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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Top Ten Rules for Menswear (According to Us)

There exist many sartorial rules derived from history that dictate how men should approach dressing themselves. Tradition holds certain standards, yet not all men know these intricate details (unless you study up!)

Here's a top ten list of what details the ladies at 9tailors suggest you should memorize, or at least take into consideration:

1. The Hardest Button to Button

  • When you have a three button jacket, the rule from top to bottom is "Sometimes, Always, Never." Translation: you sometimes but rarely button the top, you always fasten the middle, and you never, EVER, button the bottom.
  • For a two button jacket, "Always, Never."
  • For a vest, keep all buttons buttoned, except for the very last. If you happen to wear a belt, you don't want to catch your vest on the buckle so keeping that last one unbuttoned alleviates any pulling on your vest.
  • When sitting down, remember to unbutton your jacket to avoid bunching.

2. Three-Piece Suit versus the Two-Piece Suit

  • Here at 9tailors, we all favor the three-piece suit. Why? When you take your jacket off, you still have that piece that makes you look put together.
  • We all still love a two-piece suit, for the record.

3. Suspenders or Vest

  • Typically, we recommend that you do one or the other. You can certainly do both as long as you coordinate them well.

4. Vent Style: Double Vent versus Single Vent


  • We ultimately leave this up to the client, as this is more of a style preference, but we find ourselves most partial to the double vent, as it is trendier nowadays.

5. Pant Opening

Straight leg, image from christonium.com

Slight tapered leg, image from style.com

  • Slight Taper versus Straight  Leg. Again, this is different with each individual. We recommend a slight taper for style purposes only, it just looks a bit sharper than a straight leg. 
  • Boot Cut: works well with the right boots, but could border a bell-bottom shape. Proceed with caution.

6. Lapel Style

notched lapel

peaked lapel
  • Notched is the most classic, and our preferred choice for most suits. However, we recommend you never do a notched lapel on a tuxedo. Not to say, you CANNOT, we just prefer a shawl or peaked.
  • Peaked is a more formal look, and looks great on black suits or tuxedos
  • Shawl Collar = tuxedo or dinner jacket (a la Hef), although we have taken to doing the shawl on two-button suits as well, it's a nice way to change it up!

7. Patterns

  • Mix and match but make sure not to clash. Always choose colors that will complement each other, not fight over who is louder. A subtle should go with a loud or a subtle with a subtle.  A loud and a loud, well, that's just really noisy, but can be done correctly with the right color schemes and pattern sizes. Reread our "How to Expertly Mix Patterns"

8. Pant Break

  • Again, this depends upon the client wearing the suit. 
  • American fits typically have a full break or a slight break. 
  • For European fits, we like a half to no break.
  • Super Slim fits, break is slight to nonexistent.

9. Collar Style

  • Don't wear a tie with a button down collar. Button downs are typically casual.
  • Choose the collar style that will complement the tie-knot you always tie or plan to wear for the occasion you are wearing your shirt. i.e Kent Spread for a bow tie, Midway Spread for a Half-Windsor knot

10. Color coordinate your belt and shoes with your suit colors!

  • Black suit = shiny black shoes, matte black shoes, black velvet shoes, maybe even bright shoes
  • Khaki suit = brown shoes of any shade, cognac, maroon-ish, light brown
  • Navy suit = you can wear black but we suggest you opt for a dark chocolate brown if you can
  • Gray suit = black or brown, but we prefer brown. With shades aplenty, you have a variety to choose from.
  • Brown suit = brown shoes of any variety

There are plenty more rules to follow, but stick with these as your main guidelines and you'll be in good shape, according to 9tailors anyway. Want more tips? Email a style consultant at info@9tailors.com or come by our studio for a design consultation to make your custom pieces today.

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