If you’re on a budget, one advice is to buy off-the-rack suits in the best fit you can get, and then take them to your tailor for custom adjustments.
But if you’re really going to get any benefit out of having your suits adjusted, you need to know a little bit about tailors and the kinds of adjustments they can (and can’t) make.
You also need to know what a “good” fit actually looks like. Tailors vary in skill and in how they communicate the work they’re doing, so getting a suit adjusted is only going to deliver a good return if you can make your exact needs clear.
Below, we give you an easy-to-follow rundown on how your suit should fit.
1. THE SHOULDER
Shoulder pads end with your shoulders. 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.
2. JACKET CLOSURE/LAPEL
Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button. 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 top button of a two-button suit — or the middle button of a three-button suit — should not fall below your navel. The button should close without strain, and there should be no wrinkles radiating out from the closure.
3. SLEEVE LENGTH
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. Ensure 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.
Similarly, the jacket sleeve should never hide the shirt sleeve entirely. At least a small band of shirt cuff should always be visible.
4. JACKET LENGTH
A good suit or sports jacket should fall past the waist and drape over the top of the curve formed by the buttocks. An ideal fit will cover a man down to the point where his butt starts to curve back inward, and stop there (but anywhere in that general region is okay). The fists are also a good marker here, and this is why it’s important to have your arms relaxed in your natural stance. The hem of the jacket should hit right around your fist.
5.. TROUSER BREAK
The “break” is the small wrinkle caused when the top of your shoe stops your trouser cuff from falling to its full length. At least an inch break wouldn’t be bad. The cuffs of the trouser should rest above the heel of your shoes. Ensure that the break isn’t too long cause there still needs to be a contact. While noting that, also make sure that the trouser isn’t too short so people don’t assume you’re wearing your kid brother’s trouser. Its either there’s no break or there’s just half break.