How a Suit should fit

Fit is the primary reason why so many men choose to get their suits tailor made.
Artefact London has prepared this simple infographic on how a suit should fit. If you buy one in retail here are the critical areas to look at in deciding whether the suit is a good fit for your body. Some areas of the suit can easily be tailored when you buy an off the peg suit, whilst others would be a deal breaker as they would involve more work than is worth paying for.


The collar should be resting against your shirt. Collar shouldn’t stand off your neck; no bunching at the back of the collar should appear. Deal breaker.

Shoulder Top & Side

Shoulder top & side shouldn’t have any prominent dents & rumpling. A dent at the top of the sleeve indicates that the shoulders of the jacket are too long for yours. Deal breaker.

Sleeve length

About 1-1.5cm of the shirt cuff should be visible beyond the jacket cuff. The jacket sleeve should end just above the large bone on the wrist. The sleeve length can be changed by a tailor. Bare in mind that if the suit has working buttonholes the length will need adjustment from the shoulder, rather than from the bottom of the sleeve, which is more expensive.

Front closing

You should be able to comfortably slip the palm of your hand, but not a fist between the closing button and your body. There should be a degree of suppression to the waste that would not form a prominent X around the closing button. Deal breaker if the jacket is too tight, can be tailored to a certain extent if the jacket is on the roomier side.


When the angle of your arm in relation to your body does not match the angle of the sleeve on the jacket, you will see spiralling wrinkles or folds to the back or front of the sleeve top. Deal breaker!


Look out that there isn’t any apparent sagging and bunching forming around your back. The fabric should drape down naturally and should not be tight around your waist or back to form horizontal folds. In most cases can be tailored.

Jacket length

A jacket that is too long will visually cut your legs short. It should be long enough to cover the buttocks for a formal suit. Casual Jackets can be slightly shorter. The hem of the jacket should be around the middle of your palm. If the jacket is slightly on the longer side, you can get it shortened by up to 2cm without throwing the pocket placement out of proportion.


Well fitting trousers will sit loosely against your underwear, without pulling around your seat or draping loosely around your thighs. If the trousers are roomier around the seat, more often than not you can get this tailored.

Trousers Break

Slight horizontal crease at the bottom where the cuff is resting on the shoe is ideal. The cuff should be touching the shoe at the front, it can be slightly longer from the back, but not covering the heel. Easiest of all alterations.

written by Tatyana Kozhevnikova
Text & Images Copyright of Artefact London
September 2016