The 5 Biggest Mistakes Men Make With Their Suits

These are the cardinal sins of tailoring.
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Whether it's your daily wardrobe routine or a special occasion-only affair that sends you into an immediate cold sweat, being able to wear a suit is an essential part of being a grown-up. Meaning that you, a proper big grown-up, will need to leave the house in at least a notched lapel two-piece a few times a year. 

Paradoxically the easiest and hardest outift for a man to wear, a suit can be undone with even the slightest error: a sleeve too long or an accessory too many, which is why a strong brush up on the basics is needed from time to time. 

Here, then, are the five biggest sins when it comes to tailoring, leaving you in no doubt what should be avoided... always.

1| Not Paying Attention To Your Tie

Blame this on the so-called, oft-quoted death of the tie, but if ever there was a simple, easily-rectifiable—yet remarkably common—tailoring mistake that instantly transforms a man into the avatar of an overgrown eight-year-old, then it's not being able to wear a tie properly. 


We're not suggesting you need to be able to fashion a Glennie Double with one hand in the dark (that would be impressive, though), but if your tie isn't falling just above your waistline and firmly tied (without being throttling), then it's time for some serious re-evaluations on... everything. 

And remember, your tie should never be skinner than the suit lapel. Never, ever. 


2| Trying Too Hard

While not quite the pandemic that it was in the peak #Menswear period circa 2011-2013 (R.I.P fedoras and brown belts), over-dressing a suit is a destructive trait that can still be encountered in the wild. 

Adding subtle flourishes to a simple look is one thing (and something we encourage), but when a suit goes from being—you know—a suit and instead becomes some weird menagerie of tie clips, matching belts with shoes, and floral pocket squares, then irreverence has given way to trying way too hard. 

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If in doubt, stick to no more than three accessories at a time—and yes, this includes your watch.


3| Underestimating The Importance Of A Good Shirt 

The under-appreciated up-top lynchpin of the suit—the deep-lying playmaker if you will—a bad shirt can undo a lot of good work when it comes to your tailoring. 

While you don't need to spend a fortune, it is important to have a shirt that fits well enough that billowing is kept to a minimum, with sleeves that sit just so on the wrist. 

Everyone gets their trousers tailored, but rarely their shirts... why? 

Also, if it feels like you might have undone too many buttons, then you've probably undone too many buttons.


4| Bad Shoes Sink Ships 


It's a scene we've all encountered before: there's a man, over there. "He's well dressed," you think to yourself. "Well-cut navy suit, good haircut, knows how to wear a tie..." Then the Jaws soundtrack inexplicably plays inside your mind and you know... you know already. You scan down, and there they are. The thin-soled toffee monstrosities of 10,000 cobblers' nightmares. Another decent suit eviscerated by a crap pair of shoes. 

Why? WHY!?


5| Beware The Quietly Ill-Fitting

More pernicious than the pooling, puddling, sloppy, undeniably bad suits that immediately grab your attention are the more subtle, quietly ill-fitting suits that equally must be eradicated from your wardrobe. 

We're talking trousers that don't quite sit right, pooling ever-so-slightly, but still noticeably. Sleeves that cover one centimeter too much of shirt. A blazer that hangs that bit too loose when buttoned.  When it comes to suits, the little things count.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Finlay Renwick
Finlay Renwick is the Digital Editorial Assistant at
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