Monday, March 23, 2009

Proper Etiquette for Wearing Men's Suits

By Victor B. Sancharo

Suit-wearing etiquette is equally vital as design, color, and brand of the tux. Being ignorant about matching accessories or pairing the correct socks with a suit makes you very vulnerable to situations where you might appear silly or incompetent. This article will guide you through some of the most important considerations.

The primary thing is to plan ahead of time what type of shirt you'll be wearing with the tux. A long-sleeved, button-down dress shirt made of woven cloth with a collar is appropriate. Traditionally, many men wear white or light blue. If you want to be more conservative, choose white. Whether or not your shirt is worn with cuff links or not is up to you.

Second, you need to know how to button your jacket. This depends on the stance of the buttons, meaning how high the buttons are relative to your waist. If your suit is double-breasted, keep it buttoned up. If there is more than one button to fasten, only the top one needs to be. Single-breasted suits are more versatile because you can choose whether to leave the jacket buttoned or unbuttoned.

Picking a tie to complement your suit is usually a matter of personal preference, but usually the more conservative the better. Whatever you do, make sure that your tie is not lighter than your shirt or the same color as your shirt. Pull colors from the shirt or suit jacket to help you choose a complementary tie to pull the whole outfit together. A tie with a simple pattern is better than a busy or bright tie.

Tying your tie can be done one of four ways: shelby, four-in-hand, half-Windsor, and Full-Windsor. The last three are your best options. After you've tied the tie, look in the mirror to ensure that the tie ends just below your belt.

Select socks to wear with the tux that are the same basic hue as your trouser leg but are darker than the trousers themselves. If that's not possible, then match the shoes. The socks should extend past the calf and are usually made of cotton or wool.

Oxfords and Derbies are popular and conventional shoes to wear with a suit. Never wear a casual shoe. Black shoes are worn with gray or black suits. Dark brown shoes go well with navy and non-business suits. Light brown shoes are significantly less formal and are only appropriate during warm weather.

Last comes the accessories paired with your suit. There are a few things to remember, for instance, your belt should match your shoes. Jewelry for men should be kept basic, usually only cuff links, tie tack, and a watch. Handkerchiefs may be worn in the upper chest pocket but are not common anymore.

And there you have it - a guide for the suit and tuxedo wearer of today. With these tips, you can prevent making common mistakes and look great in your suit.

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