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Men
April 12, 2016

11 Commandments To Get Your Suit Game On Point

Text by Saumya Sinha

Roll up your sleeves for the most important lessons in style…

1. Emperor’s new clothes
“Men should express more about their personality through their clothes than they do. I want men to be more individual instead of following trends that don’t suit them. Most of the best dressed men develop their own style and build a uniform, and that’s why we are in business – Norton and Sons, for guys who really understand what they want to wear.”

2. Rule of thumb
“Most men don’t think about how they are going to be perceived wearing what they are wearing, in a particular situation. Every situation has its code; stylish men understand the code and dress according to it. Deliberately subverting those etiquettes is just not cool.”

3. Never ever
“Never pair a suit jacket with jeans, everybody is guilty of doing it at some point assuming it’ll work, but it looks awful. You must first understand what kind of a jacket you can wear with jeans, something that has a bit of pattern is your first cue.”

4. Match the whole shebang
“Accessories should always be harmonious. Your belt, shoes and watch strap should be of the same leather; if not the same then it should be the same colour at least. When you are wearing black shoes, you should pair them with a black bag. Things like the metal of the watch and cuff links should also match.”

5. Ditch the loops
“Most of our suits don’t have belt loops in order to make the trousers look cleaner and legs look longer. It creates the illusion of slimness which makes the silhouette more streamlined.”

6. Size matters
“Tie knots, some of them are bigger than the neck! In my opinion, a tie knot should always be subservient to the collar. It should not be the same size as the collar that you are wearing which becomes overbearing and clumsy. It should always be smaller and should look right within the space. There is a sense of proportion between the size and shape of the tie knot and the collar. Menswear is about precision and this is one of the areas where people get it wrong. It is not by accident that a guy’s tie knot looks right. ”

7. Lapel before label
“The size of the lapel is really important. On a big guy, a skinny lapel would look really silly as will a huge lapel on a slim guy. Make sure that the lapel is proportionate to the size of your frame.”

8. Don’t go wild with the height  
“Wearing jackets that are too short and trousers that are too low waist has been a trend for over a decade but all it does is make men look really fat in the middle. Some people think for some reason that wearing shorter jackets makes them look taller which is not true. In England, we have been developing this proportion for about 700 odd years.”

9. Bridge the gap
“There should be no gap between your waist coat and your trousers. It is a killer! The whole idea of wearing trousers and waistcoat (of the same fabric and colour) is to create the illusion of slimness. If you interrupt it and when from the slightest of gap, the shirt sticks out, it destroys the illusion of height. Ideally the bottom line of the waistcoat should touch the bottom of the waistband of your trousers.”

10. Mix and match
“Contrasting combinations are tricky. It used to be quite a common thing back in the days of Charles II of England, when the suit emerged. Pairing different fabrics was practised even at that time. You could play with this trend by wearing three pieces, all of the same fabric, which I personally prefer. But also you could do striped trousers, a coloured waist coat and a black herringbone morning coat, all of it in quite subtle colours such as duck egg blue and biscuit shades.”

11. Don’t burst at the seams
“There is a temptation to wear all your favourite stuff all at once but never overload, keep it relatively simple. Men do better when they are slightly understated. If you are wearing something very bold, then you have to dress down everything else. For instance, when you are wearing a bold pattern or a bold colour, you need to not wear another one. Tone the rest down if you tone the suit up.”

Inputs by Patrick Grant, creative director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row, at a tailoring workshop in association with Raymond and The Woolmark Company.

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