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The 10 greatest suit mistakes

01 September 2016

Floating around the Internet you will find a lot of helpful tips on how to wear your suits, but less frequently are you advised on how not to wear them. From major to minor, there are plenty of things to watch out for and avoid. Pens and pads at the ready gentlemen, this could save you some grief.



  • Wearing braces and a belt at the same time. Never wear both simultaneously. One or the other is all that is necessary. If you’re really that worried about your trousers staying up, get them taken in at the waist.

  • Showing too much or too little of your shirt cuff. Half an inch of cuff showing is a good guideline. If you want to follow the rule completely by the book, the amount of cuff showing should match the amount of collar showing. Either buy shirts with a longer sleeve or shorten your suit jacket sleeves.

  • Wearing shoes that clash with your suit. Black shoes go with a spectrum of greys, blues and of course black. An oxblood will go with navies and if matched to an accessory (like your tie) it can work with black. A brown shoe will work best on blue suits and dark brown specifically looks much more professional with navy than a tan shoe will. A brown shoe should never be paired with a black suit.

  • Not matching your leathers. Match your shoes to your suit first, then the rest of your leathers to your shoes. This means your belt, watch and bag should all be in the same (or a very similar) colour.

  • Leaving jacket/coat vents stitched after purchase. When you first buy a suit/coat off the peg, the vents will be stitched closed. This is done to hold the jackets shape on the hangar so it looks more appealing. The vents are on the jacket to allow movement, so leaving them stitched completely defeats their purpose. Use a stitch ripper or small pair of scissors to carefully remove the stitches at home.

  • Leaving brand labels on suit cuffs. Get out your stitch rippers and scissors again for this one. On most off the peg suits, the left cuff will have the brand name label stitched on. It is there so you can easily recognize the suit brand when in a store. Leaving it in place when wearing the jacket simply looks like you are a show off, especially if you have purchased a high-end brand suit.

  • Wearing ties too short/long. The tip of your tie should just touch your trouser waistband. Wearing your tie too short will make you look like a rebellious schoolboy; avoid at all costs. A tie too long will look messy and careless, which will defeat the object of wearing a neat and professional suit.

  • Wearing ties too slim or wide. A suit is all about balance and proportion and your tie is no exception. Your lapels should be proportionate to your chest size, and in turn, your tie should match the width of your lapel. They say facial beauty is measured by how symmetrical ones features are; the same applies to your suits. Slim lapel, slim tie. Wide lapel… you get the idea.

  • Not looking after your shoes. You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. If your shoes are leather, keep them well shined and free of scuffmarks. If they are suede, use a suede brush and dye to keep them looking fresh. Even the best suit can be ruined by a poorly looked after pair of shoes, so no excuses.

  • Dressing for style and forgetting sense. A 14oz flannel suit will work beautifully in the cold winter months, providing a warm outer shell against the weather. The same suit in the middle of July may still fit just as well as it did 6 months previously, but you would now be sweating buckets and likely feeling very uncomfortable. Dress appropriately; true style comes from confidence and it’s hard to be confident when the office is laughing at you in your shorts mid-December.

  • So there you have it. The foolproof Fielding and Nicholson suit mistakes guide. Remember these tips when you’re next suiting up and enjoy the ego-boost from all the compliments you receive - you can thank us later.


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