Though most organizations have some sort of appearance standards or guidelines that explain to their employees what dress and grooming practices are appropriate for the workplace, employers have three business-related reasons for implementing these types of standards:
- To present or create a professional or identifiable appearance for customers, suppliers, and the public;
- To promote a positive working environment and limit distractions caused by outrageous, provocative, or inappropriate dress;
- To ensure safety while working.
These policies are increasingly becoming important as business environments now recognize the fact that employees at all levels and job positions are representatives of the organization and, therefore, their dress, grooming, and personal hygiene affect both the public’s impression of the business and internal morale.
A most basic dressing ethic in today's world, however, is the wearing of suits (at least once in a while) for most corporate individuals. It can be said to be the most acceptable corporate attire. As important as it is, a lot of men are not familiar with wearing of suits while many men do not even wear suits on a regular basis. Worst of all, many men do not know or deliberately ignore the rules for wearing a suit.
Wearing a Suit
The following are a few simple guidelines for wearing a suit:
A suit should never be too big, or too small. It does not matter what appears to be fashionable at the time, a suit should be as close as possible to a perfect fit.
The best way to make sure that the suit will fit you correctly is to go to a suit stare to get measured. The best stores to go to are the ones that are the most upscale. These locations usually have the most knowledgeable staff and will let you know your correct sizes.
Once you have your correct sizes, do not stray far from them. There are some suit companies that have slight differences in measurement qualifications, but they are few. If you were sized for a size 44 regular suit, you should buy a size 44 regular suit.
While style in some areas may suggest that a brightly colored suit should be worn, the rules for wearing a suit do not. The rules for wearing a suit state that a gentleman should wear a black, navy, tan, olive, gray or brown suit. The rules do not support pale blue, purple, or orange suit.
The only designs that are acceptable in the rules of wearing a suit are pinstripes, large pale large check, small check, or houndstooth. The rules for wearing a suit do not support polka dots, wild multi-colored checks, or animal prints.
The only accessories that should be worn with a suit in most circumstances would be a pocket square, a watch, suspenders, a belt, or a tie. The exception is if the gentleman is going to wear a piece of ethnic wear.
The shoes that a man wears with a suit should be dress shoes. A gentleman in a suit should never have on tennis shoes, boots, or sandals.
If a man is wearing a tie with a suit, it is suggested that the tie stay fully knotted until the formal part of a function is over. It is acceptable if the tie is loosened or taken off after dinner at a wedding once the dancing has started.
Whenever a man is standing up for a period of time, the buttons on the jacket should be buttoned. When a man sits down, the jacket should be unbuttoned. If a man is going to stand with his hands in his pockets for any reason, the jacket should be unbuttoned.
The bottom button of a suit should always be left undone. When a man walks, the suit needs extra room to break. If the bottom button is buttoned, this will put extra stress on the material, and the suit will not last as long.
For a three-button suit, a man can either button the top two buttons, the top button, or the middle button. Either way is acceptable in the rules of wearing a suit.
A suit with four buttons is a gray area in the rules of wearing a suit. Many believe that four-button suits are more of a fad, and should not be purchased. If you own a four-button suit either the middle two buttons should be buttoned or the top two.
The jacket of your suit should stay on throughout the formal part of an event. It should only be taken off at a wedding once the dancing has started.
A gentleman should never stand with his hands in the pockets of the jacket. This not only looks bad, but it will put pressure on the suit in ways that it was not made for.
It is allowed by the rules of wearing a suit to have a casual shirt under a jacket. This shirt should not overpower the suit. The attention is supposed to be drawn to the suit in this situation, not the shirt.
In conclusion, while there are many rules to wearing a suit, they are very easy to follow. You do not want to get intimidated in another business gathering or be caught at your next social event standing out in a crown because you do not know the proper way to wear a suit.