ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Fashion and Beauty»
  • Clothing

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-1406 Lace-Up,Black Nappa,11.5 M US
Bruno Magli Men's Rammola-1406 Lace-Up,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 image

      jamesdesalvo lm 4 years ago

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

    • dsr485 profile image

      dsr485 4 years ago

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