ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Formal Dressing Rules for Men

Updated on July 7, 2014

Rules for Men To Dress By

So many men have their hearts in the right place when they try to dress well. They pick out a nice suit, a good pair of shoes, and a crisp shirt. They are all set to go.


Men should spend as much time getting ready for a formal event as a woman. And by formal event, I don't just mean a wedding. It applies to a nice anniversary dinner, bar mitzvah, or...well, any reason you can think of.

There are, however, a few rules to be followed. So many men break these rules without even knowing it. These are the guidelines that can make you look like John Hamm or a ham and cheese sandwich.

Wearing the Jacket and Pants

Seven Rules to Follow

1. Keep the bottom button of your jacket unbuttoned. The same applies to the vest.

2.Tear off labels from the sleeves of the jacket before wearing it. Unless you want to look like you stole it.

3. Keep the jacket pockets open. Many times the pockets are sewn shut. Simply get a small pair of scissors and GENTLY take each thread out until they open easily. Do this as if you were performing surgery.

4. Don't have more than three buttons on your jacket. You don't want to look like Steve Harvey.

5. On a three-button jacket, buttoning the top button is optional. If you look like a stuffed sausage, unbutton it and fire your tailor.

Here is the three button rule: top-sometimes; middle-always; bottom-NEVER!

If there are only two buttons, button the top one.

6. The jacket sleeve should be short enough to show about half an inch of the shirt sleeve.

7. The pants should end on the shoes without bending. If the pants drop over the shoes, they are too long. If they come above the shoe, they are too short.

How To Choose A Suit For A Man


The only men who can wear black clothes during the day are priests, undertakers, secret agents, and the participants of a funeral. At night, let the black suit fly.

Rules for Belts and Ties

1.The tie should reach the belt line, so it should end up above the waist or below it. I prefer above.

2. The tie should have a dimple. It's not essential, but a dimple just seems to give it a bit of distinction.

3. For formal occasions, wear a tie with a shirt and jacket. The only ones who get away with this look are children under nine and the drunken uncle at the bar.

4. Long ties are not appropriate for a tuxedo.

5. Choose between a belt and suspenders. Don't wear both. Ever. Please.

6. If you have your shirt tucked in you should wear a belt or suspenders.

Belts, Ties, and Suspenders on Amazon

Landisun 69G Bright Pink Fuchsia Paisleys Mens Silk Tie Set: Tie+Hanky+Cufflinks
Landisun 69G Bright Pink Fuchsia Paisleys Mens Silk Tie Set: Tie+Hanky+Cufflinks

Don't shy away from colors and patterns. Just don't overdo it.


How To Tie A Tie The Fast And Easy Way!

Shoes and Socks Dos and Don'ts

These Rules Apply To All Situations. I've Added A Few.

1. No square toed shoes. Please. For the love of God and all things Holy!

2. Never wear socks with shorts.

3. Or any socks with sandals.

4. Flip-flops are ideal for the pool and the beach, but not for any other occasions.

Dress Shoes and Socks On Amazon

Bruno Magli Men's Rammola, Black Nappa, 11.5 M US
Bruno Magli Men's Rammola, Black Nappa, 11.5 M US

These are expensive, but they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. It's like walking in the hands of God.

Kenneth Cole REACTION Men's Star Quality BO Oxford
Kenneth Cole REACTION Men's Star Quality BO Oxford

I have two pair of these shoes. They look great and are reasonably priced.


Extra Rules and Hints

1. Holsters for cell phones are forbidden. This is not the Old West and you do not need a holster.

2. Never wear polyester outside of the gym or Halloween parties. Unless you invent a time machine to take you back to the 1970's. Then, by all means, indulge.

Please Try To Follow These Rules

Trust me, if you follow these rules, you will be the best dressed person at your formal event (not including the ladies, who always look fabulous!). Don't jump in all at once. Add a few steps at a time. Before you know it, you'll hear people singing the chorus to "Sharp Dressed Man."

Dressing Tips for Men

Do You Think Clothes Make The Man?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jamesdesalvo lm profile imageAUTHOR

      jamesdesalvo lm 

      5 years ago

      @dsr485: Thank you. I'm glad you like it. I have a bit of a clothing obsession.

    • dsr485 profile image


      5 years ago

      Definitely! Great lense. (I like the subtle humor too)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)