It’s almost a guarantee that when we’re doing men’s styling and shopping for a suit, our client asks to look as good as James Bond. It’s probably because no one is quite as suave as 007 and also because nothing quite transforms a mere man into a super hunk faster than the right suit. The most important thing in making it the right suit? Fit.
Fitting a suit is extremely important, both for style and comfort. Ill fitting suits look bad, make the man look sloppy and, depending on the nature of the bad fit, make it hard to move. As you or the man in your life gets ready to channel his inner Bond for holiday parties and gatherings, here are some guidelines to looking sharp:
Fit starts with the shoulders, which really help to define a man’s figure. A shoulder seam should sit right on your shoulder bone, with no rippling. A shoulder seam below your shoulder means a jacket is too large. And, if you can’t comfortably move your arm, the jacket is too small.
The right fit in the jacket creates a flattering silhouette, making your shoulders broad and waist narrow. The wrong fit adds weight or makes you look frumpy. You want a suit jacket to comfortably on the shoulders, fit through the waist and have arms that are trim, but not suffocating. A good test is to make sure you can comfortably move in the jacket while wearing a light sweater underneath. Make sure the jacket buttons, if you never wear it buttoned. If the jacket makes a “X” when button it is too small. If you have no shape in it, it’s too big.
The jacket sleeve should rest at your wrist, where you wear your watch (tip: wear your watch when you fit your suit to make sure it hangs nicely). Your dress shirt underneath should be able to “peek” out at the bottom. A sleeve that goes to your thumb is too long.
The collar should rest where your neck and shoulders meet (feel for a “bump” to find that spot) . No gaping or bunching.
The seat should fit like a straight- leg jean, assuming you are fitting your jeans properly! Not so tight that the definition of your rear can be seen, yet not so loose it looks like you’re wearing a diaper.
The Trouser Break
In general, pants should rest comfortably below the ankle bone, but not touch the ground. Almost every suit needs this alteration, especially because fine suits come unfinished. The break of a trouser describes the fold or bend above the cuff of the leg and you can choose to have a full-, half-, quarter- or no-break based on personal preference.
Fit images: Real Men Real Style