You Have the Suit—Now What? - - - Accessories that Make the Difference -
A sharp looking suit does not necessarily make a well-dressed gentleman. Accessories do! They add personality and flair to a man’s overall look.
Here’s an inventory from the neck down of the accessories that add a dash of refinement and elegance to a suit.
Neckties are classic accessories that complete a business suit. There is an endless variety of fabrics, colors, textures and patterns to choose from. If you want to play it safe, go with a solid-colored tie that coordinates well with your dress shirt. A patterned or striped tie can also be a stylish choice. Floral ties are popular at the moment. You can even experiment further by matching striped ties with striped or patterned shirts, or by changing your tie knot to give you a different look.
Cravats / Ascots
This accessory has both a formal version and a casual version. It can be worn for formal occasions and weddings, adding a touch of elegance to your outfit, or it can be worn as a smart casual neck accessory when going to a luncheon or other engagement of that sort. The elegant ascot or cravat has a thin neckband and is worn and tied on the outside of your wing collar shirt. The casual ascot or cravat has a wider, folded neckline and is to be worn on the inside of your shirt, with the top button of your shirt undone. Colourful and bold patterns are the trend now. When you’re looking for a little more formal accessory than a necktie, or just simply a change from the norm, this is one accessory that will do the trick.
These folded pieces of cloth can do double duty as handkerchiefs and as accents to a suit. Use a one-point fold for the office and a puff fold for a night out. Coordinate your pocket square with your tie by pairing common colors but the trend now is not to match the two accessories exactly.
Keep your parka, hoodie, or oversized coat at home on a cold day. Opt for a smart coat and top it off with a scarf. Keep the scarf knotted, or let it hang loose for a slightly casual vibe. Coordinate or contrast the color of your scarf with the rest of your outfit.
A fast growing trend that started out with a fabric flower on a stick pin has now turned into anything on a pin or button that suits your or your outfit. Colorful, floral lapel pins are still very popular and actually will put the finishing touch on your suit. These are an inexpensive accessory therefore allowing you to try many different styles and themes.
Tie Clips / Tie Bars / Tie Tacks
To keep your tie straight and keep it from falling in your soup, you'll want to wear a tie clip or one of the above. These can be very traditional, trendy or elegant, from gold to silver to diamonds to initials, to little red race cars. Of course the choice is up to you, but it's always good to make sure that it adds to your overall look and doesn't detract from it.
A man’s chain is unnecessary if you are wearing a tie. In fact, most style-savvy men say a watch is the only jewelry you ever need when wearing a suit.
But if you wish, a bracelet or a ring is acceptable too. Besides a wedding ring, younger men can get away with a silver or white-gold ring. Senior gents are best served by square-cut and traditional gold rings, with or without a stone.
When you’re wearing a suit and tie, there is really no need to draw attention to your hands by wearing rings on several fingers.
A leather strap is a smart choice for everyday office wear. Match the color of the strap to your suit—black goes with anything; brown looks best with a suit of the same color. Metal, silver, or platinum watches are also elegant business attire or formalwear accessories. Keep sports watches out of the equation altogether, since they are more appropriate for casual wear.
Make sure you match the tone of your watch to your suit and to any jewelry you might be wearing. Gold watches are not flattering on every skin tone (and they usually look best with brown or tan suits and on older men).
Cufflinks are another small but necessary detail that set apart the sartorially discerning gentleman. Silk knot cufflinks won’t break the band, and you can invest in several colors to wear with your French cuffed or convertible cuffed shirts. Silver, titanium and inlaid links look younger and more modern, while yellow gold cufflinks suit more mature men. Crystal cufflinks can be very classy, stylish and elegant for every guy. Plastic cufflinks are not advisable because they look too cheap and kitschy.
Opt for a classic one in leather with a minimalist buckle, and set aside the ones with novelty buckles for a night on the town. Remember that it’s a cardinal style sin to wear a brown belt with black trousers and shoes.
A genuine or faux leather wallet is a stylish choice for formal occasions and nights out. A money clip or your phone case may even be a great choice and can easily be tucked into your pocket.
Invest in an elegant leather briefcase or satchel if you are the type who carries a lot of documents around. A well-made briefcase is said to be suave and subtle enough to impress without being obtrusive. Look for one made of fine grain leather with lots of space and compartments that allow you to keep your papers organized.