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How a suit should fit

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

We have discussed in great detail the aesthetic that your ideal bespoke suit should take on.  We know that shirt sleeve cuffs should be exposed by a quarter to a half inch, that lapel width should match the width of your tie and that your suit should fit well against your shoulders and accordingly work its way down. 

But how exactly should the suit fit?  How should it feel, and what are the nuances we should be looking for and trying on a bespoke suit after our first or final fitting?

And if there is no bespoke suit, what can we look for to ensure that we are getting the best off the rack suit possible for our unique frame?  Below are areas to look for in closer detail so that we can ensure that the quality of our next purchase matches, or even better, far exceeds our expectations!

Before diving into the text content of this article, I would like to present a fantastic infographic below presented by excellent men’s lifestyle blog, Primer (www.primermagazine.com).  This infographic covers a lot of the key content that we are covering in this article, but I would suggest that you read through the article to cover the nuances of suit fit and wearing!

How a Suit Should Fit

Torso

  • The Jacket should fit smoothly across your shoulder line and should not be bumpy.
  • There should be sufficient material over the shoulder blade to allow for fabric to extend from under the armhole, thereby providing flexibility.
  • If your shoulders lean naturally forward or backwards, your suit jacket should account for this to ensure that they are not seen to be pushing back or against the jacket.
  • The jacket should flatter the natural curvature of your torso by curving in towards your lower back.
  • If there are horizontal creases across the back of your jacket, this would indicate that the jacket is too tight.
  • If there are vertical creases around the back of your jacket, this would indicate that the jacket is too lose.
  • Diagonal creases stretching across the back of your jacket also indicate that the suit jacket is too tight. Additionally, an exposed bottom button is a clear indication that your suit jacket needs to be let out, as it should be partially covered if the fit is appropriate. 
  • The jacket lapels should sit closely towards your chest and not be gaping open.
  • Part of assessing how the suit jacket fits is the trying on process checking how the front of your jacket closes over your body. One should close just a single button (even if there are three) on a single breasted jacket and see how the jacket closes.  Ideally, you want to see if the two sides meet cleanly, without lapels hanging over your body (too loose), or with the jacket flaring out (too tight).
  • The jacket button should close without much hassle, and there should be no discernable wrinkles on display once the jacket has been suited up.

Jacket Length

  • Where a suit jacket’s length stands in relation to your palm when your arms are fully extended by your sides is a good indicator of appropriate jacket length. The hem (bottom) of the jacket should sit approximately around the middle of your palm, at or just past where the fingers meet the palm. 
  • A well made suit jacket should fall past the waist and drape over the top of the curve formed by one’s rearside. An ideal fit would end at the point where the man’s rear side starts to curve back inwards. 

Collar

  • The Jacket Collar must lay flat against the shirt collar, which in turn should sit well against your neck.
  • If there are creases in the shirt collar, it is an indication that the shirt collar should be lowered.
  • Your jacket collar should expose approximately half an inch of shirt collar – this can be corrected by having the collar lowered or raised in order to expose more or less of the collar.

 Sleeves

  • Your jacket sleeves should hang straight with no horizontal wrinkles appearing on the upper arm; if they show creases then they are not aligned with the wearers arm.
  • As mentioned in previous articles, your sleeve length should be long enough where it reaches the bottom of your palm, but at the same time exposes approximately ¼ to ½ inch of shirt cuff.

 Vents

  • Vents should hang in a straight line perpendicular to the floor. If your vent is slanting to the right, it is an indication that the jacket is too tight.

 Pockets

  • Pockets should lie flat and smooth against the body of the jacket.

 Trousers

  • Dress Trousers are constructed to sit at the waist, which can range anywhere from your natural waist line to just around your navel.
  • One should ensure that their trousers have sufficient room when standing up, sitting down and when cross legged.
  • If horizontal creases persist in your pants, this is an indication that your pants are too tight!

 Trouser Length

  • Pant length should, by modern standards, avoid the break as much as possible. A break in the pants (crunching up at the front of the shoe) breaks up the wearer’s vertical line and detracts from slandering down ones physique.  It also naturally deviates from the wearer’s silhouette, which of course, we all want to be as slim and flattering as possible! 
  • Uncuffed pants should ideally be hemmed at a slant so that they are longer at the back than the front, thereby providing a neat appearance at the front, while simultaneously maximizing the weight of the trouser so that it does not move around needlessly when walking.
  • For shorter and heavier men particularly, one should opt for a shorter trouser length as it will serve to elongate the wearer’s vertical lines, thus helping to streamline their perceived physique.

Feel free to check out our Ties, Pocket Squares & Lapel Flowers, the perfect complements to accessorize your well fitted suit, here at The Dark Knot!

If you want to ensure that your next visit to the tailor nets you the finest customized suit, you should check out our E-Book: How To Create The Perfect Bespoke Suit!

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