Let’s start with the basics.
As I was discussing with a couple of friends the other day, the importance of fashion and style has become of great significance for today’s modern man. It’s been around in Europe for quite sometime but it’s finally resonating here in Canada. There are some obvious tweaks that need to be made here and there, but a huge step nonetheless. Gentlemen, this article is going to discuss the basics of buying a suit, and the basics start with THE RIGHT FIT.
How often do you question yourself when you’re out buying a suit or trying on a jacket? Usually men always go a size bigger because “it fits better”. It doesn’t really “fit” better, it just looks like you borrowed it.
TEST ONE: When you’re trying on a blazer, button up the top button and see if the fabric pulls. If the fabric pulls and creates that crater looking crease then you have to move a size up.
TEST TWO: How much room do you have between your dress-shirt and your jacket? You should be able to only slip your flat palm through, not your fist. REMEMBER: With your arms naturally rested to your side, the jacket cuffs should end 0.5 – 1 inch over your wrist. Check out a great example from the FW16 Collection by Hicky Freeman below.
As shown in the picture above, your shoulder divots should not surpass your natural shoulder. We know if you move up a size, it creates a problem for the shoulders. It seems like there is no winning with this, eh? If this is the case, you might want to change the style of suit you’re trying on; there are many other options such as Traditional Fits versus Slim Fits.
Come to think of it, it’s astonishing that we don’t really question if our denim pants or dress pants fit well. Let’s be honest here, if it fits around the waist and we can walk, we’re like “Yeah I’ll take ‘em, thanks”. But to achieve that stylish look, we have to consider so many other factors. If you’re going to spend the money, you might as well make sure you’re buying the perfect fit. It also falls onto your personal preference of what style pants; to name a few, you can go traditional, slim-fitted or straight-leg.
WAIST: Your pants should sit well and comfortably around your waist with very little tightening needed by a belt. The one thing you want to avoid is the clumps of material you get by tightening up the waist with your belt. It doesn’t look presentable and is overall messy.
LENGTH: The one thing you want to avoid at the bottom of your pants is the clumps of fabric that you get on top of your shoes. You want to have the hem of your pants sitting on top of your shoes.
TEST ONE: Standing up without your shoes, the hem of your pants should be right underneath your ankle – that’s a good measurement to have with your pants.
Here is a good example from the FW16 by Suitsupply – Notice the perfect length of the pants on the gentleman on the right. With his shoes on, the hem of the pants sit right over his ankle and on top of his shoe. This length avoids any clumps of fabric that you would get otherwise.
Let’s start with dress-shirts shall we? When it comes to the collar, you want to make sure you have a nice snug fit around your neck where you can easily button the top button. Ask the sales associate to measure your neck so you can try the right sized dress-shirt on. Avoid loose fitted dress-shirts because all the material crumples up in the front and around the waist. Once again, it looks untidy.
Onto T-Shirts, this is easy. Usually the problem lies in if the shirt is too small. If you can do the “Y-M-C-A” dance without your shirt looking like a crop-top, then you’re pretty much alright. With your arms up, I would say up to an inch of your stomach showing is okay.
One final suggestion gentlemen, there is nothing better than a custom tailored fit. If your budget allows for this, then always get it made it to fit you perfectly.