1. ITunes Festivals
What more could you need than a great atmosphere and a great band! You’ve got 30 nights to pick from so be sure to pick a night when you girlfriends favourite band are playing. For extra brownie points keep it a surprise and don’t tell her what you’ve planned. It will definitely be a date to remember! Find out more.
2. Long Walk
Wrap up warm and go for a long walk in the park or down the beach if you live near one. If you’re more of the romantic type and really want to sweep her off her feet wait until sunset and this will make it that little bit more cheesy! End the date by grabbing some hot coco – this will definitely go down a treat!
3. Museum Day
Do a little research and visit one of the best museums around you, we recommend an art museum – that way you won’t look silly if you missed a history lesson on something! It’s a great date idea especially if you know it’s going to rain – grab a nice lunch in-between and you’re sorted for the whole day!
4. Borrow a Dog
We know what you’re thinking… how is that a date? Here’s how! If your partner is a dog lover head over to Borrow My Doggy and borrow a dog for a day. It’s simple – you both can have all of the fun for the day without the long term dog commitments. Take the dog for a walk, play some games, eat and hand the dog back to its owner.
5. Weather Proof Pub Garden
Just because Summer is over it doesn’t mean that’s the end of pub gardens! Have a browse around for a pub garden with a shelter and some heaters – grab a nice cold pint and meal together, it’s easy, cheap and great for first dates.
A gentleman’s suit is a complex thing. We’re on hand to bust the jargon and help you be as knowledgeable as possible when you’re investing in a new suit. Here’s all the terminology to look out for as well as different options, broken down so you can look for the style elements that best suit your occasion and personal taste.
Generally speaking if you have a skinny fit suit that is most modern, the lapels will be thinner, it’s all about the proportions. A skinny lapel best suits a skinny tie with a four in hand knot. By this standard a more traditional tailored fit suit will have a wider lapel and will be complimented by a wider tie with a Windsor or Half Windsor knot.
You can have either notch or peak lapels.
A notch lapel is the standard for a single breasted suit jacket and a peak lapel is more likely found on double breasted suits and more formal jackets like morning coats or a tux. You can get a peak lapel on a single breasted suit jacket and this garnered popularity during the 1920s and 30s, it’s vary technically advanced and best saved for black tie dress codes or for when you want to show a little extra pizzazz with your formal look.
2. Back Vents
One, two or none? Firstly, a double back vent is considered traditionally British, its heritage is said to lie in equestrian fashion as it would allow the wearer to ride a horse without the jacket rumpling. A single vent is common on American style business suits and to have no back vent at all was popular during Hollywood’s golden era as it was considered most photogenic.
What it really boils down to is personal preference, there’s no overriding trend at the moment for one or other option although the double vent can be seen as more of a style statement, especially as it is more costly and technical to tailor. We offer a double vent on many of our slim and tailored fit suits, especially as they can often flatter a more athletic or strong build better than a single vent which we most often use on our skinny fit suits. When you buy a new suit the vents may be tacked together with pale thread, you should remove this immediately before wearing.
3. Sleeve Cuff
Check out our guide to the perfect fit to make sure your cuff end in exactly the right place on your suit. You can opt for either back to back buttons or waterfall buttons which overlap one another slightly. Waterfall buttons seem to have originated in Italian tailoring and add an unusual flair to a suit jacket, they’re a little less conventional than your standard back to back buttons and are a trend that has really only taken off in the last 15 or so years.
Choose from jet, welt or flap pockets. The jetted pocket is considered most formal and are when the pocket is sewn into the lining of the suit jacket leaving a small slit opening with a discrete seam running around the pocket opening. A flap pocket uses the same principle as a jet, however there is an extra flap of material also sewn in which can be left out or tucked in to exactly mimic a jet. Finally a welt pocket, it looks more like a conventional pocket you may be used to and is usually the style found on the outer breast. This is where you would put your pocket square. Some jackets may also feature a ticket pocket, usually above the right hand pocket, this will almost always be a flap pocket and was traditionally used for your horse racing ticket or train ticket.
5. Trouser Hem
Your trouser hem can be cuffed or un-cuffed. Tradition dictates that a cuffed trouser hem is most formal, due in part to the fact it was considered a mark of quality and is more expensive to produce. In contrast, a tuxedo should not have a cuff, so you can see again the contradictions in suiting etiquette which can make formalwear a minefield! Again it all really comes down to personal preference and current trends as to whether you may want a cuffed or un-cuffed formal trouser.
6. Jacket Buttons
You can have one, two or three buttons on a suit jacket and there are certain rules to keep in mind for each. If you have one button this should be fastened when standing and then undone when you sit down. For a two button jacket keep the top button done up when standing and undo when you sit, the bottom button should always be left undone. For a three button suit jacket always do up the middle button when standing, the top button is optional and never do up the bottom button.
7. Lapel Hole
Ever wondered what that button hole you sometimes see on a lapel is for? Apparently it was used to button your hat via a cord into your suit so that it wouldn’t blow away on a blustery day, or to button a suit right up to the top to fend off the elements. Now it is used for a decorative flower or lapel pin when you attend formal events and require an extra, decorative attention to the details.
8. Outer Breast Pocket
If you’re a dapper chap this is where you would place your pocket square. This pocket is almost always a welt (see point 4). The important thing to remember is not to stuff this pocket too heavily as it will ruin the silhouette of your suit.
9. Sleeve Vent
A sleeve cuff (see point 3) will typically have a sleeve vent which will either be a working vent (meaning you can undo all the buttons) or it will be sewn together and the buttons will be purely for show. If your sleeve vent has a working cuff, some gents prefer to leave the last button undone, purely for show as a working cuff is considered the most premium option.
10. Top Collar
The top collar is really just another indicator of fit. The suit’s top collar should not pull away from the neck and shirt to leave a gap, it shouldn’t cover the shirt collar completely either and you should be able to see almost a centimetre of shirt collar at the back. The terminology to talk about this is the rise and the fall of the top collar.
The suit shoulder is the primary indicator of how well an off the rack suit fits. If you would like a little more information please view our guides on how to measure for a suit and the guide to the perfect fit for a suit.
12. The Trouser Seat & Rise
This is all about fit, the seat is generally the width and the rise is how high from the crotch to the waistband and will determine where on your waist your trousers will sit, useful terminology to know when you’re discussing alterations with a tailor or looking for the perfect off the peg pair of smart trousers.
The waistband should sit above the hips and below the belly button to give you the most universally flattering fit. Where your waistband sits is directly proportional to the rise of your trousers (see point 12) and there are certain tricks for helping with your proportions of legs to torso that the positioning of your waistband can help with. The general rule is a higher waistband gives the illusion of a longer leg, but be wary of pulling a Simon Cowell. For those with a short torso and a long leg opt for a lower rise to balance out your proportions.
14. Belt Loops
Some traditionalists don’t like to wear a belt with their suit trousers and instead opt for metal tabs to adjust the waist or even braces. We think it’s just fine to wear a slim suit belt in wither a black or a brown leather to coordinate with your formal shoes. As long as you haven’t bought your trousers in a wildly wrong size you won’t get any puckering from threading your belt through the belt loops of your trousers to ensure a comfortable fit all day.
15. Trouser Crease
All your formal trousers should have a crease ironed down the front of the leg, it’s considered pretty much a prerequisite for a formal look.
Now that you are all clued up, it’s time to shop for the perfect men’s suit for you.
To make things that bit easier we’ve pulled together a great diagram to help you with measuring up for a new suit. Grab a tape measure and get yourself a glamorous assistant to help take all of the measurements above, the shoulder, chest, waist, sleeve length and inner leg. When measuring, don’t pull the tape measure tight, it should be flush against you not cutting into you and not with any slack. Take the measurement to the nearest inch.
We sell our suits by chest size for the jacket and waist size for the trousers so once you have your measurements then pick the suit styles that you like best in this size. All our ‘off the peg’ suits are designed to fit most proportions well, and if you’re between sizes then you’re going to want to try on a couple of each.
The most important thing is how the shoulders fit, so start with the chest size you measured up for (or the nearest two sizes) and ensure you have the perfect fit at your shoulders as this can’t be changed by a tailor.
Once you have the shoulders right, you may perhaps find that a tailored suit is a little too roomy at the waist and sleeves so instead opt for a slim or a skinny fit. Similarly if a skinny fit is too snug and you’re much more muscular or broad you may achieve the ideal fit with a slim fit or tailored suit. If you’re not getting the exact look you’re after then pick the fit closest to what you want, that fits right on the shoulders and then head to a tailor for some minor alterations.
The thing to remember if you are going for alterations is it is much easier to take a suit in than to make it bigger, but as long as the shoulders are perfect and you have gone for the fit that best suits your body type then a tailor will have no problems making the adjustments to make you feel like you’re in a custom made suit for a fraction of the price.
Now you’ve noted down your particulars and you know the size to go for, check out our guide on the perfect fit for a man’s suit to ensure you’re right on the money with your formal look.
Traditionally there is a certain way your suit should look and fit. Although some of these principles are timeless, like the fit at your shoulders, waist and chest, the rule book is being torn up by some of the more recent emerging formalwear trends. Our best advice would be that there’s no shame in trying something new, but always stick to more traditional for business dress and feel free to experiment with trouser length and jacket length trends when you’re headed somewhere like the races!
Trouser Break – If you’re looking for a traditional look then the end of your trousers should just about be touching the top of your shoe forming a slight crease in your trousers, known as the break. Be careful not to have them too long as this creates a bigger break, often with 2 or even more folds – this just looks plain sloppy, a tailor can turn up a trouser hem that is too long fairly inexpensively so there is no excuse. When it comes to the trouser length we’re going to say shorter (with a medium break as opposed to a full break) is better than too long, there is an emerging trend for shorter trouser lengths – if you want to look more trendy go for a shorter leg length, you can even flash some ankle if you’re really daring.
Suit Sleeve Length – The best way to check sleeve length is to relax your arms to your side and check that you’re always showing almost an inch of your shirt cuff. It may seem like a small detail but it will make a huge difference to your entire look. If your sleeve length is too long it gives you an almost juvenile aesthetic, not at all desirable in a formal setting.
Shoulders fitting right – One of the most important parts of your suit will be the shoulder fitting. The main thing you want to make sure is that the suit shoulder pads don’t hang over your shoulder as this will cause unsightly rumpling and bulging in the silhouette of the shoulders. Instead the jacket should just about hug the shoulder for a snug fit. The best way to get this right is by measuring shoulder length – check out our measuring article to get this right.
Jacket Length – Here’s how to check the length, cup in your palm with arms at side and your thumb knuckle should be in line with the end of your jacket. In recent years it’s becoming more and more common to have your jacket length shorter, especially as skinnier fit suits are becoming more and more on trend. For a classic fit then stick to the thumb knuckle rule, it’s good for business dress and really formal occasions like weddings, however if you’re more confident and are trying out a skinny style don’t get too hung up on it if your jacket comes up shorter.
The Jacket Waist – You should always be able to button up your jacket with ease. There should be no wrinkle created. If there is an X-shaped wrinkle around the button then this means the waist is too tight. The best way to check the fit is to place your hand under your suit jacket and it should fit nice and snug without feeling tight.
Now you’ve got the suit that fits to perfection, let us help you with picking out that perfect shirt and tie combination.
We need somewhere to start and so the basic rules seem like a good place. Here are 3 simple rules to set you off on the right foot when choosing a suitable shirt and tie combination for your formal look.
Your tie width should be the same width as your suit lapels and to make things easy for you we currently stock 4 different tie widths, the skinny tie goes with the skinny suit and so on so you’re proportions will always be on point! A slim fit shirt with a charming neat collar loses all its character with a bulky tie under it. The shirt’s collar will look bloated and the tie will look strangled so avoid at all costs! For a slim tie you want a small knot and a wide tie is complimented with a large knot.
Your shirt fit should compliment your suit jacket fit. If you’ve gone for a slim fit suit then choose one of our slim fit shirts to ensure you don’t have swathes of excess shirt fabric bunching underneath your suit jacket which will ruin the line of your jacket. We offer shirts in a range of fits to perfectly compliment the suit cuts on offer so you’ll have no problems picking one to fit just right.
Your tie should be darker than your shirt, this is the simplest rule to remember when it comes to colours, so if you’re not confident playing with colour just stick to this rule and you won’t go far wrong and a white shirt is the easiest place to start as it works with every other colour.
Let’s look in more depth at colour combos.
As we’ve established, a white shirt is an essential. Light blue and faded pink shirts are invaluable members of the formal wear family and not to be overlooked. They work well as they’re light so pair well with most tie colours.
Burgundy is bang on trend but can be difficult to incorporate in your formal day to day attire. Burgundy shirts are considered mostly smart casual, so instead use burgundy in your tie to make it feel more formal for the day and right at home in your workplace. A light blue shirt with a contrasting burgundy tie is a big yes!
The thought of integrating orange into your understated yet stylish outfit will probably seem rather alarming. However a burnt orange tie contrasts exceptionally well with a light blue shirt. The burnt colour gives it texture and a sense of roughness, giving your outfit a subtle, masculine edge.
Our other favourite combos include a forest green tie on a light blue shirt – sophisticated and tasteful, a khaki green tie complementing a faded pink shirt – brave yet brilliant and a navy blue tie on faded pink shirt – a classic success.
Introducing a Pocket Square
Wearing matching pocket square and tie is dependable and considered the safe option, however there aren’t any steadfast rules when it comes to a pocket square. If you’re looking for a little guidance a good tip is to match your pocket square with the colour of any small detail on your tie; a very simple idea that shows good attention to detail and won’t go unnoticed. Once you feel confident with conventional colours why not try mix things up a bit with different textures and patterns.
Once you feel confident with conventional colours why not try mix things up a bit with different textures and patterns, knitted ties look amazing on a gingham shirt so try this combination for an established look.
Make your mundane work suit a little more dapper with a contrast collar shirt worn with a dark tie and a metal tie clip for a refined finish that will take you from the boardroom to your favourite bar in style.
Visit our Pinterest board of great shit and tie combinations for a little more inspiration.