The T.M. Lewin Rule Book: Suits



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We all know that when it comes to wearing suits, there are some things you just don’t do. White socks, fluorescent shoelaces, and baseball caps are just a few on the endless list of men’s suits faux pas, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a checklist of the most common mistakes to avoid, say in the form of a rather witty and well written blog post? Well since you asked nicely, we decided to do just that, but rather than listing the rules outright, we thought we’d answer some of the most common questions about suits.

What Colour should I choose?

There’s a lot to be said for owning a good black suit. It can be worn on almost any occasion depending on your choice of shirt. Funerals, interviews, weddings, the black suits covers it all. Grey and navy are also popular and are a great choice as a second suit, but if you must choose one, then the classic black suit is the way to go.

How many buttons?

Is one not enough, is two ok, or is three too many? Let us help you choose…

  • 1 button – The hippest of the three choices. Traditionally a style reserved for tuxedos and formal suits, but of late we’re seeing quite a trend in 1 button slim fit suits. This style is definitely for the chap who knows his fashion and feels comfortable showing off his sartorial style.
  • 2 button – The safest bet of the bunch and the most common on the high street. The 2 button suit has a lower v-line and actually makes you look a bit taller. Perfect for wannabe tall guys and regular men that just want to look good.
  • 3 button – This is a more difficult look to pull off. We suggest that unless you want to look like a schoolmaster approaching retirement or you’re 6’4”, we’d steer clear of this style. Or if you do opt for a three button jacket whatever you do, do not fasten all three buttons at once. This is the easiest way to make it seem like you’ve gained three stone!

Open or Closed?

Buttons are on a suit for a reason, they pull the jacket in producing a flattering silhouette, but don’t go fastening them all at once!

  • Always leave the bottom button open (unless of course it’s a 1 button suit)
  • Keep the jacket closed when standing
  • Open it once your posterior hits a seat
  • Don’t dream of closing it when you hit the dance floor

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What about Size?

It pains us to keep repeating ourselves but you just cannot beat a well-tailored suit that fits perfectly at the shoulders. Men’s shirts are also measured to show half an inch at the cuff when a suit is worn, so make sure those sleeves are the proper length.

We’ve told you before about the “wearing daddy’s suit” effect that destroys not only a look but also your self-confidence when you realise how ridiculous you look. So don’t say you weren’t warned.

Can I put my stuff in it?

Of course you can put your stuff in the pockets. That’s what they’re there for right? Wrong!!

By all means stick your wallet in the inside pocket and your change in the trouser pockets (always nice to have something to jangle about), but the jacket pockets, voluminous as they appear, are there for decorative purposes only. Do not fill with gloves, phones, chargers, snacks, or extra socks for any reason whatsoever.

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How to Accessorise?

We’ll presume that you already understand the pitfalls of neon laces and trainers and get right into the business of men’s pocket squares and shoes, you know, grown up accessories.

Pocket squares are a really good way to get a bit funky with your suit.

Shoes can be a bit of a minefield so it’s probably best to invest in a few decent pairs. Black is a must and will go with almost any suit, but brown goes very well with navy suits and especially grey wool or light coloured linen suits.

So it might not be the checklist you were hoping for but we’ll bet you learned a thing or two about wearing you suit right. Remember we’re always here to help, especially when it comes to looking good in a suit.

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