An O&U Guide to Suits

Saturday, 8 February 2014

(Image: The Rake Online)
I won't claim to be some form of tailoring expert, but I do have a good idea of how a suit fits a man. Coming from experience working for Next, doing a fashion degree, researching the topic, and from wearing a couple of badly fitted suits myself; I'm hoping I can help you know how a suit should fit.

This won't be the most comprehensive guide you have ever read, but it will be the basics and the most important parts of the suiting process. This is important for every man out there as at one point or another, a man will wear a suit, and said man should look bloody good in said suit. If he doesn't, he only has himself to blame.

Shoulders
(Image: Burberry)
The shoulders of a suit could be said to be the most vital part, mainly because if the shoulders are wrong, they can't be tailored easily. The shoulders should fit snuggly with a feeling of firmness. Additionally, don't let there be a gap between your jacket collar and shirt collar.

Torso
(Image: Burberry)
Make sure your suit fits your body and contours it well, this will accentuate your shoulders in a good way. There's nothing worse than a suit that makes you look like a glorified cardboard box. Stick to a two-button suit and only ever do up the top button (and undo it when sitting down). Three-button is great, but harder to get away with.

Sleeves
(Image: Burberry)
First, try to have as little excess material on the arms as possible. A suit will always look better without the baggage. Another thing is to show your cuff, letting the sleeve end around the hinge of your wrist, not only does this look good, but it also shows that you're not wearing a short-sleeve shirt under your suit (Very few people can get away with that).

Trousers
(Image: Burberry)
Again, lose the excess fabric. You don't have to have a skinny fit suit to shed excess material, just let the suit contour your body. Your trousers should caress the top of your shoes, not cuddle them (if that makes sense?), only have a little break at the ankle. The excess fabric that so many men leave on their trousers really does add some pounds. 

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There are many more rules/tips you can find above and beyond these, but these will certainly help. Other tips I can give would include to go for a three-piece suit, especially if you're a younger man. They are incredibly versatile, from mixing up the waistcoat with another jacket and jeans, to going full three-piece or cutting down to a two-piece. You can't go wrong and it gives you so many more options. Also, don't go too bold, not for a full suit - again, some can get away with a very bold suit, but it's better to be bold with the rest of the outfit. In the words of Ron Burgundy, 'Stay classy'.

Essentially this will all come down to the fit. It's the be all and end all of suiting. Make sure you get it right, even if it means going to a tailor. Or if you have the money, go bespoke. It'll be worth it.

If you think there's anything major that I've missed, or just want to say something, comment below or tell me on Twitter.

Cheers guys,
O&U.