10 Essential Style Questions Answered

Obama without a tie

Here at Mullen & Mullen we've had ten years to learn the art of excellent mens style. To celebrate, here's 10 top essential style questions from our frequently asked questions. 

#1: Can I wear a suit without a tie?

Yes, if Obama can, so can you. So long as:

  1. The collar is of the formal type that can stand without the help of a tie.

  2. The suit is well fitted, without extra cloth. Bespoke tailoring solves this perfectly.

  3. Make sure you’re sharp and professional. It’s easier for this look to become too casual

  4. Try a pocket square or accessories instead

#2: Should the belt match the shoes?

When dressing business casual, match your leather to your shoes and the buckle to your watch. If you're dressing business casual, you should match the metal buckle to your watch and the leather to your shoes. It doesn't have to be an exact match, but in the same colour shade is ideal. So a dark brown might work with chestnut shoes, but not a light tan belt.

#3: How to buy the perfect belt:

  1. No logos. Keep it simple.

  2. A belt must fit the loops of your trousers

  3. Once fastened, a belt should have a few inches spare to the left of buckle, providing enough leather to tuck under your first belt loop. Be careful and go shorter if unsure.

#4: Do you wear socks with boat shoes?

Boat shoes no socks


#5: What colour trousers should I wear with light brown shoes?

Dark navy to a middle blue - avoid lighter shades. A dark shade of shoes is more versatile, but a lighter pair is perfect with jeans.

#6: On what wrist should I wear my watch?

Traditionally, watches are worn on the left hand to enable winding with the right. With automatic, battery or quartz watches being common place, this is irrelevant, with many horologists making watches designed for different wrists. Up to you.

#7: When I sit down, should I button my double-breasted jacket?

Prince Charles and Ryan Gosling Double Breasted Suits

Double breasted jackets typically look better buttoned. However, balance comfort and a sharp look, perhaps undoing the lower button.

#8: Should you wear a button down collar with a suit? 

A button-down collar is generally a sportier look, so it depends upon your suit. If you have an athletic, preppy fitted suit, single vented, or are wearing a casual blazer, absolutely. Some style icons, such as Paul Newman fit this look perfectly. However, with a formal suit, try to avoid.

#9: How Do I Prevent Blousing of a Shirt?

Shirt Overflow

This is where the shirt balloons around the belt line - its incredibly annoying. I would suggest going for a bespoke shirt initially if possible. Otherwise, try a different tuck.

#10: What Size Overcoat Should I Wear?

If buying an overcoat, buy one at your actual chest size (if you wear a 38" jacket, a 38" overcoat is fine) as they expect you to wear it over a suit jacket or sports coat. If you are not intending to wear it like this, size down. Alternatively, ask your favourite York based tailor for advice.As a rule of thumb, it should be 2" bigger than your actual body chest measurement.

Any questions?
Need advice? Email us at hello@mullenandmullen.co.uk or call our York store on 01904 633 049 (9-5 GMT) for friendly no-obligation advice.