The do’s and don’ts of formalwear for men – words Alexa Wang
It’s 2019 and men are breaking more style rules than ever before. Established dress codes are loosening and guys have more room to manoeuvre when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.
However, whilst things may have relaxed a little, there are still certain guidelines one must always follow. To ensure you’re on the right track, this guide will take a look at the do’s and don’ts of men’s formalwear.
DON’T Match Your Tie with Your Pocket Square
Although it may seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square and tie is a no-no. Instead, consider the rest of your outfit first and then choose a pocket square which echoes a colour in your tie, shirt or jacket.
DO Remove Suit Stitching
Fail to remove the stitching from your new suit and you’ll soon be labelled a menswear amateur. Where will you find such stitching? If it’s there, it’ll be on the shoulders, back vents, cuffs and pockets.
DON’T Button the Bottom Button
When wearing a suit or blazer, you should never button the bottom button. Remember one simple rule: “sometimes, always, never.” If you have a three-buttoned jacket, sometimes button the top one, always button the middle, and never button the bottom. With a two-buttoned suit, always button the top button and never the second.
DO Show off Some Cuff
To determine the proper length of a suit sleeve, about half an inch of shirt should show below your jacket cuff. If it doesn’t, either your jacket is too big or your shirt is too small.
DON’T Over Accessorise
Accessories are great, but they should be complementary and not take control of your outfit. Stick to a maximum of two or three per look. If in doubt, think less is more and take one element away.
DO Wear Colour
Just because you’re dressing formally, doesn’t mean you have to shy away from colour. Sure, you’ve still got to keep things classy, but adding some subtle colour to your look can instantly lift an entire outfit.
DON’T Wear Anything Novelty
Want to be taken seriously? Whether it’s socks, knitwear or neckwear, avoid novelty clothing at all costs. There are plenty of ways to add character to your outfit without reaching for a cartoon-print tie.
DO Tuck in Your Shirt
Men’s formal shirts are designed to be tucked in. They have a longer hem at the back, which gets pinched between your body and trousers when you sit down, so the shirt doesn’t ride up or wrinkle.
DON’T Come Up Short
Is your tie the correct length? A correctly tied tie should reach the belt buckle or the waistband of your trousers. Anything else is either too long or too short.
DO Measure Yourself
Before making a purchase, it’s handy to know your measurements. A great-fitting garment not only offers optimum comfort, but a defined silhouette that will ensure you always look your best. You can take most of the measurements by yourself, but it may be easier to have somebody help.