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A gentleman never removes his jacket

· French Etiquette

Dear ladies and gentlemen, today let us answer a question we often get from men : « Should I keep my suit jacket when dining out ? »

Don’t hesitate Barney, keep your jacket on

Our answer is, wherever you are, « a gentleman must not take off his jacket too easily. » Let us explain !

Keeping your outfit complete

French designer Yves Saint Laurent had a tremendous influence on men’s fashion

A suit is a traditional set of men’s wear comprising a suit jacket and trousers. Men who wear it are expected to keep their outfit sharp and complete at all times. When you are working at your desk, sitting at a bar or having a dinner out with your lover, keep your jacket on.

American actor Hugh Jackman and TV host Jimmy Fallon breaking the rule

If you decide to take it off regularly you will spend most of your time with your jacket off meaning the outfit is incomplete most of the time. What a waste ! Wear it with confidence in any situation and you will never look bad.

Button when standing, unbutton when sitting

French President Emmanuel Macron is rather classical in the choice of his suits but wears them quite well

When you are wearing single-breasted jackets, you should always keep the upper button closed while standing.

Chinese model Hu Bing showing us the good example : keeps vest buttoned and opens up his jacket while sitting

However, make it a habit to unbotton it when you are sitting. You will feel more comfortable with more flexibility in your movement,as well as will leave less creases on your suit.

Korean American actor John Cho wearing a double-breasted suit jacket the right way

When wearing double-breasted suit jackets, all buttoons should be closed at all times, whether you are standing or sitting.

Confirm the dress code before the event

If you are not sure about the proper attire for any possible occasion or event that you might attend, then it's best to contact the host ahead and confirm any possible dress code.

At Plaza Athénée in Paris, wearing a suit jacket is mandatory for men

If you visit the most upscale restaurants in Paris or New York, often they will require all men to wear a jacket to be allowed inside (and sometimes also a tie, although this is more rare). You are expected to wear the vest during the whole meal. If you happen not to have one, they would loan you one.

How about extreme heat conditions ?

Imagine the scene : you are attending a wedding in the middle of the summer and all gentlemen are wearing suits. You and the others know the rule and you are joking about who would pass out first from the heat. At least if you do pass out, you would look good doing it !

The general rule says that in such unusually hot conditions, you should wait for the host or the most senior person to invite gentleman to remove jackets if they wish.

Are there other exceptions to the rule ?

Yes, there is !

I do have a last exception other than extreme heat, and I am sure you will agree to that one. Gentlemen, if the lady you are out with is cold, you have one more excuse to remove to jacket and lend it to her.

Other than these few exceptions, remember to always keep your jacket on !

Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.

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