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The fitting room

Does Your Suit Fit Correctly? 5 Points to Fashion Perfection

You’ve purchased the ideal men’s suit. It's the perfect shade of navy blue with hand-stitched details and a five-button waistcoat. Just imagining the looks you’ll get when you walk into the office make you smile. .

That perfect look is what every suit buyer is looking for. To achieve it, however, you first need to get the right fit. A well-fitting suit will look brilliant on any body type and any age. Not sure if your suit fits correctly? Here’s what you need to know.

How Should Your Suit Jacket Fit?

There are five points to consider when it comes to making sure your suit jacket fits right.

  • Length- To balance the upper portion of your body with the lower portion, the suit jacket must be at the correct length. Otherwise it will simply look odd. The jacket should end about mid-crotch for most men. If you are particularly tall, however, you might want to go a little lower. Always go to a tailor when shortening the length of a jacket. The tailor can adjust the length without sacrificing the proportions of the rest of the suit jacket.
  • Shoulders- The shoulder seams of suit jackets should end at the shoulders, just as with blazers and tweed jackets. Make sure there aren’t any wrinkles or divots on the shoulders; the shoulder should be fat. If there is padding in the shoulder, it should not extend beyond the shoulder itselft. It should line up with the end of your shoulder.
  • Sleeves- To see if your sleeves are at the correct length, bend your wrist in such a way that your palms are facing the ground. There should be a small space, about ¼-inch, between the top of your hand and the bottom your sleeve. Leaving a little bit of room leaves space for your shirt to show, so you can show off those cufflinks if should choose to do so.
  • Body- Fasten the top bottom of the men’s suit jacket (never the bottom one.) The jacket should feel comfortably and feel as if it is lightly hugging your body. It shouldn’t be loose or too tight. If there is any pulling at the back or sides. If the body doesn’t fit correctly, take it to a tailor to have the sides brought in or let out.
  • Collar- The collar of a suit jacket should rest on top of your shirt collar, without any gaps between the two. If a gap is present, the collar is too loose. If there is bunching, the collar is too tight.

There are, of course, other considerations to think about as well, such armholes. The armholes need to be high, without cutting into your underarm. The armholes should be large enough to provide you with plenty of range of motion. You should be able to wear your men’s suit without noticing that the armhole is even there. However, be careful to avoid having excess fabric here. If you have several extra inches of fabric between the hole and your armpit, you need to visit a tailor to have it taken in.

One of the most important consideration is where the top button on the suit should be location in relation to your body. The most important rule of thumb here is to make sure this button is at or about your belly button. It should never be below. This will look odd. In the case of a three-piece suit, use this rule for the middle button instead of the top.

How Should Your Suit Trousers Fit?

It’s isn’t just your jacket you should be concerned about when making sure the fit of your suit is right. The trousers are just as important.

Waist and Seat

The first thing to think about is how the trousers fit around your waist. There should be no need for a belt to hold your suit up. Even if you want to wear one, wear it as an accessory. In addition, they shouldn’t be so tight that they create marks on your skin or make it hard to sit down. The waist area of the suit trousers should hit the high part of your hipbone; they sit slightly lower than where you wear denim jeans.

To make sure the seat area of the men’s suit trousers fit currently, check to make sure they lightly hug your backend. They shouldn’t be saggy, but shouldn’t be incredibly tight either. If it feels like the trousers might split in two when you bend over or sit down, they are too tight. A tailor can fix ones that are too loose.

Legs

When you pinch the fabric on either side of your thigh, there should be approximately one-inch of fabric free. Any less fabric and the trousers are too tight. Any more, and you might want to visit your tailor and have him slim the legs down.

Hem

For a polished and sharp look, ask your tailor to give your trousers a hem with a slight break. There are other options of course, such as a full break, half break, quarter break and no break. Choose the one that you like the best and looks best on your body type.

Why Does Fit Matter?

There is little margin for error when it comes to the fit of a suit. It matter greatly because without the right fit, you simply don’t look good. A tight fitting suit can make you appear to have a larger body than you do. A suit that is too big for you can make you look younger than you are- like you’re wearing your dad’s suit. Even if the suit itself is fabulous, the end result will never be what you want if it doesn’t fit correctly.

Before you wear that new suit to the office, on a date or just on a stroll out and about, test it with these tips and see if it fits correctly. If not, have your tailor make the correct adjustments.

By Brook Taverner 1 July 2017