From pocket squares and bow ties to pocket watches and sunglasses, we'll help you find a suit accessory that aligns with your style.
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If you’re just looking for a way to level up your suit style, there’s no better way to do it than tastefully curated suit accessories.
From pocket squares and bow ties to pocket watches and sunglasses, we’ll help you find a suit accessory that aligns with your style.
We put together our list of the 15 most essential suit accessories to consider when you want to look your best – no matter the occasion. We’re going to give you our best suit style advice by looking at what these accessories are, what part of your suit to pair them with and when to wear them.
We thought the best way to do this was to break it up by which part of your suit the accessories align with. Let’s start off with your jacket or blazer.
Sprucing up your blazer with the right suit accessories can help to pull your ensemble together. And when it comes to jacket accessories, you can never go wrong with a stylish pocket square. Some accessories are optional and may only be called for on certain occasions.
Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” When it comes to suit accessories, we respectfully disagree.
If you’re stepping out in a suit, your look isn’t complete without dressing up your breast pocket. Whether it’s a sleek white pocket square or one with a pop of color, it can transform any jacket into a suave statement piece.
Generally, a pocket square is between 10-18″ in size and should fit snugly into your breast pocket. A bigger pocket square is better suited to more elaborate fold types as smaller squares are more difficult to fold. You’ll also want to match your pocket square to the occasion. For example, an opulent pocket square fabric like silk works well for black tie events.
Although a handkerchief may look similar to a pocket square, it isn’t considered a suit accessory. A pocket square is used to dress up your outfit and is purely aesthetic, while handkerchiefs are practical and are kept in the pocket of your suit trousers. However, handkerchiefs made from high-quality fabrics can pass for a pocket square if you’re in a pinch.
Historically, a lapel pin was used solely for more formal occasions. But they’re slowly becoming a common men’s suit accessory for more casual events and daily office attire.
This suit accessory is pinned or threaded through the buttonhole on the left lapel of a suit jacket. But unless you’re attending a formal event, your pin should be more understated.
While a lapel pin can be used for a more casual look, a lapel flower is better for formal celebratory occasions. These suit accessories can be differentiated from boutonnieres because they are flower-shaped lapel pins, while a boutonniere, also known as a buttonhole, is a flower that is used to adorn your suit jacket during black tie events.
A boutonniere is a single flower or small flower arrangement that is used in the same way as a lapel pin. Boutonnieres are one of the most common men’s suit accessories used for formal dances and weddings.
However, at weddings, it’s only appropriate for men who are directly involved in the ceremony to wear one. These men, such as groomsmen and parents of the happy couple, will generally be given a boutonniere to wear which matches the wedding color scheme.
Although it’s more common to use fresh flowers for your boutonniere, l faux flowers are just as stylish and can be found at most stores that sell suit accessories – or can be ordered directly from artists on sites like Etsy.
Boutonniere pins are used to secure a flower to the left lapel of a suit. While you can slip the stem of the flower through the buttonhole, it’s likely to fall out if it isn’t attached with a pin.
When you take off your jacket, your dress shirt is on full display. So it’s important to pair it with the right suit accessories like a sophisticated necktie or a fashionable set of cufflinks.
While a modern suit isn’t always worn with a necktie for more casual affairs, adding this suit accessory to your get-up can transform your entire ensemble. But when you’re picking out a necktie, you’ll want to choose one that best compliments your outfit. For example, a plain dress shirt can be enhanced by a paisley tie. Alternatively, a patterned shirt looks best with a solid tie.
Neckties come in various materials as well, and the fabric you choose to wear will usually be determined by the occasion. The most common fabrics are linen, wool, cashmere, and cotton. However, you can’t go wrong using a silk tie for a special occasion.
A bow tie adds a whimsical touch to any dress shirt. Out of all the suit accessories on this list, a bow tie is the best way to show off your personal style and rake in compliments.
But a bow tie isn’t always a good replacement for a necktie. If you’re planning on using a bow tie as a suit accessory, it’s important to remember that they have a more formal look when compared to a tie.
Neckties are a good all-around accessory, but bowties are better suited for formal events such as weddings.
Cufflinks are suit accessories that are worn by slipping the back of the stud through the buttonhole of shirt cuffs. They serve the same purpose as a button – but with more flair. Typically, cufflinks are made from materials such as metal or glass and are worn in the office or for special occasions.
For a functional and stylish suit accessory, you can’t go wrong with a pair of cufflinks. But you’ll need the know-how on how to pair them with the right shirt cuffs. French cuffs refer to sleeves that fold backward. Without cufflinks, they look more relaxed and casual. However, these cuffs should be fastened together in formal situations for a more sophisticated look.
Tie bars and tie clips are both used with your tie to keep it firmly in place and stop it from lifting away from your shirt. They can both be used for semi-formal or formal events, but there is a difference between these two accessories.
Tie clips have a jaw spring that allows them to open, while a tie bar is a rigid bar that slips behind the fabric of your shirt and over your tie.
The right way to wear tie clips or tie bars is to position them directly over your chest. Generally, this will be three or four buttons down from the collar of your shirt. The width of your tie bar should be slightly shorter than your tie. Because vests already hold your necktie in place, you won’t need to use both to secure your tie.
When you’re styling your suit, you can’t forget to add suit accessories to your pants. Unlike a tie bar or pocket square, these accessories are usually less noticeable, but they can add a lot of flair to an outfit.
If you wear suits, you probably already own a belt. Belts are essential suit accessories with an emphasis on practicality. Of course, belts are designed to secure your dress trousers and stop them from falling down or looking untidy. Although belts are primarily functional, that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish, too.
A well-designed belt made from superior materials like leather can help to elevate your style and upgrade any outfit. But a belt isn’t the only way to keep your pants up. For a more playful or even formal look, you can use suspenders.
If you’re at an event where everyone is wearing a tuxedo, every outfit may begin to look the same. But you can set your ensemble apart by adding a suave set of suspenders to your trousers instead of using a belt.
Generally, suspenders are attached to your dress pants and are worn over your shoulders, and the shape of the suspenders is determined by the type you choose.
Suit accessories for your feet can be as understated or flamboyant as you’d like. While shoes and socks for formal events are more muted, you can use your favorite pair of kicks or an eccentric pair of socks for semi-formal or casual events.
When you’re pairing shoes with your suit, it’s important to think of them as suit accessories rather than a separate element of your outfit. In other words, your shoes should complement your suit. For example, a pair of brown leather dress shoes go well with a light blue or colored suit. But black suits look much slicker with a high-quality pair of black leather dress shoes.
Boots, sneakers, and loafers can look great when they’re paired with a suit. However, these types of shoes are usually only worn for semi-formal events.
For example, a pair of low-cut black sneakers may work well with a casual suit when you’re out on the town. It’s essential that you know how to style these shoes, though, or they may detract from your outfit.
A great pair of dress socks can serve the same purpose as a fun pocket square. Patterned socks can add a unique touch to your outfit and give you a chance to show off your style.
Dress socks should generally be darker than your pants. So even if you’re wearing a funky pair of socks for a splash of color, the base color of your sock should be a few shades darker than your pants.
There are obviously exceptions to this rule, but we’re just giving you the best advice we can.
There are tons of accessories you can pair with your suit that don’t rely on an existing element of your outfit. These suit accessories are typically used to make your get-up more fashionable or look more put-together.
But some accessories, like undershirts, may also serve a more practical purpose.
Undershirts are an underrated suit accessory. Not only are undershirts great for making you look more streamlined and sleek, but they can also help to eliminate sweating so that your suit looks and smells fresh all day long.
Generally, undershirts can be worn for any occasion and aren’t limited to being used with dress shirts. But if you’re wearing a suit, you should be wearing an undershirt.
A good undershirt should be breathable and absorbent, while keeping a streamlined fit so it’s not adding bulk. UnderFit makes the perfect slim-fit undershirt to pair with a dress shirt, whether you’re looking for a V-neck or crew neck. You should also check out the Invisible Undershirt if you’re wearing a thinner shirt and worried about it showing through.
Wrist watches can also be used as a unique suit accessory. And you don’t need an expensive watch, either. An affordable watch can look just as suave as another – provided you’re wearing it correctly.
Watches should be worn just under your cuff, and should only peek out when you’re bending your arm.
In the same way that a lapel pin brings a sophisticated component to your suit, using a suit accessory like a pocket watch can take your suit to the next level.
They are typically worn by clipping the end of the chain through a buttonhole and tucking the watch into your jacket pocket. Coupled with a sleek pocket square, they can elevate the overall look of your jacket.
In summer, a pair of sunglasses with a classic or more formal shape can make for the perfect suit accessory. They are a particularly stylish accessory when they are paired with a casual summer linen suit.
Sunglasses add a more relaxed look to a formal suit, and the arm of the glasses can be tucked into your breast pocket when they’re not being used.
The type of suit accessories you pair with your suit typically depends on the occasion. For example, a pocket square or tie clip can always be appropriate. On the other hand, a bow tie is better for a black tie event or a similar, more formal celebration.
Certain events and environments require a specific dress code. For example, a semi-formal event may call for a blazer instead of a formal jacket. In that case, you may wear a more relaxed dress shirt, and you wouldn’t need to style it with neckties or tie clips.
Your suit accessories may also be dependent on the weather. In summer, an undershirt is a good suit accessory to help regulate body temperature and reduce sweating.
A sleek pair of sunglasses is also a welcome addition to most suits when the weather is warmer.
When you’re accessorizing your suit, it’s important to align your style with the suit accessories you use. A bow tie is a whimsical alternative to a necktie, but your style may not be compatible with this type of suit accessory.
Men’s fashion is generally more restrictive than women’s fashion, so finding and cashing in on your style is a good way to stand out.
Finding the right suit accessories to pair with your wedding suit will depend on your style, preference, and the dress code of your wedding.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for your best man or your groomsmen, you can kill two birds with one stone by giving them a unique suit accessory to use at your wedding.
Suit accessories help to add a touch of personal style to your suit, and can take your suit from so-so to suave in no time. You can add as little or as many accessories as you’d like, but it’s important to remember to factor in the event, dress code, and weather.
Unlike other suit accessories, the right undershirt can make a difference to any outfit. And at UnderFit, we’re committed to offering men an undershirt that makes them feel like a million bucks. Whether you’re sporting a tuxedo or suit, or even a casual polo on the golf course, we’ve literally got you covered.
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