How Should a Suit Fit?
When we describe a suit, we usually focus on the fabric, colour or pattern. But, actually, there’s one thing that makes all the difference between lifeless tailoring and sartorial triumph: the fit. A well-fitted suit follows the natural shape of your body, without stretching or wrinkling, and allows for reasonable movement.
Before you try on a new suit, bear three things in mind: First of all, check the fit that the suit was designed for, e.g. Aristocracy London men’s suits are designed for a tailored slim fit, which means they’re more snug than a classic tailored suit but not as tight as a skinny one. Secondly, suits are structured so, although you should feel comfortable, your movements may feel more restricted. Finally, even ready-to-wear suits will require some alterations for a perfect fit.
And now, stand upright in a relaxed posture and use our list to check the fit of your new suit.
The ultimate suit fitting checklist
Always try the jacket on with a shirt, not over a jumper or t-shirt. In fact, if it’s a 3 piece suit, make sure you wear the waistcoat as well. The collar of your jacket should sit neatly over your waistcoat and shirt and they should all hug your neck without gaps.
The seam of your jacket’s shoulder should be at the end of your shoulder, right where it meets the arm. Any bulges or wrinkles in this area are very easy to notice and immediately draw attention to the suit’s bad fit.
In the past, armholes were bigger leaving a huge gap between the sleeve and the armpit that distorted the actual proportions of the body. Nowadays armholes are smaller and more elegant but you need to make sure they don’t cut into your armpits.
4. Sleeve length
There’s a very simple test to make sure the sleeves’ length is right: When you sit upright with your arms relaxed by your side, you should see about half an inch of the shirt’s cuffs.
The bottom button of your jacket should always be left undone. With the rest buttoned up, the jacket should hug your waist and your fist should slide behind the top button. If it feels tight and you see an ugly X-shaped wrinkle there, the jacket’s small. As for the waistcoat, there’s usually a buckle for minor adjustments.
6. Waistcoat and jacket length
The waistcoat should cover your waist and stomach and the shirt shouldn’t be visible there. As for the jacket, with your arms resting at your side, the hem should be in line with your knuckles or, else, you should be able to cup it with your palms.
First look at the waist. Suit trousers should sit at your natural waist, so higher than your jeans, without needing a belt to keep them up. Then examine the seat (yes, your bottom): you shouldn’t see excess fabric there but, equally, you shouldn’t feel like they’re going to rip if you sit down. Continue along the length of your leg making sure the trousers drape comfortably over the hip with perhaps only a pinch of excess fabric and then taper towards the ankles. If the trousers don’t taper naturally, don’t worry because that’s an easy alteration to make.
If you found some of the terms in this blog baffling, check our blogs on the Anatomy of 3 Piece Suits. Otherwise, we hope you now feel more confident in deciding whether a suit is the right fit for you and don’t forget to tag us in your new Aristocracy London suit.