Manners Maketh the Man -
GENTLEMEN WEAR COATS, POTATOES WEAR JACKETS!
“It's called a coat...only potatoes wear jackets.” The characters in the Kingsman movies live by a code of gentlemanly rules, abiding to the motto “Manners Maketh Man.”
Striking a chord with us here at Huntsman (the location that inspired the movies), we thought we would share some of the non-exhaustive (sartorial) rules that we stand by in order to ensure that the individual presents himself correctly at all times. Briefly drawing attention to the title of this blog “It’s called a coat, only potatoes wear jackets”, this is one of our favourite sayings within the company and on Savile Row itself. Indeed, we always consider whether a situation is appropriate before taking our “coats” off. Since 1849, the most stylish ladies and gentleman have graced our fitting rooms and shared their tips, enabling to create
The rules of sartorial engagement:
- Shirts should always be long sleeved, unless a polo shirt. If you want to keep cool, roll your sleeves up!
- Black tie should never be worn with a wing tipped shirt. It should be worn with a regular forward collar. The shirt should be either Marcella, pleated front or voile.
- Bow ties should always be self –tie and never pre-tied. Keep bows black when wearing black tie and preferably match the silk to your facings
- Never wear a coloured bow with your dinner suit. Coloured bows belong in snooker tournaments!
- Always wear a black or midnight blue dinner suit. Avoid white or cream unless specifically requested, otherwise, somebody is likely to order a drink from you.
- Shirts worn with suits should not have out-breast pockets on them. Save these for weekend wear, if at all!
- Never wear novelty socks. Never!
- Never wear a novelty tie. Never!
- Socks should be long, ¾ length and never short length when worn with a suit. Nobody wants to see hairy legs and exposed they will ruin the line of a well turned ankle and beautiful shoe. Opt for cotton lisle when wearing a classic shoe.
- Never match your pocket square to your tie, colours can complement but patterns should not replicate the tie silk.
- If your trousers have belt loops, wear a belt and match your shoes to it.
- Brown shoes should be dark brown, not tan. If in doubt, wear black shoes over brown shoes. Tradition dictates that brown shoes should not be worn in town. We disagree, but advise saving them for wear with a grey flannel suit or tweeds at the end of the week for a more dressed down look.
- Suits should be worn with a rounded toe shoe such as a Cleverly Oxford as opposed to anything squared or pointy.
- Always ensure that you are appropriately dressed when visiting your tailor. Wear a shirt, smart trousers and appropriate shoes. This will help both the customer and cutter. Always wear underwear too! On occasion, patrons have not kept their privates private. This is a big no no!
- Waistcoats should ideally be worn with brace-top trousers for a cleaner, more polished look. There should not be a gap between the top of your trousers and the bottom of your waistcoat.
- Keep your pockets as empty as possible to ensure clean lines and to project an efficient appearance.
- Never wear trainers/sneakers with formal trousers or a suit.
- Avoid carrying a backpack when wearing a suit, and avoid doing so on your commute at all costs.
- Avoid wearing a slip on shoe with a suit, unless it is a formal tasseled loafer.
- Always ensure that your coat sleeve length is correct and that you are showing just the right amount of cuff, around 1cm.
- When wearing braces/suspenders, ensure that they fasten to buttons on the inside of the trouser waistband, never with clips!
- Only wear patent leather shoes for black tie and white tie. Tie knots should be neither too big or too small and should work with both the collar of the shirt and the wearer’s face shape.
- Always leave the bottom button of your waistcoat/vest unbuttoned
- Avoid logos and slogans on your clothing as much as possible. This is of course unavoidable at times, but pay particular attention to business and formal attire where the shirt’s appearance should be as simple as possible.
- Button down shirts should not be worn as part of formal dress and should be relegated to “off duty” wear. If wearing a three button suit, ensure that you follow this rule of thumb: avoid buttoning the top button, ALWAYS button the middle and NEVER button the bottom.
- The same rule applies to two button coats. Never fasten both buttons, only the top one.
- Do not wear a solid black suit for business or professional activities, save it for formal events and funerals. The most versatile suit of all is a classic navy worsted two piece. It will always hit the right note.
- When wearing a grey morning suit, ensure that all three pieces of the suit are grey and cut from the same cloth.
- Waistcoats worn with black morning coats should be kept classic in either grey, buff or pastel shades only.
- Wear a tie with a morning coat and avoid Ascots or cravats at all costs.
- When wearing white tie, your waistcoat should sit level with the bottom of your tail coat. It should not sit three inches below!
These are just some "guidelines" that automatically sprung to our forebears leading Huntsman's mind when considering correct turn out. We are certain that you must have plenty to add yourselves. Please email us
and let us know and we can continue to add to our list, sharing it with you as we go.
And remember, most rules are supposed to be broken sometimes, creating your own style !