The Man Behind the Suit

(Photo: Joseph Maida)

American fashion designer Thom Browne is revolutionizing men’s suiting by defying all that is currently associated with modern menswear.

A Thom Browne suit is unique, yet classic, with a structure that is completely distinct from other mens’ suits. The flat-front pants are cropped to expose the ankles and a shorter jacket concludes mid-wrist. They almost always have three buttons, narrow lapels rolled to the middle button, side vents, and trousers without belt loops.

In a recent Wall Street Journal interview with Browne, the designer said he wanted to reinterpret the suit in a younger, more “spirited” way, and it seems that is exactly what he has accomplished. Browne says he wants men to recognize that they don’t have to blend in with every other man on Wall Street, but they can use their clothes to express themselves.

So how does one pull off a Thom Browne suit? Apparently, there are rules—ten of them to be exact.

Rule #1: Only the middle button on the jacket should be buttoned when you are wearing it closed.
Rule #2: The pocket square in the breast pocket should be just peeking out (no more than 1/8 of an inch).
Rule #3: The last button on the cuff of the jacket should be left unbuttoned.
Rule #4: The button-down collar of the white oxford shirt should remain unbuttoned.”
Rule #5: Please do not iron the oxford shirts after washing.
Rule #6: The trousers should be worn high-waisted so that the cuff of the trouser falls above the ankle.
Rule #7: The neckties have been pre-tied, but please remember to keep the knot very tight when tying the necktie.
Rule # 8: The necktie should be worn long, with the tip of the tie tucked into the waist of the trousers.
Rule #9: The tie bar should be clipped so that it falls halfway between the collar of your shirt and the waistband of the trousers.
Rule #10: The shoes should be worn without socks.

As told to GQ.