The waist of a dress pant does not sit on your hips like jeans do. Make sure that the waistband of your pants is comfortable and that you can stick two fingers into the waist while you are wearing them. All men look good in flat-front pants, although some may prefer pleats.
Nothing says sloppy more than a pile of fabric at your ankle. Your pants should reach your shoes and have a slight break. Cuffed or uncuffed is your choice, but keep in mind that cuff may cause you to look shorter, rather than taller.
The jacket should fit easily across your
stomach. While the classic two-button style remains popular, men who have
a longer torso may opt for a three-button suit as it may fit better. Whether
your preferred style is classic or modern, look for fitted waistlines that
enhance the shape of your body.
When all is said and done, you should be able
to stretch and bend easily in your suit. Make sure that you have free movement
of your arms. As a test, bring your arms out straight in front of you or sit in
a chair as though you are working at a desk. You should always be
Single-breasted suits are buttoned while standing. When the jacket is buttoned, all buttons except for the bottom button are fastened. Under no circumstances should the bottom-most button of a single-breasted suit jacket be fastened. With a three-button suit, one has the option of buttoning only the middle button in the manner of the old three-button cuts, or following the rule of buttoning every button but the bottom-most one. Both are acceptable. To prevent bunching, the single-breasted jacket should be completely unbuttoned while the wearer is seated.
Double-breasted suits are always kept buttoned. When there is more than one to-button (as in a traditional six-on-two arrangement,) only the top one is to be fastened. Often, this is the only one that can be properly fastened, because the bottom to-button often lacks a corresponding interior flap button.
Current fashion trends may dictate contrary to what the rules are. Here are some basic guidelines: If you have stripes in your suits, you do not have stripes in your tie or your shirt. Ties should have the colour the suit, the dress shirt, and one other colour if you so chose. The tie should generally be darker than the wearer’s shirt. Generally, simple or subdued patterns are preferred for conservative dress, though these terms are subject to a wide range of interpretation.
The type of shirt worn with a suit is made of high quality cotton, with long sleeves, a full-length buttoned opening down the front, and a collar.
The classic dress shirt colours are white and light blue. The most formal type of dress shirt worn with a standard suit is a shirt with French cuffs, which use cuff links or silk knots to close. This type of shirt is optional and essentially up to the preferences of the wearer or the dictates of present day fashion. Ideally this shirt should also have what is known as a “spread collar.” This is frequently the default collar type for French cuff shirts, but they can sometimes be found with point collars. Button-down collars are normally reserved for use with a sports coat or without a coat at all. The button-down collar is not seeing as much wear today, particularly with the resurgence of more formal shirts with spread collars and French cuffs, even in business casual wear. In terms of wear, the shirt should be properly pressed and have collar stays in place if the shirt allows.
The colour of the shoes and the colour of the belt must be the same. The buckle of the belt must match the jewelry, such as cufflinks, tie bar, watch, etc., of the wearer. Acceptable colours for belt and shoes are most commonly black and brown. Light browns such as saddle and tan should be reserved for use with business casual wear. Where watches are concerned, the more formal the occasion, the thinner the watch. Analog watches are more formal than digital watches. In the most formal situations, a pocket watch or no watch at all should be worn. Generally speaking, one should not wear rubber sole dress shoes, though there are some individual high end shoes that may be exceptions. Leather sole shoes are not only traditional, but more importantly, they almost always have uppers that are of a far better quality and have a much more “dressy” appearance.
Handkerchiefs and pocket squares/silks in the upper welt (chest) pocket are becoming more popular in today’s modern dress code. Coordinating pocket squares is a matter of taste, but a general rule of thumb would be to match the colour of the shirt or the background colour of the tie. When in doubt, one can simply use the traditional white cotton or linen handkerchief. There are a number of styles in which these may be folded, all at the wearer’s discretion.