A properly proportioned suit can be as important as a good fit. Fit refers to the size or dimensions of the garment, that is, how much larger the garment is than you.
Slim fit suits for example are only a few inches larger than the wearer, and boxy (aka Brooks Brothers Sack Suit) suit jackets are several, perhaps even 6 inches larger in the abdomen than the wearer. Proportion refers to the design of the suit as it relates to your own physique.
If you are a perfectly proportioned man (not too tall, not too short, not too athletic, not too thin, and not too heavy) you can happily wear any suit design. But if you fall into any of the categories in the preceding parentheses, you will want to choose a suit with lines appropriate for your body.
1. If you are short and thin: You want to add bulk and height. Do this with three piece suits, double breasted suits, and peak lapels. If you wear notch lapel suits, choose narrow notch which will be more in scale with your frame. Choose a deeper gorge (the “v” in the front) created by a one or two button jacket – never a three. Fabrics can be weightier, flannels, tweeds, corduroy. Do not wear suiting larger than you should to look larger. In reality a too big suit diminishes your size.
2. If you are short and stocky: You want to reduce bulk and add height. Do this by creating vertical lines in your suit. Literally with the fabric as in a pin stripe, as well as by choosing 1 or 2 button styles. Avoid layering, and keep your colors monochromatic (all same color) from shoe to collar. A suit will be far more slimming and elongating than a dark sport coat and light trousers.
3. If you are big and tall: You want to reduce height and bulk. Do this by creating horizontal lines where possible. A three button suit, or a double breasted. Cuffed trousers. Also, darker colors recede and lighter ones advance, so keeps things dark. Wear shoes and accessories that are scaled in proportion to your larger body.
4. If you are tall and thin: You want to add bulk and diminish height. Do this by creating horizontal lines as above, but adding layers such as vests, sweaters, heavier fabrics. You can easily wear larger patterns such as a windowpane fabric.
Want to know how to make certain the suits in your closet work for you?
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