Video: Comfort vs style in the fit of a suit

Friday, April 24th 2020
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Here is the final video in our series on how a jacket should fit. The first looked at the basics of fit, while the second was on the length of a suit jacket.

In this third one, we look at how much the fit of a suit is a matter of comfort. So arguing fit is a partly personal preference - but also why some men have their suits cut too tight.

In all three, Charlie from Henry Poole kindly agreed to be our guinea pig, allowing me to point our various aspects of fit on his suit. Helpfully, his suit is also in SpringRam cloth from Harrison's, who sponsored this mini-series.

All the other tailoring in the background of the video is also by Henry Poole, using Harrison's cloth.



The points we make are:

  • How a jacket should fit is not just about right and wrong. It’s partly a question of style, and how much room and comfort you want
  • The chest can be clean, or have more drape. There are style reasons for wanting one or the other, but also, drape does allow more freedom and room to move. It’s one reason I like it.
  • Second, the waist. Guys often try to have this cut very close, as they think it’s more flattering. I know I did when I started.
  • But actually, the 3D structure of bespoke means you can have a lovely, flattering line through the waist and still ample room.
  • If this particular suit were cut closer, it wouldn’t actually make the waist look slimmer - at least from the front, which is where it matters most
  • In the small of the back, space makes arguably a bigger difference to comfort. And it’s less noticeable than the front.
  • So some tailors will build more space into the back of the waist, rather than the front, to add comfort. The only thing you lose is a really sculpted, or S-shape look from the side.
  • At the top of the back you’ll nearly always want some excess fabric below the armholes, so your arms can be raised and move.
  • But how much you want can be a matter of preference. Rather like drape at the front, I don’t mind a little extra room if it allows easier movement. Otherwise I can’t sit at my desk and work in it.
  • But others want something sharper - perhaps they never wear the jacket sitting down, or its worn more to be on display, and don’t mind it being closer.
  • As with all things related to style, just be aware of the advantages and disadvantages, and then make up your own mind.



The first two videos are:

Other practical videos are (also all on the YouTube channel):