The rule may be unwritten, but it’s uncomplicated: Every man must possess a great suit. There is no exception to this rule, not really. So how do you go about acquiring one? Again, it’s simple: A suit is only as great as its tailoring (irrespective of its price-tag). That’s right – when it comes to suits, fit isn’t just important – it is everything.
So yes, the first step towards finding the right suit – one that gets the nod from the high and mighty (and leaves the opposite sex weak at the knees) – begins with finding the right tailor.
Once you are the proud owner of a great suit, though, comes the next big question: How do you wear it? It’s an important question because while the right ‘suit etiquette’ can help you stand apart from the crowd, a suit worn the wrong way can spell the fashion disaster you will perhaps never recover from. Some of the common flaws range from the wrong tie knot to short jacket sleeves to mismatched shirts. Which is a shame, because all it takes is a little interest, and some attention to basic details, to make a man look stunning in his suit.
Here’s a quick 101 to help you get the best out of your well-tailored suit:
- First things first: Your jacket should contour closely to your body shape.
- The width of the lapel must be equal to the width of the tie.
- The tie-bar must never be wider than the tie.
- Remember that wide lapels are old fashioned: The modern trend is thin lapels.
- If you want to go casual, choose a peak-lapel jacket with a single-button.
- A double-button, notched lapel is what you need when the occasion is more formal.
- Speaking of buttons, two button (with a low-button stance) makes for a long and slimming look.
- Once your jacket is buttoned, the lapel must lie flat on your chest – if it is bowing out, you need to re-look the fit.
- Does your jacket have multiple buttons? Leave the last one undone (There are no rules on how to wear the rest – feel free to ‘be yourself’).
- The top button of a two-button suit – or the middle button of a three-button-suit – should be at the same height as your navel, or be just above it
- What about the hands? Well, your suit sleeve should end just above your wrist joint, with quarter-to-half-an-inch of shirt showing.
- A cool way to look ‘casual’? Wear your suit over a T-shirt.
- Expose your sleeve cuff by half-an-inch approximately.
- Flap pockets possess oodles of style quotient – go for them by all means.
- Add a ‘Ticket Pocket’ – it’s a great way to carry business cards.
- Use pocket squares creatively: They are your opportunity to add a bit of dash to your look.
- Should pads should ‘hug the shoulder’ and stop at the edge, instead of ‘spilling over’.
- If there is a gap between your shirt collar and the jacket’s lapel, it means that the fit isn’t perfect.
- When it comes to ties, you can’t go wrong with the classic Windsor knot.
- And what about the colour of your tie? Well, the one thing you need to remember here is that it needs to be darker than the colour of your ‘dress shirt’.
- Vest person? For ‘best results’, wear one with a single-breasted suit (this keeps the vest ‘visible’), and make sure to unbutton the bottom button.
- The length of the suit jacket should be such that it just about covers your zipper.
- Belts are not mandatory, but can add dynamism to your look: Go with your gut, but make sure that a belt must be fairly thin and match your shoe colour.
- When it comes to colours, it’s wise to choose the versatility of grey as it can cover more social occasions that blue or black.
- Double vents at the back say, “I know what’s ‘in’.”
- And yes, side vents are cool.
- Pants should sit at the waist, not the hip.
- Pants bunched or huddled around the feet is a cardinal no-no: Make sure your pant-hem touches the top of your shoe.
- Unbutton your jacket when you sit down – else, it runs the risk of being damaged.
- And after you are seated, ensure your leg doesn’t show: In other words, wear socks that are long enough.
- Connoisseur tip: The right watch, a great briefcase or a well-polished shoe can be powerful accessories to a flawlessly tailored suit.
Even the most dapperly dressed amongst us – from the Calvin Klein to James Bond and everyone in between – once started out as a ‘suit virgin’ in need of expert guidance. So go ahead and use the recommendations provided here to develop your own ‘suit style’.
And start turning heads.