How to: Buy a Suit

Written by M.A.S. on . Posted in Informal

A man will always look best in a well-tailored suit. A suit is made to highlight the male accents and to pass you off as a true gent. Thus, a well-tailored suit can accentuate the shoulders, make you look taller and

negate all uneven looking parts of your body, though undoubtedly you look great anyhow.


If by any unfortunate chance your suit does not fit perfectly, instead of looking magnificent you’ll probably look like a bum. As an ill fitting suit has a severe detrimental effect.

There are 3 different ways of acquiring a suit; mass produced ready to buy suits, semi-tailored suits that will be adjusted to your body and of course a suit tailor made from scratch. Tailoring a suit from scratch is not exactly cheap, for that reason when starting out, we advise to buy a semi-tailored suit that will be adjusted especially for you.

Because not every sales person could be as qualified as they should be, and because the chance that he is a tailor himself is rather minuscule, you might end up with a suit that doesn't look as good as it should be. Therefore, we have some tips that will make you a bit more capable of recognizing a proper suit.

Protip: Before we knock your socks off with our wisdom of suits, we advise you to wear cotton socks (so no sports socks!) and a collared shirt when buying a suit. This will optimize the fit of the suit and save you time when fitting.

1. The shouldershoulderfit

The shoulders of a suit are the most important part. The shoulders of the jacket and your shoulder should fit perfectly with no extra space (i.e. the end of the shoulders should be perfectly equal). If the shoulders have a perfect fit, the rest of the jacket can be easily adjusted to your frame. Do not buy any suit if the shoulders of the jacket do not fit. This is the only part that cannot and should not be adjusted to your form. To keep it simple “shoulder don’t fit; jacket won’t fit”

lapel2. The lapel

The lapel of your suit can come in any size and shape, but whichever you wish to choose, the lapel of the jacket should fit you well with your frame. If the lapel is too tight you’ll look like you’re overweight. Coincidentally if it’s too loose you’ll look like a teenager in a bad suit. You can test the lapel by buttoning up the top button and stretching out your arms. The lapel of your jacket should run straight down your chest. Again, if it doesn't look good, we advise you to look for another jacket.


3. The sleeves

Adjusting the length of the sleeves is rather easy and cheap. The jacket sleeves need to look good because the sleeves of your shirt should stick out a bit and be visible. Personally we advise the sleeve end about 1.5/2.5 cm ahead of your wrist. Showing the sleeves of your shirt, which should run longer than the jacket’s, should close the space that is created. Protip: Use cufflinks to accentuate the look.

longsleeve propersleeve


Too Long Perfect Fit Too Short

4. The trousers

Your jacket might look like the new world wonder and you might be overjoyed how stunning it looks on you. Though don’t be too happy yet. If the trousers don’t match up it will look disproportionate. The trouser needs to fit comfortably around your waist and not drop down. You are not wearing jeans! Therefore, if you need a belt to keep your trousers up you are doing something wrong. Though lucky for you the waist of the trouser can easily be adjusted.

5. Trouser legs

The trouser legs come in different styles but should never fit too tight around your thighs. Also, the legs should fall right onto the laces of your shoe. Make sure that the legs are pinned properly by the sales person as this is very important for the form of the trouser.

Pro tip: personally I like it more when the legs on a tailored trouser are a bit shorter than previously described. This will accentuate your shoes and make your socks visible. But you can adjust this with the sales person when pinning your trouser.

Pro tip from the editor: I disagree with this look mentioned as I personally am more old school and prefer a more subtle approach. There is also a reasoning behind the length; be wary of this look as when sitting your trousers will raise a bit and it often will look as if your trousers are too small, thus ruining an otherwise perfect suit. It is hard to pull off properly, so if in doubt I advise pinning it to test it out for a while before committing to a cut.

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