The Handbook / Style / How to upgrade your suit

How to upgrade your suit

4 ways to elevate your suit game

Frank And Oak staff

Getting properly suited and booted can be intimidating. Rarely will a suit fit perfectly off the rack. You'll usually need to bring it to a tailor. It can be a little scary; you’ve spend hard-earned money on this suit – what if they mess it up? How should your pants fall? What about ties? There’s no such thing as a fashion mistake. If you can rock it and feel good in it, you do you. But a little guidance never hurt anyone so here are a few suiting rules to live by.

 

 

1. Show some sleeve

 


 

 

 

When you visit your tailor, remember – although he's the expert, you're the boss. So just let him know what you want and he'll happily oblige. For your shirt length, the general rule is that a half inch of shirt cuff should show below your jacket cuff. The jacket looks its best when it finishes as the wristbone with your shirt extending a half-inch below your jacket when your arm is resting at your side. Anything else and your jacket cuff will appear too long or your entire shirt cuff might look like it's trying to escape entirely.

 

 

2. Trouser tip

 


 

 

 

If you love a more modern slim leg, make sure your pants hit the top of your shoe or end at the ankle for a slightly cropped look. For a classic approach, choose a straight to regular cut and go for a length that hits the tops of your shoes and the back touches the tops of your heels. Any longer and you'll look like an NHL coach. 

 

 

 

3. The golden rule

 


 

 

 

You'll often see everybody from celebrities on talk shows to NBA draftees wearing a suit jacket with every button on it buttoned. Somebody forgot to tell them the golden rule of suiting: never fasten all of the buttons on your jacket. Doing this is guaranteed to make you feel as uncomfortable as you'll look. 

 

On a two-button, you only need to fasten the top button. For three-button jackets the general rule of thumb is: "sometimes, always, never." It means fasten the top button when you feel like it, always fasten the middle button, and never fasten the bottom one.

 

 

4. Tie one on

 


 

 

 

No matter your height, the tip of your tie should end right at your beltline. There is little margin for error here. Two inches below and you'll look like the President (the current one, not JFK), two inches above and it will look a bit comical. Your tie width should also match your lapels. Thin lapels call for a skinnier tie (but not too thin, you're not a Stroke), while wide or peak lapels mean the opportunity to widen things a bit. If this is all too complicated we'd say 2.5 inches at the widest point is the sweet spot.

 

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