The fine art of suit etiquette is dying off among modern men, with many blissfully unaware of simple rules – such as how long their tie should be, according to a study.
Researchers found that four in ten men regularly commit a workwear faux pas, such as wearing a belt with braces and mismatching tie and suit colours.
The number one mistake is to fasten the bottom button on a blazer, when style says it should always be left undone.
Other rules are less obvious and little-known – such as the width of the tie should match the width of the lapel.
And when it comes to the question of tie length, many men are unaware that the tip should just about cover the belt buckle, but go no further.
Not wearing a light pocket square with a dark suit, and removing the stitching, are other common subtle mistakes men have made when dressing to impress.
The study was commissioned by Suit Direct, which has issued a new guide in a bid to preserve the finer details of formal dresswear.
Top stylist Benedict Browne, who has teamed up with Suit Direct, said: “Before putting a suit on, there are many things that we need to consider.
“While many of the rules to wearing a suit might be subtle, they can really play a big part in bringing the whole look together.
“Unfortunately, wearing a suit isn’t as simple as throwing on a three-piece, but by considering the right elements, you will always look the part.”
Almost half (48 percent) of those polled wouldn’t point out to a friend, family member or colleague if they were breaking a suit etiquette.
The survey went on to reveal that throughout their adult life, men own six suits in total and it is at the tender age of 21, on average, that they own their first.
The average man currently has three suits in their wardrobe, and they typically have a shelf life of six years before they are moved on.
Almost a third (31 percent) acknowledge they need replacing because they are “outdated”.
However, more than a quarter (27 percent) of men will replace their old suit because they want something new for a special occasion.
Attending a wedding and job interviews rank highest as the occasions that men bring out their suits, while almost four in ten (38 percent) will ensure that they look the part for an important meeting at work.
Of those that are planning on attending a party this winter, nearly seven in ten (68 percent) will be wearing a suit, with the slim fit and tuxedo most likely to make an appearance in the coming months.
Overall, more than half (56 percent) say that wearing a suit plays a part in making them “feel great”, according to the research, carried out through OnePoll.com.
Benedict Browne added: “Getting dressed up is a brilliant way to boost your confidence and your mood – and there’s no better time to do it than when the weather is turning dark and damp.
“Wearing a well-fitted and pin-sharp suit is a guaranteed way to inject a bit of glamour and attitude to any event you might be attending.”
To see what looks Benedict Browne recommends for work, date nights, and parties click here.
SUIT ETIQUETTE 101 – TOP TIPS FOR WEARING YOUR SUIT WITH STYLE :
Fashion experts at Suit Direct know a thing or two about men’s suiting and have pulled together their top tips for wearing your suit with style and confidence.
TO TIE OR NOT TO TIE :
ACCESSORISE TO BRING OUT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE :
Accessories such as a bold tie or bright pair of socks can add personality to a final look.
Think of your suit as the starting point and build from there.
Choose accessories that compliment your suit and your personality.
The key thing to remember is that less is more.
Stick with one or two statement pieces or a simple piece of jewellery to complete the look.
Adding a smart waistcoat or overcoat over a suit adds an extra level of sophistication.
A waistcoat completes a three-piece suit but it also looks great on its own when the jacket comes off.
THE BELT AND SHOES RULE :
- The unspoken rule is that your belt and shoes should match.
This gives a polished and complete look and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to either the belt or the shoe.
So, when wearing a suit, we’d recommend pairing a leather belt with a leather shoe of the same colour – typically black or brown.
BUTTON ETIQUETTE :
The last button on your suit jacket should always be open giving a smart, relaxed aesthetic.
Don’t forget to unfasten the top button when you sit down so that the suit jacket will fall naturally around your waist.
And always keep the top button of a smart shirt buttoned-up when wearing a tie.
SIZE MATTERS :
Make sure you find a suit that fits you well – enlist the help of a tailor to ensure that the suit matches your measurements.
For dress shirts it should have a tailored look but should never feel too tight or uncomfortable and the collar should never look or feel like it’s choking you.
POCKET SQUARES :
Pocket squares should be a standalone look and should not match your tie.
If you’re wearing a darker suit, we’d recommend a lighter pocket square and vice versa.
The key thing to remember with pocket squares is that they are meant to add flair to the suit so it’s alright if they stand out.
LINE IT UP WITH THE BELT :