5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Wear a Suit

Despite the fact that there are numerous unspoken rules about how to wear a suit, most men who prefer casual styles or have no need to look formal on a daily basis are not aware of them. This is why 5-Minute Crafts is here to give you a hand with a small guidebook of rules you should keep in mind.

1. Jacket

  • Jacket length. First of all, the jacket length should be just right — this means it should cover your butt and the zipper of your pants and be no longer than that. If you are wearing a two-button jacket, the top button should be at or above the area of your navel. The same goes for the middle-button of a three-button jacket.
  • Lapels. Your lapels can reveal whether you are going for an old-school look or a more trendy one, as wide lapels are considered retro, while the thin ones are fashionable nowadays.
  • Vents. Same thing with vents in the back: the double vents are considered modern.
  • Color. The color of the suit should not mismatch the occasion. A gray or charcoal colored suit is a better option than a black one, unless you need to dress up for a conservative event.
  • Square pocket. This sophisticated accessory should not match your tie pattern or the fabric of the tie.
  • To check that your buttoned jacket is the right fit, it should feel snug when your slip your hand between your chest and the jacket. You should have room to move though.
  • Another sign that your jacket doesn’t fit you well is when you see that there is a gap between the collar of your shirt and the lapels of your jacket.

👍 Before wearing your brand new suit, remember to remove the stitching on the vents and the label on the left sleeve.

👎 If you wish not to ruin your suit, never use your pockets, nor remove the stitching of your jacket pockets.

👎 For the same reason, do not sit down without previously unbuttoning your jacket.

However, suits can have different amounts of buttons. So make sure you remember these rules while wearing them:

  1. Single button suit. Leave the button fastened while standing, but you must unbutton it while seated.
  2. Two button suit. Leave the top button fastened while standing and the lower button unfastened. When sitting, undo all the buttons of your jacket.
  3. Three button suit. When standing, either fasten the upper and the middle button and leave the lower button undone, or button only the middle one.

2. Shirt

Patterns. Pay attention to the patterns of your shirt and tie. They shouldn’t be the same size because this would lead to a distracting and busy look of the ensemble. Do not avoid bold patterns, but be careful with them.

Collar. If you opt for a tieless look, the shirt collar should be smaller.

Cuffs. Remember that sleeve cuffs should be visible below the jacket sleeve for about half an inch.

Vest. The basics say that you should wear the vest with the lowest button left undone.

However, we should not disregard the accessories here:

Cufflinks. Make sure you attach them prior to putting on your shirt so you can easily fasten them in the end. When it comes to the design of the cufflinks, the best advice would be to choose a neutral one so that you can match it with different outfits. However, you can also go for cufflinks of a color that would be contrasting to your suit’s color as they would subtly stand out when they appear from under your sleeve. Also, note that you should match your cufflinks with other accessories by material and color — with a belt buckle and watch, for instance.

Watch. It is considered that you should keep the design of your watch simple while choosing one for a suit attire. Go for a plain black leather strap with minimal adornments to keep your look refined. Diving or aviator watches can look classy, but you should know that they add a rather casual note to your formal outfit. Chronograph and smartwatches, however, are better to be avoided, because they are usually meant for casual wear.

3. Trousers

  • Your suit trousers should not be hanging low like jeans. They should sit on the height of your hip bone. Wear them even higher to achieve a taller look.
  • Watch out for over-tightness of the seat. Your suit pants shouldn’t make you feel like they are about to split, but they shouldn’t sag either.
  • There should be no horizontal creases, because that means that the hips are too tight.
  • Excess fabric on the hips can also ruin your suit look. Make sure you avoid the baggy look on the sides and check that there are no vertical wrinkles on the back of your pants.
  • Speaking of legs, you should be able to pinch around 2.5 cm of fabric on each side of your thighs to avoid overtight legs. More than that would mean you need a tailor to taper the legs of your pants.
  • Avoid a look that is too slim from the knees down because it gives off a casual vibe.
  • Make sure that the socks you are wearing are long enough so there is no leg visible when you sit down.
  • For a more trendy look, check that the pant hem hits right at the top of your shoe.
  • Belt. You should keep in mind that the belt should be more or less thin and match the color of your shoes.

👎 Never use your pockets.

4. Tie

  • Tie. The tie is always darker than the shirt. Remember that it should not be tied in a way that makes it looks too long. It should only be reaching the top of your belt buckle or the waistband of your pants. Another golden rule: The width of the tie should match the width of the jacket lapels. For more info on how to tie a tie, check this out.
  • Tie bar. Although it is a common accessory, beware that your tie bar should not be wider than your tie if you want to look good.

5. Shoes

  • For an impeccable look in a black suit, opt for black shoes. Shoes of any other color would only make you look more casual, so it is not advisable to experiment here.
  • blue suit is chic and never goes out of style. It always goes well with brown shoes, or even black and burgundy. The same goes for a navy suit, but again, for a formal dressing up, go for black shoes.
  • The best shoe colors for a gray suit are black, especially with a white shirt, and a variety of brown shades.
  • charcoal gray suit, on the other hand, requires either plain black shoes, or a sophisticated touch of burgundy. Avoid brown leather shoes.
  • Light gray suits go perfectly well with a tan leather pair of shoes.
  • champagne-colored suit is perfect for summer events and combines amazingly with all shades of light shoes, like tan, white, or light brown pairs.
  • Tan suits are incredibly versatile, so feel free to experiment with shoe colors! Burgundy, navy, black, light brown, and tan shoes are all great options.

Bonus part: All-round suits

If you are newbie in wearing suits, then these are the two types of suits that you should have in your wardrobe:

  1. A dark all-season solid suit is a suit for all occasions. The important thing here is that it should not be black, but as mentioned above, rather dark charcoal or navy. The jacket should be a two-button one with a notch lapel and made of solid fabric, so it is easy to match with different shirt and tie styles, as well as comfortable, regardless of the season.
  2. A navy blue blazer isn’t exactly a suit, obviously. However, it is perfect for a less formal or unclear occasion. You can match it up with jeans or wool trousers. The tie is an optional accessory here. The recommended fabric is hopsack and you should opt for an unconstructed model to make you feel less rigid.
5-Minute Crafts/Clothes/How to Wear a Suit
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