Wearing a well tailored, or properly fitted suit is a form of art. The suited up style can be summed up by only one word – timeless. As a means of good taste, every man needs at least one well fitting suit in his wardrobe. Even though they might not wear it on a weekly basis, this shows appreciation to the art of suit making and the traditions in menswear.
Although paying your tailor a visit almost always means that you are walking out with a perfectly tailored suit, it’s still good to know how one should fit. Everything from the proper fit of the shoulders, the perfect tapering of the trousers and the overall proper length of the suit can be mastered easily, or at least be learned.
Suit Jacket’s Shoulder Fit
The fit of the shoulder is where most men make a mistake. Most often, men tend to go a size larger just because it’s more comfortable. That’s because the hole for your arm is too tight. If this is a problem that you have when buying an off-the-rack, then you should pay your tailor a visit that will make you a properly fitted suit.
Remember, if the jacket is too big in the shoulders you will look like a mafia boss from the 1960’s, or like you’ve taken your dad’s suit jacket.
If it’s too tight, you’ll feel it. The fabric around your shoulders will crease, and if the jacket is structured you’ll see the padding is way too high on your shoulders.
The perfect fit is as shown above. The line where the shoulder of your suit jacket breaks and the sleeve starts should be seamless and straight. Between your shoulder and the sleeve’s fabric you should have very little room.
Proper Suit Sleeve Length
Just like with the shoulder of the jacket, it’s really important to nail the proper length of your suits’ sleeve to achieve that sharp and dapper look. Most likely if you mess up the fit in the shoulders, you’ve messed it in the sleeve length too. What many men tend to do is to let their sleeves to have the same length as any other jacket. This is a mistake because a suit jacket isn’t supposed to fit as a normal jacket.
If you have to remember one rule of suit buying and wearing is that:
A suit is supposed to flatter your body. It should make you look slimmer and taller seamlessly.
Ideally, the length of the sleeve should be about 1’’ to 1.5’’ shorter than the length of the shirts sleeve. It should show just a bit of your shirt’s sleeve.
If it’s a little bit longer it’s not a problem. Usually, off-the-rack suits will have longer sleeves. That’s because there are plenty of body types. It’s fairly easy for your tailor to shorten the sleeves of your suit jacket.
However, if it’s too short, you’ll be better off ditching that jacket because most likely there won’t be enough fabric for your tailor to lengthen it.
Perfect Fit of a Suit Jacket – The Torso
In order to avoid the boxy look of the 90’s, your jacket should have perfect fit and follow the curves of your body. It’s your best choice to go for a slim fit suit, although it’s may not be the most flattering for your body type. That’s why we suggest you get your suit custom tailored, so you know it will fit you perfectly.
When you stand in front of the mirror your jacket should give you a nice slim silhouette, regardless of your body type. Even if you are a bigger man, if the jacket fits you well it will give you that look. The best way to describe it is as follow:
The perfect fitted suit jacket should give you a nice stylish hug; not too tight; not too baggy.
While you are still looking button the upper button of your suit jacket [not as the one above], if it’s a jacket with three buttons button the middle one, and take a closer look. Does it fit you snugly? If the jacket is too tight you should see and ugly “X’’ from, and the button being the middle of it.
How to know if the jacket is too big and not of perfect fit? Simple! Button the upper button and put your hand between your chest and the suit jacket, you should be able to fit your hand easily without feeling tight, but rather snug instead.
How Should Suit Pants Fit
The fit of the suit pants, is the second most important thing after the fit of your jacket. To keep that slim and European silhouette your suit pants should have perfect fit to your body. That’s why you need to know how your suit trousers are supposed to fit.
If I judge by my experience, you never truly know how trousers should fit before you go and get yourself a custom made trousers. Go and let a tailor to their job. After you get your first pair of perfectly fit suit pants put them on, and compare them to all of your suit trousers, I bet for most of you, they will look totally different.
If you, however, need a suit ASAP and you have no time to go get a new pair of trousers tailored, then you should follow the rule that applied to the jacket. In the thigh area, the trouser should feel snug but not tight, as you go lower to the calf, the fit of the trousers should become tapered to your leg. The pants should not have the same width throughout their whole length. That way you’ll end up with a boxy look that won’t do you any good.
Proper Suit Pants Length Guide
There is a reason why your suit’s trousers should be of perfect fit and proper length. If they are a bit too long you’ll look shorter, and vice versa, if they are a bit too short you’ll look taller (which is not always a bad thing).
The ideal pants length should be with the trouser having what it’s called a ‘half break’. I’d even go with no-break in my pants but I doubt most men are comfortable with that look, so just stick to pants with a half-break. If you want, later on you can always shorten the trousers to upgrade your style to the no-break suit pants fit.
Pro Tip: If you want a more stylish look always cuff your trousers if possible. Keep in mind that to have a cuff you should have a bit more fabric.
Gentleman, owning and wearing a well-tailored suit is something that will get your style game on to the next level. Give yourself the luxury of spending a bit