Common mistakes men make when wearing a suit


Avoid these mistakes when you are wearing a suit

Timeless and versatile. The suit is one of the sole evergreens of menswear. It is the foundation of all gentlemen’s wardrobes. It can drastically change any man’s appearance. But just as grand the right suit can make you look – the sad fact is – that just as awkward the wrong suit can make you look. The truth is that a single mistake will totally ruin your overall look.

A good percentage of us men can’t seem to get it quite right. If you are one of them, you are not alone. You might be making a few mistakes and not even realize it. There is no lack of style tips, on the internet, in fashion magazines, and unfortunately very often from less sophisticated and refined friends and colleagues or older relatives. The latter well-meaning of course, but that’s not what you need.

One very common misconception is that it is about the money you pay for the suit. But nothing could be more wrong. It’s the way you wear it that matters most.

So, before you start digging in to all the latest innovations and options in tailoring – why not check out these advice – and start getting compliments on your suit and looks.

Check out Sir Vincent’s buttoning guide*.


Don’t allow your trousers to be too long.

Nothing will ruin your look more – there’s just no recovery from this one. Don’t let your trousers puddle over your laces. Your trousers (whatever the style) should only touch the tops of your shoes, and there should be no bunching of fabric. Pants with no break (horizontal crease in the fabric) mean they’re so short they fall right above the shoe and flash some sock. Nah please… Aim for a medium break — not too rumpled or baggy, but not too short around the ankles. There is a fine line between too long and too short and a little to no break is perfect.


The mankle

I’ve touched on this before but I think it’s time to give it some context. Mankles – the cut where you show off your ankles with trousers cut or rolled up just above the ankle. If you really fancy this look, make sure you go all the way, i.e. no socks and boat shoes. OK, monkstraps will do too.


Get the right length on you jacket sleeves.

Jacket sleeves are just as important as the trousers. Too long sleeves look clowny and sloppy whereas too short sleeves make you look like a dork or as if you just escaped from some institution. Your shirt sleeve should present itself with 1-1,5 cm at the end of your jacket. It is most common that the jacket is way too roomy, even outside North America. Either way – too long or too short – you need to sort this out.

And while you are at it – make sure your jacket is cut right around the upper arm and your torso.


Don’t choose a jacket that is too long.

Let the jacket end where your fingertips end. It’s not complicated at all.


Never wear a backpack with a suit.

It doesn’t matter if you are the account IT architect and unbearable for the global company you work for – a backpack worn with a suit will make you look like a school boy. Apart from ruining your look it will crease your suit. There is no escape in it. There is no running away from it. Get a sling bag or a leather attaché case.


Clean and shine your shoes.

The old saying that the first thing people look at on a man is his shoes is very true. Your shoe situation can tell everything about you, absolutely everything, like if you are working in an office or if you are 23 and really handsome or if you are a little bold and tired or if you are practical and comfortable, a rebel or conservative. But the most important thing of all – and this is an absolute rule – do not wear dirty shoes. Just don’t. A dapper man keeps his shoes clean and free from scratches. Visit the cobbler once in a while. No matter if you are wearing loafers, a smart oxford shoe or something else. Clean and polished. And keep at least two pairs of shoes in the same colour so you can let one pair rest for a day from sweat and stretching and use shoe trees when storing them. Trainers? By Jah, no.

Check out Sir Vincent’s colour guide for shoes*.



Unless you are the class clown or a hipster, match your sock colour to your trousers, not your shoes. For example, if you are wearing a navy suit with black shoes, go for navy socks. A light suit requires darker socks, but not as dark as the shoes. However mismatching socks can always be worn deliberately, but as always, to break the rule, you need to master it first. But never expose your hairy skin while crossing the legs.

Hungry for more style tips? Check this out*.


Business is business


Whatever you hear about business suits and shirts


– please remember that a business suit is either black, dark grey or dark blue. Mid grey is also okay. It can be plain or pinstriped. But never another colour or checked. And business shirts are either white or blue. Plain. The classic blue shirt with white collar is okay too.

When it comes to colours and fabrics for businessmen the choices are easy. It’s not boring – I can agree that it is traditional – but there are hundreds of other choices you can make for your business outfit like buttoning, lapels, vest and more. And even if you think it’s boring, you dress for business to show respect for the customer. And the business.

Regarding casual, stylish and trendy suit and shirts and the occasions when you wear them, possibilities are endless! And I love them. I know that you at many workplaces you can wear casual suits and shirts. But they are not business suits and shirts. Punto finale.

You can also read here* what I write about weaves for formal and business events.




A gentleman's advice

It sometimes strikes me

how very easy it is to ruin the impression of a true gentleman. One slip and it’s over. Well that’s kind of drastic and not always truth. But the truth is that some mistakes are worse than others. Not offering your date protection under your umbrella when it’s raining and other boorish, rough and bad-mannered behaviour is of course worse than the “wrong” pattern on your pocket square. But coarse manners and dress do go together simply because unrefined manners reflect in your attire.

Here are a few common issues. In no relative order of importance or other priority…


1. Your shoe situation.

Please don’t forget your shoes. Shoes are extremely important. There is an old saying that the shoes are the first thing you see on a man. Keep your shoes clean – free of dirt and free of scratches. Shine your shoes often, it doesn’t only make them look better, it also helps moisturizing the leather and waterproofing it. It lengthens the lifespan of the shoes. And don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. They need to “rest” from moist.

2. Non fitting clothes

Too small or too baggy, there is no excuse. It your body type makes it hard to find well fitting off the shelf clothes just wear tailor made.

3. Too many colours

Unless your profession is a birthday clown, please try to limit the number of colours. Colours should complement and adjacent to each other but remember that less is more. Pay attention not only to colours but also to colour tones and different shades. Not all brown are the same for example and please also keep in mind that sometimes it is good not to have the exact same colour and shade if you have a brown jacket, other colour on the pants and brown shoes for example.

4. Wearing the wrong colours

Please match it to your skin tone as well. Help keeping focus on yourself and not the crazy tie or colour on your shirt.

5. Branding

Especially oversized. It was you who paid for the garment or accessory, right? Then it shouldn’t look like you are getting paid for wearing it. Huge logos or brand names makes you look like a walking advertisement.

6. Dirty hands or nails

There is an old invention called gloves. They protect your hands from weather and cold. If you work outdoors or with heavy dirty stuff, wear gloves. Use lotion. Trim your fingernails and keep them free of dirt and cracked cuticles.

7. Wrinkled clothing

Hang them up when you are not using them, don’t use them for more than a day at a time and keep them pressed.

8. Not matching belt

Juist make it match the shoes. Not only colour, which is most important of course, but also the finish should match. Shiny goes with shiny and casual shoes goes with a thicker belt.

9. Comb over

Robin Hood was stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Don’t try to pull that off with the hair on your head. Who are you trying to fool? Short and neat just looks so much better. And younger.

10. Length of socks

Don’t show any part of your hairy legs! The socks should cover that. For casual occasions, other rules apply.

11. Neck hair

Sort it out. Manage your hair on the back of your neck. Cut or shave it yourself if you don’t get a haircut that often.

12. Mixing different styles

Not many would wear shorts with a tail-coat. But surprisingly many are happily mixing aqua sport sunglasses with a suit or cargo pants with a business shirt. Mismatching styles are just… no good.

13. Too heavy or excess cologne

You will have to mind the strength on the cologne and manage the amount accordingly. If a woman can smell you from across the room, what reason would she have to come any closer?

14. T-shirt tucked in

Gentlemen! It’s the 21st century of the Anno Domini era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Please do not tuck your T-shirt in, keep it casual. If it is too long, it’s probably also too big for you. A polo shirt is acceptable to tuck in.

15. Dress shirts

The opposite applies to dress shirts that are cut long and meant to be tucked in. There are also dress shirts that are cut shorter and meant to be worn outside as well. If you tuck it in – and you usually will – make sure it stays in your pants.

16. Jewellery

OK. Are you a hip-hop superstar? No? Are you a rock star? No? Then three rings, a bunch of necklaces and bracelets do look incredibly tacky on you. A watch, a wedding ring and maybe if you a young a necklace is great. But please try to limit yourself to that.

17. Sweat pants

Are you going to the gym? Great, have a nice time. But if not and you are wearing sweatpants, you are not wearing them to look your best. You are wearing them because you are lazy.

18. Facial hair

Just keep it groomed. The first thing people see is your face so keep neat if you want to look sharp. No hair on the neck please and please either clean shave or trim your beard.

19. Monobrow

Speaking of facial hair, it’s just as important to keep your eyebrows trimmed. Sort that unibrow out and take care of the nose hair and the hair in your ears. Just do it. Often.

20. Hair products

Like most things, don’t overdo it. When it comes to hair products use less than you think. It never looks good with too much. Like Bob Marley put it: “Too much of anything is no good for nothing”. By the way his dreads were natural, no wax there, gentlemen.


Things to consider when buying a custom suit

I could go on forever raving about all the details you could think of to create a unique suit.

But I’ll stick to the more important stuff.



Regular, loose or slim? What do you like best and what is your individual style? In North America the regular and sometimes even the loose cut is very common. It’s traditional and classic. In Europe and the rest of the world, trends have been more slim for a period. British Traditional suits are cut closer to the body. They have slightly narrower and defined shoulders with higher armhole. The Italian cut appears more trendy and sleek. Mostly among young men, the skinny cut that contours your body closely with limited room for movement has been very popular for some time.


How thick do you like your lapels? Thinner lapels are more modern and can give a young look, while thicker are more traditional.


Many people would use on a two-button suit. It’s the most common suitable for most body types but determine what might be best for your body type before going with two buttons. Three buttons is more elegant and can sometimes give a more stiff impression. Tall persons often look good in 3 buttons. The one button suit is the cooler, hipper younger brother of the two button suit. An even lower button stance and a deeper V. But be careful, it’s possible that this look can be seen as a bit too cool in a conservative work environment.

2 or 3 piece?

Like the 3 button suit – apart from being warmer – the vest gives a more elegant impression. If you really want to give a refined impression – use a vest to your suit.


No vent, single vent, or double vent. The single vent is the most common and the double vent is the least restrictive.


Either you stick to the standard lining that goes with the fabric you choose. Or you take the chance to show your special personality. Apart from providing an opportunity to express your character, lining is important to protect your suit.


There are many different fabrics. I recommend having at least two suits; one for the warmer months and one for the colder months.


A tailored suit is truly an investment. If you care for it properly, it should last years. One thing that can do the most damage to your beautiful suit is taking it to the cleaner too often. And be sure that you store it correctly. Like a luxury car, your bespoke suit should be well taken care of.


What to wear when it’s hot out

Looking good in the heat


1. Material is number 1

The absolute number one summer material in both shirts and suits is without any doubt linen and the second I would say… linen. Linen is very lightweight and it is truly a fantastic material; it actually keeps you cold when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cold. It should be worn a little wrinkled so it will always look good on you. Also an oxford shirt in cotton would breathe a little more. Fabrics that breathe will help you to stay cool.

2. Choose a light colour

Light colours reflect the light and heat, while dark colours absorb it. So even if you think it’s really cool – and it is – to wear black you migh want to consider a lighter colour for the hot summer day. A white or beige suit can be really fly.

3. Wear an undershirt

An ordinary T-shirt under your shirt will help you to hide that sometimes inevitable perspiration. A T-shirt, yes, not a sleeveless tank top – it’s the pits you want to help. But remember that a black or white T-shirt will show through. For example grey is better. It’s the same trick that women use with their underwear not to show throgh their skirt or pants…

4. Get a jacket or suit without lining

Precisely. Especially polyester lining could make you feel hot. Be summer dapper and skip the lining or get a delicate lining.

5. Loosen up

Have you seen someone in the desert wear tight garments? There is a reason for that; it’s loose, not tight. A bedouin garment can even be worn black. You want more air to flow over the skin, so why not skip the extra skinny fit for that very hot summer day and still look smart? It’s about airflow.

6. Socks

If you are casual – and I repeat – only if you are casual you might want to use the no-show socks and the pants a little rolled up. No socks at all is a complete style disaster and is not even worth discussing. Either way, make sure that your socks are in breathable fabrics, that is at least 85% cotton, preferably 100%. A new material is bamboo. It has many natural qualities.

7. The hat

Oh, yes, the gentleman knows that a hat doesn’t only look elegant – the stylish headwear protects you from the sun. Linen Caps, panamas, straw fedoras…. the choices are many and I recommend that you invest a little time in finding a stylish headwear.

8. More

There are always several tricks you can use that have been tried out by gentlemen for many, many years. A hankerchief serves not only to whipe the tears of a maiden in need, but also cleaning off sweat. Bring a change of clothes if the day is long and dont forget a nice after shave.


Material & fabrics

Would I better choose 100% wool, linen and cotton – or a mix?



When it comes to material I’m not sure that I can give a simple answer to what the best choice is but I sure can give you a straight answer: It depends.

100% natural fibres like cotton, linen, wool or a blend of these are seldom wrong. Natural materials breathe and have a nice feeling to your skin. Pure cotton is probably the most popular material. The longer the fibres, the better the quality.


Suit materials

If you choose a really good quality of 100% wool it’s probably quite durable as well. But if you plan to use it every day at the office I would either choose a wool blend or simply take off my jacket while sitting at the desk to avoid the arms being well-worn quite fast.

A mix will be more durable and sometimes retain shape better. It is all about the physical make of the fibres – nylon doesn’t stretch nearly as much and will return to the original shape unlike wool, the fibres are finer with no nap so it is impossible to felt itself together, and nylon is indisputably more durable and abrasion-resistant than wool so a blended item will be harder-wearing than 100% wool.

So, a wool blend can definitely be the number 1 choice for many occasions. Some people find 100% wool to be scratchy on their skin, so I’m sure they would appreciate blends.

But yet – if you want the best – the choice is certainly and unquestionable a 100% cashmere or merino wool.

Linen is very lightweight and it is truly a fantastic material; it actually keeps you cold when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cold. But it is absolutely the number 1 summer material. I wouldn’t go for linen when it’s too cold. Linen should be worn wrinkled. But if you have been sitting at a hot office desk all day the trousers can be a little too wrinkled. But that wouldn’t be a complete disaster though!


Shirt materials

100% cotton is undeniably the most popular shirt material. It breathes and doesn’t get to hot. A cotton mix takes advantage of the qualities of both the natural cotton and the synthetic fibres in terms of durability and more. Modern synthetic fibres like viscose breathes and feels silky similar to cotton.

A linen shirt in the summer is one of the most stylish things you can wear in the summer. No matter how hot is gets, you will feel and look like a stylish and trendy gentleman. Even in jeans.



On the subject of wool, one should keep in mind that a lighter fabric with a higher Super number is not a guarantee of a better fabric, it just indicates that the fibres have a thinner diameter. Nor does it provide any information about the particular weave or how heavy the fabric is.

Some people believe that a lighter fabric wears cooler and thus is more comfortable than a heavier fabric, but such generalizations are simply wrong. A heavy, open weave fabric generally feels much cooler and comfortable on a hot day than a tightly woven, lightweight super 150 fabric. Furthermore, the lining and canvas of a jacket has a tremendous impact.

Cotton fabrics come in infinite qualities, colours, fabrics and textures. Even weaves. I would argue that a Twill, Spun, Silky or even Herringbone weave would work for most occasions including formal and business, whereas weaves like Oxford and Fil-a-fil better suits a more casual look for free time.

Wrinkle resistant, wrinkle free and easy iron. You gotta love them. No matter who irons your shirts, they look more ironed and sophisticated. But as with every benefit there is a downside. They have been chemically treated and in some cases, it impacts the durability. But in normal circumstances is simply doesn’t matter. There are plenty of high quality easy iron fabrics that have better durability than traditional cotton fabrics.

Of all advice, I would absolutely claim that the washing is most important. Follow the washing instructions and wash carefully, rinse and hang the garment properly. Use modern detergent products and don’t overdose. Always iron delicate fabrics, inside out on a low temperature setting. Use a press cloth such as a clean pillow case. For some fabrics, e.g. wool, use steam or press with a slightly damp cloth, using light pressure and you will have a suit or shirt that maintains shape and colours for a long time.

Finally- if you have a suit or a shirt tailor made – I would suggest choosing a good quality of material and fabric.


Colour guide for shoes


The wrong colour on your shoes will definitely kill your whole appearance


A black or charcoal suit requires black shoes and a brown suit requires dark or light brown shoes. A light grey suit – as well as a blue or navy suit- on the other hand, opens up your choices of shoe colour. These style rules are universal. Then there could be local etiquette rules implying that brown shoes should not be worn in the evening or even in the city. But local and national etiquette rules are a completely different story.

So first of all, these rules are an overall guide. They are not absolute by any means. Going for a unique look and make a conscious decision of breaking the rules is always okay, but being unaware of the rules could easily make you look like a total dork to say the truth.

A very common blunder is assuming that black is neutral and that black shoes go with any suit.

We could simplify massively and say that there are 5 common suit colours; black, navy blue, charcoal, medium- or light grey and brown. Continuing the simplifying path one could say that there are 3 main shoe colours; black brown and burgundy (Bordeaux, oxblood or cordovan).


A black suit

A black suit requires black shoes. You should avoid other shoe colours. That actually makes the black suit the least flexible, but that is also why it is most often used in business, funerals or black-tie parties. I would recommend charcoal or navy blue that is appropriate enough for most occasions.


The navy blue suit

The navy blue suit comfortably goes with all if the 3 main colours. This is a very safe choice for most situations. Black shoes signal business whereas brown is a little more casual and burgundy even creative.


A charcoal suit

A charcoal suit goes perfectly with black shoes. It is the best choice. It could also go quite well with burgundy shoes. But stay away from brown shoes. Why? Because brown shoes are usually lighter and will almost “force” people to look at them. They will stick out a little. There is also a more abstract contrast between the more formal charcoal and the less formal brown. Burgundy shoes will look more relaxed than black shoes, but still very classy.


Medium-or light grey suits

Medium-or light grey suits are less formal than navy blue suits, but still offer the same flexibility. They could be used in many less formal office situations where you don’t have to be strictly business. But in that case I would definitely go for the black shoes. Choose your brown or burgundy shoes to give yourself a more casual look. And the lighter the grey the more casual and easier to apply pattern to your shirt.


The brown suit

The brown suit is a little special and also a personal favourite of mine. It goes perfectly with brown and burgundy shoes. Well, most brown shoes. The thing is that there needs to be a visible difference in shades between the shoes and the suit and generally it’s better when the shoes are darker than the suit. You don’t want the shoes to take all the attention. Avoid black shoes. The general understanding is that black shoes never match brown suits, although I actually have worn black shoes to a brown suit. But that was a perfectly conscious decision at that specific occasion. And the shoes were matte and the suit was very dark brown. Brown is more casual than the darker colours and traditionally seen as both academic and casual.





Theme Settings