Suit Etiquette: Top 10 Often-Overlooked Guidelines

Whether you wear a suit every day or only once in a blue moon, it’s important to wear your suits right. You might be surprised about how many suit etiquette guidelines there really are. Therefore, we’ve compiled this list so that the next time you wear a suit, you can rest assured it’s on par with the proper etiquette.

  1. When you sit down, unbutton your suit jacket buttons. Otherwise you will be left feeling uncomfortably squeezed, plus, your suit jacket might fold unnecessarily, or worse yet, bulge.
  2. Remove key inner stitching on a new suit. With a small pair of scissors, remove the stitches from the jacket’s vents, as well as the stitches from the label embroidered onto the jacket’s left sleeve. Be careful not to accidentally cut the suit or leave any threads hanging. While leaving the stitches in is tacky, walking around in a damaged suit is also.
  3. The collar of your suit jacket should be folded down. You are not James Dean, nor are you wearing a jean jacket. Suit jacket collars are meant to be folded down, so make sure to run your hands over it and flatten it before you head out the door.
  4. New is not necessarily better. If you find a suit style that works for you, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If you tire of the same two-button, thin lapel look (or whatever look suits you best, no pun intended), then you can buy a new suit — but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a new style. Remember, there is a reason you bought your original suit in the first place — it looks good on you. And looking good will trump any new styles that happen to be trendy for a year or two.
  5. It’s all about the shoulders. Whether you are buying a new suit or would like to have a current suit altered, remember that the fit is all about the shoulders. Even if the waist is perfect and the sleeves reach the exact point on your wrist that they are supposed to, if the shoulders don’t fit, you do not have a properly fitted suit — and it will show. So remember, always look at the shoulders first — once they fit, everything else can be easily altered.
  6. Choose a fabric according to season. It’s kind of silly to wear a heavy wool suit in the summer, and equally as silly to wear a linen suit in the winter. Make sure the fabric of your suit matches the season you wear it in.
  7. There should be no gap between your shirt collar and suit jacket. If there is a gap, it’s a sign of a poor fit. And again, go back to the shoulders. If the shoulders fit properly, this gap should not appear.
  8. The width of your tie should match the width of the lapels. You don’t necessarily need to break out a ruler for this — eyeballing it is fine. Just make sure that you don’t wear wide lapels with a skinny tie, or vice versa. The width of both should be fairly similar.
  9. Make sure your socks are long enough. If they aren’t, you will bear some of your lower leg when you sit down, which is not appropriate in a suit.
  10. Don’t dry clean too often. The chemicals used in dry cleaning do a great job at cleaning your suit, but they also can end up damaging the fibers if applied too often. To minimize trips to the dry cleaners, try spot cleaning immediately whenever you see a stain.

With these 10 no-fail tips, you are sure to look good in whatever type of suit you wear. And if you are not sure whether your current suit style is the one that is the most flattering for you, come to any of our Karako Suits stores and our professionally-trained staff will help you find the suit that looks best on you. If you order a suit from our website and need alterations, our on-site tailors can help you as well.

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Originally published at on February 24, 2016.