How to Size Your Suit: The Guide to a Proper Tailoring

Tailor tailor tailor!  Tailoring your suit is the most important part to getting your suit to look the way you want it.  Your suit size is of vital importance.  Be sure you have been measured for your suit size before you plan to purchase your next.  Try on a full size smaller after being measured.  See how it fits.  You may be surprised.

You can purchase a $5,000 suit off the rack and still look sloppy if it is not fitted correctly.  One of my favorite parts of the movie, Crazy Stupid Love, starring Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, is when Ryan’s character points out to Steve’s character that one of his major flaws is that he has been wearing a size 44 suit when he should be wearing a 42 Regular.  Most men are guilty of this trait.  They listen to whatever tailor measured them in probably 5 seconds and they take their word that it is the only suit size for them.  Don’t solely take the tailor’s opinion.  Try on their recommendation and then go with your gut.  One piece of advice: NEVER GO UP A SIZE FROM WHAT THE TAILOR RECCOMENDS.  If what he/she recommends doesn’t look right, it’s either because it needs to be tailored or because it’s too big.

When buying a suit, also remember this:  GO SLIM.  Don’t buy the big and bulky suits that you’ve seen your Dad and his boys parading around in.  We are in a different era where style and fashion are important!  As long as it will fit your body type, buy your suits slim.

Next, develop a comfort level with your tailor.  Don’t let them tell you what to do and what looks good.  You are in charge.  It’s your money, it’s your suit, and it’s your look.  Get it right.  You are in charge.  Just remember to be in charge responsibly.  Let’s walk through how your jacket, sleeves, shoulders, and pants should fit after a great tailoring.

Jacket:  Tailoring a jacket is just as important as the pants if not more.  You want to be sure that your jacket fits like a glove.  When you button your jacket, you should not be able to pull it off of your chest more than an inch or 2.  Do a test now… Go throw on your favorite suit jacket and see how far you can pull it past your chest.  If you have too much wiggle room, I recommend taking it into a tailor.  The tailor will take in seems from the back of the jacket to slim it up and to fit your torso better.  PS, shorter jackets are in.  Wear a shorter jacket.

Sleeves:  The sleeves of your jacket should be about a half inch above the sleeves of your button down shirt.  The “look” is to have your button down sleeves show a bit.  It is a plus if you happen to be wearing cuff links.  Be sure to pull the sleeves of the button down past the jacket so people can see your flashy cuff links.  The sleeves also need to be slim.  One of the first suits I purchased had sleeves that are so baggy.  The length of the sleeves is perfect but the bagginess ruins the look.  What I once thought looked good, now looks oversized and goofy.

Shoulders:  One quick test to determine whether your jacket fits appropriately or not is:  Put the jacket on and have someone press both of their hands against your shoulders on the side.  If when they do this, the jacket compresses, it is too big.  When someone presses against your shoulders, they should feel your shoulders right away with no wiggle room.

Pants:  HemingBreaks are out!  Avoid a break in your suit pants!  If you can’t, make it a minimal break.  When tailoring pants, the length is of vital importance.  When standing, the pants should go down just to your shoe.  Therefore, if you are wearing no socks, a little skin can show.  If you happen to be wearing a flashy pair of socks, they will show just enough to catch attention.

Tapering:  Slim it up!  Have your tailor take in your suit pants to the point wear there is no bag.  If you are new to this game, it may seem a bit uncomfortable.  Trust me. Go with this look.  So your junk may show a little more, so what?   Go with this new look and get those pants to look just right.

Get stylish by the way of J Norman and go see your local tailor today.

Or if you are within the Western New York Area, stop in at Tony Walker at 5110 Main Street, Buffalo, New York and let the magnificent Tailoring Team take care of you today!

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18 thoughts on “How to Size Your Suit: The Guide to a Proper Tailoring

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