Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this “shiok” Sunday, I’ll be giving my opinion on how a suit should fit.
I often get emails and social media messages from readers, asking me for my opinions on the fit of their suits – sending me pictures of their baste fitting, actual suit, and the like. In this article, I will highlight 7 areas that you should look out for (when at the tailor’s) to determine if the suit fits you right. Let’s get started!
How a suit should fit – Video
If you would like to see some video footage on how a suit should fit, do check out my Youtube video below!
The most important aspect of how a suit should fit would definitely be the shoulders.
Good fitting shoulders should lie neatly, without any visible wrinkling or bunching, giving the wearer a broad-shouldered look. The shoulders of the suit should also roughly end at your natural shoulder bones. It is paramount that the shoulders fit – it is near impossible to alter the shoulders once the suit is completed.
2) Sleeve Pitch
The second thing I look at is the sleeve pitch.
The sleeve pitch refers to the angle that the sleeve is attached to the suit based on a person’s neutral arm position and natural posture. As one’s posture and arm position cannot be measured by a measuring tape, the sleeve pitch is one of the hardest aspects of the fit to nail. The famous Thomas Mason of Saville Row once said: “Even after all the diligence of checking again and again, things can go wrong, and pitch is often where disaster strikes.” The sleeve pitch is nailed when the jacket sleeve drapes cleanly, without wrinkles and bunching of fabric when the wearer’s arm is in its natural position.
3) Sleeve Length
One of the first areas I look at to determine if a suit is tailored or off-the-rack is the sleeve length.
The sleeve length of the suit should be short enough to expose about a quarter to half an inch of shirt cuff. If you aren’t showing some shirt cuff when you’re in a suit, you should get the sleeves of the suit altered – luckily, it’s a relatively easy fix.
4) Jacket Closure
If the button of your suit looks like it’s hanging on for dear life, your suit clearly doesn’t fit right.
The button of your suit should close without too much strain, and there shouldn’t be wrinkles radiating outwards, causing what is known as the “the dreaded X“. However, you still want to make sure that the suit doesn’t feel too loose and roomy on you – you don’t want to look like a bean sack. Navigating this nuance of tightness can be difficult at first, but as you become more experienced in the sartorial world you will know when a suit jacket is of the right snugness – it will simply feel right.
One of the hardest aspects to get right, a suit with a clean drape at the back is nevertheless something you should always strive to achieve.
The back of your suit should drape cleanly, without wrinkles or bunching fabric. If you’re someone with a concave back (like me) this is incredibly hard to achieve, as there will almost certainly be excess fabric at the concave portion of your back. A clean back gives the wearer an understated elegance, and signals to those in the know that the suit is likely a custom one.
6) Jacket Length
Getting the length of the suit jacket correct is essential to achieving a well-proportioned look.
The suit jacket should end near the middle of your hands, at where the fingers meet the palm. A suit jacket that’s too long will make the wearer look short, whilst a suit jacket that’s too short throws the proportion of the look off. The jacket should also be long enough that it doesn’t expose the dress shirt underneath.
Last but not least, the collar of the suit should fit well.
Perhaps the aspect that most tailors – and consumers – overlook, the collar of the suit jacket should rest nicely on the shirt collar. There shouldn’t be an unsightly gap between the suit and shirt collar.
In this article, I have listed 7 areas to look out for when gauging the fit of a suit. The next time you’re at the tailor’s, or even when you’re grabbing a suit off-the-rack, you can now check for yourself if the suit fits right!
For those unsure about which tailor to go to, I did a roundup of 11 affordable tailors in Singapore that I’ve personally been to, and reviewed. Read the listicle here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!