How to Suit Up!

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2014

When it comes to formal dressing in the menswear department, nothing strikes a statement as stylish and powerful as a suit. However, donning a suit is an art in itself and more often than not, men get it wrong. Here are a few tips that, if gotten right, can be the corner stone of suiting up – the way it should be done.

“Thou shalt not wear a 3-button suit”

No one wears a 3-button suit except for Prince Charles, and he is not exactly a style icon. Ask your tailor to give you 2 buttons on your coat with a low cut, and no matter how much he tries to convince you otherwise, stick to this rule. For a formal dinner wear set-up, you can go for a low cut one button jacket as well, and wear it with a bow-tie. It’s very hard to have to explain something as simple as this, but unfortunately, the majority of our suit-wearing men are still sporting 3-button suits. It pains me to see expensive fabric and hard-earned money being spent on such unstylish clothing.

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Pull up your pants

I know people who spend thousands of rupees on their suits, yet their trousers not only fit badly, but are also poorly hemmed. Two things you need to get right with your suit: Your pants should be well fitted i.e. they should be contoured well and hug your legs. Secondly, pants should be hemmed properly i.e. edge of the trouser hem should hit right at the top of your shoes, no fabric should puddle around your foot while standing, there is nothing more unflattering than that.

Give your silk ties a break

While the world has moved onto more interesting materials and patterns, silk is still the default material for ties in our part of the world. Wool and knit are two materials that every suit-wearing individual must give a try, especially for a daytime look. They are individualistic, unconventional and most importantly, they look super suave.
knitted

 

Tie bars

Use a tie bar to hold your tie. It not only keeps your tie in place, but adds sharpness to the look as well. A tie bar should come between the third and fourth button of your shirt, and not be bigger than the tie width.

tie bar

Watch your width

Let me put it as simply as I can: ‘Your tie width should never be bigger than the size of your index finger i.e. about 2 and a half inches. Slim, sleek ties are all the rage on the menswear horizon right now, and all the cool guys are wearing them. A tie has no practical purpose whatsoever, it is only a fashion accessory meant to compliment your look. So why ruin its very purpose by putting on an ugly, fat tie?

Pocket square

A pocket square is an accessory that gives you maximum leverage and room to spice up your look. The rule is simple, a pocket square doesn’t have to match your tie exactly. Cotton, linen and woolen pocket square are for daytime office looks, while silk and velvet (if you are feeling really ambitious) are for the night. Plain silk pocket squares will do the needful, but go for interesting patterns and snazzy prints to add some element to the look. Wearing a pocket square indicates confidence and assures that the man knows what he is doing.

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pocket squares - GQ

Own it!

Most importantly, own the look. Dressing well brings exuberance and a burst of confidence. A suit is one of the chicest and most dapper outfits. Get jazzy, embrace the zeal and make the most of it. There’s no accessory as flattering as self-confidence.

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