Fashion. Ever evolving, always adapting. Styles change, looks change, colors change. In the world of modern fashion, a huge component of looking good is fit. The right fit accentuates your best features and minimizes the less than desirable ones. The importance of fit varies depending on the garment, but one thing is for sure - a proper suit should fit YOU.
The suit industry is inundated with all sorts of options, from generic low cost off-the-rack to high-end premium bespoke. But no matter what you buy, there are a number of elements you want to look for when determining if you have the right fit. So let’s dive in.
The shoulder of the jacket shouldn’t extend past the natural shoulder line. The seam of the shoulder (where the torso connects to the sleeves) should sit right at the edge of your shoulder, giving the appearance of a firm but not overly expanded shoulder line.
This is perhaps the easiest test for fit. If fastening the top jacket button is difficult to do, that’s too tight. On the other hand, if you can't feel the jacket pulling snug against your sides either, too loose. The top button should close comfortably, pulling the sides of the jacket in for a lightly snug fit along your midsection and ribs.
The sleeve length is rather simple. With your arms hanging at your side, the sleeve should finish at just above your wrist. The shirt cuff underneath should have about ½” showing. Fortunately fixing a sleeve that’s too long is relatively easy (if the buttonholes haven’t been cut), so if you’re not sure when ordering online, always safer to opt for a hair longer.
The proper jacket length is sometimes viewed as personal preference, but in reality, there’s only one “correct” length. The jacket should finish right at the bottom edge of your pants pocket, covering just about all of your bum. Different body proportions are why most off-the-rack suits are going to be either a little short or a little long.
The general “fit” of a pair of pants is to some degree personal preference, but what’s important is that the fit of the pants matches the fit of the jacket. If your jacket is slim cut around your body, the pants should be too. On a modern slim cut, you’ll want the pants to have enough room for movement, but not enough that deep squats are comfortable. Avoid overly tight pants - formal suits aren’t the place for skin-hugging garments.
Also a matter of personal preference, but with two generally accepted styles. The single break is the classic look - when standing upright the pants should crease once, just above your ankle. No break is the more modern look, but make sure your sock game is on point - when you’re sitting down you’ll be showing off a lot of it.
Now that you know what to look for in fit, how do you get it? Well - you might get lucky by having a tailor adjust an off-the-rack garment, but there’s typically only so much they can do, especially around the shoulders. If you find a brand that uses a model that’s just about your height and build, lucky you. For most people, that won’t be the case. Made-To-Measure or bespoke will always result in the best fit if your budget allows.