What to look for in the fit.
We are after perfection.
Outside of "custom suiting" perfection can be difficult.
However, if your suit meets most of the defining characteristics of good fit you can be confident you are wearing a well tailored suit.
Mr. McKay, an Oklahoman like us, did a great job outlining fit in his blog "The Art of Manliness".
Follow along with The Art of Manliness below and reach out to us if you think you have fit issues. Also, give The Art of Manliness a follow. Your facial hair will grow one inch as soon as you do.
When you try on a suit, you’re looking for a good fit in what’s called your “natural stance.”
That means standing up straight, preferably in the kind of dress shoes you’ll be wearing with your suits, with your arms relaxed at your side.
It’s not actually a very natural posture for a lot of us, but it is the base from which most of our movement flows. If the suit doesn’t fit well in this stance, it’s not going to move comfortably with your body either.
Look for a good fit in the following areas when you’re in your natural stance:
A well-fitted shoulder lies flat. The seam on top of the shoulder should be the same length as the bone under it, and should meet the sleeve of the suit right where your arm meets your shoulder.
If the seam that connects the sleeve to the jacket is hiked up along your shoulder bone, or dangling down on your upper bicep, the jacket is never going to sit properly. In these instances, you’ll see “ripple effects” that create lumps or wrinkles on the sleeve and the top of the jacket.
The back of your trousers should be a smooth drape over the shape of your rear end — whatever that happens to be.
A good fit in the seat will lie loosely against your underwear, without pulling tight against your butt or draping loosely down your thighs.
You can spot a bad fit in the seat when there are horizontal wrinkles just under the buttocks (caused by too tight of a fit), or by loose, U-shaped sags on the backs of the thighs (caused by too loose of a fit).
The “break” is the small wrinkle caused when the top of your shoe stops your trouser cuff from falling to its full length.
This should be a small, subtle feature. One horizontal dimple or crease is usually ideal. The cuff should indeed rest on the top of your shoe — there needs to be contact — but it shouldn’t do much more than that. The trouser can fall a touch longer in the back than in front, so long as it’s still above the heel of the shoe (the actual heel, not just the back of the shoe).
This is one of the easiest adjustments to make, so you can rely on making some changes here if you need to. In fact, dress pants are often sold unhemmed, with the assumption that the purchaser will take the trousers to a tailor (or make use of the store’s tailor if there is one) to have the cuffs fitted.
When you are wearing a suit and standing, you should have the jacket buttoned.
This means that part of the trying-on process is checking how the front of the jacket closes over your body.
Close a single-breasted jacket with only one button when you’re testing the fit, even if it’s a three-button jacket. You’re looking to see if the two sides meet neatly without the lapels hanging forward off your body (too loose) or the lower edges of the jacket flaring out like a skirt (too tight).
The button should close without strain, and there should be no wrinkles radiating out from the closure. A little bit of an opening at the bottom of the suit is fine, but the two halves beneath the button shouldn’t pull apart so far that you can see a large triangle of shirt above your trousers. (Ideally, you shouldn’t see any, though a bit is socially acceptable, especially when you move.)
“A half-inch of linen” is a good, old-fashioned guideline for the relationship between a suit jacket and the shirt worn under it — about half an inch of the shirt cuff should be visible beyond the jacket cuff.
That said, it’s a general guideline, and you don’t need to get too obsessive. What you do need to be sure of is that the suit sleeve doesn’t rise above the cuff entirely — the seam where the shirt cuff joins the shirt sleeve should never be visible.
The Weddings by EVERYMAN Team is Standing by to respond to any of your fit issues or questions.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org