13 Essential Suit Tips
Posted on 13th August 2018 at 21:59
To Help You Look Your Finest
Here's a comprehensive guide on how to bring together certain aspects of one's attire to create a very smart look. Here are our top tips to help look your finest - all in one place.
1, Ensure Your Jacket Fits Well
Let’s start with the jacket, as it is the most noticeable aspect of any outfit. Selecting a jacket and getting it to fit perfectly says a lot about the image you wish to project. A Tailored fit can suggest sophistication and high standards, whereas a slightly more relaxed fit can portray a smart yet easy going style, (its important here not to mistake this for a baggy fit or a cut that’s too pinched). A few simple tests can determine how well the jacket fits:
- It’s important to consider slight weight gain and loss when purchasing a suit. So never go too tight, it leaves no room for slight expansion and will ruin the overall tailored look you’re trying to achieve.
- Can you fit one hand in between your chest and your buttoned suit jacket? If so, it’s a good fit, if it’s looser than this, it’s too big.
- If you curl your fingers as your arm hangs at your side; does the jacket length fall gently into your hand? If so, it’s just right; if not, you need a longer or shorter jacket.
- When your hands are at your sides, can you see a quarter to a half inch of your shirt cuff? If buying a jacket off the rack, err on the side of a longer sleeve length as this can be adjusted to the correct length.
- Importantly, a working cuff of fully opening button holes are a great detail if you want to achieve a near Saville Row finish but they make it almost impossible if you are going to need the sleeves shortening.
- Finally, never do up the bottom button on a suit as this affects the line over the hips. The middle and top buttons can be buttoned depending on the occasion and unfastened when seated.
2, The Perfect Pair
You can easily have your trousers altered, so below are some of the things to be mindful of. The rise, or the area between yourself and the trouser crotch cannot easily be tailored, so make sure that this area feels comfortable and gives you some room, without excessively hanging down.
The way in which the trouser breaks upon your shoe does come down to personal preference, however to always look refined we would recommend that you choose a half break.
The other options are having no-break, where the trouser leg just touches the shoe, this is more of a contemporary look, while the full-break where a fold runs around the bottom of the trouser is a retro look dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Some off-the rack suits may come with unfinished trousers to ensure that you will be able to tailor the leg exactly right.
You may also wish to have your trousers legs tapered from the knee or from the thigh depending on your shape for a sleek contour. A nice finishing touch.
With a reasonable width hem the trouser can be finished at a slant, so that the line of the crease down the leg at the back and the front fits precisely to the shoe you intend to wear these trousers with – a very smart touch.
3, Shoes Make The Outfit
Investing in a few pairs of exquisitely made leather shoes will do wonders for every outfit you own. (And look after your feet and posture behind the scenes)
Feel the leather. A good soft leather tends to come from the best parts of the hide and if looked after properly will last for many years.
Match your belt to your shoe and also watchband if possible.
A square toed shoe doesn’t work with suits and shoes with a shiny finish should only be worn with sharp suits and dress wear, otherwise go for a matt or burnished finish.
4, Matching Your Suit Colour To Your Shoes
Below we set out the colour rules when matching your shoes to your suit. Also, always ensure your belt is both a similar colour and finish to your shoes.
- Black Suits: Only black shoes will do.
- Navy Suits: Black, burgundy, or brown.
- Dark Grey Suits: Black or burgundy.
- Light Grey Suits: Light brown, burgundy or black.
- Beige Suits: White (casual only) and light brown shoes.
Navy with burgundy has to be our favourite combination.
5, Sock Choice – A Hidden Statement
Whether you opt for patterned cloths of simple colour or relish a statement suit colour, give some thought to your socks. To us a good pair of socks says a lot about your personality.
Colour is key…
There are two typical ways to match your socks to your outfit.
- The more conservative approach is to match your socks to your trousers.
- The more flamboyant approach is to match your socks to your pocket square, shirt or tie.
6, Do Not Compromise The Lines Of Your Suit By Over Filling Your Pockets!
If you have taken time to have a suit fit you well, don’t ruin the tailored lines by putting a bulky wallet or other items in your pockets. If you have a number of products to carry, invest in a leather folio case with carry handles, or a briefcase.
If looking to purchase a briefcase we’d recommend it to be of the finest quality leather that you can stretch to.
Look for the kind of case that would acquire a rich patina over time and could even possibly be handed to future generations. Smooth supple leathers tend to come from the best parts of the hide and if looked after properly will last for many years. Here’s a peek at what we have to offer from Jekyll & Hide.
7, Know Which Colours Best Suit Your Skin Tone
With confidence and self-possession, anyone can wear any colour; but depending on your complexion, there will be some that provide more contrast and bring out your features.
Generally speaking, if you are fair and burn easily in the sun, your features may be in danger of fading into your skin tone and certain colours will exaggerate this. In this case, darker colours will set them off nicely. Look for colours with depth rather than stark, light, or bright hues. Brown, burgundy, green, and blue, from navy to cobalt, would make good choices.
Also your hair colour can make a difference. If you have quite a lot of grey then its best to avoid light grey’s in particular. Lighter shades tend to suit gents’ with darker hair.
8, Avoid Matching Your Tie To Your Pocket Square
Unless your style aspiration is to appear like a newsreader, your tie and pocket square should never directly match. To give the impression of coordination, your tie and pocket square can complement each other. You can achieve this by taking a minor colour in your pocket square, and have that as the primary colour in your tie or vice versa. Your tie and pocket square can work in harmony picking out colours in your suit, shirt and even your suit.
Get this detail right and you’ll look great.
9, Choosing Your Tie
Firstly, when choosing your tie for the day or evening, its width should match the width of your lapels; so if your jacket has a wide lapel, go for a wide tie.
When tying your knot, the size of your knot should match the side of your collar. For smaller collars go for a half Windsor, for a wider deeper collar go for a full Windsor. In terms of length, your tie should finish just above your belt buckle.
10, The Small Touches Go A Long Way
A tie pin, cuff links and a stunning time piece are all practical additions to your outfit. The shiny metal will catch the eye. A beautiful watch does not necessarily mean an expensive one. Go for timeless designs that display an understated elegance. Avoid flashy watches or pieces with overly large faces as they often convey a sense of someone that is trying too hard.
11, All The Metals Should Match
Your cufflinks, belt buckle, the fastenings on your braces, and buttons should be in a symmetrical metal, to give the streamlined impression of a consolidated personality. Your wedding ring and watch do not count, although coordinating your watchstrap if metal is a further touch of class.
12, Over-Dress If In Doubt
If you are attending an event and you are not sure the level of the dress code always choose to over-dress. There is never anything wrong with standing out in a crowd by being better turned out than everyone else. An under dressed winner at a prestigious awards ceremony is always remarked upon for the wrong reasons.
13, Find Yourself A Good Tailor
At Heaphys we have our own in-house Tailor who can make all of the adjustments mentioned earlier, expect to pay between £20 and £70 for the necessary adjustments depending on the work involved. Additionally if you buy a suit from us we're happy to carry out the basic adjustments for free and can also offer an after care and dry cleaning service.
Thanks for reading, we hope you found our tips useful! Feel free to leave any comments below.
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Tagged as: Colour, Jacket, Men's Fashion, Pocket Square, Shoes, Suit, Suit Jacket, Tailored Suit, Tie, Trousers
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