Seven Ways to Make Sure Your Suit Fits Perfectly

Trends come and go (and your mileage may vary), but here are the fundamentals.

Buying a suit off the rack can be a pretty simple process, but that doesn't mean it's as easy as finding your size (you do know it, right?) and throwing something on. There are several factors well worth considering if you want to really nail it. As we head into 2020, the modern suit is made with more variation than ever before. Hell, this decade saw the rise of Thom Browne's signature suit that does not include pants, but shorts, and the rise of a looser, loucher take on the style. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a no-frills, well-fitted, classic suit, these are the main components worth obsessing over.

And remember, a tailor can and should be your best friend. All men were created equal, but that doesn't mean we're all the same size. Though unfortunately we can't all afford to go bespoke, the few slight tweaks a tailor can make are well worth their typically small cost.


Make sure the shoulder ends...with your shoulders. This is the first step for a reason. If the jacket you're trying on is too big or small in the shoulders, put it back and find the one that does. Tailoring is a beautiful thing, but in terms of shoulders, it ain't worth the squeeze (and is near-impossible).


Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button. Depending on your personal style, you can take a few liberties with this, but don't go too far beyond this guideline in either direction unless you're very sure of yourself (in which case, great!).



The top button of a two-button suit—or the middle button of a three-button suit—should not fall below your navel. And remember, in terms of buttoning, from top to bottom, on a three-button suit: Sometimes, Always, Never. And on a two-button suit: Always, Never.

John Legend: Always a good template for fit done right.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.


With your arms at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket. Again, there are always exceptions to the rules as trends come and go, but as a jumping-off point, it's never a bad idea to make sure your jacket covers your ass (no, literally).


Jacket sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist. If you're a watch-wearer, a tailor can take up the sleeve of your shirts and jackets a little more as to more adequately show off the goods, but generally speaking, this guideline sets you up nicely for achieving the next step.

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When your sleeve length is all sorted correctly, between a quarter and a half inch of shirt cuff should be visible.


One inch of break is the most classic fit. For a more modern fit, you can always abstain from the break to show a little ankle, or a little sock. Just make sure said socks come correct.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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