In an age when many people buy their clothing off the rack, finding the right fit for a suit is sometimes hard to achieve. However, by keeping a few simple ideas in mind, it is possible to determine if a suit is in fact a good fit, and if it is worth purchasing. Here is what you need to keep in mind when fitting a suit for general wear or for a special occasion.
One of the basics of a good fit for a suit is that it must be comfortable. That means the jacket and pants do not inhibit easy movement at any point in time. The shoulders of the jacket must allow the wearer to reach upward without causing the material to strain against the seams. The pants should make it possible to sit and stand with equal ease, as well as allow the individual to bend at the waist without causing the pockets on the pants to bulge.
While comfort is important, a proper fit for a suit also dictates that the clothing not be too loose. The cut of the jacket should basically follow the width of the shoulders, with the seams that bind the sleeves to the body of the jacket resting comfortably along the point where the arms join to the shoulder sockets. The waist of the pants should rise to the natural waist, creating an uncomplicated look to the fit. The waist should be snug enough to remain in place without the need for a belt or suspenders, but loose enough to allow four fingers to be easily inserted between the body and the belt area of the pants.
The length of the sleeves and the pant legs is also crucial to the proper fit for a suit. Sleeves on any suit jacket should reach the top of the palm of the hand when the arm is resting by the side of the body. This is true even if wearing a long sleeved shirt with the jacket. Pants, with or without cuffs, should have the hem brushing the top of the shoe at both the front and the back when standing. The idea is to create a straight visual line that moves the eye from the line of the pants to the shoe without any type of puddling or bunching along the top of the shoe. At the same time, this length ensures that the socks are not viewable while standing; they only become visible when the individual is sitting.
A good rule of thumb for fitting a suit jacket is to make sure that the buttons on the jacket rest comfortably on the stomach. When the top button on the jacket is engaged, the lapels should not bulge away from the body or cause the tails of the jacket to ride up. If this is the case, the jacket is too tight and a larger size should be considered. Keep in mind that a proper fit for a suit demands that the jacket always present clean lines and not bind the wearer at any point along the body.