Suit Fit Guide

The first thing to remember when finding the right fit for you is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ rule. Men are different shapes and sizes and each have different preferences. But we can give you one or two tips.

Suit Jackets

Shoulders – A good suit should grip tightly across the shoulders, almost hugging you. This creates a tailored, streamlined look. But it should also leave room for a shirt, or potentially a sweater, depending on the jacket. When standing with your arms by your sides, the jacket should fall smoothly down your arms. If you see an indent just under the seam on the shoulder it is likely the jacket is too big for you.

Lapels – These should lie neatly against your chest without being tight or restrictive. You should be able to fit two fingers down the front of your jacket between your jacket and your chest. A bigger gap and it will look baggy and untailored. To check if the jacket is too tight, fasten the top button. If there is clear pulling forming an X-shape in the fabric then the jacket is too tight. Lapels are a subtle but can be a significant part of a suit jacket whether it be notched, peak or shawl. For a youthful look try a suit jacket with slim lapels.

Sleeves – Typically a jacket should show half an inch of cuff. This allows you to show off your Paul Costelloe cufflinks. The sleeve shouldn’t pull at the shirt or restrict your movement in any way. This indicates the jacket is too short.

Collar – There shouldn’t be any space between the shirt collar and the jacket collar. It should however sit about halfway up your shirt collar – allowing you to show some, but not all of your shirt collar.

Sides – For a truly tailored and modern look, the jacket should not go straight down. A little bit of taper should slim to the waist and then bell out slowly to the hips to form an hourglass shape.

Back – The easy way to test the size of the jacket is to tying your shoe lace in it. If it feels as if it is going to rip when you bend over to do this then it’s likely not big enough.

Length – The easy way to measure that a jacket is the correct length is the following rule; the back length measurement should be approximately equivalent to half the length from the bottom of the back of your shirt collar, down to the bottom of your foot.

Suit Trousers

Seat – The back of your trousers should fit nicely over the rear end without pulling to tight or sagging. Horizontal wrinkles probably means it is pulling and is too small a waist size, U-shaped sags on the back of your thighs mean the trousers are too baggy. It’s better to be too loose than too tight as a pair of trousers can always be taken in.

Trouser Break – The break is the small wrinkle caused when the top of your shoe stops your suit trouser from falling to its full length. It should lightly rest on the top of your shoe causing a small subtle crease. If it’s too obvious then your trousers are too long. If there is no crease then the trousers are too short.

Length – When stood, the trousers should sit nicely over your shoes without touching the floor. At the back there should be between 1.5” and 2” between the bottom of the trousers and the bottom of the shoes. When you sit down the trousers should rise to the top of the shoes. If they pull too much then they are too tight, however if you don’t feel them tug a little when you sit down, they are likely too long.


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