5 Suit Accessories You Shouldn’t Forget

Clothes can do a great job at showing off a man’s maleness—- things that make a man a man. Nice shoulders, a trim waist, sturdy legs, all of these things are important parts of the male look. No outfit does a better job of showing off these high points than a custom suit. But a suit by itself is only part of the equation. There are essential pieces, accessories if you will, that elevate a suit from functional to stylish. Find out which accessories are must-haves the next time you dress up with our list of the five suit accessories you shouldn’t forget.

tailored suits

tailored suits

1. Cufflinks –Buttons are fine to hold you cuffs closed. Just like a 1976 Ford Pinto is fine to get you to work—functional, but not stylish, or fun. Cufflinks are a great way to add a bit of flash to your suit, and even a way to show off your personality. They can be expensive, simple, glittery, or whimsical, but they are a key accessory for any suit.

2. Pocket Square – Sometimes called a handkerchief, this folded piece of cloth should be clean, crisp, and neatly arranged in your breast pocket. It needs to match your shirt, and under optimum circumstances it shouldn’t be actually used. Blowing your nose and sticking a snotty rag back into your pocket is gross.

3. Watch – It can be worn without a suit, but a suit shouldn’t be worn without it. A little wrist bling (or even a lot) just goes with a suit. The way it peeks out from a well-tailored sleeve just sets off the whole ensemble. Men get few opportunities for tasteful jewelry, so make the most of this accessory.

4. Tie Clip – Don’t sleep on the tie clip. After all, leaving your tie to swing around all willy-nilly is bad form, and looks awkward. Your tie clip, like your cufflink, is functional as well as fashionable, and can be understated or flashy in much the same way.

5. Belt – The belt beats out suspenders by virtue of the fact that no one will see suspenders unless you take off your sport coat. You’ll want a fresh, clean belt with your suit, preferably one that matches your shoes. If you must have a belt buckle, keep it simple. Anything too garish will look tacky.

Men’s Overcoats

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When the rain and the snow fall, the wind blows, and the temperature drops, we wear protective outer garments out of necessity. For the tailored man, the outer layer of choice will be the overcoat: a heavy, knee-length coat with a collar and lapels. In the colder    months, the overcoat is an easy style move that distinguishes the well-dressed from the dressed up. However stately a man’s suit, if he walks in off the street with a fitted tailored overcoat covering it, the tailored overcoat will define the first impression he makes. On the other hand, when you walk in draped in a knee-length coat with your scarf smartly knotted around your neck, you make a distinguished impression that will stick even if you take it off to reveal a polo shirt and blue jeans. Of all the garments we wear, the overcoat has perhaps changed the least over the past century, so that one of high quality is truly a long-term investment.

The single-breasted overcoat is the most common, and for good reason. On bright fall and winter days, it can be worn without a scarf, or with one just trimming the lapels, to display your shirt and tie. In the freezing wind and snow, double your scarf around your neck and turn the collar up for protection from the elements. Besides the single-breasted standard, overcoats may be double breasted, with or without a belt. The belted model is sometimes called a polo coat. Black, charcoal, and navy blue will each frame any shirt and tie you have on underneath.

Should you tire of wearing the same dark overcoat day after day, there are other options. Camelhair has long been a favorite of the New England aristocracy, thanks to its incomparable troika of warmth, durability, and softness. Given its pedigree, the natural beige color of pure camelhair is exempt from the traditional rules of color matching for formality’s sake, although all materials are equal before the judgment seat of aestheticism. Checks are traditional for fall and spring weight coats, and can be found on heavier ones as well; for the gentleman who enjoys mixing and matching patterns they offer an opportunity to add another ingredient to the stew. Subtle horizontal stripe patterns are as versatile as solids, and give one a dandified touch.

The particular coat one chooses should be first a question of insulation (you’ll need more the farther North you live), and second of personal style. If you are unsure where to start, you cannot go wrong with black; just find one that’s warm enough for you. The coats sold in stores are usually only available in even sizes, since their appearance is less sensitive to fit than that of a suit. Nonetheless, many men choose to order bespoke overcoats, since this allows for a perfect fit with accompanying superior insulation. If your body type is such that off-the-rack clothes never fit you, overcoats are likely no exception, and bespoke will be your best option.

 

The Role of Trousers in Men’s Tailored Suits

Suit trousersGood trousers are never the defining characteristic of tailored suits, unless you’re a circus clown. Well tailored suits should direct attention toward the face and help it stand out in the viewer’s mind, and drawing the eye below the waist does nothing to further that goal. Instead, trousers should present as smooth and unbroken a path as possible up the wearer’s body; the best trousers will be able to retain their sleek profile whether the wearer is moving or stationary; seated or standing.

On a more practical note, of course, trousers are also where men tend to carry the little necessities of life — their keys, wallet, cell phone, and so on. Good trousers will have pockets of the proper size and shape to carry a few small items without bulging; loading the pockets and checking a mirror can be an excellent test for off-the-rack trousers. Made to measure trousers can simply be fitted with all the usual daily items in the pockets to see if any adjustments are needed.

The perfect pair of made to measure trousers should follow the natural shape of a man’s body: widest at the waist, tapering all the way to the ankles, with no excess fabric hanging loose or billowing. At the same time, trousers need to be loose enough to allow for movement, and should never wrinkle or bunch around the thighs — this is a sign that the trousers are too tight. Dress trousers should never narrow and then widen lower down on the body.

Modern dressers should remember that the “fall” of made to measure dress trousers — the distance from the waist to the crotch — is longer than that of casual jeans, meaning that the pants should be worn higher on the body. Contemporary jeans are often fitted to be worn at the hips, while dress pants should rest comfortably above the hips. A well-fitted pair of dress pants should never be able to slide off the body on its own, even without a belt or suspenders.

It is no doubt that wearing a pair of pants with no belt or suspenders examines the fit. If the trousers pinch or are slipping off, the fit is incorrect. If excess fabric is billowing or “ballooning” anywhere, or if the crotch sags loosely, the trousers are too loose; if wrinkles and bunching appear in the fabric when you move they are too tight. And, of course, if moving or sitting in a pair of trousers is uncomfortable for any reason, you should be asking yourself if you really want to spend an entire day wearing them.

Dress for Wedding

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Wedding Suit Styles and Cuts

A wedding suit doesn’t have to be a simple single-breasted, two-button jacket — though it certainly can be. Single-breasted jackets are understated, simple, and dignified. If you feel the need for a little more exuberance on your wedding day, a double-breasted suit adds weight and formality to the outfit, but is a high-formality garment that should only be worn with a necktie and a formal dress shirt. An open collar isn’t an option with a double-breasted jacket. They may also be less comfortable for prolonged wear, especially when sitting.

An equally formal yet more versatile option is a three-piece suit ensemble; this adds formality and elegance to the basic men’s suit by matching it with a vest. Matched waistcoats fill a similar role to double-breasted jackets, but can always be removed to make the outfit a simple single-breasted two-piece suit. Wedding photographers usually like to get “relaxed” shots of the groom in just his waistcoat and shirt, often with a jacket slung over a shoulder, so be prepared to do some taking off and putting on of clothing if you go with the vested suit.

The Wedding Day Dress Shirt
Looking your best — the goal for the big day — is about getting the details right. A clean white dress shirt is a solid and formal choice for a wedding day. Patterns are fine for the audience and the groomsmen, but if you want the formality of a solid colored shirt, light shades of blue, off-white, and cream are acceptable as long as it doesn’t clash with the brides dress. Remember that your shirt collar is going to be in every picture you’re in, so make sure it fits. So a tailored shirt is a wiser choice.
If you decide to skip the necktie, make sure you are wearing a dress shirt with a collar whose points stay out of your way. A medium spread is a solid choice here, and consider dress shirt collar stays to ensure the points do not fold.
Lastly don’t underestimate the importance of an undershirt on your wedding day — you’re going to be sweating and it’s better to have a layer of extra protection.

The Wedding Day Necktie
Your choice of necktie is important because of its proximity to your face. Like the dress shirt collar, your necktie color and pattern will take up more than its fair share of attention in the photos and video shot that day. This is not the time for a novelty tie or bright color – instead select a subdued pattern and color.
Look for a tie with a single strong base color in blue, green, gold or earth tones with a modest pattern on it keeps you looking elegant without seeming too stark. Avoid red neckties as they are more for power business meetings.