How to Wear a Suit – Ranking The All Important Details
Above: J. Crew Worsted Wool Ludlow Suit – $590.00
Anyone can wear a suit. Anyone with enough money can buy a tremendously well made suit. But it’s the attention to a few key details, not the money spent, which sets a small group of men drastically apart from the suit wearing masses. Keep an eye on these six details and you’ll soon find yourself miles ahead of the male style peloton.
In order of priority, with what gets noticed most, and first.
1. The Fit and Tailoring
The easiest and most important step to looking great in a suit is to get it tailored. Buying a suit and not getting it tailored is like buying a sports car and never going over 25mph. What’s the point? This is your suit. It has to fit you. You want a V-shape, darted in at your sides, with shoulder pads that drop off where your shoulders end. The jacket sleeves should show about a 1/4″ of shirt cuff, and your pants should be neither baggy or high-water short. Need a perfect example? Take a look at Chuck Liddell in the August 07 issue of GQ. That’s how you do it.
2. Your Shoes: Johnston & Murphy Gillum Runoff – $104.00 (reg. $124.95)
As an upright human being, you’re mainly vertical. Your feet are always horizontal, parallel with the earth. So if your shoes look off, there’s no hiding them. Your toes should be rounded points, or slight chisels. No squared off Frankenstein shoes. Also stick with modern lengths that provide a little extra length in the toe and keep it sleek through the mid section. For all that (and some sweet extra stitching at the toe) try the Johnston & Murphy Gillum.
3. Your Watch: Armani Steel Chrono – $295.00 | Skagen Brown Multi – $78.00
You can keep it clean and classic with a plain round case, a little thicker with a slimmed down chronograph, or even super dressed up with a slim rectangular watch. But if you just don’t wear a watch period, you’re missing the opportunity to say quite a bit with a very small piece.
4. The Shirt Collar and Tie: Navy & White Stripe Tie – $15.99 | K. Cole Dress Shirt – $29.99
Think of wearing a suit as Thanksgiving dinner. The fit and tailoring is the bird. Pretty easy to take care of but God help you if it’s not done right, or worse yet… doesn’t make it to the table at all. Your tie is the starchy side dish. Throw something goofy out there like multi-color marshmallow yam casserole, and it’ll detract from the entire meal. Just mash some potatoes and everyone will love it.
Translation: Keep it simple. And do the opposite of what Chris Berman does.
5. Your Pocket Square
It’s worth repeating: a pocket square is like steroids for your suit, with none of the side effects. I don’t care that it seems like a flash in the pan fad that’s starting to fade. You can wear a slim, folded, white pocket square from now until the end of time, and you’ll look all the better for it. Yes you can mix in patterns. No you shouldn’t let it poof out of a pocket. It’s called a pocket “square” not a pocket “lump.” Keep those angles at 90 degrees.
6. Your Socks: Banana Republic Argyle Sock – $8.50 | Target Merona Striped Sock – $2.50
It’s the one place a minimalist guy can show some bright colors and it looks terrific. Gray suit, white shirt, navy tie and black shoes? Throw some big bold stripes in there for the hell of it. Wearing a patterned suit and a not-so quiet shirt and tie? Keep the socks toned down.
Agreements? Disagreements? Extra tips that were missed? Leave it all in the comments section below…