The Gentlemen's Styling Guide: The Art of Great Styling

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When trying to achieve that perfectly tailored look with your suit, it’s the details that take you from being an average face in the crowd to standing head and shoulders above the rest. There are some small things you can do to go from an “off the rack” to custom look without the high end cost.

First, invest in the RIGHT suit. The right suit will contain these elements; 2-3 buttons, wool or wool blend, single or side vents, a true modern cut and a straight or slim pant. For a clean and slimming look, go without pleats and cuffs in the pant. Flat front pants have less fabric around the hip area thus giving a smoother and more tailored look. The absence of the cuff allows your pants to fall straight down to your shoes. The pants should stop no further than right at the heel of your shoe. Too much “break” in the pants looks ill-fitting and takes away from the tailored look. A tailored jacket should fit square and clean against the back and the shoulders. The shoulder pads should NOT be bulky or over padded. A narrow or a peaked lapel is also a modern touch to suits. The jacket should fit close around the torso but not so tight it pulls the fabric when you button the jacket. The length should be long enough to cover your behind. Anything longer does not look tailored and anything shorter looks too small. Lastly the sleeve length should hit right before the ball of your hand with your arms down to your side.

There are also important things to remember when accessorizing your suit. Your dress shirt should be the correct size. A modern or slim fit shirt creates less bulk around your torso giving you a clean look. The collar should have just enough space so that when the top button is fastened there is only room for 2 fingers. A spread collar is a little more updated compared to the traditional collar where the “points” face downward. The spread collar also helps give the illusion of wider shoulders which lends to a more masculine look. The sleeve length should stop right at your wrist. A nice French cuff with cuff links is always a great addition. A tie with a wide knot, a slim or skinny tie or bow-ties are great additions to your suit. Ties should stop in the area between the belly button and right above the waist band of the pants. Pockets squares should coordinate but NEVER match exactly. Matching squares give an off the shelf “box set” look which isn't as interesting. If a belt is worn it should match or coordinate with the shoe. If braces or suspenders are worn they should coordinate with the entire look. Socks should coordinate and be darker than the pant. Lastly the shoe should be a simple oxford, wingtip, modern loafer or monk strap. The standard colors are blacks, browns and tans. When considering other colors, make sure it doesn't take away from the strength of the suit.

Remember that a good tailor can work magic if you invest in the correct suit. Hopefully this gets you on the road to achieve that truly custom look and ready to take on the world with your new found confidence.