The Top 26 Best Style Tips for Men
Some men look stylish and put together every time they step out. You get the sense that they don’t have to try at all and yet somehow their look just works. Perfectly.
Were they born with an innate skillset you weren’t lucky enough to receive? Absolutely not. Are there secrets and style tips for men that they’re following? Yes, there most certainly are. Let’s call them principles, and in this case, these men pay strict attention to the principles and know how to put them to work.
In an effort to ignore your wardrobe, you may tell yourself that you don’t care about the way you look – that your skills and personality are the criteria for which you should be judged, and that your image shouldn’t matter. And that’s understandable, because if success in this world were based on merit alone, it wouldn’t matter. But it’s not, and it does.
How you choose to present yourself affects your everyday life. Most likely more than you realize. It affects how you feel, how you interact with the world, and how the world interacts with you. The way you dress is an outward expression of who you are. It forms the basis of your impression on other people and your perception of yourself.
When it comes to personal style, your biggest asset is your strategy. Either you randomly buy clothing, hoping to create some semblance of a “look”, or you learn a set of guiding principles and master your wardrobe once and for all.
Well-dressed men understand that when they look like their most professional, put-together and capable selves, that the world relates to them accordingly and operates with them on a higher level. Clothing acts as the outward representation of their skills and personality, tying their positive attributes together into a comprehensive package. That’s why regardless of whether or not they have an interest in fashion, attention is always paid to maintaining their image.
While it may sound overwhelming, adopting this behavior is easier than you may realize. It’s also well worth the effort. Like any learned skill, it requires an understanding of the basics, a vested interest in the outcome, and a commitment to continuous practice and exploration. It is methodical and calculated, which means that unlike an innate talent, it is something that can be developed through applied knowledge.
Are you ready to take control of your image and reap the personal and professional benefits of being well-dressed? We’re here to help! As a full-service personal styling firm, we teach men from all walks of life how to look their best, and we’re here to do the same for you.
Scroll down to learn the top 50 best style tips for men, guaranteed to help you build a winning strategy for your wardrobe.
1. GET CLEAR ON YOUR MESSAGE
The first step in establishing your sense of style is to build your message. Think of this as your personal branding – an external package that shows the world exactly who you are on the inside and highlights your strongest qualities.
Begin by asking yourself how you’d like to be perceived by the people you interact with. Choose words that paint a vivid mental picture of the way you want to represent yourself. Adjectives like powerful, charming, sophisticated and intelligent, provide a measurement to assess your image against, so it’s important to get as clear and concise as possible.
When our Personal Stylists begin working with a new male client, selecting these adjectives is the first step in our process. Before knowing what your clothing will look like, it’s imperative that you’re clear on your message.
Keep in mind that you’re always driving your personal narrative, whether you’re conscious of it or not. What do you want your style to say?
2. IDENTIFY YOUR INSPIRATION
Men will often say that they’re just not “inherently stylish”, that they lack the understanding of how to put outfits together or what the ‘rules’ of fashion are. We like to challenge their argument by asking if they can identify someone whose style they admire. A man they want to dress like, even if they have no idea how to assemble the look.
And guess what? 9 times out of 10 they can list multiple references (all good ones), quashing their own assumption that they don’t have a sense of style.
They may not understand the how, which is often the reason they’ve told themselves that they lack an aptitude for fashion. Understanding how to do something is learnable, it’s teachable. But as with any goal, we must first put the framework in place before knowing how to execute it, and when it comes to style, that framework is based on a clear understanding of our preferences.
Whether it’s celebrities, politicians, TV characters, or co-workers, make a list of men you view as consistently well-dressed. This will help you narrow in on your preferences as you begin to identify what they all have in common.
If you feel yourself resisting this exercise, just lean into it and see where the discovery process takes you. As creatures of habit, it’s challenging to envision ourselves wearing something other than what we’re familiar with. For the time being, ignore the natural hesitation to step outside your comfort zone and instead focus only on who and what appeals to you.
3. FOCUS ON AUTHENTICITY
There’s often a misconception with men that they should wear something because it’s in style, because women like it, or simply because it’s what everyone else is wearing. But the problem with this thinking is that when you wear something that isn’t you, you feel like an imposter and it shows.
The clothing you wear is an extension of who you are. It should strengthen your image and be an expression of your true self. So don’t force it. The goal is to build an elevated sense of style based around a wardrobe you feel good in, one that lifts your self-confidence and gets you excited to interact in the world.
This is not to say you’re given a free pass to dress in sweats every day because they make you feel like your truest self. You can do better. Work on choosing pieces that fit with your message (step 1), align with your preferences (step 2), so that the way you present yourself is completely aligned with who you are.
If you’re unsure how you feel in something, take our authenticity test by asking yourself 3 simple questions: Does the outfit feel comfortable or will I be constantly adjusting it? Do I recognize myself in the mirror or am I trying to be someone I’m not? Does this clothing bring me joy and am I excited to wear it? If you answer yes to all 3, you’re good to go. If not, look for another option.
4. WIN THE FIRST IMPRESSION
People instinctively form strong first impressions of you. They do this very quickly and with minimal data – and they base it off the information you provide them with. While you can’t change their behavior, you can alter their perception to your advantage. Why would you want to do this? Because their impression sets the tone for the entire interaction, both in the present moment and throughout the course of your relationship.
How you dress represents who you are and tells people what to expect from you. And when you dress like an average man, you tell everyone you are average, and they should only expect average things from you.
But if you care about your image and are committed to putting in the work, then you are anything but average and should show the world exactly how outstanding you are.
Far too often a lack of attention to wardrobe holds people back. This is frustrating, because clothing certainly doesn’t determine one’s actual competence or credibility; it does however, influence others’ perception of those qualities – and that reality impacts opportunities.
Whether you’re re-entering the dating world, hoping to be considered for a promotion, or striving to land bigger clients, your image plays a role in the success of your outcomes. Luckily, the clothing you choose to wear and the way you wear it, is completely within your control. If you want to win the first impression, then take hold of your narrative and learn to dress in a way that shows the world you are far from average.
5. USE CLOTHING TO BUILD CONFIDENCE
A strong sense of confidence is what separates the men who operate within their comfort zone from those who go after bigger career opportunities, seek out new clients, ask for a raise, and take more chances in their dating life. It’s what drives them to make their voices heard and their presence felt, even when life tells them they’d be better off playing it safe.
When it comes to building confidence, often the right wardrobe can work like a suit of armor to give the extra boost you need to not just look the part, but to feel it too, and carry yourself accordingly. Putting on nice clothing makes you feel powerful, and that changes the basic way you see the world and the role you play in it. When used correctly, it fosters the ability for you to feel empowered, comfortable in your own skin, and above all else confident.
As you begin to develop your sense of style, learn to acknowledge that nice clothing is much more than just nice clothing. It’s your uniform for battle, worn to help you feel your best and perform at a higher level. It’s your external packaging, telling everyone how seriously you should be taken. Learn to relate to your wardrobe as an integral piece in establishing your self-confidence, without discounting its significance or writing off its necessity.
6. UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT YOUR BODY TYPE
Understanding your body type is a key piece in successfully achieving a great sense of personal style. When it comes to selecting the right clothing, it’s important to be honest with yourself about the body you have and choose cuts that enhance and flatter your shape accordingly.
Men have the tendency to wear clothing that is too big for them because it feels comfortable, or because they’re trying to disguise their physique and conceal certain insecurities. Unfortunately, this masking technique has the opposite effect.
Excess fabric and unnecessary wrinkles and sagging not only make your outline look sloppy, but also shorter and heavier. None of which are desired outcomes.
Accept and embrace your body as it is now, and don’t wait until you’re an ideal stature before committing to dressing better. Great style is attainable at any height, weight or shape.
With the right clothing and the proper fit, you look like you’re in charge of your appearance. The function of your wardrobe is to present your body in the best light possible, not to hide it and hope it goes unnoticed. This is a futile objective and will only do you a disservice by making you appear sloppy and careless. Learn to accept your body and shop for it accordingly.
7. ENHANCE A SKINNY STRUCTURE
Slender men often try to disguise their body by wearing larger clothing, thinking they’ll look larger themselves. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. By wearing clothing that is a size too big, you accentuate your smaller build by creating a saggy shape, where fabric hangs off your frame.
Conversely, choosing cuts that cling to your body further emphasize your skinny stature and have the tendency to make your proportions look frail. The sweet spot is right in the middle, with moderation being key.
Your go-to items should be ones that add weight while still being true to size. Suit jackets and blazers instantly create structure and are the slender man’s best friend, so be sure to have several in your rotation. Select styles where the shoulder seam sits right at your shoulder’s edge (too far over and you look like you’re wearing your father’s hand-me-down) and fit to the curvature of your torso. Layer sweaters over collared shirts and button downs over t-shirts to build out your frame. Choose bulky fabrics and heavy knits that add weight, while avoiding anything too thin or clingy.
On the bottom, stay away from super skinny jeans and pants that are too tapered as they only further accentuate a slender stature. Instead opt for a slim or straight cut, which adds volume on your lower half and makes you appear sturdier.
When you showcase your shape rather than try to conceal it, you own every inch of the space you occupy and show up in the world as the strong, powerful man that you are.
8. STREAMLINE A LARGER FRAME
When larger men opt for shapeless, baggy clothing, the visual distortion gets amplified, and in fact draws more attention to your weight while relegating your overall appearance. Instead of trying to fool people into thinking you’re slimmer than you are by covering your body in excess fabric, learn to streamline the shape you have.
Choose clothing that is fitted, and gives you a clean, clear and defined silhouette. Think of it as outlining your frame in a structured package, where your clothing works to contain everything that’s inside.
Your wardrobe should be stocked with blazers, sportscoats, light weight jackets and layering sweaters. These will assist you in achieving a proportional shape while framing out your torso. Choose suit jackets with a double vent to better cover your backside, and wider lapels to balance out your chest. On the bottom opt for straight leg, non-tapered trousers and jeans to lengthen your frame and help you appear longer and leaner.
Look for fabrics that are lightweight. They allow for better ventilation, without trapping heat inside, and also eliminate any issue of excess bulk.
9. WEAR CLOTHING THAT FITS
Fit is the number one most important thing when it comes to dressing well. If there is a style tip for men that trumps all others, this is it.
In addition to strategically enhancing your body type, your clothing also needs to fit your unique size, from your neck to your wrists to your inseam. It doesn’t matter if you’re in jeans and t-shirt or a three-piece suit. In order to maintain a polished sense of style your clothing must match your measurements.
This is why every well-dressed man knows the importance of having a go-to tailor. Someone who knows his body and understands how to adjust his clothing accordingly. The likelihood of something fitting you straight off the rack is rare. Unless you’re perfectly proportioned, it’s to be expected that you’ll need to make adjustments, and absolutely imperative when you get into suiting (see tip #22).
Men have a tendency to get overwhelmed after shopping and choose to leave clothing as is. Don’t settle for pant hems that bunch at your ankles or shirt sleeves that hang past your wrists. Not only are these alterations simple and affordable, but they instantly elevate your image and are well worth the added effort.
If something doesn’t fit initially, then it will never look right, so don’t waste your money unless you’re going to take the time to tailor it. Well-fitting clothing will complement your body, whereas ill-fitting ones will draw attention to your problem areas and make you come across as sloppy and careless.
When clothing fits, you not only look good, but feel good as well. Your posture improves and you carry yourself with more confidence, which affects the way you perceive yourself and the impact you have on others.
10. LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF DRESSING SHARP, NOT FLASHY
A lot of men assume that to dress well, they need to stand out. And they naturally go about it in the wrong way. They think they need to recreate runway fashion, layer on accessories or out-do their peers, all in an effort to be deemed stylish. But what they fail realize is that when it comes to great style, less is often more. As well-dressed gentleman we want to stand out for being polished, not ostentatious. So it’s important to know the difference.
The easiest way to think about dressing sharp is to focus on the classics. Classics are classics for a reason; they’re time-tested essentials that always look good. They hold firm over time, and unlike trends, they pair well with one another – meaning that putting them together in outfit combinations always guarantees success. When you focus on mastering the classics, you create an almost fail-proof formula for your personal style. Where trends can end up looking tacky, classics will always be timeless.
Putting effort into dressing sharp means you undoubtedly emit an image of self-respect and self-worth. You stand out from the crowd and draw attention to yourself, not because your clothing is loud and flashy, but because you radiate a sense of excellence and maturity.
11. BUILD A FOUNDATION OF BASICS
The key to a wardrobe that works for you, is to build a collection of items that interchange with one another. Otherwise known as a capsule wardrobe. To make this happen, you need a solid foundation of understated, classic staples that can be mixed and matched with as many other pieces as possible. These will not only act as the bedrock of your clothing collection, but will also serve as the supporting pieces to some of your more signature items.
The more versatile clothing you invest in, the more outfit options you create within your wardrobe. You’d be amazed at how fast your choice can increase with just a few strategic additions. Whereas a trendier item may only create 1-2 outfit combinations, quality basics will generate upwards of 10. Think of this concept like compound interest, where every piece you add grows the wardrobe you already own exponentially.
Below is a list of the essential items all men should have in their wardrobe. Owning these basics will guarantee a strong foundation for your style and will lend a supporting hand to more signature pieces.
- solid color t-shirts
- long sleeve t-shirts or henley’s
- white dress shirt
- casual button down
- dark wash jeans
- blazer or sport coat
- suit (navy or charcoal)
- layering sweaters
- casual jacket (utility, bomber, or leather)
- dress jacket (trench or topcoat)
- tennis shoes
- leather dress shoes (brown and black)
- boots (Chelsea or chukka)
- leather belt
12. USE A VARIETY OF NEUTRALS
Just like your capsule wardrobe of basics, an assortment of neutral colors is also essential for building out the foundation of your wardrobe. They automatically work with one another, so you don’t have to spend much time thinking about how to pair combinations or whether something is going to clash.
When it comes to your wardrobe, neutral colors include: black, white, grey, navy brown and khaki or camel.
Men often think that they have to wear bold colors in order to be well-dressed, and get overwhelmed when trying to keep track of what pairs together. But as you’ve already learned the point is to dress sharp, not flashy, so if the idea of color-matching makes you anxious, rest assured you can look equally as stylish in neutrals.
This essential palette makes you look professional and put-together, so if and when you’re ready to introduce some color, they serve as the perfect backdrop.
13. ...THEN ADD SOME COLOR
Knowing how to wear color is a challenge, even when you’re trying your best to get it right. Understanding what pairs together and how to compliment your skin tone, can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to wearing exclusively black and white.
Once you’ve built a foundation of neutrals, all of which work together, start by adding in one color per outfit at a time. Since nothing clashes with a neutral (that’s what makes it neutral after all), you can match in anything else you like without worrying about the pairing. One color is enough to add more interest and personality to your look, while still being completely safe from clashes.
When you have on your navy dress pants and a grey button down, try adding in a burgundy tie. And with a more casual look like khaki pants and black t-shirt, layer on a military green sweater or jacket to give your outfit a pop.
If you want to incorporate pattern, keep it subtle and classic. It’s not to say that your outfit has to be boring, but please leave the garish prints and crazy patterns to someone else. If you’re trying to show off your whimsical and carefree personality through your clothing, start by incorporating smaller accents like a colorful pocket square or printed dress socks. Otherwise, stick with the foolproof neutrals and pops of colors, and let your humor speak for itself—not through your wardrobe.
14. ASSESS WHAT YOU OWN AND LET GO OF WHAT DOESN'T ALIGN
Getting clear on the image you’re creating for yourself will help you assess what’s in your closet with honesty and objectivity. Chances are you’ve been wearing the same thing for years, not because you chose it strategically but because it was familiar. It’s time to be more methodical about what you’re wearing.
Review your current wardrobe piece by piece, to determine if each item fits with the style you plan to achieve. Commit to letting go of anything that doesn’t align. Holding on to clothing out of sentimental attachment will only guarantee you repeat old patterns. What’s more, a closet overflowing with clothes is very impractical. It takes you too long to find something to wear because the good stuff is hidden under piles of things you aren’t using. Keep the items that match your goals and part with the rest.
Check with family and friends to see if they may be in need of a clothing refreshment. What no longer works for you could very well be a fit for someone else. Generating some extra income is also a good idea. Sites like Poshmark, The RealReal and thredUP are all great options for reselling your unwanted items.
If you want to learn how to organize your closet effectively, try our simple 7 step process, which will help you easily maintain a more effective, comprehensive wardrobe.
15. ESTABLISH YOUR GO TO BRANDS
As you invest more time and money into building your wardrobe, you’ll begin to learn which brands you can rely on for fit, quality and aesthetic. Put a list together of the ones that match your needs so you can automate the styling process. Shopping becomes a whole lot easier when you already know which stores have items that work for you, and the brands you’ve had success with in the past.
If Paige jeans tend to fit you perfectly, you can save yourself a lot of time (and energy) by knowing where to look first. When J Crew consistently comes out with collections that match your personal style, it’s a pretty safe bet that you can find something you like there without having to scour the entire mall.
Knowing your go-to brands is an easy way to build the foundation for your personal style while developing your collection of basics.
16. PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO MAKE SHOPPING LESS DAUNTING
It’s no secret that most men hate shopping. Hate may actually be an understatement. And while we don’t have a secret strategy that will transform this chore into your new favorite hobby, there are a few steps you can take to make the experience less overwhelming.
To start with, you need a game plan. Get clear on what you’re shopping for and where you’re likely to find it. Make a mental shopping list and remind yourself of your go-to brands before you head out. This way you have an itinerary when you get to the mall.
Next, commit to comparison shopping. A lot of men buy the first option they try, simply because they want to ‘get in and get out’. While this may save you some time, it doesn’t guarantee you’re finding clothing that’s worthy of your investment. Compare at least 3-5 different styles based on the criteria of price, quality and fit so you can be sure you’re choosing the best available option.
If you struggle to make decisions or feel pressured by sales associates, bring a friend along for second opinions and emotional support. They will not only provide honest feedback, seeing things that can be in your blind spot, but may also help you branch out and try things you’d never otherwise think of.
And if the experience of shopping in a mall is just too overwhelming for you, work with a Personal Stylist who will shop on your behalf and bring a personally curated selection of clothing directly to your home for you to try at leisure.
17. INVEST IN QUALITY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR ROI
It’s integral that you relate to your wardrobe as an investment into yourself, and shift your mindset when it comes to spending money on clothing. Afterall, it is one of the most fundamental tools at your disposal, used to form a positive impression on your colleagues, clients, prospective romantic partners, and most importantly, on yourself. It’s important that you invest in it wisely.
When it comes to knowing how much to spend on clothing, the key is to buy the best quality you can afford for your budget. To generate a strong ROI, spend more money on less pieces, investing in good quality that will last for years to come.
The $300.00 Zara suit, that at first glance looks similar to the $900.00 Hugo Boss version, may seem like a great choice as your new work-suit in the short term. But when the fused lapels start coming apart after two trips to the drycleaner, you’ll be kicking yourself for not investing in the one that would get you through the decade.
When you’re dressed in quality garments it shows. Not only can other people see it, but more importantly you feel it, and your confidence lifts. Afterall, it’s something to be proud of when you can invest money into your personal success, and that appreciation impacts the way you carry yourself.
The only time quality isn’t as integral is if you’re experimenting with trendier items or things you don’t plan to wear in the long term. Since these pieces tend to be more fleeting, you can get away with fast-fashion brands and lower tiered craftsmanship.
18. STAY AWAY FROM LOGOS AND BRANDING
Have you ever noticed most of the best dressed men are considered best dressed because of the way they seem to effortlessly put outfits together, looking like they’re hardly trying? Their style-status has everything to do with fine-tuning a look that’s uniquely them – one that doesn’t include logos or branding.
You aren’t stylish simply because you wear expensive clothing. Quite the opposite in fact. A Gucci belt or Balmain tee, though very popular on Instagram, only demonstrates your ability to follow fads and play into marketing campaigns, not your aptitude for polished menswear. Branded clothing gives the impression that you couldn’t be bothered to elevate your image, hoping instead that the designer-status will do the job for you.
Having a strong sense of style is about knowing your message, choosing clothes that feel authentically you, understanding what works for your body type and above all else, feeling confident in what you wear. A great outfit has very little to do with price. You can make a less expensive ensemble into something spectacular when you understand the principals of personal style.
19. ONLY BUY CLOTHING YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE
Men are notorious for seeing something in a store that fits the general criteria of what they need, and buying it without so much as a second glance over. Typically to get back home to something more enjoyable. While this may feel like a pain-free shopping experience, it ultimately results in is a closet filled with clothing you never wear.
Instead, take the time to try things on in the store and pay attention to your immediate reaction. Does it generate feelings of confidence? Can you visualize yourself wearing it a variety of settings? If you don’t get those feelings as soon as you put it on for the first time, they’re not going to come later when you have to remind yourself why you bought it.
The point of building a great wardrobe is to invest in pieces that make you feel like your best self. If that experience doesn’t happen in the store, don’t buy it. There’s always something better to be found somewhere else.
20. WHEN IN DOUBT, DRESS UP
There’s nothing wrong with being the best dressed guy in the room. Any attention it brings your way is going to be the right attention. It says you’re serious and should be treated accordingly.
If you aren’t sure of the dress code, especially in a new work setting, it’s always better to look more elevated than everyone else than to be the most casual. When you’re overdressed, you present yourself as a professional. When you’re underdressed however, your run the risk of your potential client or boss thinking you don’t take your job seriously enough.
If the dress code in your office is relaxed, don’t use it as an opportunity to look anything less than polished. Business casual is not dressing up a casual outfit; business casual means dressing down a business outfit. In other words, dressing down from a suit. The idea behind business casual is to project a professional image while enjoying more casual attire.
Even if the rest of your office is dressed like it’s the weekend, hold yourself to a higher standard. Be the man that looks professional, even if you’re the only one, and you’ll stand out in the right way.
People look up to well-dressed individuals and instinctively give them more respect and attention. If you’re unsure, you’re always safer erring on the side of dressy. Not only will you feel better, but the people around you will notice.
21. PERFECT YOUR DATE NIGHT LOOK
If you’re recently single, a lot of your questions may center around style tips for men re-entering the dating world. Even as a seasoned dater, you may still be unsure of the best outfit choices to make on your evenings out.
You want to present yourself in the most appealing way possible in order to win the first impression and demonstrate your seriousness. Not only will your date appreciate the effort you put in, but you’ll also feel much more confident yourself.
Dressing for the occasion matters, so plan your outfit based on where you’re going. Your date will most certainly be taking into account the location and what kind of atmosphere it will be, so they’ll expect you too as well. Being on the same page clothing-wise is an important part of the first date experience.
Dressing too formal will look contrived and out of place, too relaxed and you appear as if you don’t care. But even a casual evening doesn’t mean that no effort is required. You want to hit the sweet spot of blending in while also impressing, by appearing comfortable, calm and relaxed. In order to achieve this, you need to wear something that is you. If you force an outfit you just end up feeling like a kid on the first day of school.
The best way guarantee a winning look is to mix formal with casual. It shows you’re serious but not stuffy or out of touch. Stay away from a suit and tie unless the location is incredibly swanky and opt instead for a sweater and trousers, or a blazer and slim dark denim. Solid, sophisticated colors, good-quality fabrics, and clothes that fit you well are your friend here. They’ll give you an air of mystery and complement anything your date decides to wear.
22. MASTER THE 8 CRITERIA OF A PROPERLY FITTING SUIT
The perfect suit can be a tricky item to fit. Too big and you look like a teenager. Too small and you’ll feel like you’re in a straitjacket. An off-the-rack suit will always need adjustments from a tailor, but a few simple tests will tell you if it fits in the first place.
The number one most important fit of a suit is in the shoulders. Make sure the seam sits squarely on your natural shoulder and isn’t hiked up or dangling down. Shoulders are one of the hardest parts to adjust after construction, so always start with one that lies directly on your bone to begin with.
#2 Chest & Torso:
Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under your lapel when the top button is done up. If the lapels pop out, the jacket is too tight and you need to size up. If the fabric gapes away from your chest, try a size down. Follow up this test by wrapping your arms around your torso like you’re giving yourself a hug. If it feels like the seams are about to burst, this a sure sign that the jacket is too small.
The top button of a two-button suit, or the middle button of a three-button suit, should not fall below your naval.
Jacket sleeves should end at your natural wrist, otherwise known in tailoring as the “rule of wrist”, with about a half inch of shirt exposed. The sleeves should be slim enough that they follow the width of your arms, but not so tight that they show the wrinkles of your dress shirt underneath.
With your arms straight down at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of the jacket. This is an important one to pay attention to, as too long or too short will throw off the overall proportions of the suit.
Dress pants sit at your waist, not your hips (jeans and chinos can sit at your hips). They should stay put without the need of a belt. If they don’t, they’re too big. A belt should be used to pull your look together as finishing touch, not a means of keeping your pants on.
Pant fabric should graze your thigh and taper slightly as it falls from your knee to your ankle, while gently hugging your backside. If you can grab a significant amount of fabric in the leg of your pants, they’re too wide.
A trouser “break” refers to the fold in the fabric that occurs at the bottom of the pant leg as it rests on the shoe. This fold breaks the clean line of the trouser drape, hence the name. Off-the-rack suits are sold with a raw hem so that a tailor can customize the length of the pant to match your height. A proper break should fall just above your shoe or grazing the top of them. Any longer and the fabric will bunch, creating a sloppy silhouette.
23. DON'T OVERLOOK YOUR DRESS SHIRTS
A good quality men’s dress shirt isn’t sized S, M, L. The style of shirt you want to invest in has a numerical designation for both the neck and sleeve length in order to provide a more precise fit. And even when you find your correct size, you may require some additional tailoring to streamline the sleeves and torso, depending on your proportions.
Taking care of this when the shirt brand new is imperative. After all, you’ve committed to dressing sharp – an ill-fitted shirt will only make you look sloppy and careless. Though these adjustments may feel minor, they dramatically increase the overall appeal of the garment on your body and ensure less bulk underneath your suit jacket.
When shopping for dress shirts you also want to take note of the fabric. This is especially imperative for whites. A good quality shirt will be made of a more robust yarn, ensuring it isn’t see-through. With the amount of wear they’re going to receive, always invest in higher-end dress shirts (especially white ones) that aren’t as thin as a tissue. If you can see your undershirt through the fabric of the dress shirt, it’s too thin.
24. GIVE ATTENTION TO BUTTONING VS UNBUTTONING
The rules of buttoning your suit jacket are such: when you’re standing – button, when you’re sitting – unbutton. On a two-button suit, fasten the top button and leave the bottom one undone. On a three-button suit, fasten the top two buttons and leave the bottom one undone.
Why are there such definitive rules you may ask? Well for starters, modern suits are cut in such a way that the fabric doesn’t drape properly when the bottom button is fastened. They’re also designed to showcase the curvature of the masculine frame when closed. Leaving it open while standing defeats its entire purpose.
Jackets are unbuttoned when seated, not only because this is much more comfortable, but also to prevent wrinkling and buttons from popping off.
And lastly, knowing the rules signals your ability to understand the importance of details. It shows that you are a regular “suit-wearer” and belong to the club of men who ascribe to the rules of proper dress code.
25. MATCH SOCKS TO YOUR PANTS, NOT SHOES
To finish off your suiting, it’s best to keep things simple when it comes to your socks. A good rule of thumb is to match them to your pants, which creates a visually seamless extension of your leg, making you appear taller. When you match to your socks to your shoes, they blend right in and create a bootie effect. Not the look you’re going for.
Matching doesn’t mean identical colors, though; they just need to fall in the same hue. If your dress pants are navy, you could opt for a dark green sock but would want to stay away from a light yellow. See the difference? Feel free to add in some print or pattern, but keep it within reason. When your focus is on dressing sharp rather than flashy, socks screaming for attention is not a look that fits the bill.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure your socks are long enough to cover your legs. When you sit down with your legs crossed, no skin should be showing between your sock and your pant hem.
26. WEAR AN UNDERSHIRT (PROPERLY)
You’ve spent money to invest in good quality dress shirts, so you’ll want to do what you can to preserve their longevity. In addition to proper care and maintenance, you can keep your shirts free of sweat stains by pairing them with an undershirt.
It’s important that you invest in a true undershirt, a garment designed only to be worn under other shirts. It should fit close to your body and have some spandex in the fabric to provide ease of movement while wicking away sweat. A proper undershirt should also be long enough to stay tucked in so that it isn’t bunching or rolling.
The neckline of your undershirt should never be visible beneath your dress shirt, since its purpose is to remain unseen. Crewnecks are ideal when you’re wearing your shirt buttoned up with a tie. When sporting a more relaxed look (open button and sans-tie), opt for a V-neck.