A little while ago I was talking about how essential it is to spend money on a well made suit. However, if you’re not at your tailor’s and you still see a suit that you like, I’m gonna show you a few tips and tricks that will make you look exquisite. The most important aspect about wearing a suit is that you want to have the perfect fit, from all angles, and all points of view. That might seem like something impossible to obtain, but I assure you, it’s not.
First of all, when trying out the suit jacket, make sure it fits your shoulders. The line of the jacket should closely follow the natural curvature of your shoulder. Most importantly, it shouldn’t look wider than your shoulder, you don’t want to look like an American Football player. When you’ve found the suit that you love and it has a jacket that fits your shoulders, it’s time to buy it from the rack and take it to the tailor.
For the following steps I’d suggest a tailor that is either well-known, or has excellent recommendations. We wouldn’t want just anyone to touch your newly purchased suit. In order to get that perfect fit, you need three alterations for your suit.
1. The shortening of the sleeves
For most of the suits that you find in stores, the sleeves are longer. That’s because they are made to fit almost everyone that would like to try it on. However, as we all hopefully know, the sleeves of your suit need to be shorter than the sleeves of your shirt. I’m talking about 1-1/2 cm of the shirt’s cuff should be visible when your hands are in their natural position.
A perfectly shortened jacket should look something like this:
2. Jacket waist suppression
You go to the gym, right? Right? Most men do, because fitness keeps us younger and healthier. But enough about that. What I was trying to emphasize is that most of us have wide shoulders. And that’s great, because our bodies have a naturally aesthetic “V” shape. Now, if your shoulders aren’t as wide as you would like them to be, wearing suits can trick the eye. How? Through wast suppression. Ask your tailor to suppress the waist of your new jacket. It will make it look more fit, it will visually broaden your shoulders and it will hide other imperfections, like those love handles!
Here’s the visual:
3. Hemming the pants
The pants are just as important as the suit, if you want to get that gentleman look and feel. As I was saying before, unless you’re getting your new suit directly from the tailor, it’ll need a few adjustments. Just like the length of the sleeves, the length of the pants is standard as well, most of them being about 95-100 cm longs. Well, most of us don’t have legs that are 1 meter long. What can you do then?
It’s easy. You take the pants to the tailor and ask him to hem them for you. Hemming is the process through which the end of the pants is turned inside and sewed to the rest of the pants – in other words, shortening the end.
Now, there’s three major ways that you can hem those pants: full break, half-break, or no break. The break refers to the extension of the pants over your shoes.
First, you can hem them so it leaves a full break. Considered by many a modern look for the day-to-day working man. While essential for taller individuals, the full break can fit any man trying to look great. The full break means that the end of your pants reach the sole of your shoes.
Here’s the full break visual:
The half-break, also known as the medium break, is the standard length for most men. Better suiting the average height men, the half-break expresses professionalism. With the half-break, the pants should end on the middle of the line between the sole of your shoes and the top of your shoes.
Here’s an image for the half-break:
Finally, the no break – known also as the short break. Probably the most difficult to master of the three types of breaks, the short break offers a great visual for powerful men. If you’ve been through suit stores you might have noticed that most Italian suit brands offer the short break as a standard feature for their suits. If you’re at the tailor, ask him to shorten your pants so that the break is just below the top of your shoes.
And finally, the visual for the short break:
If you keep these in mind when buying your next suit, you’re set to become the perfect gentleman, at least suit wise.