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Mens's Guide: How Your Suit Should Fit

Posted by Amber Spencer on

Whether you’re buying an off-the-rack suit or taking your current suit to a tailor to get it adjusted, there’s a few things you need to know to get it done exactly as it should be. Firstly, tailor’s vary in skill and communication for the type of fit they’re creating. So to get a good return on investment, you need to know what a good fit actually looks like. Luckily, there are some simple, standard rules you can follow outlined below to make sure you get the best-fitting suit possible.

 

What A Well-Fitting Suit Looks Like

To do the following checks, you will want to stand in your natural stance with your arms by your side. This may not feel very natural at first, but it the basis from which all of our movement flows, so If your suit doesn’t fit well here, it’s not going to look very good when you’re moving around either.

Collar

Turn from side to side to check out your collar as a poor fit can only be seen from the back. Check that your jacket collar is resting against your shirt collar, which is in turn resting against the back of your neck. If there are any significant gaps in between, then the shirt or jacket are too large. Conversely, a tight collar will create bunching and folds just beneath it,so make sure everything looks nice and smooth.

 

Sleeves

The sleeves of the suit should sit comfortably. Aim to have a good ½ inch of your shirt cuff exposed outside the jacket sleeve and ensure there is no slight twisting of the sleeve while your arms are hanging by your sides.

 

Shoulders

The seam on top of the shoulder should be the same length as the bone under it, and should meet the sleeve of the suit right where your arm meets your shoulder.

 

Jackets

 

Suit jacket length should just skim the groin. There should be no no button strain and similarly no sagging material where the jacket buttons up Close a single-breasted jacket with only one button when you’re testing the fit, even if it’s a three-button jacket. You’re looking to see if the two sides meet neatly without the lapels hanging forward off your body (too loose) or the lower edges of the jacket flaring out like a skirt (too tight). The button should close without strain, and there should be no wrinkles radiating out from the closure. A little bit of an opening at the bottom of the suit is fine, but the two halves beneath the button shouldn’t pull apart so far that you can see a large triangle of shirt above your trousers. (Ideally, you shouldn’t see any, though a bit is socially acceptable, especially when you move.

 

Jacket Buttons

Starting with the top button and working your way down: it’s sometimes appropriate to have the top button buttoned along with the middle one (a stylistic decision — if the lapel is flat, it can look good to button it; if the lapel rolls over and hides the top button, only button the middle one). It’s always appropriate to have the middle button buttoned as the middle button pulls the jacket together at your natural waist and lets the bottom naturally flare out around your hips. You should never button the last button as this messes up the intended tailoring and flare offered by the middle button.

Seat

You can spot a bad fit in the seat when there are horizontal wrinkles just under the buttocks (caused by too tight of a fit), or by loose, U-shaped sags on the backs of the thighs (caused by too loose of a fit).

Trousers

Trouser legs should crease slightly where the bottom meets your shoe You want to be able to pinch around an inch of excess material all the way up the leg for the perfect slim fit . One horizontal dimple or crease is usually ideal. The cuff should indeed rest on the top of your shoe — there needs to be contact — but it shouldn’t do much more than that. The trouser can fall a touch longer in the back than in front, so long as it’s still above the heel of the shoe.  

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