Finding the Perfect Suit

Marcus Tang

Posted on April 09 2019

When do you know you are wearing the perfect suit?

Is it…

When your suit is tighter, making your figure look more masculine and buff, yet  pulls and chokes you with every move?

Or when your suit is slightly baggier and maybe a little oversized, allowing more movement and greater comfort?

I’ll give you a hint: the answer is none of the above. One looks their best when their suit fits so well that they barely notice it – it’s almost like wearing nothing! If your suit isn’t fitting or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can be sure that it will definitely show, and affect the way you think, the way you act, and the way others treat you.

So, how does one find the perfect suit? Is it going to be a tough journey? As Edward Tivnan has said before, “Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and, like every ordinary man, I have found that perfection is out of reach – but not the perfect suit.”

What is Proper?

Firstly, you need to know what is deemed as a proper fit according to your body shape and size. The suit needs to fit you in your ‘natural stance’ – when you’re standing tall and relaxed. If it doesn’t fit you in your natural stance, chances are it’s going to be ill-fitting with any other movement as well. Take the responsibility for the fit of your own suit – only you know what is comfortable enough for you! Don’t fake your actual measurements to fit an idealized version of yourself, to encourage yourself to lose weight or to become more masculine.

The Collar:

Your suit jacket collar should never have gaps with your shirt collar. The existence of any gaps is a good indication of a suit jacket misfit!

The Shoulder:

Never purchase a jacket if the shoulders are an ill-fit, because it’s one of the toughest parts of your suit to alter. The jacket of your suit should fit smoothly across your shoulder without creases from an overly-tight fit or lumps from a loose fit, and the seam connecting the sleeve to the jacket should be at the spot right where your arm meets your shoulder.

The Armhole:

The most important aspect of the armhole is it’s functionality – can you move and stretch your arm without restriction or excess fabric hanging around? A bigger armhole may be tempting because of the greater freedom in movement, and a tighter armhole is evidently not feasible due to restrictions in movement. Unless you’re required to use a great deal of hand motions daily, the armhole ending just below your armpit should give you sufficient space for comfortable movement.

The Torso:

Creases that run horizontally across the back of your suit jacket indicate a tight jacket, while creases that run vertically indicate a loose jacket. When your top button is fastened, your suit jacket should not feel or look constricted, with the lapels lying close to your chest. If required, the jacket should be altered to be closely tapered around your torso.


The Length:

The length of your suit jacket sets the precedence for the perceived body proportions of your torso to your lower body. In your natural stance as discussed earlier, your suit jacket should ideally reach the middle of your palm, or where your fingers meet your palm.

A general guideline for the length of your jacket sleeve is ‘half an inch of linen’, which really just means ensuring that a part of the shirt cuff is visible beyond the jacket cuff – but not too much such that the seam joining the shirt cuff to the shirt sleeve can be seen.

The Trousers:

The seat area (or colloquially known as the butt) should fit as snugly as possible without visible wrinkles or sags.

The front of your trouser cuff should rest just on top of your shoe – nothing less, nothing more: ensuring that there is no excess material clumping or too much of your socks being shown.   

Where do I find it?

Secondly, you need to know where to find the suit. Your best bet are tailored suits – do your research to source for good tailors who understand your wants and needs, but also knows what’s best for you. Alternatively, the next best option for someone looking for more affordable suits would be to buy an off-the-rack suit in the best and closest fit possible, then going to a tailor for alterations.

Building a wardrobe of perfectly fitting suits will take a lot of time and effort, but it’s not impossible and definitely worth it, whether it is a lounge suit, a business suit, or even a casual suit. When you look good, you feel good, and it will translate into confidence. A man’s clothes send a message to the world about him: make it count.

“Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter.” – Gay Talese


Ready to find your perfect suit? Hit us up at +65 9623 2423 for a styling appointment!

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