8 Ways To Look Great In A Suit

Never underestimate how useful being suited up is.  As one of the last symbols of class in our vulgar democracy, the difference between a properly suited man and a common schmuck comes down to the details.

These 8 guidelines make sure you don’t overlook any of the basics.

1.  Cuffs

Make sure the cuffs on your button-down shirt are poking out from your blazer about half an inch.

This goes for cuff-links too.

 2.  Tie

Be sure to tie your tie with a dimple.

But this isn’t your only option.  A man below shows how to invert the tie dimple:

3. The Gig Line

The gig line is the line made by the alignment of your button-down shirt, your belt buckle, and your pants fly. Make sure they are all in a straight line.

4. Pants

The bottom of your pants leg should end at the middle of the rubber on your shoe’s heel. A tailor can easily make adjustments to fix this.

5. Socks

Socks should always be an off-color of whatever color the pants are.  Anything else is the mark of an amateur.

 6.  Shoes

Always wear black shoes with anything except khaki.  And even then, wear black:

7. Shoulders/Waist

If the shoulders on your blazer are too wide, it can make you look incredibly awkward, like your shoulders bend at right angles or you have football padding underneath. Get a blazer that’s more fitted to your body shape, or with the shoulder hem right at your shoulder joint. A tailor can also fix this.


No.  Just no:

8. Color

A lot of people go straight for black, which is fine, but you can never go wrong with a blue blazer. When in need of a semi-formal outfit for a get together or a meeting, go with blue.

And if you’re going someplace where peacocking will win you points, talk to someone who knows what they are doing and try something creative:

Inspiration for today’s post goes to “Matt.”  RoK tried to get you a guest account on here, but you gave us a bad email.

Read Next: Top 5 Style Tips

47 thoughts on “8 Ways To Look Great In A Suit”

  1. 4. Brad Pitt’s pants are too long.
    6. Black shoe’s should be a rarity; brown shoes go with dark grey, blue and brown.
    8. Black suits are for funerals and Tarantino flicks . Even tux’s are better in midnight blue.

    1. +1 to this. Shoes are one of the areas you can really show off your style. Black shoes are boring as fuck. Also, colored socks are fine, and another area to show off your style. You can also wear shorter pants to show off your socks and shoes a bit.

    1. there are caveats to that.
      If you are overweight, the tip of your tie should go below your belt, to a maximum of the widht of 3 fingers.
      Inversely, if you are underweight, your tie should be above your belt line to a maximum of 3 fingers.

  2. Never knew the “gig line.” Cheers.
    To add to tie: saw on a program years ago that a large, wide knot gives the impression you’re an extrovert and the opposite (think Reservoir Dogs) gives an introverted impression. Dunno if that’s BS or not. Any thoughts on Double vs Single Winchester? I go for double when I’m dressing for work; more symmetrical.
    To add to the trouser length: easy way to make sure it’s correct is for the back of the trousers to touch the ground when you don’t have any shoes on.

      1. And fat guys with thick necks who needs big ties for them to even register against the sheer size of the chest they’re stuck on.

  3. Don’t look down on colored socks that don’t match your trousers.
    They’re an easy way to showcase individuality. Nothing beats red socks.
    Uniqlo has great color selection for a great price.

  4. Great list but I’d like to mention three things:
    1 – Brown oxfords are the best looking and most versatile dress shoe you could buy
    2 – Grey and navy suits look better on most men than black
    3 – The socks and pants rule is a great way to play it safe but if you know what you’re doing you can pull off other combos too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTOk2OgxobY

  5. There’s a line of thinking that say suits shouldn’t be worn with belts, a belt being a sign of improper fit.
    You should definitely know how to get a dimple in your tie knots, but more important is sizing the knot to fit your collar. A skinny four-in-hand in a silk tie looks out of place when you’ve got a big gap in your collar. For a good example of matching knot size to collar, see Clint Eastwood above, and the photo above him. If nothing else, be able to tie a four-in-hand and a windsor, single or double.

    1. But I like the idea of this article. Throughout most of the U.S., men’s fashion is in such a state that if a guy has the merest clue what he’s doing, he’ll look incredible. I went to a wedding last fall where guys were wearing football jerseys. Christ…

    2. Any type of 4-in-hand is a knot for schoolboys. Why go to the trouble of having a perfect gig line then topping it off with a sloppy and unbalanced knot?
      And avoid the Trinity knot like the plague unless you are a pimp!

  6. Tangent’s points are 100% legit. Furthermore,
    1. Don’t wear button-downs if you’re not a college student.
    2. Shoes and belts always match color.
    3. Brown shoes & belt suit navy blue & charcoal blazers / suits.
    4. As also been pointed above, black suits are for black tie events & waiters in upscale places. Thus, a big no-no.
    5. Socks must be on-color for black tie events and more formal settings. Off-color is acceptable for business casual and below.
    6. Tie dimples go for 4-in-hand, Trinity and other non-Windsor type knots. Half and full Windsor with a dimple is mark that you don’t have half a fucking clue how to tie a tie. Lou is correct in pointing out at fitting the tie to the collar. Most shirts feature a semi-cutaway, with which most medium-size knots are fine.
    For peackocking, colored bow-ties with semi-formal white shirt & navy blazer look really good.

  7. Good post, but what’s all this about rubber heels on your shoes?
    The only materials in your shoes should be wood and leather.
    Second the other commenters: no black suits (it’s a trend of the clueless). Black shoes are good, but you look much more stylish if you know how and when to wear both black and brown shoes.
    Also for the real newbs, make sure to never fasten the bottom button on your blazer, suit jacket, or cardigan sweater.

  8. Aw, crap guys… I gave you a bad email?? Try the ne above. Thanks for publishing this!!
    Oh yeah, something I forgot to add… Make sure your tie reaches down to the middle of your belt.

  9. Everything made sense but the always wear black shoes part.
    Men who know what they’re doing often have brown and oxblood colored shoes. In fact, even your examples in #5 aren’t wearing black shoes. Black leather shoes, see the masses of black square toes, are often the sign of a beginner. Many people are unsure of what to wear and will default to black for a safety.

  10. +1 for brown shoes. They go with almos everything. I pull it with a dark brown suit, light violet shirt and brown polished shoes.

  11. If possible, wear suspenders rather than belts with suit pants. Particularly if you’re some flatbutted guy that has to cinch his belt down at all for the pants to not slide down. If you’ve got a slim waist and the rear end of an Olympic sprinter, and can leave some room between the shirt and belt, this is less of a problem, but cinched down belts make pants hang and move funny. Unless you want to look like a “Wall Street” acolyte, try to get the suspenders in colors not too different from either the suit or shirt.

  12. I disagree with 2 things; the “only black dress shoes” and the blue blazer/suit policy. Quality dark brown shoes can pretty much go with anything, especially blue or gray suits. As men in America, we tend to shy away from color, lending to our monochrome look we see time and time again in magazines. Don’t be afraid of a little color. There are some smartly dressed Italian and French men who add just the right amount (belt, shoes, tie, silk) in an outfit.
    Also, with the suit, I would narrow it down to a blue pinstripe suit or (windowpane) And gray is also a very good steadfast in the wardrobe. Just avoid sharkskin or “sheen”. It looks cheap. A glen plaid will suffice.
    Otherwise, great posts. Keep it up!

  13. OMG! Americans are now the world leaders in fashion…NOT
    Europe leads the way, period, full-stop.

  14. lol at the black shoes comment. Grey and navy shoes are acceptable and in numerous circumstances better! Also how to button up the suit correctly. Due to these horrendous irregularities this is the worst post on rok, needs to be revised ASAP.

    1. It’s the first thing they teach you in the Army after you get your uniform, hence the name “gig” line. A gig being a demerit.

  15. If not for the slight double chin, “no, just no” guy in #7 would be better looking that the “yes” guy.

    1. You’re either trolling way too hard or you’re a fucking moron. And, no, this opinion isn’t subjective.
      By the way, the “yes” guy’s name is Sean Connery.

      1. Not trolling. And I’ve never seen a Bond movie, so I wouldn’t recognize Sean Connery. I don’t know who the second guy is either. I was judging them only by their looks.

  16. The key aspect of your wardrobe is your palette color. Clothing is sold in palettes : Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. To look your best you need to know what is you natural palette and it is defined by your skin and hair color. My color, Autumn, has natural brown and earth tones and no blacks or grays. This can be difficulty for business wear.
    So black shoes work for you if that is in your palette, otherwise cordovan or blood tones. Important thing not to screw up is mixing black and brown.
    If you wear the wrong palette you will look ghastly. The right palette hilites your positives.
    You can get a clue at the men’s store by observing how shirts are arranged by palette. Hold some examples up to your skin while looking in the mirror and you will see the difference. A good clerk will help you out.
    When you find the right palette, all the clothes you buy then work together.
    When I see redneck bikers sporting black attire I want to tell them “You would look so much better in an olive tone, which would compliment your reddish hair…”
    Best book for this is “Color for Men” by Kate Jackson.
    I don’t care if you are a swinging alpha who made a billion with his “social media” website; if you dress like Howdy Doody it will affect you.
    One more observation : in your finer department stores, the men’s section is simply laid out and near the exit, while the ladie’s sections are confusing mazes full of mirrors and shiny counters.

  17. ” ” Tangent and I must add that if you have on a sport coat or suit, you need a pocket square. Pant length should be determined by the diameter of your pant leg opening. Skinny ones = high, boot cut = low. For the average pant leg of 17″ to 19″ a good rule of thumb is your pants should be 1/2″ off the floor when standing barefooted. The best book I have seen on men’s clothing is http://www.amazon.com/Dressing-Man-Mastering-Permanent-Fashion/dp/0060191449 Follow that and you cannot go wrong.

  18. This list is poorly done, and deals in absolutes far too often.
    Matching the color of your socks and trousers exactly presents a longer, unbroken vertical line. This is advantageous for short men and is one of the many details they can utilize to appear taller.
    There should be no break along the back of a man’s pant legs when standing upright. Whether or not a man wants break in the front of his pant legs is a matter of personal preference. As others have mentioned, why choose that photo of Pitt with pants that break in the back as well as the front?
    The bottom of your pants leg should end at the middle of the rubber on your shoe’s heel.
    To be a snob, why is someone who wears rubber soled shoes dispensing advice on suiting?
    The bit about black shoes is flat out wrong wrong. Black shoes are formal, brown shoes less so, and the latter that work with nearly every color save for dark grey and black. The formality of the occasion should dictate what color shoes to wear.

  19. This list is pretty terrible.
    Socks are a great way to express yourself with a splash of color if you don’t want to wear a wacky tie or a bright colored shirt.
    Black shoes are too formal in many situations, and brown shoes actually go with more colors of pants than black does.
    The pants you pictured were way too baggy compared to how modern men wear them.
    That “man below” is Clint mother f’n Eastwood. Come on!

  20. The points mentioned are informative though I feel a vital point is missing which includes bespoke tailoring. If your are talking about shoulder wide issues and waist fit issues, have a custom made suit is most suitable. You can check more about bespoke tailoring options and features on http://www.manningcompany.com , one of the best tailors indeed.

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