We talked about color coordination in my last blog. Choosing the right color coordination for any outfit (formal/casual) is a must but it is not the only thing that a man should focus on for sartorial perfection. Today, we will focus on the other important aspects that are necessary for mastering the art of formal dressing. Mastering these aspects along with the art of choosing the right color coordination will give you an edge over people who do not follow these. So, without any further ado, let us get started.
The Jacket Shoulder:
The Jacket’s shoulder acts as a frame for the head so the narrower the frame (shoulder length), the larger the head will look. And wider the shoulder, the smaller the head will look. Hence people with large heads should get their jackets tailored in such a way that the shoulder width is a little larger than their shoulder-length, which will give the illusion of a smaller head, and people with smaller heads should try to wear jackets with shorter shoulder lengths.
The Jacket length:
Jacket length is very important when you are aiming to nail your formal outfit. Make the Jacket length small and your legs will look abnormally long and make the Jacket too long and the torso will look abnormally long. Hence, jacket length should be chosen in an optimum range.
One way to choose the right jacket length is to relax your arms completely downward and look for the place where the mid of your palms rest. This place is the right place for the jacket to end and length should be chosen accordingly (an error of plus or min ½ inch is allowed).
This system of choosing length could be flawed for people with abnormally long or short arms. The best way to choose the jacket length is to consider a line straight from the back of the neck to the ground. Now consider the midpoint of that line, the midpoint is right where an ideal jacket should end (an error of plus or min ½ inch is allowed).
The Gorge positioning:
The gorge is that point where the lapels of the jacket meet your color to form that step-like structure or pointed beak (the designs may vary). The positioning of the gorge should not be chosen according to fashion but according to one’s build. The lower positioning of gorge shortens the length of the lapels and in turn downplays your height while it makes your chest look wider at the same time. Hence short men and heavy men should not drop their gorges too low. Short men should position their gorges higher to give an illusion of height. The long men here enjoy the liberty of choosing the positioning of the gorge and can let their gorge go down a bit to give an illusion of wider build.
Lapel width is again not chosen according to fashion but according to a man’s build. The breadth of the jacket’s shoulder defines the Lapel width, a broad-shouldered man will naturally require a fuller and broader lapel for more balance while a man with narrow shoulder would require lesser lapel width to go with his Jacket. A lapel on either side of the jacket should cover two-fifth (2/5th) to three-fifth (3/5th) of the distance from the chest area to the shoulder line of the Jacket. No matter the types of the shoulder (either broad or narrow or medium), the lapel width should always vary between the given ratio.
One of the most important aspects of the necktie is the knot. The knot should be tightly knotted to increase the aesthetics of the necktie. The knot of the tie should fit properly with the V-shape created by the collars of the shirt. For a necktie to fit properly, a tie should be knotted in such a way that it has a dimple on the top to fit right in with the collar (watch a few videos on YouTube to learn how to properly knot a tie knot). One more aspect to increase the sartorial aesthetics of the tie is its width. The width of the tie should also be in proportion with the size of the shoulders. The bottom of the necktie should have a width in proportion with that of the width of the lapel (which in turn is also determined by the shoulder width of a person).
The color of the shirt should be chosen according to your complexion to create a contrast as mentioned in my previous blog. But the collar size of the shirt is one of the most important aspects to be kept in mind for rocking a suit. Consider your collar as the frame and your face as a picture. The bigger picture (i.e. face) requires a bigger frame (collar). Wearing bigger collars on small faces could make your face look even smaller and wearing small callers on big faces could make your face look even bigger (surprisingly, relativity in sizes could have effects these big). So, men with bigger faces should wear shirts with bigger collars and vice versa for men with smaller faces. Also, the sleeves of the shirt should be of an adequate length so that the band of linen should be visible between the jacket sleeve and the hand. It is a stylish gesture and it is often said that a jacket sleeve without a visible cuff below makes the hand look as if one of its parts is missing.
The rules for wearing a trouser are not that complex. The fitting of the trouser should be according to the fitting of your suit. Tight-fitting jackets require tight-fitting trousers. One more aspect to keep in mind while wearing a trouser is to not let it slouch down too much. Wearing trousers too low could create an illusion of short legs. The trouser should be worn between the hip and the waist part (Waist is the smallest part of your torso, the hollow cavity above the hip where you cannot feel any bones).
This often is one of the most neglected parts of the jacket but it is one of the most crucial ones. The waist button plays a major role in increasing or decreasing the aesthetics of your suit. The waist button should be placed in such a way that it makes your torso look like a “V”. An aesthetically pleasing body has broader shoulders and a leaner waist. The right placement of the waist button is ½ inches below the waist. To find your waist, press your hands at the smallest parts of your torso in the hollow right above your hips.
Another thing for sartorial perfection while wearing a suit is to match your leathers. The strap of your watch, belt, and your shoes should not look as if you are trying to mimic a rainbow. You should carefully match your leathers (color).
One of the most neglected parts of the suit is a pocket square. When in doubt, go with the pocket square look, it looks much more stylish than the no pocket square look. The color of the pocket square could be made to mimic your complexion type (read my previous blog to know more). The color of the pocket square could also be chosen to highlight a certain aspect of your face. If you have blue/ green eyes, wearing a light blue/green pocket square could highlight that feature of your face. If you have a reddish/pinkish face color, a red/pink colored pocket square could also highlight that facial feature.
There you have it, all the basic rules to rock those formals. You could experiment according to your fashion sense as long as you are not playing with the basics. Try these and let me know your results.