How Should a Men's Suit Fit?


The suit is one of the most important pieces in a man’s wardrobe. It has historically been used to make a strong impression and portrays confidence, particularly with top-level business professionals.

A suit should be considered an investment piece; therefore you must pick one that fits perfectly - not only for aesthetics but also for comfort and suitability. After all, you want to look confident and professional on that important day or at that crucial meeting. You spent hours, perhaps days trying to decide what suit to buy. Now it’s time to make sure it fits appropriately so you can feel comfortable and also look your best in it.

To get your suit looking perfect, here are some key points you need to consider when buying or hiring a suit.

Shoulder fit

It all starts with the correct shoulder fit. The foundation of a great-looking suit begins at the shoulders and works its way down from there. If your suit jacket is too loose or too tight at the shoulders, it’s going to be showing through the rest of the jacket and overall appearance. The jacket of your suit should fit comfortably across your shoulder line and should not be crumpled in any way shape or form. There should be sufficient material over the shoulder blade to allow the fabric to extend from underneath the armhole, to provide the right amount of flexibility and movement.

Collar

You should always make sure that your suit jacket collar fits smoothly against the shirt neck. They should touch lightly against each other, without creating any significant gaps in between. The proper fit is essential for a sharp look. If gaps appear, it means that the outfit looks shapeless, and if there's bunching under your jacket it's a sign that it is too tight. If there is creasing in the collar of the shirt, then the shirt collar should be lowered. The ideal jacket collar exposure is approximately half an inch. To correct this, you can have your jacket's collar lowered or raised so that more or less of the shirt is exposed.

Sleeve

Suit sleeves should always feel comfortable around your wrist area but not too tight that it constricts movement. The suit sleeve length should extend to approximately one-half inch past your suit jacket when standing naturally. It's always a great idea to bring your dress shirt along with you when being fitted for a suit, this way you can determine the right length when showing off your cufflinks. Take time to look in the mirror, and raise your arms as if you were reading from a speech, or sipping a glass of champagne to see how the sleeve rises against the shirt cuff for an added touch of class.

Lapels

Fit is all about proportions. When it comes to suit jackets, the lapel is perhaps the most important part of a suit that determines its overall fit and proportion. A suit jacket with a large notch lapel will add bulk around the chest area and make you look bigger than you are. A suit with a narrow notch lapel will add width and bulk around the shoulders and upper back, which in turn makes you appear much wider than you really are.

The preferred suit jacket size is to have one finger between your suit jacket and your shirt collar when standing naturally which provides a streamlined silhouette with a sharp and elegant look.

Chest

The suit jacket should fit comfortably around the chest area without any excess fabric or bagginess. Ideally, you want to see the two sides of your jacket line up perfectly once buttoned up so that it does not look tight across the middle section of your torso. A suit that fits well in this area is crucial to the overall appearance of the suit. The suit jacket lapels should extend from the suit, creating the first impression of your suit, excess fabric that extends beyond this point is not flattering on anyone and will make for an ill-fitting suit.

Length

Your suit jacket length is of most importance, as it will display the body proportions of your torso to your lower body. A jacket that is too long or too short, is going to be quite noticeable. As a guide, a suit’s jacket length should stand in relation to the palms of your hands with your arms fully extended at your sides and a good way to test the jacket length. The hem of the jacket should sit around the middle of your palm or slightly past where the fingers meet at your palm. All suits in the UK have the length stated on the label inside of the suit jacket pocket and refer to length as shown: (S) Short (R) Regular and (L) for Long.

Trousers

In general, slim-fit trousers are the most contemporary of styles and perfect for the fashion-forward man, skinny-fit trousers are a more reserved choice for an alternative look, and the classic or regular fit suit trouser is designed for the bigger man in mind with a more spacious and roomy feel. It is always best that your trousers fit close enough to your skin that you can pinch at least an inch of fabric around them while being worn. With regards to the length of your trousers, they should ultimately skim the top of your shoe and not look as though they are bunching around the ankles, this is referred to as the break. With too much of a break, such as a half or a full break, the suit will not have a sharp streamlined silhouette, and with no break, you will look as though you are overdoing it! It's always a good idea to sit down when trying on a pair of suit trousers to see how high the hem rises against your ankles as you may need a wider leg as this can cause the fabric to pull tight at the thighs and lift higher at the bottoms.

Waist

The waist of your trousers should sit comfortably on your natural waistline, and not upon your hips. There should only be about one finger space of room at the waistband; just a little so they are not uncomfortably tight when sitting or bending over, but snug enough to keep them in place. A proper fitting suit trouser shouldn’t require a belt and should keep your shirt in place and keep it from becoming untucked. All trouser waists can be let in or taken out by 1-5cm with extra fabric that allows for alterations if needed especially if you have not worn your suit for a while and either put on a little weight or dropped a few pounds.

Seat/ Hips

Your suit trousers should always fit comfortably around the seat without any extended fabric or bagginess. The suit jacket’s hemline should rest lightly on the top of your rear so it cannot be seen when standing naturally. There should be a few inches of allowance at the hip area since this is the main area of motion. If the hips are too small then the pockets will flare and the fabric will show stress lines and pulling across the front at the crotch and the back of the seat. It will also be difficult to put your hands inside your pockets, or your mobile phone. If the hips on the trousers are too big there will be extra fabric at the side seams and at the center back seam which creates pooling. If the trousers are pleated at the hips they will need to be cut large enough to accommodate for the depth of the pleats and should lay flat and not pull open.

We hope that after reading our blog you will be able to find the perfect style suit and fit for you. If there's anything else we can help with, please don't hesitate to contact us!


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