By Donnavan Finlay, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals.

“Make it simple, but significant” – Dan Draper.


When we wear a suit we should always take note of the accessories that would best improve the overall look. The right accessories can improve your look from smart to outstanding.

You might think that you can wear anything you choose with a suit. That is not all true. There are some guidelines that will improve your overall look. The wrong accessories can make you look ostentatious and trying too hard.


Basic tip is that men’s jewelry should be subtle. Unless you are a rapper that needs all the bling, you should rather stick to the basics.



  • The Watch


This is an accessory that some people will judge you by. A watch can say a lot about a person. Some people like a diamond encrusted watch bulging from the French cuffs. Others stick to a more classic look. A thin classic watch, free from jewels and too many moving parts. They all have their place.

From my experience it is usually people in the financing sector that have the “attention seeking” models. Politicians tend to stick to more classic models.

I have a couple of watches that all have their place. I have some classic watches and also some less subtle models. This makes it easier to choose when going with a suit.

When wearing a tuxedo or tail coat it is custom not to wear a watch.

Also with so many fitness bands and other more technologically advanced watches out there. They are very popular in our society today so you will have to judge for yourself. Just try to keep it subtle.


  • Cufflinks

When you choose to go with a dress shirt with French cuffs you have a chance to wear cufflinks.

This accessory gives you a tremendous amount of creativity, as there are so many different options. You can really get creative with your choice.

First you will have to choose between the metal options. Will you go for gold or silver? Some will even have precious stones to choose from.

When choosing them you need to think about what they will say about you. I tend to think about the event. If it is a stiff affair I stick to a classic look. Something subtle but still noticed. If it is a more casual affair I tend to go for something a bit more interesting.

My advise is to keep it simple but you can get something more interesting for more casual events. Stay away from anything that can create a bad impression about you. Pink studded playboy bunny ears is not appropriate.


  • Tie Clip.

This is a practical accessory, as it will prevent your tie from flying all over the place. This can also be used to accentuate the overall suit and look.

Try to keep it basic. Just a gold or silver strip will do. Otherwise it will just look gaudy.

When purchasing, think of the ties you wear. For skinny ties you will have to get a tie clip that will fit that.


  • Rings

The most popular ring will be a wedding band. My advise on this matter is to keep it simple. A plain gold or platinum band usually works best.

Another popular ring is a fraternity ring. This has a lot of symbolic value.

If you are going for a looking rich look you can choose to add a bigger, precious stone encrusted option.


I was at a fundraiser a while back where I got to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was wearing a couple of big rings and it looked fine on him. It suited him well. He was wearing a well-fitted suit, pointed boots, big belt buckle and the rings. He pulled that look off with great confidence. There is simply no way I will be able to do that. Just because some else looks good, doesn’t mean that I will. It is important to know your limits.


  • Belt

The basic rule here is that leather should always match leather. If you are wearing black dress shoes, choose a black belt.

When choosing the size, you need to have a few inches past the buckle. Enough to put it under the first loop. When thinking of waist size. When store purchasing, purchase two sizes up. That will be a good guideline.

When choosing a belt buckle remember this, the bigger the buckle the less formal it is.

My favorite brand is MissionBelt. I have a no other belt in my closet anymore. Give them a try. It will be money well spent.


  • Shoes

People have different tastes so best I can do is give you some guidance. First you need to think of what color you need. Most popular is black or brown.

From there you can start having a look at style options. I suggest go for a clean uncluttered look. Consider something like a Cap-Toe Oxford. It is clean and can be worn in a variety of occasions.

Always think of comfort when buying. Last thing you want is to be at an important event and your feet are in pain. This will just put you in a bad mood and you will not be able to impress the people you need to impress.


  • Socks

Over the last couple of years we have all noticed that more and more people go for colorful options. When done right it does improve the look but also suggests that the person wearing them can be a lot of fun.


First rule is basic. If you are unsure how to wear your socks with the suit, stick to black socks. Make sure they match each other and that there are no visible holes.

Keep the color the same as the trousers you are wearing. White socks are a no-no. It will just look ridiculous.


When you do go for some colorful or patterned options, make sure it is not for a funeral or very formal event. Remember pulling off bold socks takes confidence. Just try to keep it to not clash with your suit too much. The base color of your suit and the socks should be similar. For a start I suggest you stick to basic patterns or dots. When you feel confident to go beyond that, stick to these basics and you will be fine.



What is your go-to accessory when wearing a suit?





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