A Gentleman's Suits, Vol. 15, Issue 45

Dear Etiquetteer: I have found myself in the thick of the holiday suit season. I have noticed many more suits on the loose these days. With this I have also noticed many men have decided not to (or didn't know to) pull the stitch in back of the suit that keeps the fabric "split" or "box" in prime rack display. Is one supposed to always pull that stitch? Does this apply to all pockets on the blazer suit jacket as well? How would one tell a stranger that this should be fixed, so the rest of the world may not judge them on their wrinkly butt? Holiday suits abound!

Dear Suitably Suited:

Good heavens! A gentleman always cuts the large X stitch that anchors the suit vent closed before wearing. One doesn't want to walk about as though "X marks the spot." This applies whether the suit has one center vent or two side vents. Were one to leave the stitches in, one might reasonably be asked why one wanted vents in one's suit coat at all.


As we're talking about the winter holidays and suits, Etiquetteer should add that some Deft Seasonal Touches are always Perfectly Proper with a suit. By Deft Seasonal Touches, Etiquetteer means incorporating holiday motifs into one's outfit. For instance, ties, pocket squares, and socks with holiday motifs or colors add something special to a gentleman's look. For instance, this red-and-green bow tie with crawfish pattern reflects not only Christmas colors but also Etiquetteer's Southern heritage.


But a gentleman needs to keep from overdoing it. While Holiday Excess is favored with home exterior and interior decoration, it isn't for the clothes of a gentleman. And the Ugly Christmas Sweater Suits being offered online are really more appropriate for a costume party rather than daily wear or, more portentously, the Office Holiday Party at which professional reputations are undone. As Auntie Mame said to Agnes Gooch, "Put down that lime green at once. You're supposed to dominate it!"