How a suit jacket should fit – the basics
by Clare Sheng
The suit jacket is the most important piece in a man’s wardrobe. It doesn’t matter if the jacket is $300 to $5000, it must fit well on the wearer’s body. An ill fitting jacket will draw attention away from the wearer, and make the wearer be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Here are some basic lessons on how a suit jacket should fit, and how alterations can help you achieve the coveted tailored look.
Turn to your side and look in the mirror. Check to see if the back panels are tapered to the shape of your body. The trend now is to have very slim fitting suits, but it should not be so tight that it is pulling at the seams, and vents flared open. The perfect fit should be smooth and curved against the back, and the midsection of the front panels slightly dimpled when the buttons are done up. We can taper the jacket torso to achieve the modern, well-tailored look. If you have a very lean torso, the darts in the front of the jacket can also be tapered slightly for a fully customised look.
Always make sure the shoulders of the jacket fits. The edge of the shoulder should be in line with the widest part of your arm. If the shoulders are too tight, you will look and feel the restrain across your back. There is no option to make the shoulders wider. If you notice the shoulder pads are over hanging past your shoulder line, and there is a dimple between the top of the arm and the shoulder pad, the shoulder section of the suit is too wide. The wide shouldered look was popular in the 90s, but it adds 5kgs onto anyone’s shape. It should be narrowed to fit in line with the arm. This alteration is very delicate, and best left to the professional tailors like The Fitting Room.
Have you heard of your tailor talking about the squareness of the neck? All jackets come with wadding and shoulder pads around the shoulders. The off the block jacket cuts are usually tailored for “average” shaped shoulders. For slopped shoulders, we can add padding to give you a more structured look. Some guys have very square shoulders, (that’s when your shoulders are almost at a right angle to your neck). In this case, you will find most off the rack suits will bubble at the back of your neck. This bubble can also be easily rectified by a bit of alterations.
Lastly and most importantly, the length and width of the sleeves can make or break an outfit. The cuff should sit just above the wrist bone, with 1cm of your shirt cuff showing. The width of the jacket cuff should comfortably wrap around your shirt cuffs, but not enough room to fit in another hand. If you find your French cuffed shirt is distorting the shape of your jacket sleeves, then your jacket sleeves are too narrow, and you may need to switch to a plain cuff shirt. Talk to us about how we can shorten, lengthen or changing the shape of your sleeves.
If your jacket needs any adjustments, you can always bring it to The Fitting Room anytime, to be guided through fitting process.