Suit Etiquette

Discussion in 'Community' started by Kwyjibo, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    So I'm currently in the process of rushing a professional business fraternity. I've gotten into the second and third stages, and I have a professional interview in third stage. I purchased my first suit today, something that wasn't to expensive but seems pretty nice and durable. It's a three button suit, so my first question

    1. Which buttons should I button? Do i leave them button as ai sit or causually release them? Please advise .... Anything else I should be considering or other suit etiquette you want to offer i'll be more than happy to hear

    2. Any tips on an interview for this type of thing, right now i'm not 100% what they are looking for but my first stage interviews went pretty well. I'm sure someone around here has been through this situation to give me some ideas.

    Thanks Kwyjibo

    If i recall correctly the guys on queer eye said always - sometimes - never , top to bottom ... the internet has so far agreed.
  2. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    I can help you with the suit, it's easy. Top bottom is sometimes, just depends on you. Second button is always, the only time you don't have this buttoned is if you are seating, I actually tend to leave it buttoned when I sit. The third button is a never, do not under any circumstances button the third.
    Easy as that.
    What color suit did you purchase? All in all if you want to cover all bases you should have a basic black, a gray, a navy and a pinstripe of one of those colors. I don't really care for navy myself though.
  3. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2004
    St. Louis
    I never button any of the buttons. Who cares what the Queer Guys said.
    Though I thought that it depended on body type. If you have a flat stomach then no buttons. But if you have a little belly then a button or two. ;)
  4. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    I like the buttoned appearence better for right now .... I'm thinking top two and then i'll see if i need ot unbutton them as a I sit

    I purchased a charcoal grey suit ... I'm just starting, I can worry about a full collection as I get a little bit older and hopefully build up some income ... summer jobs don't seem to strech as far as they used to.
  5. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    gray is a really great color to start with, it's classic. and I'm sorry but the Queer Eye guys were not the first men to wear suits, only one of them wears a suit anyways, but good advice is good advice. looking good should be important to all man and all men look good in a suit, especially when they pay attention to proper etiquette.
    No need to get a whole closet now but sooner or later you will want to add a nice black suit into your repertoire.
  6. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    hmm when sitting unbutton...
    other wise i'm not sure ...
    but i guess the second would really be 'always' like said before ... for the other 2 i have no idea ..i'm not really that suit-guy...i keep my ties 'ready to wear' if you know what i mean ;)
  7. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2004
    So. Cal
  8. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    .... there isn't one of those near here otherwise I would have checked it out definitely, i'll probably get my second suit from there maybe a black one for xmas .... if I get into this fraternity.

    So unbutton as you sit down?
  9. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004
    kick it miami vice style, lol :p

    Attached Files:

  10. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    Sydney, Oz.
    Deinitely unbutton (jacket only, not trousers!) as you sit down. The jacket will not sit right otherwise and you'll look a mess.

    When buttoned up, sometimes the top button, always the middle, never the bottom one. Try it. Bottom button done up just doesn't look right. Same goes for shirts being worn untucked (not with your suit please!). Never do up the bottom button.
  11. RugoseCone macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2002
    Not December!

    If you are going to buy suits from Mens Warehouse, wait until January. It's their annual sale month. I bought a Navy, Black, and Grey suit along with two ties in one fell swoop for what two suits would have cost regularly.

    General rule is single breasted suit you button one of two (the top one). Double breasted you button both buttons. Three button, only the top two. Usually you will want to unbutton as you sit or right after sitting. It will help prevent wrinkles. Also try to straighten the back as much as you can when you sit (make sure it isn't bunched up under you), again to avoid wrinkles. Most definitely remove the coat when driving. To? Say it with me! Avoid wrinkles! All the button faux pas in the world won't matter to anyone if you have a wrinkled suit on. All their attention will be on every crease.
  12. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    Thanks for the advice about january at men warehouse ... i'll have to look into that and it will depend on how my funds are ... right now they aren't so pleasent, i need to calm down spending for a few months because between back to school clothes books and a suit .... i'm gonna blow my budget.

    Darn, i thought unbuttoning my pants would be a good way to stand out but I guess not.
  13. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    the secret weapon of men everywhere...

    the member's only jacket.

    button the top and the second.

    pinstripes are slick. make sure you get a haircut first, nothing like stray neck hairs etc. to ruin the clean look.

    preach my brother.
  14. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    My pet peeve (although I may be wrong)... If you have slit-type pockets, tuck in the pocket flaps!!!!! When you get a new suit, the flaps are pulled out because the pocket is stitched shut. Leaving the flaps out looks (to me) like you never bothered to open the pockets. Sometimes I wish I could reach into the TV and fix Letterman's jacket....
  15. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    3 button suits are for fancy boys .... nothing better than a classic 2 button, and with a 2 button suit, only the top button please :)
  16. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I always liked the one-button suits. They're not appropriate for formal business situations, or generally for black tie events, but they're pretty snazzy at the right shin-dig.
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Oh grief, I didn't know there WAS a suit etiquette! :eek:

    Top to bottom: sometimes, always, never; or always, sometimes, never. Either way sounds acceptable from what was said here.

    I've learned more today about suits than I have in a lifetime. I am now a man. :cool:
  18. RugoseCone macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2002

    Can I get an AMEN!?!?
  19. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    What's been said is correct about the buttons. It's always embarrassing to watch a young person with all of the buttons closed, trying to get in a pant pocket. There's a very good reason for most of the etiquette here.

    I've actually heard argument about whether or not to open suit pockets. Some people say, if you can get away with it, don't unstitch them-- it makes the suit lay better. I don't think this is the case, i think it just makes the pockets look sewn shut :rolleyes:

    If you're buying a suit off the rack, have it tailored! Get a suit that fits your shoulders/arms perfectly, then have it taken in if needed. Young people seem afraid of tailors. A good tailor is worth their weight in gold, I have a woman that can alter a suit in less than 24 hours for a mere $16...

    As for double-breasted, make sure it's a good fit (you can get away with a size larger on single-breasted but not double). Practice buttoning the backwards, inside button that many double breasted suits have, it will make it much more symetrical when it's buttoned-- but most people ignore it. This is a must when you have anything in your inside pockets (and this is the preferred place to carry a slim but elegant wallet- which you should invest in). The other pocket is great for a business card holder (silver if the suit is black/gray/blue, gold if it's olive).

  20. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    Yeah listen to paul, he's one sauve mutha****a.
    (In Dennis Hopper voice) Suave! Goddamn you're one suave ****er!
  21. apple2991 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2004
  22. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Suits are fine - I'm just glad I didn't have to wear one every day. I have a couple and the last one I bought was from J.o.S. Banks - great stuff, good quality and if you stay a little conservative (suits are in general) it won't go out of style. I have one, medium to dark gray pin stripe, that's 12 years old, I still fit in it and it still looks good. :D

    Tailoring is a must, though. Good luck,

  23. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2003
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    I feel so lucky...

    I looked at this thread because I was having trouble parsing 'suit etiquette'...not only was I unaware that there were rules about what buttons to do up on a suit (if you're not supposed to do up the third button, why is it there?!?), this thread reminded me of how lucky I am to never even have to think about what I'm wearing.

    My work attire today: sandals, convertible pants (legs off today) and a well-worn (and only somewhat stained) conference tee-shirt (second Evolution of Development conference, Bodega Marine station, 1996).

    Thanks for making my morning by reminding me that most people have to spend considerable time and money trying to fit in with what is currently considered 'fashionable.' I don't even own a tie, let alone a suit!

    Best of luck with your interviews.

  24. aloofman macrumors 68020


    Dec 17, 2002
    I agree with the above and understand what you're going through. Until I got to college I'd never bothered to get a suit and even today I only wear it for weddings, funerals, and job interviews. If I could get away with never, ever wearing a tie, I would. But I digress.

    Personally I prefer two-button suits and think three buttons looks weird. It especially looks weird on me, as I have a big torso and broad shoulders. What they say is true: the lowest button always stays unbuttoned. Above that is buttoned when standing and all are unbuttoned when sitting.

    And ditto about the Men's Wearhouse. It's the only place I buy suits and jackets. Best service I've ever seen and if you ask a stupid question, they'll never let on.
  25. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    I had the interview tonight , most of the guys there left their suits buttoned as they sat down so I felt like an old pro thanks to you guys. I found out if i made it in this weekend, I'll be sure to post an update for y'all.

    thanks again

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