Fashion & Grooming

TAILORING SUITS TO PERFECTION

6

Rarely do men fall precisely into a definite clothing size, and while these small differences do not matter for most clothing, for a suit to look good, it is vital that it fits perfectly. Anyone considering buying a suit should plan a trip to the tailor and plan accordingly. With a good tailor, it won’t matter if a suit is new, used, or slightly ill-fitting.

A tailor can make the small adjustments necessary to make a suit look good and feel comfortable if you talk to him into getting it done perfectly. How? Read on to find out!

SUIT

SHOULDERS

Start with the shoulders. The edge of the padding in the shoulders of your jacket should not extend beyond your shoulders. If it does, the jacket’s too big.

CHEST

You should not feel any restriction of movement across your chest or back or pulling from armpit to armpit. If you do, the jacket is too small and either needs to be let out in the chest or you need to try a larger size. The chest of the jacket should lay flat across your chest. If there are any balloons of fabric or the jacket bulges, either the jacket is too large or the tailor needs to make some essential adjustments.

NECK

Look at how the fabric lies from the base of your neck down your shoulder blades. There should not be a roll of fabric bulging along the base of your neck. If there is, the tailor should correct it.

WAIST

If you have one, so should your jacket. Many off the rack suit jackets are not tapered at the waist, so your tailor will have to make this adjustment for you.

SLEEVES

Sleeves should break just at the wrist and allow a little bit of shirt cuff to show. As you become more familiar with your personal tailoring specifics, you’ll learn the precise difference to hem the cuff of your sleeve from the tip of your thumb so your tailor can make every jacket fit as precisely as every other jacket in your closet.

PANTS

The first fitting element to note is the pants rise (the distance between the crotch of the pants and its waistband). Different men are proportioned differently, so some require a low rise and some require a high-waist pant. If you typically wear a low-rise pant and the pants you’re trying on sits above your navel, you’ve got problems. There’s not much a tailor can do to alter a pant’s rise, so if the rise isn’t right, you need to try a different suit.

WAIST

The waistband should fit comfortably but not snugly. If the waistband is too tight, it will pull and stretch the fabric directly under the reinforced waistband and look sloppy and ill-fitting. LENGTH

You have two decisions when determining how to hem your pants: length and cuff. For length, my personal preference is for the suit pant to break on the top of my dress shoes, but others prefer a full break or no break at all. There is no “right” length of pant, just personal preference. And regarding cuffs, if the suit pant has pleats, cuff them; if the pants are flat front don’t cuff them.

When you return to the store to pick up your suit, try it on again, stand in front of the mirror and look for final adjustments. The suit should fit perfectly. It should lay flat across your chest, should button comfortably without any indication of pull across your waist and should have no visible bulges or ripples in the fabric.

The pants should fit comfortably in the waist, the seat should drape without any pull or droop, and the cuff should fall exactly where you intended. If there are any imperfections, alert the tailor and have the minor adjustments made to perfect the suit’s fit.

Model: Prasanga Pant

Photo: Bibhas Maharjan Suwal

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