A perfectly-fitting and appropriate suit is a guarantee of a refined look and comfort. Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind.
Three approaches to suits
Only a skilled tailor can make a suit that will simultaneously look great, feel comfortable, and express the personality of the owner. There are three ways of making suits, depending on the level of customization. Ready-to-Wear (RTW) suits, also called “off-the-rack”, are designed in compliance with universally adopted sizing guidelines. This type of suit looks best on men with a regular, typical body shape. Bespoke suits are made from scratch to perfectly fit only one person — their owner. Made-to-Measure (MTM) suits combine the two approaches — they are based on ready-made elements, altered to fit the owner.
Details to watch out for
- When buying a suit (especially a RTW one), check the following elements.
- Waistline — the jacket must fit your waistline, as this determines the look of the whole upper part of the suit. If it is too wide, the fabric will crease and make your whole body look disproportionate. If it is too small, you will not be able to button the jacket up.
- Shoulders and armpits — good fit in this area determines the look your chest and head. If the jacket is too small, it will restrict your movement — so if your lifestyle requires you to move around a lot, you will be constantly uncomfortable.
- Neck and back — the collar should lie flat on your neck, and the fabric below the collar in the back should not wrinkle. A snug fit to your shirt and skin improves the look of your entire posture. If the suit is not fitted to your measurements, it may cause excessive wear of the fabric when you sit down, thus shortening the life of your suit.
- Sleeves and cuffs — if the sleeve is too narrow, your movements are restricted. On the other hand, if the sleeves are too long or the cuffs too wide, they will stain and fray easily.
- Waist size and legs — your trousers should fit your waist, while still allowing you to both stand and sit comfortably. Trouser legs should not cover your shoes entirely (which is why you must wear shoes when trying a suit on!), but they cannot be too short either, so as not to go too high up when you sit down.
A well-fitting suit compliments a man’s body shape and makes him look slimmer and more refined. At the same time, it must be comfortable and allow for free movement. If any of those requirements are not met when you try on a suit, consider a different model or consult with a tailor who can alter the suit as needed.