25 Golden Rules of Suit Etiquette

The suit. Every man should have at least one. They are to women what lingerie is to men and a good suit can work wonders for relationships, careers, and your social life. But what constitutes a good suit? Are you wearing yours correctly? Is it the right fit?

There are so many golden rules to wearing a suit that it can be hard to follow. If you’ve just started a high-flying career that requires you to wear one, or you’re just after a little advice, you’ve come to the right place. Here, Love 2 Laundry has run down the 25 cardinal rules of suit etiquette that you should never forget.

Click on the different areas of the suit below to find out how it should be worn

Suit Etiquette

Select an area to find out the golden rules you should remember when next slipping into your suit

Tie

Tie width should match the width of your lapel

If you have a larger head, use a double Windsor knot. If you have a smaller sized head, use a single Windsor knot

Your tie should be darker than your shirt

Your tie should reach your belt and definitely never be longer than that

Lapels

Depending on your style know this: thin lapels are more modern and wider lapels are a more old school look

Shoulder Pads

 

Shoulder pads should end at the shoulders. No longer or shorter

Belt

Avoid thick belts. Go for a slimmer option

Match your belt with your shoes

Shoes

 

Worried about the colour of your shoes? Here’s the lowdown:

Black suit > Black shoes

Dark grey suit > Black shoes

Light grey suit > Black shoes / brown shoes

Blue suit > Black shoes / brown shoes

Brown suit > Brown shoes

Jacket

 

You should be able to slip your hand in-between your jacket and chest so that it feels snug, but still with room to move

 

Get the right fabric for the season. In summer, go for lighter materials like linen and cotton and in winter, thicker materials like cashmere, tweed, or merino

 

If it’s ill fitting, or a little off, get to a tailor. Tailors are often inexpensive ways of making any suit look sharp and made for your body

 

Charcoal or grey is a better choice for day to day wear over a black suit

Buttons

 

Never sit down with your suit buttoned up. It risks ruining it

 

If you’re wearing a two button suit, the top button should be level or above your navel

 

Always fasten the top button of your shirt. If it’s too tight, your shirts a bad fit

Waistcoat

Wearing a vest with your suit? Keep the button at the button undone

Your waistcoat should finish at your belt, too

Trousers

Trousers should sit at the top of your shoes. Too long and your suit will look too baggy, too short and all your socks (and maybe legs) will be on show

Pocket Square

If you go for a pocket square, you don’t want it to match your tie in colour or fabric

Cuffs

 

The cuffs of your sleeve should be exposed by around half and inch. They shouldn’t go too far down over your hands.

Socks

 

Your socks should be long enough to guarantee you don’t expose any leg when sitting down

Shoes

Worried about the colour of your shoes? Here’s the lowdown:

Black suit > Black shoes

Dark grey suit > Black shoes

Light grey suit > Black shoes / brown shoes

Blue suit > Black shoes / brown shoes

Brown suit > Brown shoes

Cuffs

The cuffs of your sleeve should be exposed by around half and inch. They shouldn’t go too far down over your hands.

Socks

Your socks should be long enough to guarantee you don’t expose any leg when sitting down

Shirt

If you find that you sweat a lot, wear an undershirt

Jacket

You should be able to slip your hand in-between your jacket and chest so that it feels snug, but still with room to move

Get the right fabric for the season. In summer, go for lighter materials like linen and cotton and in winter, thicker materials like cashmere, tweed, or merino

If it’s ill fitting, or a little off, get to a tailor. Tailors are often inexpensive ways of making any suit look sharp and made for your body

Charcoal or grey is a better choice for day to day wear over a black suit

Lapels

Depending on your style know this: thin lapels are more modern and wider lapels are a more old school look

Buttons

Never sit down with your suit buttoned up. It risks ruining it

If you’re wearing a two button suit, the top button should be level or above your navel

Always fasten the top button of your shirt. If it’s too tight, your shirts a bad fit

Buttons

Never sit down with your suit buttoned up. It risks ruining it

If you’re wearing a two button suit, the top button should be level or above your navel

Always fasten the top button of your shirt. If it’s too tight, your shirts a bad fit

Buttons

Never sit down with your suit buttoned up. It risks ruining it

If you’re wearing a two button suit, the top button should be level or above your navel

Always fasten the top button of your shirt. If it’s too tight, your shirts a bad fit

Buttons

Never sit down with your suit buttoned up. It risks ruining it

If you’re wearing a two button suit, the top button should be level or above your navel

Always fasten the top button of your shirt. If it’s too tight, your shirts a bad fit

Back

If you have a larger figure, go for a suit with double vents at the back of the jacket

Pockets

Unstitch the pockets, take out tack stitches, and take the embroidered label from the jacket sleeve. Do this carefully, though. You don’t want to ruin your suit!

If you have spent a lot of money on your suit, the last thing you’ll want is for it to look ill-fitting and un-stylish. Follow the 25 of golden rules we’ve run down here and you won’t go wrong.