Opinion: How to “Suit Up” Properly

The fall semester is well under way, and once again our eyes are assaulted by a seemingly endless sea of future bros sporting over sized jackets and baggy khakis.

The fall semester is well under way, and once again our eyes are assaulted by a seemingly endless sea of future bros sporting over sized jackets and baggy khakis. They take some of the most essential menswear items, and ruin them by ignoring the basic rules of suiting up. However these mistakes are avoidable, and upgrading to proper fitting clothes can have intense benefits to your appearance and set you apart as the best-dressed guy in your pledge class. This week I’m going to focus primarily on how to fit your jacket and pants. I’m going to discuss this in reference to a standard suit, but all of these tips apply just as well to the khakis/sports jacket combo.

A visual reference for fitting a suit.
A visual reference for fitting a suit provided by deoveritas.com

When you think about your jacket think slim. A cheap slim jacket will always look nicer than an oversized designer one so, rather than splurging on something fancy, save for a tailor or familiarize your self with some slimmer, more modern brands (H&M, J. Crew, Top man, Suit Supply, etc.).

The first thing you should think about when you put the jacket on is how it feels on your shoulders. If the jacket is too wide it will droop on the edges. This makes your posture look poor and if it is too tight it will restrict your movement and cause wrinkles behind the collar and along your shoulders. Also, if the jacket has built in shoulder pads then, it is especially important that the suit isn’t too wide; because it keeps frame from looking natural.

Next think about length. If your arms are flat by your side, your jacket should go no further than the palms of your hands. This allows the suit hang comfortably, and makes the suit look proportionate. If your jacket extends too far it can make your legs look stubby, and if it is too short the tails of the coat will flair up awkwardly around the butt. Under no circumstances should you ever be able to see any portion of your shirt between the jacket and the pants. This is a very clear sign the jacket is too short and makes you look incredibly unprofessional. Sleeve length is also important. You want to see a small portion of shirt at the end of your sleeve. If the jacket sleeves extend to the bottom of you palms or further than they are too long. If they are too short you will feel restricted mobility.

The last think to focus on is the fit along the front. When the suit is buttoned it should sit flat on the stomach and there should be no major creases leading up to the button. This is a sign that the fit is too slim. If you are unsure about whether or not the jacket is too tight slide your hand under the breast of your suit. It should easily fit, but if you make a fist underneath the fabric you should feel a slight tug at the button.

I know that that is a lot of information, but luckily we can now move on to the pants, which are much simpler. There are really only two things to look out for with pants. The first and most important is the length. If the pants are too long than they will pool up messily around your ankles. This leads to heavy wrinkles and can cause you step on the bottom of the pant leg, which will ruin the fabric. The hem of the pants should land right at the shoe, or slightly above while standing. This will allow for the fabric to remain smooth and pressed. The second thing to focus on is the width of the leg. If your pant legs widen around the shins or stay straight throughout they make your legs look blocky, and allow for more wrinkling in the fabric. You want the leg to taper in along the shin. This highlights the natural shape of the leg, and makes the suit look like one cohesive piece.

In the end after following these tips you really want to look like the guy who isn’t just one of the bros going along with the crowd. Follow these tips and you can properly suit up for any occasion.

Sawyer Smith is a sophomore at UT.

 Edited by Jessica Carr