27 Unspoken Suit Rules Every Man Should Know

original post via BuzzFeed

1. The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel. It’s all about BALANCE.

The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.

2. In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide lapels are more old-school, Mad Men style. So choose your look accordingly.

3. A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but make sure it doesn’t match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice. Before you go totally conservative, remember that the pocket square is where you get the most freedom and the one place you get to add a little pizzazz to your suit.

A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but make sure it doesn't match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice.

4. When buying an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit.

5. A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket.

    
6. Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless you’re attending a funeral. Dark gray is more versatile and goes with more colors.
  

Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless you're attending a funeral.

7. Your belt should be fairly thin and the same color as your shoes.  Union Made makes really great belts in a variety of leather and metal finishes.     

8. You should match your shoes to the color of your suit using this guide:

You should match your shoes to the color of your suit using this guide:

9. Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable.

   
10. For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.

For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket.

11. If you’re going for more formal business attire, opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.

If you're going for more formal business attire, opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket.

12. The Savile Row Fold keeps your dress pants from falling off the hanger. Watch the instructional video here.

13. You should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move.

14. Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.

Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.

15. The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) should fall at or above the navel.

     

The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) should fall at or above the navel.

16. Always go with the classic windsor knot for your tie, but use the size of your head to determine whether you should go half or full windsor.

Always go with the classic windsor knot for your tie, but use the size of your head to determine whether you should go half or full windsor.

BIG HEAD = FULL KNOT. SMALL HEAD = HALF KNOT. If you’re not sure how your head size compares, ask one of your male friends. They should be able to give you an objective opinion.

17. If you’re wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned. But plenty of men break this rule and are still able to pull off the three-piece beautifully.

If you're wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned.

18. There are practical reasons for vests beyond just how they look. A vest is best worn with single-breasted suits (so it’s actually visible). if you’re going to be wearing your suit in a cold climate, a vest can add a lot of warmth. It also adds a formal touch to your suit.      

There are practical reasons for vests beyond just how they look.

19. Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.  For a harmonious look, try to match the visible cuff length to the amount of collar that is visible at the back of the neck.

Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch.

20. When you get your suit home, you’ll need a seam ripper or a small, sharp pair of scissors.  Unstitch the jacket’s pockets, remove the tack stitches from the jacket’s vents, and remove the little embroidered label from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully to ensure you don’t actually rip the fabric or neighboring threads.      

When you get your suit home, you'll need a seam ripper or a small, sharp pair of scissors.

21. Make sure that your socks are long enough that there’s no exposed leg when sitting down.

Make sure that your socks are long enough that there's no exposed leg when sitting down.

22. Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.

Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.

23. The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt.

The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt.

24. Your tie should JUST reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter.

Your tie should JUST reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter.

25. For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem should hit right at the top of your shoe. For a more conservative look, the pants should cover the top of the shoe and parts of the laces.

For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem should hit right at the top of your shoe.

26. If you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt. Preferably one with a deep neck so it doesn’t peek through. Nothing will cheapen the appearance of a suit more than a glimpse of undershirt.

27. Finally, go for the dimple. The dimple is the little hollow beneath the knot of your tie, and it gives a slightly disheveled yet polished appearance to your finished look.

Finally, go for the dimple.

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