Everyone deserves a well-fitted suit for every day. No doubt, Even the expensive and shiny suit won’t look good if it is not tailored according to your body shape.
Because it is almost impossible to find a perfectly fitted suit right-off-the-rack, you almost always will need the help of a perfect tailor. To ensure the job is done right, check these 7 key points before handing over your credit card.
1. The Right Shoulder Fit
The right shoulder fit is the first thing you will look for when shopping for a suit, as this is something that can’t be changed by a tailor. The jacket should fit snug without restricting your movement. Our tip: have someone take a picture of your back while wearing the jacket. You will easily see folds that are caused by a jacket too big in size. Should the jacket be too snug in the shoulder area, then your arm movement will be restricted. To test this, stretch out your arms, move them to the front, and touch your hands.
2. Proper Sleeve Length
If your jacket is tailored right, then about 1/4 inch of your dress shirt sleeve should be showing when standing with arms hanging straight down. When shopping for a suit, keep in mind that you NEVER want to buy a jacket with sleeves too short as a tailor can not extend them. Sleeves that are too long on the other hand are no problem – something that any tailor can adjust for just a few bucks.
3. Proper Jacket Length
Because jacket length can not be altered, double check the proper fit before you commit to buying. Our tip: stand up, and with your arms hanging straight down, cuff your hands. The bottom of your jacket should just touch the lower part inside your fingers.
4. Proper Jacket Collar
Unless you have an unusual body type, such as a humongous set trapezoid muscles you earned from thousands of gym sessions, this should not cause much of an issue. Nevertheless, because collar fit can not be adjusted after you buy a jacket, you may want to double check.
5. Proper Jacket Closure
This should be directly correlated to #1 from above (proper shoulder fit), and for most “normal” build men, the jacket closure should be correct if the jacket fits right at the shoulders. Keep in mind however that shoulder fit is far more important since it can not be altered. Jacket closure on the other hand can be changed (made smaller only). Thus, find a jacket that fits near your shoulder and then has the tailor work on proper closure.
6. Correct Trouser Length
Most suits come with trousers that are purposely way too long and will require some alteration. Our tip: wear your dress shoes when shopping for a suit as this will make it much easier to find the right length. The right fit should give the trousers a single fold on top of your shoes, without covering any part of the sole. Because trouser length almost always needs to be altered, you will also have the option to choose between cuffs and no cuffs. More popular nowadays are no cuffs on trousers and would be recommended (especially on European fit suits). Cuffs look good on pleated pants and when worn with jackets featuring wider lapels.
7. The Seat
It is not all about inseam and pant length! Make sure your so-called “seat” is neither too tight (showing lines of your underwear), or too loose (making it look like you are wearing diapers). Our tip: if too tight, choose a pair of trousers a size up in inseam and then have the tailor adjust the waistband. One or two inches of inseam can also always be adjusted with your belt.