A Guide to Buying a Suit That Fits

guide to buying suit that fits mens suits style

It is every guy’s dream to look good in a suit. You don’t even have to have a formal event coming to find an excuse to wear a suit. You can style the suit to make it suitable for just about any occasion from a wedding party to a night out with the guys. 

To say that a suit is the stylish man’s epitome of dressing well is quite an understatement. Once you have found the right suit style for you, you’ll notice a pleasant change in your career, love life, and social life in general. This is why the perfect suit is as precious and valued as other personalized accessories like custom engagement rings. When you have found one, you know it’s a keeper for life. 

So how do you go about buying a suit that actually fits? 

The Silhouette And Why It Matters 

Buying a suit isn’t as easy or straightforward as buying a shirt, a jacket, or a pair of chinos. A suit is more than the sum of its parts and finding the one that fits you and brings the best out of your figure is usually a matter of some complicated calculations. More than your size or your height, when it comes to finding the perfect suit, you need to focus instead on the silhouette

So what is the silhouette? And why does it matter so much in the suit selection? Put simply, the silhouette of the suit is the way it is cut which in turn affects how it lays on your body and either covers the flaws in your figure or enhances them and makes them too conspicuous. Naturally, not all suits have the same silhouette and it’s not always easy whether a suit hanging on the mannequin will look just as great on you or not. Not until you have tried it on can you really make an informed decision. 

Suit Silhouette Styles

In general, suit silhouettes come in different types. There’s the British suit silhouette with its full chest cuts, well-structured shoulders, and emaciated waists. This type of suit will make you look more muscular while trimming off your waist and hide any flanks or love handles you might sport. 

The Italian silhouette on the other hand focuses on a higher gorge and slimmer waists than boosting the shoulders. The Italian suit doesn’t hide much and requires a well-built figure to begin with. It certainly helps to have a lean physique with Italian suits. 

Finally, you have the American silhouette which tries to maintain a natural figure. It neither boosts nor hides any part of your body. The shoulders are usually minimally padded and look great on people with broad shoulders. 

How To Choose The Right Silhouette? 

As you can see, each different silhouette type can either add to your look or take from it. If your waistline is expanding at the cost of your chest, your first impulse is to go for the British silhouette. But not so fast. Every silhouette type has many variations to accommodate the vast differences in the male figure. 

First things first, take a closer look at the jacket. It can either be structured or soft. The soft jacket drapes your body naturally. It doesn’t have any shoulder paddings, little to no interlinings, and looks rather slim. The only improvement it could add to your figure is to make your waist look slim. Compare that to the structured jacket with its well-defined shoulders that look similar to military jackets. Canvas interlining defines structured jackets and gives them their overall V-shape. Waist suppression is another distinct feature that makes this jacket type a natural choice for people wanting to trim off their waistline. 

As you try on the suit and examine your reflection in the mirror, notice what kind of shape the suit gives you. Does it make you look taller and slimmer? Or does it add to your bulk? This is another magical feature of the suit that you have the silhouette either to thank for or to blame. Naturally, you’d want the suit to make you look taller. But that’s not always the case especially if you’re already tall and you want the suit to balance that. This is why a well-built guy with a prominent chest, wouldn’t want to try the British silhouette. The Italian suit with its high gorge would give you the look you’re going for. 

The jacket can also give you a lean or a fuller look. Depending on the silhouette and your body type, your suit can take a few pounds off your body without going on a diet, or it can give you a fuller figure without having to spend hours at the gym pumping iron. It all has to do with how the jacket hangs on your body. Around the chest area, a lean jacket sits close to your body and doesn’t amplify it. A fuller jacket does the exact opposite and gives the illusion you have magnificent pectorals. 

Next, examine the waist area. A lean jacket has a close cut that hugs your abdomen. A fuller jacket such as the American silhouette gives you more room there similar to a sack. And finally, look at the skirt of the jacket. That’s the area below the last button. With a lean jacket, the skirt follows the lines of your hips faithfully while a fuller one leaves plenty of space there and hangs loose. 

Smart Suit Style Selection

When choosing a suit, make sure that you understand the assets and flaws of your figure. The right suit can accentuate your fine figure or hide those aspects you want out of sight. It's now time to choose and suit up!

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