Now the time has come to discuss suits
Now the time has come to discuss suits, which is what I am most passionate about when it comes to mens fashion! There is so much to know and understand when it comes to suiting, so I will be going through it step by step in a few posts. Today we are going to go over the basics of suiting. The fit. Not to brag but as a tailor who works with suits everyday this is 100% my domain so pay attention, all of this is gold!
Oh just to add when it comes to suits please don't cheap out You really do get what you pay for, just because it looks great DOES NOT mean it is a good suit. A suit for 100 or under is going to be a wool and polyester mix at best! Or just a mix of crap (excuse the language) You want a 100% wool suit or one with some mohair in which makes it a tad softer. I'm not saying you have to go out and spend some ludicrous amount of money don't worry, I'd say between 200-500 is a good bracket. For that sort of money it should be 100% wool and should be a 110 or 120 thread count. (you don't need any higher than that) All the thread count really tells you is 1. The thinness of the wool, higher the number the thinner the cloth. 2. The amount of detail that can be put into the suit pattern and finish.
Right so let's jump right in to this!
Everybody has a personal preference when it comes to the fit of their suits, some like their suits to be a bit more roomy and comfortable and why not? If you have to spend 5 days a week in suits they have to be comfortable right. Where as others like it skin tight to show off their frame but end up walking round like a tin man because it's a little too tight, which becomes a pain after awhile believe me! So who's wrong? Answer is neither. A suit is meant to be comfortable and also flattering. You can not find a suit in 20 minutes, There are a lot of things that need to be checked to see if it fits right before you whip out your credit card!
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This picture shows where the suit sleeve should come too. My rule of thumb is that the sleeve should be sitting on the crease of your hand (basically your wrist) I can't stress how awful it looks when I see people walking around with sleeves either half way up there arm or so long that it looks like the sleeve has eaten your hands! With the shirt cuff it doesn't always have to be sticking out, don't get me wrong it looks great but it's more common with double cuff shirts as they tend to be a little longer in the arm to give this look. So if you prefer single cuff shirts please don't go for a shorter jacket sleeve length to create the look.
With jacket length the bottom of the jacket should really be covering half of your bum, some styles are meant to be shorter (normally the more modern and very slim suits) But this also depends on your height, if you are tall like me going for the shorter jackets makes you look like you are wearing a woman's blazer. Which you do not want at all! Do the bum test and you are all good.
Trouser length or more commonly known as the "Break" this is the fold that you get sitting on top of the shoes when standing. Depending on how wide the bottom of the trouser leg plays a big part here, as most people will tell you that the back of the trouser must fall roughly 1 inch higher than the back of the shoe. This can vary due to the type of shoe that you like to wear with suits and also the slimness of the trouser leg. The higher the shoe or shoes with more bridge will naturally make the trousers sit differently and slimmer trouser legs can't necessarily fit over the back of the shoe so tend to sit higher up. This is fine and to be expected so don't panic too much.
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I can't show you all a picture of how it should fit you on the shoulders as it's very hard to notice by looks, but trust me you will be able to feel it. You should be able to move quite freely and not feel too constricted or tight round the shoulders and back. I'm not saying you should be able to run about doing cartwheels in it but should feel comfortable when you move and walk about. If it's too tight on the back and shoulders then it's a big problem as it does damage to the suit so be happy with the feel!
TENSION LINES & CREASES
Once you are happy with the sleeves, jacket length, trouser length and shoulder fit then lastly comes the tension lines and creases. These are normally from the suit being too tight. Tension lines round the buttons of the jackets and round the arch of your back is an indicator that the suit is too tight/small for you, I know no one likes to have to go up a size and the denial sets in but at the end of the day it's better to go for a size that fits right and flatters you rather than you squeeze into a suit that will cut off your breathing!
Tension lines on the nape of the neck shows that it's too small for your shoulders, regardless of it fitting you fine round the waist you will need a different sizeits most common with people that either go to the gym a lot or play sports, I call it V shape bigger up top slimmer on the waist. Once it fits your shoulder the waist can be adjusted to make it just right.
Lastly trousers, the two main areas are at the front round the crotch or the thighs. Tension lines round the crotch and bowing of the pockets means that you unfortunately have to go up a waist size. Which is much better than you worrying that you are going to split the trousers every time you bend over! Thigh tightness again comes from the more athletic people, it will be noticeable straight away if you can't tense your thigh without it wanting to burst then I recommend going for a less slim fit.
Follow these few simple rules and you will have a suit that is not only comfortable but also looks fantastic! Don't do the rookie mistake and buy the first suit you lay eyes on, ask to have it put aside and have a browse! My next post will be about the different styles that suiting has to offer so stay posted!
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Posted in Clothing Post Date 09/08/2015