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How a Suit Should Fit: Getting the Most Out of Your Suit

Style Guide

How a Suit Should Fit: Getting the Most Out of Your Suit

Hemant Varshney

How should a suit fit? Is there any correct answer to this question? After all, there are so many variables that might come into play. A person’s height and weight would definitely be a consideration. Current fashion trends might be a concern. But whether you’re going for George Clooney’s understated elegance, Don Johnson’s pastel pleats, Bruno Mars’ urban chic or Hilary Clinton’s coiffed confidence, there are a few general rules you should adhere by in making for a great looking suit.

Great customization will not only make the suit look terrific, it will make the person wearing it look terrific.  Premier custom clothier, Astor Vance can help you achieve the style you are going for. But before you got started on personalizing your professional look, there are some essential elements to keep in mind. The shoulder padding in a suit should not extend beyond your shoulder. Check for gaps in the shirt and jacket collar. The suit should fit comfortably so that the jacket doesn’t squeeze. Sleeves should end at the wrist bone and pants should just skim the tops of your shoes.

For a better understanding, let’s look at each part of the suit individually.

The Shoulder: A fitted shoulder is key to a great looking suit. A shoulder that is too  big will cause the fabric to bunch. If it is too small, the fabric will strain.

The seam on the shoulder of the suit should be the same length as the bone under it. It should meet the sleeve right where your arm meets your shoulder. Getting the right fit in the shoulder of the suit is crucial as this will be one of the hardest things to alter once the rest of the suit is constructed.

The Seat: A good fit in the pants of your suit will show the seat to drape smoothly over the rear end.   The fabric should lie loosely against the underwear. If there is an excess of material, it will cause U shaped bags in the thigh area. If the seat is too small, it will strain and crease.

The Collar: The collar can be another area that can make or break the overall appearance of the suit. A well-fitting suit collar should rest against the shirt collar, which should, in turn, rest against the back of the neck. These should all touch lightly without gapping.  

A poor fit in the collar can be the result of a too small neck size, but can also be caused by a back panel that is too small or a shoulder area that is not properly sized. Turn side to side to check if the collar fits as it should. A collar that is too tight will bunch and fold. A collar that is too loose should be immediately apparent, as there will be a gap in the area behind the neck.

The Midsection: The midsection is another crucial area in the fit of the suit. You are looking for a nice, easy fit in the torso. This means there should be no signs of strain across this area.

A too tight suit will cause the lower edges of the jacket to flare out. Although a bit of an opening in this area is okay, make sure it is not too obvious. The lower edges shouldn’t pull apart to the extent where a large part of the shirt is visible above the waistline of the pants.

Sleeve Length: The sleeve is another area of the suit that must be just right, not too big or too small. To check if sleeve length is where it should be, hang your arms naturally by your sides. The jacket cuff should rest on your palm and one half to one quarter inch of your shirt cuff should be exposed.

Pants Length: While a baggy fit around the ankles was once a trend, now it’s all about a neater look with smoother lines. Avoid baggy puddles around the trouser break. The cuff should rest on the shoe so that there is contact but not excess. In the back, trousers can fall onto the shoe, as long as they are still above the heel.

Skirt Length: For women, a choice between a pants suit and a skirt suit can be a major decision. Though the skirt suit has been a more traditional choice for women, modern times have made a pants suit perfectly acceptable. In any case, if you do opt for a skirt, a pencil skirt will work best with the line of the suit. Although the length of the skirt may be up for debate, it seems that you are best off opting for a hem just above the knee.

A great looking suit can make or break you and it all starts with attention to detail and a flawless construction. Make sure to check for these key essentials of fit the next time you are working with an Astor Vance specialist on customizing your professional look.   Armed with this knowledge, you’ll have an edge on mastering a classic style and the advantage of making a sharp first impression every time.