The 10 commandments of wearing a suit

The sacrosanct rules that will help you get the most out of your tailoring.

Getting your tailoring right is no simple matter, which is why we've carved onto stone (or on The Internet of things) the ten unbreakable commandments of wearing a suit and wearing it well.

1: Leave it to rest

Always rest your suit at least two days between wears. This will give fabric which has stretched in the knee, in the sleeve and elsewhere a chance to relax and return to its original position. It will also prevent wear on stress spots.

2: Canvas over bonded

If possible always buy canvased suits as opposed to bonded. The natural fibres in half or full canvas are breathable and will easily return to their original state when they get wet. A bonded suit has been glued and will therefore go crinkly and crispy over time, which you absolutely don't want.

3: The golden rule

Always ensure that the cuff of your jacket sits no lower than the base of your palm and no higher than your wrist bone. With your trousers a good rule of thumb is to ensure that the hem kisses the top of the shoe without a break.

4: Choose the right fabric

Ensure that you're wearing the right fabric for the season. Linen and cotton in summer (even certain types of super high twist wool will work), and cashmere, tweed, or merino in the winter. Sweat patches and shivering are both unsightly and avoidable.

5: Get the length right

Always ensure that the skirt of your jacket fully covers your seat. Short jackets are not flattering on anyone, even the skinny. A full length jacket with a nip at the waist will look flattering on pretty much all frames. There's a reason why this has been a rule for years.


6: Know how much shirt sleeve to show

Make sure that your shirt sleeve peeks out no more than a centimeter from beneath the cuff of your jacket. Too much of a gap will make the sleeve of your jacket look too short.

7: See a tailor

If in doubt go made-to-measure or, if you can afford it, bespoke. There's nothing better than having a suit cut to fit you. At the very least take your off the peg suit to a tailor and have the relevant alterations made. This is an inexpensive way of ensuring that your suit will look good, no matter how much it cost you.

8: Pick the right footwear

If you can avoid it, don't wear any type of boots with a suit. Box-fresh white sneakers can work in the summer if worn properly (and if you're under 35), but in reailty you should only ever wear a suit with loafers, derbies, oxfords, or monk straps.

9: Understand what suits your frame

When it comes to choosing between double- and single-breasted suits, it's really a matter of taste. As a rule, however, if you're on the slightly shorter side or you are of a portly disposition, you're better off going single-breasted; a double-breasted style will truncate your frame. Single-breasted suits look great on taller and slimmer bodies, as can double-breasted.

10: Don't over-accessorize

Only ever wear a maximum of three accessories with your suit. If you're wearing a three-piece suit, you must treat your waistcoat as an accessory and build your outfit around it accordingly. If you wear a three-piece suit with a pocket square, a tie, and a tie pin, it has the potential to look far too fussy. Three is the magic number.

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

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Teo van den Broeke
Teo van den Broeke is the Style Director for
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