If you want to suit up and you do not have money to buy top of the line custom or bespoke suits, the best advice we can give you is to buy ready-made or off-the-rack suit and take them to a tailor for a custom adjustment. That one is not only a bit of financial advice, but also a wise one.

If you really want to get the full benefit of having an adjusted coat, you need to make sure that you know a little more about tailors and the types of adjustments and the things that they do or cannot do. Not only that, but you also need to know what an excellent fitting suit look and feels like.

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Every tailor has different skills and each varies on how they communicate their work, that is why getting an off-the-rack suit adjusted is only going to provide a good return if you can tell them clearly what type of adjustments you need. In this article, we will take a look at how you can spot a good-fitting suit.

What is a good-fitting suit looks like?

When you try a jacket, you are looking for a proper fit when you are in your natural stance. It means that you need to stand up straight, wearing a shoe that you will pair with the garment and with your arms properly relax by your side. It is not a very natural posture for a lot of people, but it’s the base from which a lot of our body movements flow.

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If the garment does not fit very well when you are on that stance, it is not going to move comfortably with the body either. You have to practice standing in a relaxed state, with uptight pose and start trying on the suit in that posture. Make sure to look for a good fit in different areas mentioned below when you are in your natural stance.


Well-Fitted jacket shoulders lie flat. The seam on top should have the same length as the bone under the shoulder, and it should meet the sleeve right where the shoulder meets the arms. If the seams that connect the sleeve to the suit is hiked up along the shoulder bone or is dangling on the upper biceps, the suit is never going to sit the right way.

In this case, you will see ripples that create wrinkles or lumps on the sleeve, as well as the top of the suit. The shoulder is considered as one of the hardest parts of the jacket to adjust for off-the-rack suits, that is why tailors recommend that you should avoid buying ill-fitted shoulder jackets. There is a big chance that you will never be able to get it altered the right way.

Buttocks area

The buttocks area of your pants should have a smooth drape over the shape of the butt area of the pants. Good-Fitting pants will lie loosely against the underpants without pulling tight against the buttocks or loosely draping the thighs.

You can spot bad fitting pants when you see horizontal wrinkles under the butt area caused by a very tight fit, or by a loose U-shaped sag in the back of your thighs caused by a very loose fit. A good tailor can take in the buttocks area of the pants and make it tighter at the butt area without much difficulty, but there is a limit on how far they can go.

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If the back area of the pants is way too loose in the first place, it is not possible to make adjustments to fit the pants without pulling the back pockets out of place. Unless the trousers have a lot of spare cloth inside, the buttocks area cannot be let out too far to make it fit looser. It is better to go for looser fit pants than on the tight side when you purchase a suit.

Pants break

Pants break is a small wrinkle that appears when the shoe stops the trousers’ cuff from falling to its full length. It should be a subtle and small feature. One dimple or crease is normal. The hem regularly rests on the top of the shoe, but it should not do more than that.

The pants can fall an inch longer at the back compared to the front, as long as it is still above the heels of your shoes. According to expert tailors, adjusting the pants break is considered as the easiest adjustment to make. In fact, most pants, even custom suits, are sold unhemmed, with the premise that the buyer will take it to the tailor and have it fitted.

The closure of the jacket

When you are wearing a jacket standing, you need to have the suit buttoned. It means that when you are trying the jacket, it is best to check how the front closes over your body. If you are wearing a single-breasted jacket, close out with one button when you are fitting, even if it is a three-button suit.

You are looking to see if both sides meet properly without lapels hanging forward too loosely or the jacket’s lower edges flaring out too tight. The button needs to close without straining, and there should be no wrinkles when you button the jacket.

A little opening in the button part of the jacket is okay, but two halves under the button should not pull apart so far that you can see part of your shirt above your pants. Usually, you should not see part of your shirt, although a bit is acceptable, especially when you are moving. Letting out or taking in the waist to help the suit close more comfortably is not a hard adjustment, but it has its limits.

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Do not expect the tailor to make significant adjustments in this department. If the jacket looks bad unaltered when closed, it is probably because it has problems with waist measurement. The best way to go is to look for a different coat instead of getting one that needs to be altered.