Clothes may not make the man, but for guys that like to wear suits, the one you put on in the morning or before a big evening definitely impacts how you feel. The perfect suit can easily make you feel like a million bucks.

However, even if you don’t wear suits every single day, it’s important to have one that fits you the right way. That’s why so many guys are opting for custom suits.

Why Does It Matter So Much?

You could wear a suit made of the finest fabric in the world with gold stitched into the lining, but if it doesn’t fit you right, it could ruin the entire look. The fact is that fit is the most important factor when it comes to how your finished suit looks.

Simply put, without the right fit, you won’t look your best. That’s true even if you spend a lot of money on a suit from a designer with an impeccable reputation.

Get the fit right, and a suit without a recognizable name stitched into it can look spectacular. That’s why so many guys are choosing custom fit suits as their best option these days.

Get the Shoulder Right

Almost everything on a suit can get fixed by a tailor, with a few obvious problems that are hard to deal with, like pants that are far too short. The shoulders of your suit aren’t easy to work on though, and even minor alterations are very difficult.

If you don’t get close when you buy, you’ll have a hard time making it look the way you want. To check for the right fit, make sure the seam on the shoulder is about the same length as the bone beneath it.

If the seam hangs over, or it stops before your shoulder does, correcting it is going to be very difficult. If you’re not sure about shoulder fit, skip buying an off the rack suit until you can have somebody more knowledgeable tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. A quality menswear store with a tailor on staff is an excellent option.

What About Your Sleeves

You already know that custom fit suits will have the right sleeve length. One that shows a little bit of your cuff, but not so much that it looks like it’s far too small. Luckily for you, judging basic sleeve length is relatively easy for the average guy.

As a general rule, you want to see about a half-inch of your shirt. There’s no reason to drive yourself crazy over this though, so don’t bring the measuring tape to make sure it’s the right amount of shirt showing.

One major rule to focus on is that you never want a suit to expose the buttons on a standard shirt and the top of the cuff. If that happens, your sleeves are definitely too short and a tailor is not likely to be able to correct it.

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Can You Button Your Suit?

Normally you wouldn’t buy a suit that you couldn’t comfortably button. Things have changed – with the slim fit craze in full swing, more and more men are doing it every day.

However, getting the most out of your custom fit suits means more than just getting the buttons closed. To check your buttons, start in a natural standing position and button only the top button.

Do the two sides of the jacket meet without the lapels pulling forward? Do they meet without the sides of the jacket flaring up around you? Lapels that pull forward indicate a jacket that’s too big.

Flaring lapels mean your suit is too tight. Adjustments can be made for custom fit suits here, but the fit should be pretty close when buying one off the rack. There’s only so much a tailor can do.

Check the Back

Those slim fit custom suits you see in all of the fashion magazines might be popular and they might also even fit your body type. However, a lot of guys are buying them just a bit too tight for comfort with a perfect fit in the seat.

For the best possible look, you want your pants to sit against your underwear without pulling them upward. You also want to avoid U-shaped bits of material on your pants.

These signify a fit that’s a bit too loose to be stylish. In this case though, making your pants fit better is often relatively easy if you end up buying them too big.

Err on the side of caution here and go a little big instead of too small. Most suits don’t have extra material to help the tailor make the pants bigger.

Perfect Your Break

You might be a great billiards player, but that’s not the break we’re talking about. The break we’re speaking about is that little wrinkle created by your pants hitting your shoe when you’re wearing custom fit suits.

The break of your pants should just hit your shoe, usually creating a single horizontal dimple. If you’ve got bunched up material or two dimples, that’s too much material and your pants need to be shortened.

If your pants don’t touch your shoe at all, that’s probably a bit too short. Some guys prefer no break in their pants for an ultra-modern style, so if that’s what you want, that’s perfectly fine too. A barely-there break is usually a safer bet if you’re not 100% sold on that stovepipe look.

Buying Off the Rack

Some of you with a budget may wonder why you can’t just buy off the rack. The fact is that you can – with some serious caveats.

When you purchase a suit off the rack, it might not always look as good as custom fit suits. You just won’t have the attention to detail from the very first stitch that will make the suit fit you like a glove.

When you buy a suit off the rack, you need to do everything you can to get an excellent fit. Ideally, you should be able to wear the suit as is. From there, you can go to a tailor that deals with custom fit suits to help you fine tune your garments.

By doing that, you should be able to get a pretty respectable suit. It may not be completely custom, but if you buy quality garments and have a skilled tailor, they can help you look your best and alter anything needed.

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Do You Have a Skilled Tailor?

Finding a skilled tailor is essential for getting custom fit suits that meet your needs. When shopping around, make sure you talk about custom tailoring, not just basic alterations.

Not all tailors do custom work, so asking about experience and to see a few samples can help you pick a tailor who will do an excellent job.

Ralph Lauretta

About Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.

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