How A Suit Should Fit

By Gavin West


Depending on the school you attend, your prom could be in the near future and you are still suitless and depressed. Depressed because you haven’t had anyone show you the art of suit buying, nor the proper techniques to wear it like a pro. Here’s a short and simple introductory guide to the world of suit buying.

First, when buying a suit most people focus on their coat size, for this tends to be the size most places go by for a broad sizing. They then worry about things such as sleeve or pant length later on. For sizing a man’s suit measure around your body starting at the center of your sternum and wrapping around your body, back to the point at which you started. Now this number should be anywhere from 30 inches to 50 inches if you have a rather “average’ body type. It’s the sizes in between these numbers that tend to nearly fit perfect right off the rack; however, for the people outside of those numbers you may have trouble finding your size at just any retailer. For those few special individuals I suggest investing a little extra money into having a few custom suits made to fit your exact body type, for the entire purpose of a suit is to fit to the man’s body. If it feels like the suit is wearing you, instead of the other way around, then it’s either because there is too much extra fabric or possibly not enough. An easy sign to indicate if your suit jacket isn’t the right size is if you lean your shoulder into a wall while wearing your suit then the shoulder fabric should make contact with the wall at the same time as the arm fabric. If your shoulder fabric touches first then your jacket is too big, but if your arm fabric touches first then your jacket is too small.

After worrying about the fit of the jacket, you must worry about the fit of your pants. Most retailers sell the suit jackets and pants together; however, that doesn’t mean just because the jacket fits perfectly, that the pants do as well. In the world of suits there are four main ways that one can wear their pants. There is a “no break” which means the pants do not rest on the shoe at all. This is the most popular style for people with a smaller build and a new-age taste. When wearing this style I also suggest having your pants tapered as well. A “slight break” is where the pants just barely rest on the top of the shoe. This is another very popular style in today’s time. Next, there is a “medium” or “quarter” break. This break has the pants resting most of the fabric on the shoes. This is an older choice for those who like a classic semi baggy fit. Lastly there is the “full break” where nearly all of the fabric at the bottom of the pants is resting on the shoe nearly covering the back of the shoe. I don’t suggest this style especially as your choice to prom, for this look tends to make the person’s legs look short and baggy.

Now that you know the basics of suit buying, have fun with what you wear to prom. Wear something outside of your comfort zone and wear it with more confidence than the rest of the school. Not only is it important that you look good for yourself, but also for that beautiful prom date that took you forever to score, so make sure you make your date proud to be next to you all night.