In fashion, especially the luxury segment of the market, it really is all about the details of the garment that separate the professionals from the amateurs. In October's Details magazine, there are two great pieces of information that I want to pass along to you here regarding suits and how to guarantee the best fit.
Buy the Numbers
Look inside any top-notch suit and you'll probably see a label like Super 100s or Super 120s. The numbers refer to yarn count and were devised to classify super-lightweight wools. The higher the figure, the finer the material. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should splurge on a Super 200s suit. Anything above the 80s and you're in quality territory - hit the 150s, however, and though you may love the weightless feel, your suit becomes far more vulnerable to wear and tear.
In a perfect world, we'd all wear suits that were made-to-measure, just for us. Gone would be the boxlike silhouettes so familiar with racks and racks of discounted suits, and instead we'd all look modern, well shaped, and perfectly dressed. But with a little tailoring and alterations, your off-the-rack suit can look substantially better and more suited for real business.
How to Trim Your Box
1. Sleeves and Pants
Your sleeves should hit right at he little round bone in your wrists, about a half-inch above your shirt cuff, and your pants should have a single, medium break in the front. Make sure the back of the pant leg falls where the top of your shoe heel meets the leather.
If the armholes are a bit too high and tight, your tailor can probably get you some more room. But if the bottom of the arm opening is too low and baggy, it really can't be brought up.
Most off-the-rack suits are cut with a slightly sloped shoulder. As a result, men with broad square shoulders often get unsightly collar roll - fabric that gathers where the collar and body meet. It's easily removed, but it might take more than one try to get it right.
4. Around the Middle
When your jacket is buttoned, give it a tug away from your body; you should have about two inches of room. Anything over three inches and you're in box territory. The desired effect is a defined waist.
5. The Magic Inch
Standing with your arms at your sides, curl your fingers around the bottom edge of the jacket. If it's the right length, the lip should fall just between your first and second knuckles. An easy way to make a suit look young and modern is to shave off another inch (bump it up a knuckle). Anything more might ruin the proportions of the jacket.
Tip: A good tailor will always insist you try the suit on again when you pick it up. If yours lets you leave without a second fitting, find somewhere else to get your clothes altered.