Fit is the number one most important factor in men’s style. That cannot be stressed enough. The difference between an $89 blazer from H&M and a $1200 Armani coat is minimal when they’re both well tailored.
That is why going custom—especially at prices offered by modern bespoke tailors both on- and offline—is so popular today. We at Arden Reed believe that fit and good tailoring are the foundations of the stylish man.
Sometimes we convince ourselves to buy that new shirt, even when we know it doesn’t fit.
It’ll just end up hanging in your closet. (Confession time: I’m often guilty of this)
Remember that you can get any article tailored, but certain aspects are especially difficult, like the shoulder and chest of suit jackets and blazers.
What, then, are the markers of proper fit? What should you look for when finding a garment? Feeling stylish and having confidence in what you are wearing is no doubt important, but so is being comfortable.
Starting with trousers, pants should wear at your natural waist (or as close to it as possible) and have enough room for comfortable movement. Just how slim they are is a matter of personal preference, but never go skinny.
Break is another area where personal taste comes into account.
I like a little break so there is no pooling and a clean straight line all the way down my leg, but not so short that my ankle is showing.
For men who want cuffs on their trousers (and you should ALWAYS cuff heavy, winter weight trousers) go with 1.5 to 2 inches.
When it comes to your suit jacket or blazer, remember to check the shoulders and chest first. Without a proper fit there, there’s nothing you can do to remedy the garment. When you stand with the jacket buttoned, the lapels ought to rest flat without any fabric pulling at the chest or abdomen.
Italian men prefer slightly tighter suits that have a slight pull around the top button, but this is a matter of finding out what’s right for you.
Your shirt cuffs should protrude about ¼ to ¾” from the jacket sleeves and the collar should extend a similar amount above the jacket’s lapel.
Shirt tails ought to hit at least half-way down your trouser fly but not below the crotch for a comfortable and elegant tuck.
Suits that are tapered with high armholes are ideal for capturing the slim, modern look while maximizing comfort and range of motion.
These are the basic elements of a proper fit.
The modern man looks best with trim, fitted clothes that remain comfortable and don’t restrict his movement. In a suit or shirt tailored to those ideals, you’ll be confident, comfortable, and attractive—perhaps the three essential cornerstones of style.
You’ve already learned a little bit about sport jackets and blazers, as well as some basics on pairing them with pants and other articles of clothing. For a refresher, please take another look at part 1 of our series, “Everything You Need to Know About Sport Jackets” here.
Of course, it wasn’t quite everything, so we’re filling in the blanks now.
Today, despite a major resurgence in men’s fashion and an obvious increase in style-conscious men, fewer and fewer guys are donning suits—even to work.
In a business casual office, a blazer or sport coat makes you look dignified and put-together while fitting in with the dress code and your co-workers.
Maintaining a professional, trustworthy look is just as easy with a sport coat as with a suit. From the classroom to the construction site, the sport coat is a better alternative for many men when suits might be too formal.
It’s equally as good at helping you make a good first impression or ensuring you look almost as good as the lady on your arm.
With just a quintessential navy blazer, you can construct dozens of outfits for any type of occasion. Add to the mix some other sport coats—perhaps a light gray all-season, a checked Harris Tweed for winter, and a fun burgundy for special engagements—and you’ll be able to pull off dozens of classic looks.
Paired with jeans or wool trousers, a dress shirt or a sweater, sneakers or leather-soled monk straps, the sport coat looks at home.
You can wear a sport coat over a t-shirt (not recommended), a regular work outfit, or a layered fall look. It is one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe.
From the refined to the rustic, the sport coat does it all. And it does it with an air of casualness and comfort that other garments can’t match, all the while ensuring you remain the most stylish man in the room.
A great outfit can be ruined instantly if your shirt or suit is badly wrinkled.
Aside from buying new wrinkle-free shirts, there are a number of stylish ways to keep your clothes smooth and without wrinkles.
The solution is not constantly ironing—everybody’s least favorite chore can be avoided by following some simple steps.
First, hang your clothes properly. This means they shouldn’t be thrown over your desk chair or on the floor at the foot of your bed but hung in the closet.
Make sure they also have a little room to breathe, an inch preferably, between each article (especially for cotton dress shirts) and hang more important items, like your go-to business suit and your tuxedo on sturdy, wooden hangers.
Take your clothes out of the dryer as quickly as possible. The longer they sit, the more time the clothes have to develop wrinkles. Hanging them (or folding for things like sweaters) will prevent that issue.
Now you’re ready to try to minimize wrinkles in your wardrobe. But the truth is, you’ll never completely eliminate wrinkles, so what can you do to get rid of them once they do appear?
Hang your items in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. This is, effectively, a steam press for your garments, so once it is hot and moist in there, stretch out the items a bit and bid adieu to wrinkles.
Alternatively, use a wrinkle-free spray and iron out the wrinkles with your hand.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid wrinkles is to take your clothes to the dry cleaner and let them handle it. It can get pricey, but it is the surefire method to kill those pesky wrinkles.
There’s an old adage in the menswear community that you can look like a million bucks in a $100 suit, and you can look like $10 in a $1000 suit. The secret is in the tailoring.
How do you find a tailor and what will you have to pay to turn that suit into the immaculately fitting garment you crave?
There are a couple ways to find your perfect tailor. But remember, your clothes won’t be perfect the first time. Continue coming back only if you think this tailor is a person you could develop a relationship with.
If you are in a small town and the city’s far away, you likely won’t have many options, so ask for personal recommendations from your friends or at the dry cleaners.
Some dry cleaners have in-house seamstresses who are perfectly capable of simple fixes and hems, but you won’t want to go there to alter a suit. They might, however, have a tailor they work with and can recommend.
Other possibilities include checking on Yelp, and making a visit to your local department store, where the men’s department likely has an in-house tailor.
The easiest alterations are the sleeve and pant lengths, adding or removing cuffs, and slimming the arms, body, seat and legs of the suit.
Each of these alterations should cost about $15-30.
However, alterations to the shoulders are extremely difficult, and thus expensive. Try to buy jackets that fit in the shoulders to avoid the troubles of altering that part of the jacket.
Likewise, sleeves with working buttonholes (also known as surgeon’s cuffs) are harder to alter, but should still be workable.
Though some of these alterations are pricier, it is always worth it to have a well-tailored suit so you can look like a million bucks.
Suit Supply. That accent.