Career Dressing for Men - dummies

By Susan Chritton

Your personal image is a culmination of what you say, how you say it, your actions, body language, grooming, and the way you dress. Your image is all the ways in which you present yourself.

This article presents essential criteria related to pieces in a man’s wardrobe that can help you look your best and visually communicate your personal brand.

Suit jacket:

  • The collar lays flat against your shirt.

  • The fabric is smooth across your back (no wrinkles or bunching).

  • The suit jacket is long enough to cover your buttocks.

  • Each sleeve is hemmed to where your wrist and hand meet.


  • It’s pressed and lightly starched. (Heavy starching decreases the lifespan of your shirts.)

  • The collar is comfortably loose enough for one finger to fit in the neckline.

  • The shirt collar stands a half-inch above your suit collar.

  • The sleeves extend a half-inch below your jacket sleeves.


  • The waistband fits smoothly over your stomach and doesn’t curve under.

  • The pockets lay flat and do not pull open.

  • The leg fabric hangs straight down from your buttocks.

  • The legs are hemmed long enough to rest on the tops of your shoes, producing a slight break.


  • They’re leather.

  • They fit comfortably.

  • They’re polished and in good condition.

  • They match your attire in terms of level of dressiness.


  • It’s a classic tie width (2¾”–3½”).

  • It’s tied with a dimple or crease centered right below the knot.

  • The tip of the tie brushes the top of your belt buckle.

  • It matches your attire in terms of level of dressiness. (The larger the tie pattern, the more casual the message.)


  • The color matches or blends with your trousers.

  • They’re made of wool or cotton, which allows air to flow and reduces heat and perspiration.

  • They’re long enough to cover your calf.

Miscellaneous accessories:

  • Your belt color matches your shoes or relates to your suit color.

  • You wear either a belt or suspenders, never both.

  • Your pocket square complements your tie but does not match it.

  • Your watch matches the dressiness of your attire. (The thinner the watch, the dressier it is.)