1) A PERFECTLY TAILORED SUIT WILL HUG YOUR SHOULDERS.
The shoulder line should always be straight and the shoulder seam should lie on the edge of your shoulder. Tailored well, your suit will have no marked wrinkles or divots across the shoulder when your arms are by your side.
2) FOR THE MODERN MAN (YES YOU, SIR), ARMHOLES SHOULD BE HIGH.
Your arms should move somewhat independently of the rest of the jacket when going about your affairs. The lower the armhole, the more your jacket will move when you go to shake someone’s hand.
3) YOUR JACKET SHOULD SIT FLAT ACROSS YOUR CHEST AND SHOULDERS.
How do you know if it’s pulling across your chest? The fabric will make an X shape across your abdomen. And across your shoulders? Cross your arms and see if it pulls.
If a jacket isn’t fitted to your shape, the bottom will flare out giving you the appearance of “hips”.
That said, the slimmer the fit through the torso, the broader your shoulders will appear. Getting it right is a fine line — best left to the masters/Italians.
4) SLIP YOUR HAND BETWEEN YOUR CHEST AND YOUR BUTTONED JACKET.
It should feel snug, but with room to move.
5) DOUBLE VENTS ARE MORE MODERN.
This look is also more flattering for larger figures, and it gives you enough room to do the effortlessly casual “hand in pocket” move.
6) THE TOP BUTTON OF A TWO-BUTTON SHOULD FALL AT OR ABOVE THE NAVEL.
Never below. Wearing a three-button jacket? The middle button should be at navel level.
7) LENGTH IS IMPORTANT.
With your arms at your sides, your jacket sleeves should cover the wrist bone. A suit jacket’s length — like a good lawyer — should cover your ass. But if you can’t cup your hands under the hem of your jacket it’s too long.
8) LAPELS CAN BE A MINEFIELD. CALL IN THE EXPERTS.
In general, thin lapels are more modern. Wide lapels are more old-school. Think Mad Men.
When selecting a lapel, you also need to keep your tie preferences in mind. The width of your tie should match the width of your lapel. Narrow tie kinda guy? Don’t peak.
A master tailor will be able to size you up and recommend the perfect combination of buttons and lapels in a blink. Go the made-to-measure route and have your suit customised.
If you’re stuck for time and need to purchase off the rack, here are a few guidelines:
Casual/Trendy? Opt for a single button, peak lapel jacket.
More formal business to do? Choose a double button, notched lapel
9) DABBLING WITH A DOUBLE-BREAST JACKET? TAILORS KNOW BEST…
While the classic double-breast jacket has come back into the spotlight, it’s important to note they don’t suit everyone. It all comes down to genes.
The double-breast brings a sense of power, and screams masculinity. But if it’s not perfectly fitted, it’s not a very forgiving cut! Check with your tailor. Or Clayton. He’ll tell you the truth!
10) GAP BETWEEN YOUR LAPELS AND COLLAR? SORRY SIR.
Your jacket doesn’t fit. Make a beeline for a tailor. Do not pass GO. Your jacket and shirt collar should be in contact all the way around — even at the back. A perfectly fitted jacket will show about 1-2cm of shirt collar, in proportion with your cuffs and width of tie.
11) WHAT ABOUT POCKETS? ANOTHER MINEFIELD…
Ask your tailor to recommend which pocket pairs back best with your physique. To be safe, choose flap pockets with a ticket pocket for extra marks.
12) BUTTONS MAKETH THE MAN. AND ARE A DEAD GIVEAWAY OF A CHEAP SUIT.
Believe it or not, the style of buttons on your sleeve will reveal whether your suit was custom tailored for you, or swiped from the sale rack. Functional buttons are a trait of finely tailored suits, as the arm has been fitted specifically for the gentleman in question. Decorative buttons are… decorative.
13) SHOW SOME CUFF. SLEEVE CUFFS SHOULD BE EXPOSED AT LEAST 1CM.
Try to match the visible cuff length to the amount of collar that is visible at the back of the neck. (Showing some cuff lengthens the arm, giving you a longer, leaner torso.)
14) THE PANT HEM SHOULD HIT RIGHT AT THE TOP OF YOUR SHOE.
This rule of thumb is a more modern take on suiting. But for a more conservative look, it’s acceptable for the pants to cover the top of the shoe and part of the laces.
15) FLAT FRONT. BELT LOOPS.
That’s all we have to say about that.