Men’s guide to styling a suit

Decorating the upper part works for both casual and official outfits

In Summary

• A little adornment goes a long way in making your suit stand out from the crowd

• Below are four tips on some tweaks you can make to give your suit a makeover

A man wears a beige lapel, polka dot pocket square on a maroon suit
A man wears a beige lapel, polka dot pocket square on a maroon suit

When wearing suits, men can either choose to have a few charms on the upper part or keep it plain.

Decorating the upper part (that is, the waist up to the neck) works for both casual and official.

Below are some ways you can go about it.


A lapel is the collar of a coat or jacket. There are three main types of lapels.

These are a notch lapel (most common for suits), a peak lapel (used in both suits and tuxedos) and a shawl lapel, used almost exclusively for tuxedos).

Lapels are fitted on the right side of a coat. They have a pin, which is stuck on the coat.

The notch lapel is the standard go-to lapel for your typical two-piece or three-piece lounge suit.

It is suitable for nearly any situation or occasion, so it's a safe try if you just want a traditional look.


This is a folded piece of material acting as a decorative accessory. It is put in the suit pocket.

A pocket square’s colour should match the suit colour. However, it is mostly printed and not plain.

If not placed well, the pocket square is likely to fall off.

But widening your pocket square so it sits snugly in your breast pocket gives it that extra bit of friction to prevent it from falling down.

If one wears the rectangular fold, you can insert a piece of card into your pocket square to keep it rigid and shaped.


A bow tie is a piece of clothing usually worn with a more lavish dress, such as a suit or dress.

The bow tie is made of a fabric-made ribbon symmetrically attached to the collar of the shirt.

The knots on both sides form a loop on the neck.

Bow ties can be worn with suits, smoking jackets, black tie, white tie or even just shirts.

They can be used for everything from formal, black-tie events to informal get-togethers like Friday night dinners with friends.


Some men choose to wear suits without any accessory on the top part.

They open the top three buttons of the shirt, leaving the chest bare.

This is most common in models and can be worn to fancy, non-official events.

However, one can add a neck piece.

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