Generally abides by the following best practices, and he only ventures if he knows better. His style sends a message that is worth being mindful of, and both gents and especially dames will appreciate his taste.
First, a word about Jazz (video on right) by Dr. Andre Churchwell.
- A Gentleman’s suit is always tailored, and he mindfully takes care of it.
- The darker the suit, the more formal (generally).
- Typically charcoal, gray, black, and especially navy are appropriate for a business setting.
- A suit is one color or pattern – not a near match of between the jacket and pant.
- The bottom button of a suit, jacket, or vest is always unbuttoned (here’s why). Rest assured that it will not imply that you forgot.
- Generally, the more professional the occasion, the lighter a Gentleman’s shirt will be.
- Button-downs are business casual or casual – they are not worn with ties.
- Ideally, a shirt should fit a Gentleman like a suit – well. Not too tight, but certainly not too large.
- Collar styles are meant to compliment the wearer’s physique, visage and his tie.
- All-white collars or cuffs are for wearing with jackets or suits only.
- French cuffs are also for jackets or suits only.*
- Sometimes a cuff might be “barreled” when wearing a sweater, in which case the jacket might not be present.
- See Collar Guide
- A Gentleman only wears a tie with a jacket or suit. That being said, both should be worn often.
- Cartoon characters and other scenery are best kept on the television.
- There are many ways to tie a tie – tie it appropriate to the occasion, outfit, and your own personal body type.
- A Gentleman knows how to tie a bow tie. A long tie is not formal nor appropriate for black tie occasions.
- A tie should compliment, or flatter, the Gentleman – not broadcast him. Choose colors or patterns that work for both the suit and shirt.
- Braces, or suspenders, are most often a superior choice to a belt when wearing a high quality suit. They prevent burgeoning of the shirt and maintain trouser height along with the break at one’s shoe.
- Braces should have loops for buttons inside the waist. Clasps are never recommended as they damage the wool.
- A belt should always match the shoes.
- The metal of the belt should ideally coordinate with any other shoe buckles, suit buttons, cuff links, etc.
- Do not wear a canvas belt with a suit.
- If your pants have belt loops, you should probably wear a belt.
- A Gentleman always keeps his shoes shined. A scuffed shoe says ‘irresponsible’ or ‘rushed’.
- Black shoes are professional – not [business] casual. Shades of brown compliment gray, navy, or khaki trousers very well.
- Professional dress means black or cordovan/oxblood shoes.
- Formal (white tie) and semi formal (black tie) call for patent leather shoes.
- Boat shoes are for boats. Do not wear them to dinner unless your table is in Bermuda.
- A Gentleman’s socks match his pants – not his shoes.
- If you are creative with them, you might also find colors which incorporate the pant color with a blend of others, such as in the case of argyle patterns. But even here, they always complement his other colors.
- His socks are pulled up and orderly as much of the time as possible. Full calf length socks are ideal.
- White socks are only for the gym.
- A Gentleman always carries a pocket square if he is wearing a jacket, especially a suit. It needs not be ornately folded or loud.
- A tie bar should not be distracting nor up on one’s chest. Wear it your hand’s width above your belt so that it can do its job.
- Cuff links are only worn with a jacket.
- A watch is a man’s best friend. It keeps him on time, and most everyone he meets will notice and or judge his watch.
- Formal attire does not include a wrist watch. Find a great pocket watch or delegate time keeping…
- Sport sunglasses (Oakley’s in general) are never appropriate with a suit – or jacket – or dress shirt.
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