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Dress Code

Published:Monday | March 28, 2016 | The Jamaica Gleaner

As every well-dressed man knows, the most important thing to consider when buying and wearing a suit is the fit. A poor fit can ruin an otherwise great suit. If you are buying a suit off the rack, invest in a good tailor for custom adjustments. Here are some pointers when choosing the perfect suit.


A good suit should hug your shoulder and lie flat, it should not bunch up with a ripple effect or hang over the shoulders. This is the hardest part on a suit to alter, so always ensure that the shoulders fit or it will be too difficult to alter.


The smaller (narrower) the lapel, the more modern the design of the suit.


While suits are usually grey, black or navy, it's the tie which really stands out. Add design depth to your suit with textured, patterned or vibrant ties. And as style is a matter of personal taste, the size of the tie has some guidelines. A general rule of thumb is that the width of the tie should match the width of the lapel. Similar to the size of lapels, the width of the tie is determined by the size and height of the man and should be proportionate.


One of the biggest fashion faux pas is often made when wearing a suit the wrong way, with something as small as a button.


One-button suit - button it.

Two-button suit - button top only (never bottom).

Three-button suit - button top and middle, or middle only (never bottom).

Therefore, never button the last button on a suit with more than one button.

Avoid plastic buttons as they will crack easily to numerous trips to the dry cleaners; instead, get suits with tortoise shell or enamel buttons.


Very critical in the overall appearance of the suit. The jacket should cover the butt, however, it should not be too long or too short. A good marker for the length of the jacket is while standing with relaxed arms down, the hem of the jacket should hit the middle of the hand.


Dress pants should not be too tight to the leg or billowing, but lie comfortably close to the leg without resistance and naturally drape. Pants should sit at the top of the hip bone; the idea is to have some drape without the look or feel of having large trousers.


The men's wear term for how much creasing occurs at the bottom of the trousers, due to the length of fabric resting on one's shoes. Although a shorter hem is considered more fashion-forward, it is considered more favoured to have even a quarter-inch break, where the trouser leg meets the shoe and breaks, but only slightly.


Cuffs are classic and a matter of preference. They are favoured when the pants are made with pleats and serves to weigh down the pants, thereby minimising the break.

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