A well-tailored, high-quality suit can make any man look good. If you start with a jacket and a pair of pants that are a near-perfect fit, whether you’re the bespoke type or you just look great in garments that come right off the rack, your suit forms the foundation for the rest of your look.
If you’re like a lot of men, you want some accessories to finish off the look. In many cases, belts, socks, and shoes aren’t really optional, but the ones you choose are.
Use this guide to help you find the top suit accessories for your wardrobe this season.
Neckwear, depending on where you work and what your style is, can be an accessory or an essential. Either way, picking the right tie for your look isn’t as simple as going to the department store.
Try these options on for size when you’re putting together your look.
The traditional tie is never going out of style, but it’s important to follow what’s really in which isn’t necessarily the same thing from season to season.
This year, the skinny tie is still most definitely in vogue. Pick a tie that has some texture, like a heavy cotton or a refined natural silk.
A lot of men reading this right now are going to be resistant when it comes to wearing an ascot as one of their regular suit accessories. For most guys, the ascot is a relic of the past and an accessory they associate with their great grandfather.
This year is a different game because the ascot can be a big part of your look. Learn to tie it right – the internet is your friend here – and go for something that’s unique in color and texture. Micro-dots, bold pastel silks in pink, red and high blue and textured stripes are all popular ascot choices this season.
Suits aside, the shoes you wear are perhaps the most important thing you put on before you step out on the town. From dressing your suit up for a black tie event to dressing for a day on the job, your shoes influence how your suit looks in a major way.
Oxfords are the traditional shoe choice for any guy and, if you don’t already have a black and brown pair in your wardrobe, you need to go shopping. Those being such staples, we’re going to focus on the more unique, potentially more stylish buck Oxford variety.
Made with a more suede-like texture, buck Oxfords can dress down a suit in a stylish way. Go for a pair with a real wood or dark-colored heel. Buck Oxford’s with brightly-colored heels and soles tend to be a bit too casual for full suits.
Chukka boots have been popular for a while now, and you probably have a pair that you wear with your favorite beat up blue jeans. There’s no reason you can’t wear the right ones with your favorite suit too.
Go for chukka boots in dark, rich colors like chocolate brown or black. For a look that’s a little rock and roll, but still dressed up enough for a semi-formal office, pick chukka boots made of leather, not suede.
Like ascots, penny loafers are suit accessories that a lot of men associate with gentlemen of the past. The penny loafer really is back in style though, and while it was seemingly ironic at first, men are now adding them to their current wardrobe.
If you want to pair these with a suit, go for leather and keep the pennies in your jar at home. Avoid penny loafers that look worn – they’ll give you a look that’s more Sunday dad than you want.
Men’s belts are pretty simple in general, and for a lot of guys, utilitarian versions will always do the job. That doesn’t mean you can’t get more exciting belts to really complement what you’re wearing.
One of the best suit accessories you can get yourself is a high-quality black belt without any texture. This is one you can wear with jeans, but also wear to a black tie event if it’s well made.
Another great option for men is the braided brown belt. To avoid looking outdated, you should aim for a braided belt that’s leather, not one that includes a mixture of leather and fabric.
As a general rule of thumb, remember that your belt should always match your shoes. If you’re new to buying fine belts, there’s nothing wrong with a reversible belt that’s black on one side and brown on the other. In fact, one of these really should be a staple in your wardrobe.
A lot of guys are going without socks when they wear suits these days, but we think that could be a mistake. While the sock-less look is fine, wearing a pair of socks gives you another chance to really complete your look.
If you want to keep your look understated, go for solid-colored socks with texture. Stripes or other bits of raised texture can give your socks some definition without going over the top.
If you’re interested in adding a bit more color to your wardrobe, bright colors really are in this season. Spring colors like red, pink and blue are all popular.
Men that want brighter socks which won’t draw too much attention should look at stripes and micro-dots. Pick socks that have a foundation in a standard color like black or navy blue, then deviate from that with their pattern.
5. Finishing Touches
The finishing touches you add to your suit can bring a look from an 8 to a 10 in a matter of minutes. Of course, you need to show some restraint when it comes to these suit accessories. Wear too many at once and you’ll look like you’re trying way too hard to be in that GQ advertisement.
Cuff links aren’t really suit accessories so to speak. For the most part, you need them to avoid looking like you simply forgot to button your shirt. The types of cuff links you buy is entirely up to you and, if done right, they could still add style to your wardrobe.
This season, understated cuff links really are all the rage. If you don’t have a pair of basic black and silver ones, or some that are simply stainless steel or brass, run out and buy those right now.
If you want to add a little bit of color to your wardrobe, stones are always an ideal option. High blue, red and dark green are extremely popular this season for men. With that mixture, you’ll also be able to mix and match with any suit in your closet.
Remember that the metal on your cuff links always needs to match the other metal pieces you have on. That includes your belt, watch and anything else that you might be wearing. What you choose is up to you.