It’s general knowledge that a good suit speaks volumes. The perfect fitting suit will give you instant appeal, it’ll make you feel sophisticated and you will be taken more seriously; this isn’t a false promise, it’s a guarantee. Nowadays suits are becoming less standard in our everyday lives, which can make it feel a bit daunting when buying one. So, does the big question ‘how should a suit fit?’ arise? We’ve got you covered. We at OppoSuits know a thing or two about suits, and our fashion designer Thom got some tips lined up to make your next suit purchase a bit easier.
Know your body
Before going out or ordering any article of clothing, it’s quite important to know and understand your body type. This may seem elementary, but it’s still overlooked by a lot of people. With the help of a measuring tape and a trusted friend, it might be wise to measure your shoulders, chest, waist hips and height. This is especially handy when ordering a suit online because it can prevent you from ordering a suit that is too big or too small. Most online stores will have an online size guide on their website that you can compare to your own measurements.
When shopping at a fancy store that carries suits, a sales representative will be able to tell you how a suit should fit. Since it’s their job to sell suits, you might want to consider trusting their judgement. A parent or a friend with a good eye for fashion might also be of great help but let’s say you’re on your own; here are a few ways to assess a suit.
Prepare for shopping
A great way to have a head start is to find a few pictures online or in a magazine of various suits that you think look good and suit your style. That way you’ll have a clear vision of what you like before navigating a crowded environment with seemingly endless options. When out shopping for a suit, it might also make it easier if you’re already wearing a button-down shirt and dress shoes. That way you’ll be able to assess the suit as you would wear it. If you don’t have them with you, don’t worry. Most stores that sell suits will also have dress shirts and shoes available.
Once you’ve found a suit that you like, you’re ready to try it on. One of my tips is to assess the trousers before adding the jacket. If the trousers are all wrong, you might want to try on another pair before donning the entire suit.
How should the trousers fit?
With the perfect fitting pair of trousers, you’ll definitely have a leg up on the competition (get it?). While styles may change throughout the years the golden rule is that suit trousers should never be too tight or too baggy. Even though this sounds obvious you will be able to tell that when your trousers are too tight, the fabric may gather at the seams or the crotch area which will most definitely draw the attention away from your charming personality. Wearing pants that are too tight can also result in you ripping out of you pants which can be particularly mortifying when at a party, showing off your dance moves. (This may or may not have happened to someone at last year’s OppoSuits Christmas party.)
The perfect pair of trousers should have the waistband above the hips. The fabric should be resting on the hips and then falling down in a straight line. Ideally, the bottom seam of the pant leg should rest about an inch under your ankle with the front resting on the top of your shoe. If the pant leg is too long or wide don’t worry. An experienced tailor will be able to alter that quickly for a small fee. Another tip is to squat or sit down when trying on the trousers to see if the waistband isn’t too tight. Once you’ve found a well-fitting pair, it’s time to add the jacket.
How should the suit jacket fit?
The jacket might be a bit easier because you’ll feel uncomfortable immediately if the fit is too tight. The fabric will pull in the front near the button area, the shoulders will feel too tight and you might not be able to use your arms easily. The perfect suit jacket should feel like it’s tailored for you upper body. The fabric should rest on your shoulders and, like with the trousers, fall down in a straight line. Your shirt cuff should be peeking under your sleeve and the front should fall neatly over your stomach. Don’t forget to check the back to see it it’s not too tight.
Pro tip: never close the bottom button of your jacket; this is a tradition that dates back to king Edward VII and is quite a funny story but let’s not get side tracked .
Add some final touches
Even though the classic suit is quite conservative, there are many ways to have some fun with it (which is basically our brand philosophy). Ties and bow ties are a no-brainer but other ways you can jazz up your jacket game is by adding a lapel pin or a nice pocket square.
A shirt with a print or a micro structure can also be a crowd-pleaser and some shirts allow you to use cufflinks which come in various shapes and sizes. (e.g. Lego blocks, dice, sports cars, small boats.) Another way to show some style is by adding a watch. (Just keep in mind that you don’t wear a watch with a tuxedo or dress suit)
For the bottom half of your outfit a nice belt or suspenders with a nice pair of socks will suffice. In a smart casual setting you might even want to try on some bold, printed socks. Pro tip: don’t wear a belt and suspenders at the same time.Trust us, it’s silly and unnecessary.
In the end a perfect fitting suit will do the work for you because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. If you’re still unsure about whether or not the suit suits you, don’t be afraid to consult a shop employee or a friend. If you’re going for the sleek and chic ‘dressed to kill’ look: your local tailor is without a doubt your best friend. For a fair price, your store-bought suit will look tailor made!
“Dressing for the body you have and not for the body you want” isn’t something we support here at OppoSuits because we believe that everybody should wear whatever they feel like, however when you look good, it’s easier to feel good and isn’t that what we all want?
So, are you ready to look like a million bucks? Shop a suit right away!