How to Dress Like Harvey Specter: Suits, Shoes, Ties & More
How to Dress Like Harvey Specter: Suits, Shoes, Ties & More

 

Harvey Specter’s style is legendary.

 

Portrayed by Gabriel Macht in the hit USA network show Suits, if there’s one thing New York’s best closer is associated with most, it is his power suits and formal wear.

From the 3 piece suits to the peaked lapels, there’s always something to set his sartorial looks apart.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into each aspect of Harvey Specter’s formal suit style, his accessories, his black tie style, and how you can dress like Harvey Specter.

If you want to dress like Harvey in a casual setting, check out this article that I’ve written on Harvey’s casual clothing, which goes over several of his outfits from the show, and what you can take from them.

 

Harvey Specter’s Style

Harvey Specter’s style is classic and versatile, and makes him appear more dominant by visually broadening his chest and making him look taller. As a general rule, his colour combinations and accessories are simple, and his clothes fit perfectly, making his style professional and methodical.

You can dress like Harvey Specter by wearing dark slim fit two buttoned suits with 4″ peaked lapels and ticket pockets, a white spread collar shirt with barrel cuffs, and simple accessories, such as dark 8cm silk ties, tied with a large knot, dark classic shoes, and white pocket squares. 

 

One of his best quotes is “people respond to how we dress”. From this, we can connote that he doesn’t dress well because he enjoys it, but because he has to to get ahead – it’s functional.

On top of this, the field of law has traditional and conservative dress standards, which he is required to stick to.

Both of these reasons explain why his style is so simple and unadventurous, but put together; as a result, some (me) may consider Harvey’s clothing to be boring.

 

Harvey Specter's outfit style.
Grey and black – it’s classic, easy to wear, but boring.

 

But if you’re a beginner looking to improve your clothing game, Harvey Specter is the prefect person to look towards for establishing a good base formal wardrobe.

 

However, despite the apparent conventional nature of his wardrobe, he does opt for particular details in his clothing (covered next) that help him to exert dominance, assertiveness and confidence.

But enough from me, here are some words from Gabriel Macht about Harvey Specter’s style:

 

 

Harvey Specter Suits

Harvey’s suits are usually in dark, professional colours, like navy, charcoal, or medium grey (and on a few cases brown or champagne), and as aforementioned, usually all feature similar details:

 

You may be thinking ‘whoa, that’s a lot to take in’. This next section will explore this anatomy of a typical Harvey Specter suit in detail, explain what each part is, and how you can get it.

If you want to view a specific detail, click on the bullet point above.

 

Full image of Harvey Specter's suit style.
An overview of a typical suit of his.

 

Two Buttons

Most of Harvey’s suits feature two buttons with a neutral button stance, meaning his looks are balanced. Two buttons on the suit jacket is the most classic button configuration, an

He only buttons the top button up, as per correct buttoning etiquette.

 

On some occasions, Harvey brings in different button configurations, such as:

  • Two roll one – A suit with a ‘two roll one’ buttoning configuration buttons like a two button suit, but has a third button hole in the lapel, not intended for fastening.
  • Three buttoned – On some occasions in the later seasons, Harvey wore three buttoned suit jackets.
  • Double breasted Y formation – Harvey wears a double breasted suit to Mike’s wedding.

 

You can read more about these variations later in the post.

 

Wool Material

Harvey’s suits are usually constructed from high quality 100% worsted wool fabric, presumably from historical mills.

Some of his suits in the later seasons also feature a subtle shine, suggesting a blend with a material such as silk.

If you’re a beginner, I would recommend looking for suits that feature 100% wool fabric.

 

Subtle or No Pattern

His suits are regularly just block colours, like navy, blue, or some shade of grey.

However, he sometimes brings in stripe patterns or checks, like chalk stripe, or windowpane checks.

 

Harvey smiling in a striped suit.
Notice the subtle chalk stripe.

 

These are equally as formal as block colours, but work to add a bit more visual interest to his conservative attire.

 

Slim Cut

All of his suits feature a trimmed cut, and sit close to the body.

An exception can be seen in some of his early suits, where the trousers could perhaps be slightly oversized and flair out.

 

How to Get The Look – Slim Cut

Harvey would still look good in a suit, even if it didn’t have all of his special detailing, if it fit him correctly.

You can find a good resource on how a suit should fit here.

When you’re out buying your suit, make sure it fits properly, or take it to a tailor to have it adjusted.

If there’s one thing you take from this article, please let it be this, as it also applies to any piece of clothing you wear.

 

Wide Peaked Lapel

In the scenes set in the present day, almost all of Harvey’s ensembles feature wide peaked lapels.

They increase the formality level of the suit, visually broaden his shoulders and chest, and add to his already masculine physique.

 

Harvey Specter's wide peaked lapel style.

 

On top of this, it’s a clear indication of premium clothing and works to cement his place as a leader in his field, and show he is at the top of the rank hierarchy.

More practically, wide peaked lapels add just enough visual interest to make his otherwise typical jacket stand out.

 

Ticket Pocket

Like the peaked lapels, a ticket pocket is usually an indicator of quality clothing, and makes the suit jacket stand out slightly.

It’s found on Harvey’s right, above the regular pocket, and is a traditionally English nuance.

 

How to Get the Look – Wide Peaked Lapels and Ticket Pocket

For wide peaked lapels and ticket pockets, you can try the designer brand Tom Ford, the company who produced his original suits in season one. However, these can be hard to come by, and command a high price tag.

Alternatively, you can opt to get a bespoke garment made for you from an independent tailor, and request for them to include as many features of Harvey’s suits as you like.

 

However, if you live in the west, this too will usually have a high price tag, not to mention investment of your time and energy.

 

The final option I can recommend would be a speciality retailer, such as Suitsupply, who sometimes offer suits with very similar styling.

 

The Suitsupply Washington fit.
Look familiar?

 

Suitsupply’s Washington line features most of the items on the list, including a peaked lapel, ticket pocket, and on select models side adjusters.

However, Suitsupply don’t sell mix and match separates in this style, so if you’re of a atypical size (like me), the average sized suit size pairings will probably not fit you, or will require a lot of tailoring to fit right.

That said, in certain regions, Suitsupply offer a custom made to measure, and custom line, which allows you to choose all of the details of the suit, including a non matching size of jacket and trousers.

 

Double Vent

Most suit jackets feature a ‘double vent’, that is, two slits at the back of the suit jacket that create a flap.

Harvey’s suits are no exception.

The double vent gives the greatest mobility to the suit wearer compared to other vent types. Therefore, you should aim for your suit jacket to also have double vents, unless you are wearing a tuxedo.

Fortunately, this shouldn’t be such a hard task as it is the standard for most suits.

 

Structured Shoulders

All of his suits feature strong, structured shoulders, that again build up his frame. This is achieved by loading up the shoulder area with padding, and is very typical of English style suiting.

 

Side Adjusters

Most of Harvey’s trousers feature tab side adjusters.

Not only are they an indicator of quality tailoring, but are very functional, allowing you to adjust your trouser waist to fit you exactly (helping you survive after a large client lunch).

 

Harvey Specter wearing side adjusters.

 

Though they are only seen when he takes his jacket off, they are, in my opinion, one of the best details of his sartorial wardrobe.

 

How to Get The Look – Side Adjusters

Though typically uncommon, trousers with side adjusters can be found at speciality retailers, such as Suitsupply.

On top of this, it is actually possible to add side adjusters to suit trousers that don’t initially have them. All you will need is a good tailor, and some extra suit fabric.

So, if you find a suit that you like, and it doesn’t have side adjusters, get a longer pair of trousers (to get the extra fabric), and have a tailor take your trousers up, and use the removed fabric to create side adjusters.

It’s what I’ve done for some of my trousers, and the results are awesome.

 

Full Break

Most of Harvey’s trousers feature a full break, the most classic trouser finish.

 

Full break suit trousers

 

How to Get The Look – Full Break

Most brick and mortar suit shops will pin your trousers up and ask you what type of trouser finish you want.

Simply ask for a ‘full break’, or show them a picture of one of Harvey Specter’s suits, and they should be able to emulate the style.

 

Outfit Example: Blue Suit

Packaged together, all of the above items produce the following look:

 

Harvey Specter blue suit wardrobe.

 

Furthermore, this image alone cements the importance of fit – even if all of Harvey’s other styling preferences remained constant, if the suit were two sizes too big, it would look terrible.

 

So, that’s Harvey’s typical suit for you – next, let’s take a look at some variations that add to, or alter, his standard look.

 

Harvey Specter’s Vests

Sometimes Harvey opts for a 3 piece suit, which signals the inclusion of a matching waistcoat (or vest) along with the jacket and trousers.

This raises the formality level of the suit, and again reinforces his stance as a confident character, as many men shy away from this item.

 

Harvey Specter vest style.

 

Though, he does sometimes make the faux pas of buttoning his jacket while wearing a waistcoat.

I would suggest not emulating this detail, as an open suit jacket when wearing a waistcoat produces a much more flattering look.

 

Harvey’s vests:

  • Are always single breasted
  • Never feature a lapel
  • Always match exactly with the suit he is wearing (he does not wear odd waistcoats)
  • Usually have 6 buttons
  • Usually have the bottom button unbuttoned, as per correct vest etiquette. For assistance with this, I’ve written a guide on which waistcoat buttons you should button.

 

Harvey’s vests are especially welcome as his trousers feature side adjusters, which, unlike a belt, do not break the line of the waistcoat. 

 

Other Suits

Three Buttoned Suit

On occasions, specifically throughout season 6, Harvey wears a three buttoned suit.

 

Harvey Specter in a three button suit.

 

I personally feel it doesn’t work well with the peaked lapels, and produces a strange, overly elongated and rather dated look.

 

Harvey Specter’s Double Breasted Suit

Harvey wears a double breasted suit to Mike’s wedding. Though it doesn’t get a lot of screen time, and spends most of the time unbuttoned, it’s a good look, and in Harvey’s eyes a special item, for a special occasion.

 

Gabriel Macht wearing a double breasted suit

 

What brand of suit does Harvey Specter wear?

Many wonder what brand of suits Harvey Specter wears.

Harvey Specter exclusively wears Tom Ford suits in the early seasons, Gucci suits in the flashback sequences, and bespoke Garrison suits in the later seasons. Regardless of which brand of suit he is wearing, the details and fit of the garments stay generally consistent.

Tom Ford suits retail for around £2,000 – £4,000, and Garrison suits are only available in Canada on special order, with varying prices depending on the fabric.

 

Conclusion – Harvey Specter’s Suit Style

It’s hard to find a suit with all of the features found on Harvey’s, but it can be done – they all work together to produce a certain ‘style’, so if a suit has one, it will likely have some of the others.

Hitting all of  the suit nuances is a difficult task, but that’s why it’s so powerful – you will likely be the only one with the styling options, setting you apart.

Again, I would recommend Suitsupply as your best bet.

 


Harvey Specter’s Shirts

Harvey Specter’s shirts are usually muted colours, such as white or sky blue, feature a cutaway or spread collar, barrel cuffs, and a H.S. monogram. In the earlier seasons, some of Harvey’s shirts featured coloured blue or pink vertical butcher, Budd, or bar code stripes.

 

Harvey Specter Shirt Colours & Patterns

Harvey’s shirts are usually block white, but are also occasionally light blue, pink, or grey.

On occasion, most notably in the earlier seasons, he does wear striped shirts, which I feel adds a bit of much needed interest to his typically safe attire.

 

Harvey Specter in a shirt.
In the pilot, he wears a grey barcode striped shirt.

 

These stripes even combine with some of his rarer colours, such as pink and sky blue, to produce some sharp combinations.

These striped shirts bring some much needed warmth into Harvey Specter’s style and outfits, and in my opinion elevate his style greatly.

If you’re looking to bring some of his style into your wardrobe, I would recommend looking into these type conservative, striped shirts. They brighten you up and make your look more personable than a ‘down to business’ white shirt, but retain much of the formality.

In all cases, Harvey pairs the colour of the shirt with a subtly textured tie of a similar colour.

 

Matching Shirt and Ties Like Harvey

Colours

In all cases, Harvey pairs the colour of the shirt with a subtly textured tie of a similar colour.

In the below collage:

  • With the blue striped shirts, Harvey pairs a textured navy tie.
  • With the pink striped shirt, Harvey pairs a textured purple tie.

 

Harvey Specter shirt style.
A collage of colourful striped shirts from season one.

 

All of these combinations match within colour pallet – the blues with the blues, and reds with the reds. This is a really easy way to skilfully match coloured pieces, and allows Harvey to guarantee the combination will work, and still look professional.

 

Patterns

In this instance, he has introduced patterns into both is tie and shirt:

 

Harvey sitting in a chair.
Season One Episode 6.

 

Though both patterns are stripes, he makes sure to keep the patterns to different sizes.

So, his shirt has finer stripes, while his tie has thicker, and further spaced stripes.

This actively differentiates between the two, and provided the colours within the items work together, they will look good.

 

Shirt Fit

Harvey’s shirts fit well, though I feel are sometimes slightly on the baggy side, and could do with slight tapering in in the midsection.

However, this enables comfort, and the excess fabric doesn’t look too bad as it hangs rather well.

 

Shirt fit illustrated by Harvey.
A well fitting shirt.

 

That said, his shirts, especially the through the arms, the sleeve length and neck, all fit perfectly, especially the one pictured above.

 

Monogram

Some of Harvey’s shirts feature a monogram in the non-traditional location of the left cuff.

This very ‘typical’ Specter detail is usually accomplished in a blue thread, as pictured below, or in a more subtle grey.

 

Harvey Specter's shirt monogram.

 

The best thing is that some shirt makers, such as Charles Tyrwhitt, actually offer this service, so you too can emulate this detail rather easily.

 

Harvey Specter’s Shirt Brand

Harvey Specter wears shirts from a variety of top fashion brands, such as Brioni, Canali, Tom Ford, Zenga, D&G and Thomas Pink, and lesser known houses such as Fairfax, Bergdorf Goodman, Eterna and Charvet.

 

Where to get Harvey Specter’s Shirts

Harvey’s typical white shirts are classically styled, so will likely be easy to come by in most retail stores.

Therefore, the main considerations you have to pay attention to are fabric quality, and collar type, as true spread collars can be elusive.

To recap, his shirts usually have the following details:

  • Muted colour (Predominantly white, but also sky blue or grey)
  • Spread collar
  • Button OR French (cufflink) cuffs
  • A subtle light blue ‘H.S.’ monogram on the left cuff
  • Trim, but not restrictive, fit.

 

I would personally recommend Charles Tyrwhitt for good quality shirts, at a reasonable price.

Alternatively, Spier and Mackay provide great mid level shirts, and Turnball and Asser provide possibly some of the finest shirts in the world.

 


Harvey Specter’s Ties

Harvey Specter’s ties are of conservative colours, such as navy, grey, silver or burgundy, and frequently feature texture or small repeated patterns. They are made from either 100% silk or wool cashmere, and are 8-9cm in width. Harvey Specter ties his ties with large, symmetrical full Windsor or half Windsor knots.

 

Harvey Specter tie style.
A typical Specter tie.

 

Again, in line with the general trend of his attire, his ties are unassuming and easy to wear; this is understandable though, as the profession demands this professional dress code.

His ties also match with the rest of his style preferences, specifically:

  • The wide tie width of 8cm matches in proportion with his wider lapels, aiding visual balance.
  • The muted colour and texture matches with the rest of his items.

 

The Harvey Specter Tie Knot

Harvey’s commanding tie knot is one of the most signature points of his style.

As a general rule, Harvey Specter ties a his ties with the large and symmetrical full Windsor, or Half Windsor knots. In some flashback sequences, Harvey ties his tie using a narrow and asymmetrical 4-in-hand knot. His knots correspond in proportion to his collar type, and feature a tie dimple.

Awesomely, Gabriel Macht released this video showing him tying a half Windsor knot:

 

 

The half Windsor in the above video is, in my opinion, the perfect choice for his personal style, and collar type.

Given the semi-spread collar, I would consider his second favourite, the full Windsor, too big for his collar, and of incorrect proportions – a semi-spread collar is best suited with a slightly smaller knot, such as a half-Windsor, or even a slimmer one, such as the classic four-in-hand.

 

Harvey Specter with an oversized Windsor knot.
As you can see, this full Windsor knot is too big for his collar, and appears strange.

 

However, there is no question that Harvey’s full Windsor knot commands authority, and is yet another way that he shows status through his clothing.

If you are looking at bringing the full Windsor knot into your wardrobe, I would recommend looking at shirts with cutaway, extreme cutaway, or wide spread collars, as there is more space to fill, which can be provided by a Windsor knot.

 

To add to this, his tie knots almost always feature a tie dimple, which gives the knot a third dimension, drawing the eye to the face. It is also a mark of someone with sartorial experience.

 

Tie Brand

Harvey Specter wears ties from the Italian fashion house Armani, and other brands such as Tom Ford, Canali, Zenga, Harry Rosen, and Robert Talbot.

 

Where to get Harvey Specter’s Ties

Harvey’s ties are again classically styled, so you will likely be able to find ties of similar aesthetic in many men’s retail outlets.

To recap, his ties usually have the following details:

  • Muted colour: black, grey, navy, purple, burgundy
  • Sometimes lightly textured
  • Sometimes lightly patterned, with a classic pattern such as hounds tooth
  • Classic 8cm width
  • 100% silk, or cashmere fabric
  • Windsor, half Windsor, or 4-in-hand knot, usually in proportion to the collar he is wearing at the time
  • Correct length, hitting at the belt line
  • Tie dimple

 


Harvey Specter’s Accessories

A suit is bare without accessories – this section will take a look at some of Harvey’s favourite, which you may want to try and incorporate into your outfits.

 

Pocket Square

Harvey is frequently seen sporting a classic white pocket square with a ‘presidential fold’. You can’t go wrong with this.

 

White presidential fold pocket square

 

However, sometimes a pocket square is absent from his ensemble.

In my opinion, you should always wear a pocket square with tailoring – it doesn’t cost much, but makes a huge difference by adding visual interest to your look, and shows that you have attention to detail.

Interestingly though, despite typically sporting an easily wearable white pocket square, he sometimes wears pocket squares in atypical colours such as navy, or ones with a slight sheen.

 

Harvey Specter Watch – Patek Philippe 5004p

Now it may be a surprise to you that Harvey doesn’t wear many watches.

And, it’s not because it doesn’t suit the character, but something a bit more practical.

According to Gabriel Macht in an interview for timeandtidewatches.com, “the reason we have not put Harvey in a watch since then [season one] is because the suits look better without.”

 

I disagree – but I think it’s all to do with the type of watch they were trying to get him to wear.

 

The season one Harvey Specter watch he was referring to was the Patek Philippe 5004p, and is seen in the opening scene of episode three.

 

Harvey Specter watch Patek Phillippe 5004p

 

There’s no doubt that this allegedly $400,000 watch is a stunner, and actually fits the character. However, I would recommend that you wear a sleeker and dressier watch with a suit.

Macht added “it’s a good choice for Harvey because his dress and presentation is quite aware of itself. I could see a Patek being part of his arsenal to put someone off guard” and “with all the changes that we go through in a day, it became too much without enough success of getting those shots in”, confirming that timepieces would be a greater part of the character if the demands of television production allowed it.

 

Harvey Specter’s Shoes

Like the rest of his wardrobe, Harvey likes to keep it safe and simple when it comes to footwear, which isn’t a bad thing.

 

Harvey Specter's black shoes
Black toe capped oxfords.

 

He wears leather and rubber soled shoes of either toe capped oxford or wholecut styles, which sometimes feature subtle brogue patterning. All of his shoes also look to have a Goodyear welt.

Within these styles, Harvey is seen to wear shoes in a wide variety of colours, such as black, dark brown, tan and oxblood.

So, he has really brought every formal colour to the party.

 

Harvey Specter shoes.
Harvey’s wholecuts in season 6 episode 5.

 

Harvey Specter mainly wears shoes from Tom Ford, but also wears other brands, such as Canali and Prada.

 

Where to get Harvey Specter’s Shoes

Though Harvey’s shoes are again classic, finding and purchasing good shoes is a difficult task. Unfortunately, I can only recommend shopping about, and discovering different brands for yourself, as I personally tend to a different style of shoe.

As a recap, Harvey’s shoes have the following items:

  • Muted, formal, colour: black, dark brown, tan, oxblood.
  • High quality Goodyear welt construction.
  • Premium calf leather.
  • Leather or quality rubber soles.
  • Toe capped Oxford or Wholecut shoe styles.

 

I would also advocate to purchase an install shoe protectors to the front and back of your shoe, as you can see Harvey’s shoes are wearing away at the front and back.

 


Harvey Specter’s Tuxedo Style

Harvey doesn’t just kill his formal game in the office – at black tie events, he also continues his mantra of being impeccably and classically put together.

 

Harvey Specter tuxedo style.

 

Importantly, he has actually purchased a Tom Ford tuxedo, and doesn’t try to pass off one of his black peaked lapel suits as a garment appropriate for evening parties.

Harvey’s tuxedo follows most of the same style preferences as his suits, such as wide peaked lapels, and strong shoulders, which build up his masculine physique. However, this should be expected, as it’s from the same brand. Check out my article on other tuxedo types, for suggestions that will suit your preference.

His shit and accessories are also tuxedo appropriate – he wears a proper evening shirt, complete with pleats and mother of pearl buttons, and a diamond tipped bow tie, which matches in fabric to his lapel facing.

 

Harvey’s typical tuxedo style includes:

  • Wide peaked lapels (like his suits)
  • Satin facing lapels
  • Jetted pockets (Without a flap)
  • A diamond tipped bow tie
  • A pleated tuxedo shirt
  • Mother of pearl buttons
  • A pointed collar

 

How to Look Better than Harvey in a Tuxedo

All in all, Harvey follows most of the rules of conventional black tie, however there are things that you can improve upon, to look better than Harvey in a tuxedo:

  • I feel his collar is slightly too pointed, and sticks out from under his bow tie, creating an unflattering look. Find a dinner shirt with a slightly more spread collar.
  • Though his tuxedo shirt’s buttons are mother of pearl, he has not replaced them with tuxedo studs, which would complete the look. Buy tuxedo studs, and use them in place of your shirt’s buttons.
  • Harvey should opt for a traditional waist covering, such as a waistcoat, or cummerbund. Purchase and wear a cummerbund or waistcoat.
  • It looks like Harvey is wearing a pre-tied bow tie – learning to tie a bow tie yourself isn’t just badass, but looks one hundred times better.
  • Harvey doesn’t wear a customary silk white evening pocket square. Invest in, and add one to your ensemble.

 


How to Dress Like Harvey Specter in an Overcoat

New York can get cold. Really cold.

Harvey’s Tom Ford overcoats usually follow the same rules as his suits, and feature wide peaked lapels, a ticket pocket, and structured shoulders.

 

Harvey Specter in a overcoat.

 

This particular overcoat (above) features a covered placket, meaning the jacket buttons don’t show.

 

The jacket is likely made from wool or cashmere, and fits his body well.

To add to this, throughout the show, he is seen to wear a multitude of overcoats in different colours, like the below pictured black, medium grey, and aubergine.

 

Harvey Specter overcoat style.
Collage of overcoats.

 

However, each time, to finish the look, he wraps a scarf, presumably made from cashmere, around his neck. These scarfs include dark purple, camel and grey, and provide a stylish contrast between the rest of his outfit.

This shows the power of a uniform – each look is the same ‘style’, but different in colour – he knows what sort of image he wants to portray, and sticks to it.

 

Harvey’s Trench Coat

In season 3 episode 5, Harvey wears this black trench coat.

We’ve previously seen how he protects himself from the rain in his casual clothing, but this dressier option shows us how he does this when rocking a suit.

 

Harvey Specter style includes a trench coat.

 

Water proof trench coats are typically easy to find, and can be acquired for many shops such as as Zara or H&M.

 


Conclusion

So, we’ve finally got down to the bottom of how to dress like Harvey Specter in smart, dressy situations.

 

But it doesn’t cover the whole picture.

 

He maintains an awesome wardrobe and look on all fronts, consequently, I would recommend checking out my other articles on Harvey’s casual style, and Harvey’s main hairstyles, so you can fully emulate his style.

However, that said, he dresses for function – if it wasn’t an important part of how people perceive you, I’m sure he wouldn’t pay any attention to his appearance.

And this means that, though he’s put together well, it’s as simple as possible.

It’s mostly a uniform that sticks to a rigid style and colour pallet.

 

I tried this once, and got ridiculously bored.

 

So, if you’re more into style like myself, I wouldn’t recommend copying Harvey Specter’s style exactly, but bringing in pieces of it, such as peaked lapels, or larger knots.

But if you just want to use clothing as a tool to get ahead, his wardrobe is a good place to start.

 

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