Men's Fashion Basics - Part 18 - Suits For Your Body Type
How To Buy A Suit Part 2

Ok guys, so now you know what you’re looking for when it comes to the fit of a suit and what the finer details should look like. However, I understand that the basic rules that need to be followed are difficult for the majority of guys out there. People come in all shapes and sizes but, unfortunately, most ‘off the rack’ suits do not. A common theme amongst most men is that they can find a suit jacket that is perfect for them but the trousers are just too baggy, too long in the leg or vice versa. It is true, finding the perfect, well fitting and well rounded suit can be a tough job. So what follows are some handy tips I picked up from a tailor that lives in the heart of my city and an explanation of what a tailor can and can’t do for you when it comes to getting your suit fitted/adjusted.

For The Shorter Gentleman
  • Showing more cuff from the bottom of your jacket will lengthen your arms and make you seem more in proportion.
  • A little break in your trousers will go a long way.
  • Peak lapels will also help lengthen your torso.
  • Lower buttons on the jacket = longer lines to your body.
  • Try not wearing a belt so that it doesn’t break up your body so much.
For The Taller Gentleman
  • Lighter colours are going to add width to your body so try to stay away from the charcoal greys and blacks or pair them with a colourful shirt and tie combination.
  • Always go for a two-button suit.
  • Go for a minimum amount of cuff showing from your jacket.
  • A decent amount of break on your trousers as well will help add width to your appearance.
For The Larger Gentleman
  • Wear a pocket square (or handkerchief to you and me) to bring the focus to your chest rather than your stomach.
  • Go with simple shirts in solid colours rather than gingham checks or stripes.
  • Avoid skinny lapels or ties they will only make you look wider.
For The Muscular Gentleman
  • No peak lapels or pocket squares, your chest is big enough as it is.
  • Try two-button jackets and low collared shirts to create a V-effect on your torso, creating a slimming but not skinny appearance.
  • It is strongly recommended that you have your suit jacket taken in at the sides, chances are you have extra-wide shoulders but not the same size waist. Cut that excess material away!
Know what a Tailor can do for you

Shoulders – if your jacket doesn’t fit here, chances are it won’t fit anywhere else. These can’t be reduced or reshaped regardless of what anyone else (that works in the shop) says. So pay serious attention to these, so long as these fit the rest should fall into place.

Jacket – Length of the sleeve? Oh yes. Taking in at the sides? Oh yes. The occasional roll at the back of the collar? Oh yes. Like the some crazy Churchill dog, your tailor can fix most things jacket-esque outside of the shoulders.

Trousers – If these are an inch or so too tight/loose then a good tailor can fix these with relative ease. Anymore and then you’re in some trouble.

So there you have it guys, combined with last week’s article, a crash course in how to buy a suit that meets your body shape and still looks like a classic piece for your wardrobe. As Olly pointed out in my last article, a suit is something a guy can reach for every time, regardless of the occasion, to look his best. The real trick is knowing how to dress down a suit and how to make it fit every occasion you attend. That may mean a wedding or it may mean a night out. A suit can function in both these environments and many more. And that’s what I’ll aim to do with the next few articles, starting with the most versatile suit of them all – the grey suit.

Until next week,
Matt Allinson