The way a suit jacket should fit is a bit more subtle than you might think. A good fit exists when the armhole is just wide enough to avoid any bunching of fabric when the arms are raised, and the shoulders don’t pull back too much, leaving you looking like you’re wearing an ill-fitting peacoat.
There are two ways to look at the armholes on a suit jacket. You can look at them as if they were sleeves (like sleeves on a shirt-jacket) or you can look at them as if they were shoulder seams (like shoulder seams on a coat). If you look at them as if they were sleeves, your jacket will fit perfectly if your arms fall naturally into the armholes. And if your jacket fits perfectly, then it will have too much fabric around your armpits and not enough in front to cover your chest.
But if you’re used to shirts that have too much in front and not enough in back, you’ll be surprised by how much less fabric is needed for a suit to fit properly; usually about half as much.
A suit jacket should fit snug and comfortable, like a second skin
A suit jacket should fit like a glove. If it fits too tight, the chance of success is diminished. If it fits too loose, the chance of embarrassment is increased. A well-fitting jacket will be snug but not tight, with a bit of give in the shoulders and arms. The sleeves should end at the wrist, with no extra material for cuffs.
But what about pants? Most pants are cut to fit around your waist, making them baggy in the hip and thigh regions. This is fine for most people, but it doesn’t work for skinny guys who want to look their best. Men’s pants should fit loosely around the waist and taper up from the middle to the bottom, where they should be snug enough to sit well without sagging or bunching up when you walk.
If you’re not sure what you should buy and how much of each piece you need, send me an email and I’ll try my best to help you out!
It is a little-known, but important fact that the suit jacket should fit slightly tight. The goal, after all, is to create tension in the fabric when it is taken off, so that it can be easily removed and hung on a coat rack.
This tension helps keep the jacket from sagging. But it also makes the jacket much more comfortable. So if you buy a jacket from a department store and find that it fits a little loosely, don’t worry; you’re lucky!
If your suit jacket is too loose, then the shoulders will slip down into your armpits as you walk or sit. In some cases this can be fixed with a tailor’s snip here and there; in others (like those with broad shoulders) it may be necessary to buy a larger size.
A suit jacket should fit very snugly at the hips. If it doesn’t, you’ll look like a penguin with a briefcase. The jacket should then curve up to the shoulders, then curve down to the waist.
Harold “Wimpy” Wimperis is a professional golfer with a very specific body type. He’s 6’1″ and weighs only 160 pounds. And there aren’t many people like him.
To get the right fit, he wears a suit at least two days a week, and sometimes even more. “I have to dress up for work,” he says. “I’m representing the company in front of customers and clients.”
Those who can afford to, are going to send their clothes to the cleaners more often than not. However, there are other ways to ensure that your clothes look good on you. There are several ways that costs money but will help your clothes last longer. One is to dry clean them less often than you would normally do so that they won’t absorb as much water from washing. Another way is to wash them in cold water instead of hot or warm water; cold water is better for laundry because it doesn’t break down fabrics as easily as hot or warm water does.
Wearing a suit is like wearing a fur coat. It’s something you do to make yourself look good, but it’s not for attracting women. That’s just for the rest of the world. You’re not really excited about wearing a suit, but you feel like you ought to because you see other guys doing it every day.
The good news is that there are a lot of ways to wear a suit without looking like a suit. You don’t need to look like a businessman or an architect or an executive. You can wear your own clothes and still act like one of the guys. The bad news is that there are also a lot of ways to make yourself look like you’re wearing your own clothes and still acting like one of the guys.