When you should wear a suit (and when it's ok to rock a sport coat!)

No matter what you call this year - the year of the pig, the year of Ultra Violet Pantone colors, or the year of whatever else strikes your fancy, Ticknors believes that 2019 is absolutely the year of the suit.

While we will always advocate for suits. Hands down, if you are questioning whether or not to wear a suit for an occasion Ticknors will always say yes.

But we also want to make sure that we answer all the other questions that come along with finding your perfect suit.  We want to spend time this year speaking about how to find a suit, what are suits made out of, what are some terms used when talking about suits, how to make sure it fits, and so much more.

But we thought we’d start simple and basic. A lot of men already own a suit, so how do you know when it’s appropriate to wear a suit and when can you choose a sport coat instead?

We broke it down to four main criteria to help you determine if it’s a good time to wear a suit or if you can opt for your best sport coat and sport shirt combo. Use these four questions to determine if you bust out your suit or pull out your trusty sport coat.


First criteria - does the invite or information call out “business casual” or “casual attire”?

If you are invited to a networking event, an after-work event, or something related to business or networking make sure you read the invite. If it does not call out any specifics about attire, choose an industry appropriate suit. A suit is polished, stylish, and shows you mean business.

If your invite states business casual, casual attire, or you’ve been to an event like this before and have worn a sport coat feel free to do so again. Make sure you pair it with a fantastic and interesting sport shirt to still stand out at your event. Just because you don’t wear a suit doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish!


Second criteria - what message are you trying to send?

A big meeting, a high-stakes presentation, or an important interview are perfect times to wear a suit. You want to send a powerful message. That message is you mean business and you are here to prove it.

Plus, wearing a suit makes you feel powerful and poised. Which is a lethal combination right?

If you have a regular business meeting with clients or coworkers you’ve met with before, a sport coat is acceptable.


Third criteria - what is the occasion you are dressing for?

Weddings and funerals should almost always warrant your best suit.

There has been a trend lately of outdoor and barn-style weddings and you may think that you can get away with wearing something more casual. Don’t go down that path! A suit is always a stylish choice and it’s better to be remembered for looking great in a suit than to be remembered for being that guy that wore jeans.

If you know you are going to be a guest at a backyard-style wedding where you may or may not be playing sand volleyball a sport coat and sport shirt combination is fine. (Playing volleyball in a sport shirt will certainly make you memorable!)

You should wear your best and most appropriate suit to funerals as a rule, so this one is a non-negotiable.


Fourth criteria - how good do you want to look?

In our world this answer is always “I want to look sooo good” and we believe your answer is the same too. So if you are taking your wife out to a posh dinner, visiting family over a holiday, or want to really impress your boss choose your best looking and best fitting suit.

In these cases our stylists suggest staying away from black suits. While black suits can look oh-so-polished sometimes they can also come off as too harsh. A dark grey or a nice navy suit is a great choice.

Have fun with ties and pocket squares but as a standard rule never make them match perfectly! Have them tie together (pun intended) and compliment one another but don’t focus on making sure they are the exact same pattern and color.

Let your personality shine through with these accessories.

Sport coats are a good choice for a casual brunch, dinner with your parents at the country club, or running errands on the weekend - no need to bust out the full suit here.

We have taken it upon ourselves to (gleefully) name this year the year of the suit. Suits never go out of style in our world! We want you to feel comfortable going out and finding your perfect and perfect-fitting suit so you are always ready for anything.

If you want to talk to one of our style experts, fill out an appointment form here. We will get you in to our stores and partnered with a great stylist to help you find the perfect suits for anything life throws at you.

Make sure your wardrobe is always prepared to make you look effortlessly stylish by having the right pieces in it!

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