Ask the Etiquette Expert:
Q: Diane, I am never sure where to put my wallet when wearing a suit. I’m looking for some gentlemanly advice. Thank you for your help. – R.J.T.
A: Dear R.J.T.,
I reached out to the Branding Team at Brooks Brothers, and this is their advice:
“Ideally a gentleman should carry a slim wallet in one of his inner jacket pockets that will not add bulk or change the drape of the jacket. Even though it is proper to carry a slim wallet, most men carry a bulky bi-fold or tri-fold that would be noticeable in the inner pocket of a jacket. If this is the case, it would be best to do one of two things – either edit down the contents to the essentials so it’s slimmer and less noticeable in your jacket, or have a couple of wallets in your wardrobe, one bi-fold or tri-fold that you carry everything in when you are dressed more casually, and a second slimmer card holder or money clip that you use when wearing tailored clothing.”
Now R.J.T., you have an excuse to purchase a couple of wallets for different occasions!
Q: Diane, where should the end of my tie fall? A suit is my daily go-to, and I see men sporting ties in varying lengths. – Billy M.
A: Dear Billy M.,
I remember a grade school manners teacher telling the boys in the class, “The tip of the tie, the top of the buckle.” Obviously, the tongue twister stuck with me and I have never forgotten the lesson, which still applies today. A too short tie looks unsophisticated, and a tie that is verging near the crotch is equally distracting for obvious reasons. The Style Guy, Glen O’Brien, had a great answer in GQ.com, and it made me laugh out loud!
Q: What is considered more appropriate in a conservative corporate office, wearing my hair up? Or choosing to keep it down? – Kaitlin
A: Dear Kaitlin,
Either choice is fine as long as it is not falling in your eyes, and you are not constantly touching or fidgeting with your hair. Keep your hands away from your hair and face to look most professional.
Q: Should patterned stockings be worn in the office with dresses and skirts? – J.G.
A: Dear J. G.,
The decision to wear patterned stockings depends on your corporate culture. A conservative workplace will have a more rigid attire policy than a company with a relaxed environment. For example, opting for patterned hosiery in the courtroom would be both inappropriate and distracting. However, this look paired with a skirt and boots at a tech company would most likely not be frowned upon, or even noticed. Patterned stockings can make a great statement in the right circumstances.