12 Essential Suit Rules

The suit as we know it appeared in the 19th century, during a period of sartorial revolution. The modern version of the suit is the result of many steps taken into the direction of comfort. And it’s true, comfort is key when you are wearing a suit. A good suit will make you feel comfortable and confident and will give you the necessary attitude to do whatever you wish to do.

There are a lot of tips and tricks you can use when you are trying on a suit you wish to buy. Make sure you get a suit in a natural fabric and that the structure of the suit works in your advantage.

We have put together a list of 12 things that if you follow, your overall appearance will improve and you will be able to take your style to the next level. Here are the essential suit rules:


1. The width of your lapel should be the same size as the width of your tie. While you might not be able to get them exactly the same size, you can approximate and have them rather similar. This will make your look more balanced and harmonious, compared to what it would look like if your tie was a lot wider or narrower than your lapel. Generally, thin lapels are more modern, while wider lapels are more classic. This being said, the best way to choose your tie is to make it proportionate to your whole body.

2. Choosing to wear a pocket square, is a great idea which we encourage. However, a pocket square should not match your tie in either fabric or tie. A pocket square is a great idea to funk out an outfit, even a conservative one, and still look serious and professional.

3. The number one thing you should make sure looks well when you are trying a suit on, are the shoulders. If they do not match your shoulders well and stay bulky or are too tight, you need to change the jacket.

4. When you keep your jacket buttoned, you should be able to slip your hand between your jacket and your chest. It should feel snug, but it should also have some room to move.

5. When you are sitting down, always unbutton your suit. Always, in any situation, regardless if the occasion is causal or formal, do not sit down with your suit buttoned. Keeping it unbuttoned, you risk to ruin it, and we don’t want that to happen.

6. If you wish to have a more casual, youthful look, pick out a single-button peak-lapel jacket. These jackets really look different from other types of jackets and can give you a whole different look.

A single-button peak-lapel jacket

A single-button peak-lapel jacket

7. In case you are wearing a vest, leave the lowest button open. The same rule applies to the jacket as well. This being said, the rule is more flexible when it comes to vests. Some men button all their buttons and still pull a great look off. A vest is also very practical and functional, as it can add a layer of warmth to your outfit and keep you warm on cooler days.

8. The cuffs of your shirt sleeves should be exposed only about 1/2 inch / 1,30 cm. For a more balanced, elegant look, match the visible cuff to the amount of visible collar from the back of your neck.

9. Generally, your tie should be darker than the dress shirt you are wearing. However, if you break this rule consciously, we encourage you to do so.

Wearing a patterned tie that incorporates one of the colors of your shirt is a fine touch and will make you ready to go.

Wearing a patterned tie that incorporates one of the colors of your shirt is a fine touch and will make you ready to go.

10. Your jacket should be long enough to cover your zipper and tush. Checking this is also a good way to determine if a jacket fits well.

12 Essential Suit Rules

11. Your pants should begin at your waist  and not at your hips. Also, if your pants are having pleats, you should not go for more than one.

12. Your shoes and belt should always match. And in this case, we really mean they should be the same color.


Now that you have all these tips, you can use them to your best advantage. Take what you need, and toss what you don’t. In the end, as we said earlier, it’s all about the comfort, isn’t it?

For more information, read 10 Quick Things To Look For In A Suit


Fraquoh and Franchomme






P.S. What tips do you have when it comes to suits? What are you looking for when you are buying a new suit? Share your comments below!

23 thoughts on “12 Essential Suit Rules

  1. Awesome tips. Thanks so much for posting. We wanted to drop in to let you know we followed you on Twitter. We’re a shaving company called Dorco and we provide quality razors for up to 70% less than leading brands. We post men’s style and fashion tips all the time, so follow us back @DorcoPace. If you’re looking for a close, smooth shave that won’t break the bank like the big name brands do, then check us out at DorcoUSA.com. While you’re there, you can read for yourself what others think of the quality of our blades and the awesomeness of our prices. Thanks for hearing us out, and keep up the great work on the blog!

    • Hy Carsla,

      We’re happy you find these tips useful! We hope too that those who feel that they are helpful will use them!

  2. Guys, your blog is literally perfect!! I’m a woman but I’ve always appreciated well-dressed men. My dad taught me to tie a bow tie when I was 12 haha.
    You should write a post on women’s black tie or white tie rules to go with this article – I would enjoy reading that so much!

    • Hello Eva,

      Thank you for the comment. We’re glad you like the website. As you can see, our articles are on men’s fashion, but a lot of them can be useful to women as well, for example “how to choose colors”, “how to choose glasses” etc, and, of course all our editorials and “facts” posts are to be read by men and women alike!

  3. Wow !
    I just love your blog
    I feel like printing all the posts and making a small book for my boyfriend to read 🙂
    The last pic is the best… the color of the suit matches perfectly to the color of the skin!

    I would definitely come back 🙂

    The Shopper

    • Hello!

      Thank you very much for your appreciation, it means a lot to us! We’re glad you like our articles and hope to see you back soon!

      Best wishes,


  4. Well, this really helps! I see so many young guys, even young man that are not that young anymore and they don’t really know how to wear a suit, or a tie, or how to buy the best items.
    Thanks for this, really. I know, I’m a woman, but I love classic pieces, like ties, hats, blazers and suspenders…I think it’s a matter of taste, to know what suit really suits you! And if you don’t naturally have it, you need to read something like this post.

    See you on twitter, on my blog or everywhere!!

  5. I just started wearing pocket squares and I would like to learn more! Do you have a guide on how to match them to your suit or something like that?

  6. These are all great tips, but would it be alright though if I wore a pair of pants with no pleats at the bottom?

    • Thank you for the appreciation! of course you can wear pants with no pleats, they have a very modern feel! Read more about how to buy pants here: attireclub.org/2014/06/08/how-to-buy-pants/

Leave a Reply to Attire Club Cancel reply