Suits and ties are like peanut butter and jelly – meant to be together. But that doesn’t mean a suit can’t be dressed down. Sometimes you want to wear a suit without all the pomp and circumstance, you know? Here are a few tips for wearing a suit without a tie.
If you’re going to dress down your suit, it’s really all about the shirt. Choose one in a fabric with a more casual vibe, like denim or chambray.
Don’t overlook the collar. A shirt with a button-down collar will appear more casual and will also help to keep your collar standing up and in place. This is a good way to go if you’re wearing a more traditional dress shirt.
To play up the casual nature of a suit without a tie, I always like to keep the top two buttons – not just the top button – unbuttoned. This does two things.
First, unbuttoning the extra button just feels more relaxed. Doing just the top button always feels like being stuck in the middle. Either do it up and add a tie or unbutton it and get comfortable.
Second, it compliments and accentuates the v-shape of the suit jacket’s lapels when it’s buttoned. Visually, this creates a nice line and really helps to frame your face.
Pick a pocket square with a pattern and/or contrasting edge. A dressed down suit isn’t the place for a crisp white pocket square. Save that for the office. Have a little fun and make sure it complements your outfit rather than matching exactly.