesn’t matter what your suit is made of, whether it’s a polyester/viscose blend or Guanashina (a Guanashina suit starts at around $15,000), the fit can make or break it.
Looking like you’re a ten year old, wearing your dads suit is never a good look, regardless of how much it cost.
Check out last weeks blog 9 steps to a suit that fits! for an easy guide on how to get this right.
Guys, it’s true that woman always look at your shoes first. I know this to be the case because although I take pride in my suits, the thing that they always compliment me on is my shoes.
Wearing the right pair of smart shoes is like having a solid foundation for you to build upon.
Deciding what colour to pair with your suit is probably the most challenging decision for most guys. Luckily for you, I have already covered this with my blog What colour shoes should you wear with your suit?
Personally, I can’t remember the last time I wore a suit or blazer without a pocket square. It is the perfect way to add individuality and character to your look. It is also a great way to tie all of your accessories together.
If you are wearing a pocket square with a tie, take an element of the tie, colour/texture/pattern, and try to compliment it. But, remember your pocket square and tie should never match in both colour and pattern. This is a massive faux pax, it shows little imagination and it can look like you are wearing a Christmas present your aunt Nora bought you for your 16th birthday.
Even as a stand alone item, the right pocket square will complete any suit, regardless of whether you’re wearing a tie or not.
Just a few simple rules in regards to cuffs. For starters, they should always be clean and pressed.
One of the most obvious tell-tell signs of an ill fitting suit is too much or zero cuff visible from the sleeve of the jacket. Ideally, you want about an inch of cuff visible, no more, no less.
Personally, I prefer double cuffs and always cufflinks, but this is just a personal preference.
5. AN ELEGANT WRIST WATCH
It’s easy. The price of the wrist watch isn’t important. It just needs to be simple and elegant. I prefer some of the Daniel Wellington watches to a Bell & Ross when wearing a suit. Whatever your choice, just remember to keep it simple and elegant. Try to keep away from anything with either diamontes, rubber straps or bright colours.
The knot you use on your tie is important. It should reflect the collar of your shirt and the size of your head. I tend to use either a Half Windsor or Prince Albert knot most days.
Personally, I tend to avoid big, chunky knots we use to see so many footballers sporting in the early 2000’s. A small, elegant knot such as the Prince Albert knot adds a sophistication which is lacking with a large Full Windsor.
Much of this is all down to your personal fashion preferences. For me, a little dimple or ‘break’ is just right. If uncertain, I always think that slightly too short is better than too long. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for guys to tailor the length of their trouser legs slightly shorter showing off more of their ankle.
Okay, if you were to meet my friends, they would tell you that I am a little obsessive when it comes to my taste in socks, as I like my socks to match my tie and/or pocket square.
Socks are a great way to add flair to your style from the feet up and are an often overlooked accessory by the modern gentleman.
If unsure, the safe bet is to stick to black and under no circumstance what so ever wear white unless you plan on imitating Michael Jackson.
This one is very simple. If you are wearing a belt with your suit, match it to the colour of your shoes. Done.
In terms of tie length, mid buckle is the longest your tie should be and an inch above the top of the buckle is the shortest, (an inch from the top is not recommended for formal occasions).
If you have to tie it ten times to get it right, then do so as it’s that important.
These are my preferences, while some of these rules are generally accepted as universally true, the rest are just conjecture, left to the personal opinion of the wearer.
Remember that when you wear a suit, it should feel like you are empowered. Enjoy it, play with it and figure out what you feel is your comfort zone.
I hope you like my first blog. Use these 10 tips to get the best out of your suit or don’t, it’s up to you … I’m off for another cup of coffee.