We’ve all worn an ill-fitting suit at one time or another. Whether it was from packing on a few extra pounds in the cold months or the fact that your uncle gave you his old suit for your first interview, it probably wasn’t pretty. We have a few tips to share in case you are wondering how your suit should be fitting that fine physique of yours.
The Coat: A coat can quickly be noticed as too small if you refuse to button it when you stand up or too large if you suddenly show up at work looking like a linebacker.
Shoulder: The top shoulder seam that connects the sleeve to the yoke should rest on the ball-top of your shoulder. If it hangs over more than 1/4 inch it appears much too large. Alterations to the shoulder of a coat can get pricey so it may be wise to invest in a custom suit if you have narrow or broad shoulders.
Armhole: Ever worn a suit that created the “bat-wing” effect when you reached your arms out to the side? Ugh. It’s the worst. Choose a suit with a high or raised armhole to avoid this weird suit phenomenon.
Chest: Usually knowing if your coat fits in the chest isn’t a problem but the shirt beneath is worth a mention. If your shirt is ill-fitting or bulky in any way, it can create an odd problem at the chest line. Jump back to our post on trimming your shirt fat if you haven’t already read this one.
Waist: The coat should taper in at the waistline and be the thinnest just between the lower ribs and the naval line.
Cuff: The sleeve length should allow 1/2 inch of the shirt sleeve cuff to show. The coat cuff should end just at the edge of the protruding wrist bone on the outer edge of your wrist.
Coat Tail: Your seat should be completely covered by your tail length in the back and no longer than the zipper length in front.
The Pant: Wearing a pair of dress slacks that are too blousy can make you appear larger than you are. A pair that is tight in the crotch can create not only discomfort in your work day but can be quite embarrassing.
Rise: You want a rise that is comfortable both sitting and standing. If you are buying an off the rack suit, make sure to try on the pants in both positions. Tip: Try crossing your legs as well.
Seat: If there is ANY question in your mind if the seat is too tight, it is. Don’t be the tight pants guy.
Cuff “Break”: Although there is a current trend of a shorter pant length, if you are investing in a suit for years to come, go for a medium break. It should create a soft ripple on the shoe top and go halfway down the back of the shoe.
There is nothing better than a great fitting suit!
Dress Well! Be Well!
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