Menswear: How To Find The Perfect Fit

They often say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but regarding men’s clothing, how it looks (and fits) sends a message to the world about a man. And although most men prefer to take on things themselves, finding the perfect fit for your clothes can call for professional attention.

From body size to height, every man is different – so of course, occasional alterations will have to be made to tailor a piece of clothing. While many people think it takes a considerable amount of time and money, the benefits of clothing perfectly tailored to you far outweigh the costs.

The first (and most important) step in finding the right clothes for you is knowing what proper fit looks like.

Let’s take a look at your options.

Suits

Though you may not be bringing out the suit as often in this summer heat, looking like a million bucks is a breeze when you’re wearing a suit tailored specifically to your measurements. When looking for a suit, there are two essential factors to consider: fit and size. While finding the perfect “fit” seems like the hardest part, it’s actually just about picking the right shape, then the size that fits your body best.

Typically, stores will break suits down into three different styles:

Extra-Slim Fit: Slim through the shoulders with narrow sleeves and typically paired extra-slim pants.

Slim Fit: Narrow through the chest with higher armholes and paired with fitted pants.

Classic Fit: Wider through the chest and shoulders and paired with more relaxed-fitting pants.

Shirts

Now that you’ve found the perfect suit jacket, it’s time to find the best shirt to match.

Shirts, and specifically dress shirts, can vary in chest and waist measurements depending upon the brand. Most dress shirts are sold by neck size and sleeve length. The sleeve measurement determines the overall length of the shirt, ensuring that it’s long enough in the body to fit comfortably.

When looking for the right shirt, you’ll have a couple of options – but, if you’ve already chosen a suit coat, the dress shirt should follow suit with a similar style.

The most common styles include:

Extra-Slim Fit: Higher armholes and cut slim through the chest and body with arrow, streamlined sleeves.

Slim-Fit: High armholes and cut close through the chest with room for movement along with slim sleeves.

Regular Fit: Cut broad across the shoulders with extra room through the chest and body and full but not overly loose sleeves.

Classic Fit: Cut broader across the shoulders with generous room through the chest and body and looser sleeves.

See – easy, right? Now that your top-half is looking suave and stylish, it’s time to finish off the ensemble with the perfect pair of pants. Hopefully, you’ll have a stylist or professional to help you choose and alter your pants to match the perfection of the top, but let’s take a closer look at the pant styles for the days you don’t have to dress up.

Quick tips: 

  • Dress shirts sold solely by neck size are still made proportionate to the sleeve/body ratio.
  • Measure around your neck at the level of your Adam’s apple. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your neck and the measuring tape.
  • Place your hand on your hip, with your arm bent at 90 degrees. Then have someone measure the distance from the center back of your neck (along your shoulder and elbow) all the way to your wrist.

Pants

The perfect pair of pants is three things – smart, stylish, and most importantly, comfortable. Any pair of pants that has to sacrifice comfort for style, isn’t the perfect pair of pants. So, how do you know if your pants need to be altered?

While shirts and suit jackets tend to get the most attention, a well-fitting pair of pants is a piece of art and shouldn’t be neglected. In terms of pant styles, your options generally include:

Skinny Fit: Extra-fitted through the seat and thigh, and tight through the knee and ankle with a narrow opening at the bottom.

Slim Fit: Fitted but comfortable through the seat and thigh, then tapers below the knee with a somewhat-narrow opening at the bottom.

Slim-Straight Fit: Comfortable through the seat and thigh, then tailored slightly from the knee to the ankle.

Straight Fit: Comfortable through the seat and thigh with a classic straight cut from the knee to the ankle.

Relaxed Fit: Generous through the seat and loose through the legs.

Choosing one of these styles will simply come down to your style preference along with how the item makes you look and feel. If you already have a pair of pants, you love and just want to make some adjustments, that’s where a tailor comes in.

Quick tips:

  • Find a pair of pants that already fit you well and lay them on a flat surface. Measure from the crotch seam down to the ankle hem.
  • Most pants should be widest at the waist and slimmer towards the ankles
  • Dress pants should never be wide on the lower half of your leg
  • Wrinkling in the thighs could suggest a bad fit

In short, it’s not always going to be easy to find a style all your own. Even for a guy with great fashion sense, putting together a few go-to outfits takes some effort. But learning how to dress and taking the time to fine-tune the details, you’re investing in yourself – and you deserve to get a return on your investment.

Even if you don’t want to spend the time or money on alterations, there are still steps you can take to learn how to find that perfect fit. Besides, anything in your wardrobe can look great on you once it actually fits!

Leave a Reply