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Suit from the hip: 5 rules for men to heed when seeking new formal attire

Suit from the hip: 5 rules for men to heed when seeking new formal attire

Suit from the hip: 5 rules for men to heed when seeking new formal attire

January 21st, 2023

Formal attire has been a mainstay of a gentleman’s wardrobe for centuries. Though styles have changed and evolved over the decade, one rule remains virtually unchanged – every man needs a suit.

But, how can you bring the classic suit into the modern age? Here are 5 rules that every man should follow when looking to upgrade their formal attire.

Make sure it fits

Whereas ‘skinny’ has been the buzzword for formal attire in recent years, comfort now dominates. That said, this does not mean that your formal wear shouldn’t nicely fit your body. When it comes to choosing men's suits, you will want to ensure that you opt for the size that best matches your arm length, leg length, and, most importantly, the broadness of your shoulders.

If you have to make any concessions, always prioritise a jacket that sits right on your shoulders. If this means going a size up, and so the arms are a little long, that’s okay – this is easily fixed by a quick trip to your local clothing alteration store.

Keep accessories to a minimum

With formal attire, it can be easy to get carried away with your accessories. From all the different ties, to tie pins, cufflinks, pocket squares, or even a pocket watch for that matter, remember that you don’t need to wear them all. Keep it simple and sleek.

Instead, you might consider investing in a statement watch as your consistent accessory. The watch you choose will depend on your personal needs – how much you use it, what you need it for, whether you favour form over functionality, and more.

When opting for colour, stick to earthy tones

For formal occasions, you might have been told to stick to black, grey, charcoal, navy, or variations on those tones. And, you will have likely been told not to mix them up – after all, you can’t pair black and navy… or can you?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour – you can try separates if you want something a little less bold. As a general rule of thumb, stick to dark natural and earthy tones like brown, blue, green, and terracotta, as these will suit most skin tones.

For a modern twist, incorporate textures

Formal wear doesn’t just have to be a plain suit, white shirt, and silk tie – though this classic pairing isn’t something to be dismissed either.

To keep your formal attire up-to-date, incorporate different materials and textures into your wardrobe. For example, a statement tweed or linen suit can be a fantastic choice. Or, you could give the classic suit a modern twist with a roll neck jumper or chunky knit sweater – or, even a woollen tie!

Invest in a good quality versatile pair of shoes

In this day and age, we love something that is multi-purpose – so why not take the same approach to your shoes? Something like a classic Chelsea boot or monk strap shoe can pair well both with formal and casual attire, for example.

To dress down your formal wear for those smart casual occasions, you can also rock your suit with a pair of Dr Martens or smart trainers to inject some personality into your look.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.