You've heard it before, "every man looks his best in a well-fitted suit." The key distinction here is, unsurprisingly, that the suit fits well. While a perfectly tailored suit will make you look and feel like James Bond, a poor fit makes you look more like a used car salesman. (And not a good one either.)
I'm assuming that you'll want to fall into the former camp the next time you suit up, in which case, make sure your suit fits in these 8 crucial points!
#1 - Shoulders
Your jacket should run smoothly along your shoulders and down your arm. A clean contour, as pictured above, is the what you are looking for.
A jacket that is too narrow at the shoulders will leave your deltoid protruding awkwardly. On the other hand, one that is too wide will extend past the your shoulder and divot back inward to meet your arm. Exhibits A and B:
(Appallingly, most sales people in retail stores and even Made-To-Measure stylists can't distinguish the two, and frequently mistake shoulders that are too narrow for being too wide.)
Make sure that the shoulders fit you off the rack, as these issues cannot be reliably or inexpensively resolved with tailoring.
#2 - Lapels
It's of the utmost importance that the lapels of your jacket lay flush against your neck and chest.
Be on the watch for a visible gap between your lapel and shirt collar or for the jacket lapels lifting off of your chest. Either of these fit issues will undermine the elegant silhouette that a jacket should bestow upon you.
#3 - The Waist
A well-fitting suit will come in at the waist to accentuate and compliment the wearer's shape -- rather than just looking they're wearing a rectangular cutout.
While the more common mistake is to wear a shapeless sack masquerading as a jacket, some men take the idea of "slim fit" a bit too far. While it should gently follow the contours of your physique, a jacket that's too tight will suffer from creasing at the button point.
Either issue robs you of a flattering silhouette.
#4 - Back of jacket
While people won't be paying a ton of attention to the back of your jacket, it's still important to make sure that your jacket looks smooth from that angle. As always, clean contours are the goal!
On that note, be wary of bunching along the back and shoulders. This is usually caused by excess fabric and is easily remedied by a good tailor.
#5 THe Sleeves
This is the most immediately noticeable criteria for the fit of one's suit. Even the most fashion-adverse folk know that a man is expected to show somewhere between 1/4 and 1' of shirt cuff past the length of his jacket sleeves.
Showing no cuff is a rookie mistake but showing too much looks even worse. Half an inch of cuff is usually ideal, as opposed to either of the sleeves depicted below.
#6 - Jacket Length
The length of a man's jacket plays a big role in the overall look and proportions of his suit. The traditional fit would have your jacket just cover the seat of your pants. This should 'cut your body in half,' making your legs look just as long as your torso.
A jacket that's too long will make your legs look squat and stunted, while a jacket that's too short appears shrunken and awkward. As always, balance is key.
#7 - Trouser waist
Your trousers should fit snugly at your waist and look smooth along your hips without need for a belt. If your waistband bunches under the belt, that indicates that the pants are too loose. Conversely, flared pockets and bunching along the hips are clear signals that your pants fit too tight.
#8 - The Hem
Over-sized trousers are the unfortunate norm well-tailored pants will help you stand above the crowd. Make sure that your trousers are hemmed (and tapered) to a flattering length that rests gently at the front of your shoe and just touches the back.
Excess fabric is sloppy and unsightly, while "cropped ankles" are a trend that's on the way out -- and has never been welcome in professional environments anyway.
See how your suiting stands up to this quintessential checklist and have your tailor remedy any shortcomings so that you look every bit the capable and refined gentleman you know yourself to be.
(Or that you hope to be... Or enjoy masquerading as.)
Kin Moy is known to enjoy dressing up, writing long-winded rants on social media, and engaging in state-sanctioned fisticuffs.