Wegbert's Guide to Life I: Suits

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

By Lord Wegbert Wilfred Sommerville-Hawkes OBE CBE MBE

(Part 1 of Lord Wegbert's Guide to Life)- https://www.monolith-media.net/wegbert-s-colum

Let’s face it. Men stage a sundry of striking, sartorial sins on a daily basis. Worser still, no one seems to notice, let alone care. Be it on the tube, an aeroplane or even on the street, suited men saunter around triumphantly, almost as if they’d just simultaneously brokered peace in the Middle East, cured cancer and made a billion pounds with ease. And yet, such a man does so in a suit that is as ill-fitting as those in Poirot, with a tie that looks like it was cut from a homosexual’s curtain, with shoes so awful that a clown would never be seen dead in them, and with a shirt that seems to simply say, “my owner is a twat.” There is no excuse for looking like this. So, allow yours truly to deliver unto you a dose of the most sacred sartorial satori, in order that you might avoid that very common plight of that very poorly dressed man.

First, the suit jacket. The first hurdle you must leap is that of the type of breasting, namely single or double. In the main, you ought to avoid double breasted suits. For one, you’re likely not the type to suit them – if your name is Liam and you hail from Liverpool, do give this one a miss. Additionally, even if such a suit does suit you, you run the risk of being compared to the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who is infamous for his old fogey mode of dress, something which ought to be a compliment of the highest order in any proper society, but which in actuality is analogous to being compared to a cartoonish spiv. So, single breasted it is. Be aware, however, that in wearing a single-breasted suit, you sit on a level of uninterest and tedium typically reserved for the Autumn statement, or Ben Carson.

Suit buttons are often the biggest cause of vestiary virulence. The rules are simple: never buy a suit jacket with just one button. When you buy one with two buttons, never “do” the second button. When you buy one with three buttons, always “do” the top two, and never the last. This is so simple, so why don’t you do it?

But that isn’t the only aspect of the suit jacket that bears importance. The lapels are also tremendously important. Notch lapels (which bear no relation to the fat social reject that made Minecraft except in name) are again by far the most common. The obvious example of a man who wears a suit with notch lapels is Boris Johnson – not that Boris is by any means a good example of a well-dressed man. Peak lapels, on the other hand, are less common, and are typically seen on dinner jackets rather than business suits. There is tendency in today’s tailoring to make these awful, slim, short peak lapels which should be avoided at all costs. Instead, if you’re going to go for peak lapels, choose a wide lapel that ends just above your upper chest. Also, peak lapels are a must on double-breasted jackets – any other lapel not only defeats the point of the jacket and its militaristic aesthetic, but it’s also just wrong.

The fit is crucial too – if you’re going to buy a suit off-the-rack (thereby invoking the wrath of Roger Stone), never buy a slim or skinny fitted suit, even if you are actually slim or skinny. Doing so will make you look like you lack muscle or mass, and therefore less masculine. Worser still, you might even begin to look like a woman. Additionally, always buy two sizes above, and then have the sleeves tailored after the fact. A suit ought to be a projection of your supreme, unironic masculinity, not merely an item worn over a dress shirt to conform with petty social standards.

There isn’t much to say about a suit trouser – don’t wear them skinny unless you want to look like a bona fide nonce, and ensure they match the coupling jacket in every sense. Part of the point of formal dress is to obscure and obfuscate the male form beneath it, and therefore the trouser should not really make the shape or size of your legs apparent. Nor, however, should they drape around your ankles, giving the impression that you’ve sewed a pile of cloth to your leg just below the gastrocnemius. Essentially, on the trouser-tightness spectrum, you ought to sit comfortably between (and also far away from) Posh Spice and Donald Trump.

Never wear belts either. This just screams, “my trouser doesn’t fit me”, and diminishes the formality. It’s like turning up to a black-tie event wearing a black tie.

The shirt. The importance facets of a shirt are the collar, cuff, and colour. For the collar, don’t wear a “spread” or “cutaway” collar – you’re not Lester Holt presenting NBC, and nor are you a Duke. For this reason, never buy a shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt or its incestuous half-brother TM Lewin, as they all have these dreadful collars. Instead, don a shirt with a point collar that stretches just past the tie knot. For cuffs, default to cufflinks (which ought to be utterly nondescript), but sink to buttons if you don’t want to push others’. For colour, avoid white unless you must wear it. Blue shirts are best, followed closely by a light purple.

Next, the shoes. The most obvious sin is brown shoes with a blue suit, but I’d go further to say that you ought to never wear brown shoes. After all, Justin Trudeau has worn such a combination, so it’s res ipsa loquitur really. Avoid ghastly, gay (not homosexual- they have a modicum of fashion sense) patterns too – suit shoes and brogues are not the same thing, although they are often conflated by the sort of troglodytes that buy suits in “Next.”

The penultimate, and perennial, problem with any poorly worn suit is the tie. The knot I see most frequently is the Windsor. Never wear this knot. The reason this knot is so ubiquitous is that most were never taught to tie a proper knot, and ergo looked to the internet for counsel – and every article that discusses knots mentions the Windsor tie and, crucially, that it “projects confidence.” I say only this to you – if you need a tie to project confidence, you’re a a mouse not a man. Also, the intention is tremendously patent, and therefore the desired affect isn’t even effected. Wear a proper knot, like a Prince Albert, or a Four-In-Hand. As for the colour of the tie, never wear a party-political colour, as it makes you look both partisan and as if you are wearing fancy dress. Generally, a silk tie with a combination of bright and mute colours on a polygon-esque pattern is fine.

Ties are always loose or too short. In both scenarios it looks stupid. If your tie stops before your waistline it makes you look fat (especially if you are), and if it fails to reach your bellybutton people will think your trying to sell them something.

Finally, we must bring back the pocket square. Unless you are going to a funeral or are 14 years old a pocket square is a must. You must also learn to fold said pocket square. Unless you are going for the 18th century psychiatrist look do not simply stuff any garish material you come across with no direction. Triangles and squares are the shapes to aim for. There is no excuse… its called youtube.

And there you have it – now you have no excuse to continue to dress like the filthy animal that you are undoubtedly are.