Proper Fit for a Man’s Suit
Some of us have been around long enough to experience fashion trends coming, and going. For awhile there, it was all about the ‘tight’. Then, attitudes shifting as they are apt to do, it was all about the ‘baggy’. While, in general, these have been populist fashion trends, they have, however, always had a bearing on business fashion attire. That is to say, how a man wears his suit has changed over time. Is this proper? Should men’s business fashion follow other popular fashion trends? While it is true that conventions in men’s suit wear have come and gone, there is one inviolable rule of business fashion that should definitely be obeyed; a man’s suit should fit. Simply that. A suit should be comfortable, and properly fit a man’s measurements. When a suit does fit correctly, a man should scarcely notice the feel of the suit on his frame. As it should fit your body precisely, your suit should move with you, rather than encumbering your movements. Too baggy, and you’re in serious danger of looking like a clown. Too tight, and simply moving about will become a restrictive struggle. Neither of these cases is very conducive comfort, and, as a consequence, your very bearing will reflect this. You won’t feel good, and you won’t look good. All around, a total bummer. Ladies might avoid you, and you could be in danger of eating by yourself at lunch.
Unfortunately, many men today do wear ill fitting suits. This is not entirely their fault, since most folks these days buy their clothes at department stores, rather than the neighborhood tailor of yore. And, let’s face it, your local, faceless, department store probably isn’t known for their expert tailoring. On the contrary, when you’re buying a suit off the rack, it has been cut to fit the most men possible in its given size. And, unfortunately, in this day and age, that means ‘big’. This isn’t really a good thing, or a bad thing; many fine suits can be procured from the mall. It simply is.
So, what does ‘proper’ fit mean? Remember, your suit should be comfortable, but not too loose; fitted, but not too tight. Well, let’s talk about pants first. In times past, the convention was for a man to wear his pants with them beginning from his natural waist; that is, just below the navel.
And, no, they didn’t just pull their pants up to their belly buttons; pants were simply built that way back in the day. The length of the legs is, of course, dependent on your height. But, the bottoms should just brush the tops of your shoes, while extending down just to the top of your soul in the back. This will create a slight crease, or ‘break, in the front just above your shoes. Cuffs, or course, are optional, though quite traditional if you’re interested in that. Also, shorter men (below 5’9”, or so) will look better with cuffs. However, you will definitely want the cuffs to be proportionate to your size (1.25” – 1.5”). Or, 1.75” – 2”, if you’re over six feet.
What of the jacket? Most importantly, if a jacket is to look good, it must fit properly in the chest and shoulders. When standing erect, with your arms hanging limply at your sides, your jacket’s lapels should be flat, and flush with the front panels. The buttons should be very close to, or rest lightly on you stomach; basically, so they’re not bursting at the seams, so to speak. Also, your biceps should barely break the drape of the sleeve as it extends from the shoulder. As tempting as it might be to show off how ‘pumped’ you are; don’t. Remember, a suit must be comfortable. You’ll know that your sleeves are long enough, if the cuffs of your shirt extend exactly ¼” – ½” beyond the boundaries of your jacket. Also, your shirt collar should extend ½” – 1” above your jacket’s lapels.
If it seems like there are a lot of rules to follow; you’re right. But, the good part is that, in general, you shouldn’t have to worry about them. That’s your tailor’s job. In short, go ahead and get that snappy suit you’ve had your eye on at the local mall. Get a cinnamon bun. Enjoy a blended orange drink. But, bear in mind that no matter what the tag says on the suit itself, if you really want to look good and have a suit that fits you properly as it should, you will need to go to a tailor. Let me say that again. You will need to go to a tailor. It might be an added pain and expense, but, if you’re serious about looking good, sacrifices will have to be made. So, man-up, and have the courage to look great, in a suit that fits correctly. I dare you.
Your Ties-Necktie.com Team