Style Q&A

HOW LONG SHOULD MY TIE BE WHEN TIED?
A good rule of thumb is for it to be just long enough to go over the waistband of the trouser. Conditions may apply, such as the length of the tie, the type of knot used, where the trousers are worn on the waist or hips, and of course, personal preference.

ARE BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT COLLARS APPROPRIATE WITH A SUIT?
You can wear a button-down shirt collar with a suit, yes. But be aware that a button-down is a less-formal look than a traditional pinpoint collar. The most formal (non-tuxedo) shirts are clean and simple. Pinpoint collars, no pockets, French front, with French cuffs.

WHY DO I SEE GUYS WEARING SOME OF THEIR SUIT CUFFS UNBUTTONED?
A hallmark of a custom suit is its working cuffs. Off-the-rack suits are sold without knowing the length of the arm of the buyer, so manufacturers use non-functioning show buttons. This allows the sleeve to be shortened or lengthened by the buyer. A custom or bespoke suit is made for its owner, with their arm length known upfront, allowing the tailor to cut functioning buttonholes. This is a long way of saying that a guy with a custom suit can show off the fact that his suit is special. Leaving a button or two unfastened sends a subtle signal to the world that the suit was made for him. Some do it, others don’t.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVER-ACCESSORIZE?
Absolutely. The old rule of thumb women have been using forever is: Get dressed, look in the mirror, and remove one accessory. This holds for guys, too. You have to learn to edit your look. We think two accessories is plenty. Three can be okay if done tastefully. And one is always fine. Don’t forget, a flashy or large watch counts as an accessory. A small, simple watch may be understated as to not visually count as an accessory. If you have a tie bar, pocket square, lapel pin, cuff-links, and a shiny watch you’ve gone too far.

CAN I WEAR BROWN SHOES WITH A DARK CHARCOAL SUIT?
Yes, as long as you can easily tell that your suit is grey and not black, and that the shoes are a dark shade of brown. If the suit can be mistaken for black, we’d recommend playing it safe and pair black shoes with it.

IS IT OKAY TO HAVE A CUFF ON A FLAT-FRONT PANT?
Yes it is. A flat-front pant can be made with or without cuffs. Ultimately the trouser should suit the wearer. If his body type or preferences require pleats but he wants no cuffs, we’re happy to do that, or whatever combination works best for him.

HOW MUCH SHIRT SHOULD BE VISIBLE BELOW THE SUIT SLEEVE CUFF?
Between one-quarter and one-half inch. Most importantly, show some cuff. When the suit hides the shirt completely, the sleeves are too long. Judge this when your arms are hanging naturally at your sides.

HOW TALL SHOULD MY SOCKS BE?
Either invisible (so short you cannot see them at all above the shoe, helping achieve the sockless look) or at a minimum, mid-calf so that your skin isn’t visible when you cross your legs.

IS A SUIT TOO DRESSY FOR A JOB INTERVIEW?
No. If you are applying for any office or corporate job interview, you should wear a suit. Even if you end up being more dressed up than the interviewer, the impression you’ve made will be positive.

MUST MY WATCH BAND MATCH MY BELT & SHOES?
No, a match is not required. Avoid mixing brown with black if possible. Metal bands can be an easy answer to go with any color belt and shoes.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TOPCOAT AND AN OVERCOAT?
We identify a topcoat as one that ends above the knee, while an overcoat ends below the knee, regardless of the cloth, style, or other details of the coat.

WHAT TYPE OF HANGERS SHOULD I USE FOR MY SUIT JACKETS?
A broad, rounded wooden hanger is ideal – the wider, the better. Avoid the use of wire hangers or straight plastic hangers as they can damage the shoulders over time. We would also recommend a thicker, curved hanger for your dress shirts as this will also keep the shoulders from having that pointed-hanger look. Make sure your hanger is wide enough (or narrow enough) for your suit shoulders. Larger jackets usually require a longer hanger to prevent some of the jacket shoulder from being unsupported at the ends.

WHAT SHOES SHOULD I WEAR WITH MY SUIT?
There are many rules and exceptions to this, but the best answer without going into all of that is a black, brown, or burgundy. This can include wing tips, cap-toes, and brogues and the color should be appropriate for the color of the suit. A good rule is brown with anything but black, burgundy with navy or charcoal, and black with charcoal or black.

WHAT COLOR SHOULD MY FIRST SUIT BE?
For your first suit we suggest navy or charcoal grey. These are traditional suit colors and are the most versatile. We advise against black, as it is a color that is reserved for formal occasions, almost exclusively worn in the evening, and is difficult to coordinate with.

WHATS THE CORRECT LENGTH FOR TROUSERS?
There is no right answer for this, other than that you don’t want them overly long or way too short. Everything in between is a matter of preference. Wearing the trouser with cuffs above the shoe, showing some sock (or ankle in the summer for some who dare to not wear socks) isn’t for the timid. Most of our clients still ask us to make pants that sit on the shoe, although without any significant bunching and crumpling at the bottom. The longer the trouser, the wider it should be to properly spread over your shoe.

HOW DO I PICK A POCKET SQUARE?
It should complement your outfit, not necessarily match something exactly. Find a common or complementary color to go with your tie, shirt and jacket. The pattern of the pocket square, if it has one, should also be different than the rest of the outfit.