Our clothing tends to communicate an idea. Wearing jeans and a flannel shirt may reflect a casual, down-to-earth attitude, while wearing bright colors may show a love of fun and adventure. And if there is one ensemble designed to convey an idea, it’s a suit.
But even though a suit should communicate confidence, elegance, or professionalism, that message can become muddied when you wear it incorrectly. To prevent this, keep in mind these common mistakes to avoid when wearing a suit.
Wearing It to the Wrong Occasion
Typically, people are more concerned with not dressing formally enough for a situation. But it’s still possible to dress too formally for an occasion. And that can lead to you feeling embarrassed or even coming across as rude.
While a job interview, a trip to a fancy theater, a funeral, or a wedding are nearly always appropriate times to wear a suit, you should leave it at home for the following situations:
- A date at a casual venue
- A dinner party without a formal dress code
- Most outdoor events
- Dinner at an informal restaurant
These days, even some traditionally formal events like weddings or church services may potentially have more relaxed dress codes. If you aren’t sure whether this is the right event for a suit, never be afraid to ask.
If you want to appear dressy without dressing too formally for the occasion, try only wearing parts of your suit. For instance, you can wear a suit without a tie or a suit jacket with jeans.
Choosing the Wrong Size
Getting the wrong size is one of the most common mistakes people make when wearing a suit. Wearing a suit that’s too tight or too loose can take away some of its formality.
When you try on the suit, make sure you can fit your hand between the jacket and your chest snuggly. If there’s too much space, it’s too big. If it’s too snug, then the suit is overly tight. The jacket sleeves should allow a quarter of an inch of your shirt to remain visible, and your trousers should end just above your shoes.
Buttoning the Jacket Incorrectly
Buttoning a suit jacket is a deceptively simple part of putting on a suit. There are several etiquette rules for buttoning the jacket and when you should unbutton it. The most common ones are:
- You should never button the bottom button.
- If you have a three-button jacket, you should fasten the middle button.
- If you have a two-button jacket, you should fasten the top button.
- If you have a three-button suit, buttoning the top button is optional.
- You should always unbutton your suit jacket when you sit down.
At Emanuele Tuxedo, we want to ensure you communicate the right idea with your clothing. That’s why our Chicago men’s suit rental options feature high-quality suits. And our associates have the expertise to help you wear them correctly.