If you haven’t had one of those episodes where someone guessed you were older than your age because your suit didn’t quite fit, then you are one of the lucky ones. You are even luckier if you have had someone guess that you were half your age because you had on a smart fitting suit.
Every man wants to find themselves in the latter category and far away from the former, and if you do not, well you should! Your suit says a lot about you. It also largely affects how people perceive you, which in turn affects your confidence levels. Anything that affects your confidence level can affect your general performance.
A paper in August 2015 on Social Psychological and Personality Science, revealed a study that showed that wearing formal business attire increased abstract thinking—an important aspect of creativity and long-term strategizing.
Convinced yet? I will proceed on the assumption that you are convinced. At Apparel 99, we don’t just want to provide you with formal wear at astoundingly affordable prices, we want to make sure you look just as astounding in them. This is why we are very concerned about your body type, suit shapes and everything that will help you achieve a perfect fit when picking out a suit.
Here are a few tips to let you know when you have achieved a perfect fit when picking a suit.
THE SUIT LENGTH
This is the very first thing you must consider once you slip into a suit. If your suit is too long, it makes it seem borrowed and if it is too short, well…it looks just the same, so you have to make sure you find the balance.
The perfect length for your suit is somewhat dependent on your height. If you’re under 5’9”, the suit should end around mid-crotch. If you are any taller than that, then the suit can end around the lower crotch. A suit that ends upper crotch is typically too short and any that ends below the lower crotch region is way too long.
THE SUIT SHOULDERS
A standard suit measurement will see the shoulder pads end exactly at your shoulders.
Anything more is a clear sign that the suit doesn’t quite fit. There should be no folds or divots around the shoulders. The shoulder area should lay flat across your shoulders. You may need a suit with a little more padding if you have a rounded shoulder, just to make it appear a little less rounded. However, whatever the case, the suit should end around the same place and must be flat and smooth and mustn’t pull the lapel inwards or leave it slouching.
This is another very important area of a suit that many people fail to look out for. It has a subtle but telling effect on the overall look of the suit. The wrong collar fit can make a suit seem borrowed or just badly tailored.
There are two major things to make sure of concerning the suit collar. The first one is to make sure that there is a total absence of a “collar gap”. What this means is that your suit collar should lap on your shirt collar and not pull away, exposing a space in between. This is a very bad fashion mistake. The image below shows exactly what you should have versus what you should not have under any circumstances.
Just in case you were wondering, the two pictures on the right are of our dear Prince Charles before and after he got the memo.
The second thing you should make sure about is your collar spacing. What this means is that you have to make sure that the suit collar does not cover the shirt collar. Your suit collar should rest on your shirt collar and allow some inches of the shirt collar to show. Also, your shirt collar should, in turn, rest on the back of your neck, just beneath your hairline.
The difference between these two looks is the difference between looking smart and looking harried.
YOUR SUIT BUTTONS
The top button of a two-button suit or the middle button of a three-button suit should not fall below your navel. This is a generally accepted fashion rule and it stands for good reason. Your suit will never have that suave fitting look if the buttons are too low. This is especially true for people who don’t exactly have a flat belly.
The placement of the buttons is relevant because they are largely responsible for creating that snug fitting look that we all want to achieve when we wear suits. With the top button fastened (not the bottom button), the jacket should lightly hug your midsection. This is quite different from when it starts to feel tight or constricting. With the button fastened the suit should not pull at the buttons and create a crease in the front of your suit. If it does that is a sign that the suit is too tight. You need a light hug that still gives room for movement without disfiguring the appearance of the suit on your frame.
A well-tailored suit will hug your midsection and let out a bit as it gets to your waist so it isn’t constricting around your chest or your waist. To a very large extent, the placement of the buttons can be responsible for how it turns out. The image below does a lot more explaining.
YOUR SUIT SLEEVES
Your shirt sleeves are one other key area to consider. Nothing can make a suit look borrowed faster than a sleeve that is too long or too short. The sleeve length has always been a cardinal rule in any kind of men’s wear. A perfect sleeve length is the icing on the cake of a great suit.
Typically, your suit sleeve should end at the place where the base of your thumb meets your wrist and for a great effect, it should give room for between a quarter and a half inch of shirt cuff to be visible.
THE SUIT ARM HOLES
This is the last aspect that you need to check out when you are picking out a suit. Your armholes should find some sort of balance so that your hand can move independently of the suit, while not feeling totally detached.
This aspect of a suit is usually hard to detect by most buyers so I will share a few ways you can know that your armholes are just right. First, they shouldn’t bite into your armpit when you wear the suit - that is a sign that the armholes are too small. To ensure that it has just enough space to ensure comfort and not so much that it becomes too large you can perform this little exercise:
Spread your palms when slipping in your hands into your suit. If it slides in too freely, chances are that the arms holes are too big. However, if the fabric touches your spread out palm all the way in while not pressing on it, then you should have a perfect armhole.
Off course, this is not a 100% accurate test, but it does go a long way to determine if the suit fits
At Apparel 99 we are not just particular about the quality of your suit, and we do not just offer you outstanding suits at amazing prices; we also want to make sure that you get the ultimate satisfaction and fit from our products. Our suits are categorized by fitting and we are particular about our customers picking out the right size, so whether you are interested in a slim fit suit, an extreme slim, classic fit or modern fit we have you covered.
Everyone has a dream look when they don a suit, and we are here to make sure your dream comes true.