5 Tips When Suiting Up (Suit Up Like Barney)


With just two more episodes until the series finale for How I Met Your Mother, I decided it was time to pay ode to one of my favourite TV characters – Barney Stinson and his most famous quote – Suit Up! Barney is played by Neil Patrick Harris and from the time the show started in 2005, he has always stood by his belief that everyone should be in a suit. So today, I’m going to provide 5 tips (plus 2 more bonus tips) for you guys when suiting up or you can think of this as ‘How to Suit Up Like Barney Stinson’.

Suit Up Tip 1: Shoulder Fit

Be sure to check that the shoulder pads on your suit of choice are not sticking out before a purchase. How can you do that? Put on your suit jacket and go lean against the wall. If your shoulder area gets scrunched up, your shoulder pads are sticking out too far and you could do with a better fit around your shoulders.

Barney Stinson - How I Met Your Mother - Suited Up Full Length

Suit Up Tip 2: Double-Button

If you are planning to own just one suit, go for a double-button jacket. Why? It is business appropriate, AND no one would raise an eyebrow if you wore it to a more casual setting as well. If you intend to have suits for different occasions, then a double-button suit should already be in your arsenal but for casual occasions, get a single-button suit jacket as well to look more trendy.

Suit Up Tip 3: Expose The Cuffs

This is now common practice. Older generations of men tend to hide the cuffs of their dress shirts under their suit jackets but for the modern man, about half an inch of your dress shirt should be sticking out past your suit jacket sleeve.

Suit Up Tip 4: Jacket Length

Make sure the length of the jacket at least covers your pant zippers and butt. Anything less and you can consider your jacket too short.

Suit Up Tip 5: Pant Style

The days of pleated pants that bulge around your hips is long gone – go for straight cut pants. The hem of your pants should be no higher than the top of your shoes (with no socks showing while standing) and no lower than the top of your laces (slight scrunching at the bottom while standing). A corollary of this is wearing LONG socks under your pants so that you do not show off skin when seated.

Barney Stinson Suit Up TipsBarney Bonus: Knots & Fit

Your body type should determine whether you wear a regular or slim fit dress shirt and whether to get a slim fit suit jacket. At the same time, a combination of your body type and face shape should determine the choice of tie knot and width as well as collar style for your dress shirt. (Read more about Body Type and Face Shape)

Barney Bonus 2: Pocket Squares

Add some class to your outfit and wear a pocket square when suiting up. Make sure it isn’t the same pattern as your tie though.


So as we bid adieu to a fantastic TV show and a great character in Barney Stinson, I hope the lessons from his many seasons of  telling viewers to ‘Suit Up’ will help the rest of us become LEGEN-wait for it-DARY with our personal suiting styles!

I also created this simple infographic to easily share the pearls of wisdom from Barney! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Suit Up Infographic by Art of Style

Images courtesy of Neil Patrick Harris’ GQ photoshoot.

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About Author

Dhawal Shah

Through Art of Style Club, Dhawal Shah is educating himself on lifestyle matters affecting everyday men and bringing a fresh perspective to answer their questions. He is also the co-founder of 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency, and an expert on web development, SEO, SEM, Marketing Automation & Social Media.

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