Most men wear suits to the office and during special or formal occasions. This does not mean, however, that most men wear suits correctly. The suit is an intricate and somewhat complex set of clothing that requires much detail if it is to be worn well. When worn in the right way, wearing a suit can give you that extra oomph you need to look confident, competent and authoritative. This is our short guide on how to wear a suit.
Before listing down the rules on how to wear a suit properly, you need to familiarize yourself first with the components of a suit. Suits usually come in two or three piece sets. A three piece set is composed of a jacket (or blazer), a vest and trousers. A two piece set is similar to a three piece set minus the vest.
Since the suit is usually worn with a long sleeved shirt underneath and matched with simple accessories such as a necktie, leather belt and leather shoes, you need to know how the suit should be worn in relation to them. When you don your long sleeved shirt, make sure to button up all of the buttons. Wear your necktie before putting on the jacket. You can tie your necktie any which way as long as it is appropriate for the occasion (black bowties are less commonly used unless you are wearing a tuxedo). Make sure the colors and patterns of your tie and long sleeved shirt match. Mix patterns with solids and do not use clashing colors. When you wear the jacket, you should still be able to see about one fourth of an inch of the shirt’s collar, about half an inch of your shirt’s cuffs and the jacket should be long enough to conceal part of your rear end. Raising your arm should not lift your jacket too much and the jacket’s shoulder pads should not appear stiff, especially to the point that your shoulders look synthetic. These are some good points to note when choosing an appropriate size for your suit.
Never button all of the buttons on your jacket. This is a mistake you see being made ALL the time. Always leave one button un-buttoned or keep everything un-buttoned. This means buttoning the top button only for two-button jackets, and buttoning only the middle or the middle and top button for three-button jackets. This is so your jacket does not bulge when you sit down. Keeping everything un-buttoned is also acceptable and this is why you need to make sure you are wearing a good quality shirt with all buttons done up. Your shirt needs to be nicely tucked under your pants too (a no-brainer but I thought I would mention it since I see many men wearing suits with their shirts untucked and it takes away from the classiness of the suit.)
Also make sure that your pants are the right size. They should not look like skinny jeans when you wear them (this does however depends on your personal style and the particular occasion you are attending – I for one love skinny jeans but tend to wear regular fit dress pants). The ends should also be hemmed so they fall nicely (instead of a droop) on top of your shoes. When you wear your trousers, they should sit on your natural waist and not your hips. As a general rule, your suit should not look stiff on you and you should be able to move freely even while you are wearing it.
Topping off the suit with neutral and complementing accessories is a must. Your shoes should ideally be made of leather and in plain, solid colors like black, brown or beige. Wear a nice leather belt with a buckle that isn’t too outlandish. I usually wear some good Armani, Gucci or Versace belts with my suits. To top your look off, use a pocket square with your jacket (use a color that complements the suit) and a sophisticated silver or gold watch.
There you go! Follow the above instructions on how to wear a suit and you will be dapper in no time!