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Guidelines: Top Suit Blunders For Young Professionals

These are the Executive’s Cutting Edge top 5 all too easy, and all too avoidable suiting mistakes. Most commonly performed by young professionals just making their way into the world of suiting, these mistakes can turn a sharp and tailored look into a bumbling mess of confusion. Be sure to keep these in mind the next time you suit up.

Forgetting to cut the vents on a suit, or remove tags:

All too often I have seen guys walking around with their jacket vents stitched closed (I may have made this mistake myself once or twice). Having your vents stitched does more than just make you look like a newbie. It does not allow the jacket full freedom of movement and causes bulging in the abdomen of your suit.  Always make sure you take a seem ripper and snip these little stitches whenever you’re about to put on a fresh new suit. Also never forget to remove the sleeve and slack tags from new clothes. You might be rolling your eyes, but it happens more than you’d think in the professional world!

Wearing informal shoes with a suit:

You should always opt for laces on your dress shoes when in professional, business settings. Monk straps or a sleek slip-on are also business appropriate and can help you look sharp and stand out. It is when the slip on becomes a clunky mess of metallic and brogueing that it is no longer the best shoe for the job. A tassel loafer can go a long way in the office, but loafers are becoming less of the fashion norm when suiting up, and styles like the mocassin toe, shown at the top of the image below, are considered more of a casual shoe. Reserve your penny loafers for linen pants and beach vacations, and opt for a laced wingtip, or cap toe during your work week.

Wearing a tie that is too wide, or too skinny:

All too often I’ll see guys who’ve spent hundreds on perfectly tailored suits, only to pair a 3-inch lapel with a 1-inch skinny tie. This is a big mistake. Wearing a tie that is too skinny for your lapels can cause your body to look misshapen, look in the mirror and you’ll notice your shoulders look hunched, and the unevenness of the widths can throw off even the best-fitted suit. Conversely, having too wide a tie with too slim a lapel has a similar effect, it causes your whole body to look oddly misshapen, and anyone who knows anything about suiting will write you off as a rookie. You want the silhouette of the suit to be balanced. The width of your shirt collar, lapel and tie should all stay reasonably the same. Always match the width of your tie with the width of your lapels to create a canvas of unison and look your best.

Avoid matching your tie and shirt precisely:

When it comes to matching your ties with your shirts, utilize a hint of color between the two. A yellow tie with light blue pin dots throughout, matched with a light blue shirt is a killer look. A light blue tie matched with a light blue shirt is not. Ties should complement every aspect of your outfit, while not perfectly matching any of it. Department stores and lower end men’s retailers carry boxed shirts paired with a perfectly matching tie; this is an error on their part. Pairing a tie with the same color shirt may pass for a Vegas club or a high school prom, but if you’re in the business world and want to be taken seriously, you’ll need to avoid this suiting mistake.

Attempting to find the GQ fit:

Magazines and fashion retailers lie. Pinning clothes onto models to create an unrealistically tight fit, or using editing software to craft an unreal image. Often men will have the unrealistic idea that they can look the way a particular model looks in a magazine, sending them hunting for the thousand dollar suit that fits and looks that same way. Don’t fall into this trap. Utilize a tailor, get your hair cut reasonably, and take care of your body, these simple steps will take you farther, and have you looking better than any magazine model. Craft your own clean look, instead of trying to match the completely ludicrous, and often-times fashion hideous ideals that most men’s magazines will throw your way. Keep an eye out for our blog coming soon detailing exactly what the “right” fit is for a professional suit (Hint: it’s not a tight tight fit).


Never wear white socks with a suit. Doesn’t matter what color the suit is. Don’t do it.


Hopefully, this guide will help you notice, and avoid any basic mistakes common when suiting up. Questions? Give us a call or send us an email for any suiting or professional menswear queries.

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  1. Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior

    Excellent blog post. I absolutely love this website.
    Continue the good work!