BY LOUISE ALLSOP
4 JUNE 2020
Suits are often investment pieces – outfits continually re-worn, sometimes in the workplace or at milestone events such as weddings.
When investing in a quality suit, it’s important to remember that the fit is key. Tailoring is important, and whilst budgets mean a bespoke suit is not always an option, alterations can create a well-fitted suit that you’ll be proud to wear. Chalk Tailors can help you achieve the look of a custom-tailored suit with a few tweaks.
So, how should a suit fit?
Starting from the top – head, shoulders, knees and toes and all…
The most important part of choosing any suit jacket is ensuring that the shoulders fit – there’s little alterations can do to make the shoulders more comfortable, so this is key when picking the base jacket. The shoulder should lie flat, with the seam the same length as the bone beneath, with the shoulder meeting the sleeve where the shoulder meets the arm.
The chest of the jacket should be a bit like goldilocks – fitted enough but not too tight nor loose. You should be able to fit your hand snugly under the lapels when you have the buttons fastened. The two sides of the jacket should meet neatly with the lapels not hanging off the body nor the lower edges of the lapels flaring, meaning the jacket is too tight. There shouldn’t be any strain.
Taking in or letting out the waist can help the jacket close as it should – and could add a new lease of life to your jacket – that’s where alterations can help out. By having a ‘nipped in’ waist, you avoid the suit jacket looking too boxy.
In terms of buttons, the “sometimes, always, never” rule traditionally applies. The top button sometimes fastened, the middle button should always be fastened, and the bottom button should never be fastened. In terms of fitting, the middle button should not fall below your tummy-button.
So, the sleeves. As a rule, the sleeve should fall where your thumb meets your wrist. If you like to wear a watch, it may be worth having the sleeves altered a little shorter. Once you’ve sorted the sleeve length, you should make sure around a quarter of an inch of your shirt cuff shows.
In terms of the length of the suit jacket, as a rule, the hem should just cover the trousers’ pockets. You can have the length of a jacket shortened by around an inch, but this is something that – along with the fit of the shoulder – should be near perfect when purchasing the suit jacket.
Next up, the suit trouser. Traditionally, one break is a classic fit, with the cuff resting on the shoe – however- if you have some fancy socks you’d like to showcase, why not have your trousers altered to show a little more ankle, with the hem just meeting the top of the shoe?
Alterations and tailoring services, such as those offered by Chalk, offer the opportunity for you to create a suit tailored to you. There is no doubt that an outfit that fits you makes you feel more confident, and this boost will no doubt help you in the significant events it is worn for.