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How Should a Suit Fit You? Professional Advice and Tips

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March 24, 2023 4:41:49 AM PDT March 24, 2023 4:41:49 AM PDTth, March 24, 2023 4:41:49 AM PDT

How Should a Suit Fit You? Professional Advice and Tips

Whether you’re purchasing your wedding suit or just upgrading your wardrobe, we want you to feel confident with the fit of your suit. So, how should a suit fit? At Alton Lane, our Stylists are fit experts. They will walk you through how each garment should fit and will build your garment based on your fit preferences. Alton Lane is here to help with styling, building out an essential wardrobe, and making you feel confident.


When you meet with your Stylist, you will learn about how a suit should fit you and our different fits; Slim, Tailored and Classic and which option is best for you. Our goal when you leave is to have a better understanding of how a good-fitting suit should fit and what a bad-fitting suit looks like. Our Stylists take shirting, trouser, and jacket measurements and will talk through the fit of each garment.


How do I Know if My Suit Fits Properly?

Here are the universal rules when you're selecting your fit preference:


  • Your shoulder line should always align with the suit shoulder line
  • Your waist should match the suit jacket waist
  • Your tie should just about reach your belt (unless it’s a bow tie)
  • Do your best to match shoe color and belt color.


Now let’s explore the three traditional suit fits: slim, tailored, and classic.


1. Slim Fit

So how should a slim fit suit fit? A good-fitting slim fit suit is generally associated with a European or Italian cut. Just like the name suggests, this type of suit follows the lines of your body a little more closely than other styles. If you’re looking into getting a slim-fit suit, we recommend exploring fabrics with a little more give and flexibility so that your movements aren’t hindered by the narrower design.


2. Tailored

A tailored suit, also known as a modern fit, is the middle ground between the slim fit and the classic fit. It’s not super loose, but it doesn’t show every line or curve of your body either. You’ll mostly find that these suits have a bit of extra fabric around the waist and a wider fit around the leg for the trousers.


3. Classic

The classic fit is a go-to design for many because it has a lot more freedom through the chest and waist. If you’ve got a broad chest and wide shoulders, this might be the right choice for your next custom blazer because it provides more freedom in those areas. We recommend customizing the classic fit for your body. If you don’t, it may look like a baggy, bad-fitting suit.


A Good Fitting Suit


Now that you know a bit more about the most popular suit styles, we can discuss how a suit should fit you in more detail. Let’s start with the blazer or suit jacket. While these are two unique outerwear options, they have enough similarities in fit to follow the same guide.


Blazer or Suit Jacket

We already discussed some universal fitting rules for blazers and jackets, including following the line of your shoulders and the size of your waist. Here are a few more details to describe how a suit should fit :


  • Collar: Sits flush against the collar of your shirt with shirt collar visibility of ¾”.
  • Back: The suit should sit smoothly across your shoulder blades.
  • Sleeves: Should be shorter than your shirt sleeve, allowing ½” to show.
  • Button: The top button of a two-button jacket should sit about 2” above your belly button.
  • Body: Let the jacket assume a loose hourglass shape when buttoned.
  • Vents: We recommend side vents on a jacket as those will be more breathable.
  • Jacket Length: The jacket should hit at the bottom of the fly or where your seat meets your thigh.



The suit jacket is a big part of a good-fitting suit, but trousers are just as important. Here are some tips for how a suit should fit you around the legs and waist.

  • Waist: Snug without being tight. You should be able to wear it without a belt.
  • Taper: Trousers should narrow as they reach your ankle.
  • Seat: No ripples or horizontal lines. The seat should lay smooth across your rear.
  • Rise: The length between the waistband and crotch must be comfortable when sitting and standing.
  • Break/Length: The pant cuff can have a large, medium, slight, or no break. We recommend a slight break.


A Bad Fitting Suit


There are several tell-tale signs of a bad-fitting suit, including:


  • Shoulders: Too narrow and the seam falls before the edge of your shoulder. You’ll be tugging at your sleeves all day. Too wide and the seam falls on your bicep, making your head look smaller.
  • Back: Any taught horizontal lines across the back mean the suit is too tight. Billowing in the material means your jacket is too big.
  • Buttons: We recommend a two-button suit for a more modern-looking suit.
  • Waist: Don’t wear pants that necessitate a belt that scrunches your waistband. It creates unseemly bumps and odd shapes under your jacket.
  • Rear: Just like with the back of your jacket, any horizontal lines mean your trousers are too tight. Extra billowing fabric means the pants are too big.
  • Taper: A custom trouser means choosing your own taper. A subtle taper is good, but bell bottoms or skinny pants mean you’ve gone too far in one direction or another.
  • Break/Length: If your pant cuffs are dragging across the ground, they’re too long, and soon you’ll have holes and fraying along the edges. Not a good look.
  • Vents: We recommend side vents over a center vent. It's more comfortable and breathable.


What’s Next?

Now that you know how a suit should fit, you can shop much smarter when it comes to your formalwear. The best route for new suits is with a custom selection that allows you to input your measurements, body type, and fit preference to guarantee the ideal fit.


Alton Lane makes it easy to order a custom suit that is made specifically for your body type. Our revolutionary platform allows you to customize details to make your suit completely your own. And the best part? You can have your quality suit delivered in as little as 2 weeks — that’s the fastest turnaround time in the custom suit industry!

Have questions about custom suits? Reach out for a virtual appointment to get started!