How Your Suit Should Fit – The Proper Guide

A well-tailored suit is the cap of menswear. While often overlooked, the amount of detail that goes into achieving the best fit is immense and great attention to detail is needed for a suit to fit properly.

Although visiting your tailor and letting him do the job might be sufficient (that is if your tailor is good enough), a truly stylish man should know how and understand how a suit should fit. This would allow you to make and request personalized adjustments to your suits, making them one of a kind. 

Suit Jacket’s Shoulder Fit

An example of well-fitting shoulders on a suit.

Splashing more than a thousand dollars on a custom tailored suit isn’t for everyone. But the truth is that you can still wear a well-fitting suit, as long as you know what to look for. Most often, the fit in the shoulders will dictate how your suit will look on you.

Shoulders feel too tight? Then it’s almost sure that the suit jacket is too small for you. You feel like you’re swimming in your suit jacket? Then most likely it’s too big. After all, the 30’s mafia look or the hipster look should be saved for Halloween only.

The perfect shoulder fit is snug and comfortable. If the suit shoulders have padding, the jacket will feel a bit restrictive. If the jacket fits you properly there shouldn’t be any creasing in the fabric.

The shoulders will define the length of the sleeves. It depends on your body type if the jacket will fit you well, however keep in mind that your tailor won’t be able to alter the shoulders.

Proper Suit Sleeve Length

As we mentioned above, the fit of the shoulders will define how the sleeves of your suit will fit you. That’s why it’s so important to find a jacket that fits well in the shoulders.

The most common mistake when choosing a suit jacket is that men choose sleeves that are longer than they need to be.

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 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. Shortening the sleeves of a suit jacket is fairly easy.

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

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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

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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.

Final Words

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

Evgeni Asenov

For the last 4 years I've been enthusiastic about men's style, lifestyle and fashion. Trough trial and error I've learned some things in this area and now I'm here to share with everyone who might be interested.

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