It is happening again. Cocktail parties and family reunions season is coming ! In other words, suit season is coming. Unfortunately, you are not some big PR company employee and you just don’t have to wear suits every day (if you are, why are you here? This article is for suit beginners. You know all this stuff, don’t waste your time! Go away! Shoo!), so you get a little nauseous when you think about all the suit rules and all those tie bindings. Don’t you worry there future mister 007, because you are now observing the ultimate - and the simplest - suit guide you can find. Enjoy.
Starting from the bottom, or - should I say - shoes and socks
Let’s get this straight, when I say shoes, I really mean SHOES. Don’t you ever dare wearing sneakers with your suit, you are not a 12-year-old celebrity. There are two types of shoes: black and brown. The color combining is pretty easy, as you can see in this tiny guide below. As for the socks, it is okay to match them with your tie or shirt, but it would probably be the best just to wear regular black socks.
The size of the suit
The trick is that your suit needs to fit you comfortably. If it is too big, you will look like a child who stole his grandpa’s suit, and if it’s too small you will look like a clown. Here are some basic rules to follow when it comes to the suit size:
1. Shoulder pads end with your shoulders
2. When the button is sealed, your open hand should slip easily into the pocket of your pants, but if you put your fist in, the suit should pull at the button
3. The top button on a two–button suit, or the middle on a three–button suit is supposed to be above your navel
4. When your arms are down, the bottom of the jacket should be even with your knuckles
5. Jacket sleeves should end where the base of your thumb meets your wrist
The suit color
Unless you are attending a funeral, try not to wear a black suit. If you can only afford one suit, pick charcoal, since you can combine it with different patterns and colors. Also, if you decide for a suit with pinstripes, bear in mind that they need to be subtle – you don’t want to look like a mobster, do you?
As for the buttons, the only button that should be fasten is the middle one on a three–button jacket, or the top button on a two–button jacket. The same goes for single breasted and double breasted suits.
Also, all buttons must be unfastened if you are sitting.
The width of your tie at its widest point has to match the width of the lapel at its widest point, and as for the length, it should reach your belt – not shorter or longer than that! Also, it should ALWAYS be darker than your shirt.
Pocket squares: they are so simple, yet so useful. They can make your entire look more fun, but also more serious. The beautiful thing here is that pocket squares don’t need to match your tie or your suit, but they can, if you want them to.
Custom cufflinks: you use them to secure button shirts, and they are an awesome and functional piece of jewelry.
Jewelry: The basic rule here is that you need to keep the metals matching: either wear just gold, or just silver, never both (you are not a rapper). The only exception here is a wedding ring which you can wear with anything and it sets apart from fashion rules.
Vests can be a great accessory if you want to look a bit more dressed up. The perfect vest reaches your waist and covers your belt. It needs to match the suit color and pattern, and you either have it buttoned all the way down, or leave one button undone.
Remember, clothes may make a man, but it is the perfect suit that creates a gentleman.