One of the many advantages of made-to-measure suiting is that you’re able to modify patterns based on your shape. For those over 6’1 (or those on the shorter side) this has two benefits; finding a suit is no longer as much of a hassle and, secondly, your alteration bill will be significantly reduced.
Beyond getting a suit that fits, one of the other benefits of made-to-measure is that you can actually optimise the cut based on your assets. After all, an Oscar Hunt suit should be a sartorial expression of you – not just a ‘good enough’ garment. Here, we’ll explain how to play to your strengths, regardless of your body type.
For the vertically challenged, the rule generally goes that you want to aim for extended lines that give the illusion of added height. In suiting, this translates through slim, proportionate tailoring.
When it comes to jackets, choose styles that fit neatly around your shoulders and skim the base of your glutes. This kind of tailoring slims and extends your body. Opt for darker colours and elongating patterns like pinstripes as these will also assist in adding height.
In a similar vein, avoid patterns like windowpane checks that break up your body visually, block colours are preferable as they’ll assist in elongating your body. This is particularly the case when worn in a 2-piece suit.
As for shirting, the key thing is to ensure your sleeves are the correct length. The cuff should ideally sit on the boney part of your wrist, peaking out from your jacket sleeve by 1-2 cm.
Focus on trousers that have a minimal break at the front as this can make it look like they’re too long and adds unnecessary bulk to the bottom half of your suit. Similarly, cropped styles or trousers with cuffs cut off the leg and can make you appear more squat than you really are. Instead, opt for a well fitted pair that graze the top of your shoes in a dark colour.
Suiting is a universal struggle for taller chaps – particularly if you’re buying off the rack. For the most part, you have to make do with jackets that are too short, sitting high up on the glutes. Thankfully, made-to-measure suiting can ease some of these challenges.
A jacket that is too short has the unfortunate effect of making it look like you have hunched shoulders or, worse still, that the suit is just too small. At Oscar Hunt, we advise against more cropped jacket styles in favour of jackets that finish at the base of your glutes. Any shorter than this and it’ll throw out your silhouette.
Also consider how your jacket and shirt fit around your torso. If you have a straight-up-and-down kind of body, use tailoring elements like wider lapels to break up the silhouette and create the illusion of broader shoulders and a smaller waist.
Ensure that any finishing touches are correctly proportioned too. Your necktie should finish on your waist band and you shouldn’t show more than a centimeter or so of shirt cuff. Both of these points will assist in making your suit look premium and well tailored.
As a taller gentleman, the key thing to remember with trousers is ensuring that they don’t look too short. A neat hem with a single break at the front looks timeless and will ensure that your suit is proportionate.
If you’re looking to experiment with a slightly bolder silhouette, you can also play with elements like the rise of your trousers. A high-waist is flattering for anyone with an average to long torso as it elongates the leg and makes for a smaller looking waist line.
For those with a slim build, suiting tends to represent two distinct challenges; the first is that it can look too big, hanging limply off your frame and the second is the suit being too tight, further emphasising an already slender build.
Opt for a jacket that skims your frame without gripping. Choosing a style with wider lapels or even a bolder pattern will also help in creating the illusion of a broader chest and shoulders. Steer clear of softer tailoring and instead go for more traditional styles, putting particular focus on roped shoulders – these further help in creating the appearance of a broader frame and give the jacket a greater sense of structure.
In a similar vein, it’s best to steer clear of super slim shirting as this will only further emphasis an already skinny frame. Instead, go for slim cuts with darts in the back. This compliments the form and will work well with a slim cut suit.
With trousers, choose a slim style that fits nearly around the glutes and waist. In particular, you want to avoid skinny trousers that can make you look top heavy and give the effect of ‘chicken legs’.
Adding a single pleat at the front of your trousers can also assist in creating further depth and volume. The same goes for the addition of a cuff at the hem.
For those with a wider frame, it pays to avoid overly tailored suiting. As a rule, this results in a suit looking like it’s too small or poorly altered and will likely emphasise those parts of your body that you’d rather prefer not to. Instead, go for classic tailoring that’s optimised for your build.
When it gets down to the specifics of jackets, opt for a two-button style. This is slimming, particularly in darker colours like navy or charcoal. Conversely, you’ll want to try and avoid overly bold patterns like windowpane checks as these make you appear wider than you really are. Instead, opt for vertical designs like pinstripes that elongate the body.
With shirting, stick with classic or regular cuts – slim styles can pull around the buttons, particularly when you’re sitting. Even if the shirt fits well when standing, this will make it look as if it’s too small.
Classic or tapered trousers with a single break at the front can assist in making your legs look longer and therefore thinner. A medium rise waist will also emphasise a longer leg and can distract from the stomach.
Particularly as gentlemen age, weight can begin to collect around the waist and hips resulting in an inverted triangle silhouette. The challenge with suiting comes from finding a way to make your body look proportionate in a clothing style that is based on an opposite body shape (narrow hips and broad shoulders).
To create the illusion of a broader chest and shoulders, we suggest choosing more structured styles that add bulk to the upper part of the torso while simultaneously diverting attention from your midsection. Look for roped shoulders and bolder fabrics in single breasted styles to assist in this respect.
As for those with a stockier build, shirting should be classic or regular in style to ensure that you have room to move.
When it comes to choosing trouser styles, steer clear of anything that’s overly slim, instead going for a straight leg. This prevents you from looking top-heavy and takes attention away from any weight around the hips and glutes.
As most off the rack suits are designed for an average body type, finding suiting that fits a more athletic build can be a challenge. The trick lies in choosing slim tailoring that flatters but doesn’t cling to your form.
When discussing the style of jacket you’d like with your fitter, you may wish to add some visual bulk to your waist so as to avoid the effect of an overly hourglass figure. This can be achieved by playing with bolder patterns like houndstooth. It should be noted that this is in no way an effort to minimise your hard work at the gym – rather it’s an effort to make your whole ensemble look well balanced.
When it comes to the tailoring details, explore softer, Neapolitan-style tailoring. This kind of jacket slopes with the natural line of your shoulders and can make your shoulders look slimmer. In a similar vein, avoid wide, peak lapels that can have a broadening effect and can throw the garment out of proportion.
If you have a lot of bulk around your thighs, you’re likely familiar with the struggle to find pants that fit. The beauty of made-to-measure suiting is that you can optimise trousers based on any of these idiosyncrasies and you don’t have to compromise. For those with muscular legs, our recommendation is to go for slim – not skinny – styles. This will ensure your legs appear stream lined but still offer you the movement required for day-to-day life.
Regardless of your body shape, Oscar Hunt strives for tailoring that is flattering and practical. Should you have any queries regarding the best style for you, our team of expert fitters are always able to offer advice and guide you through the process to achieve the optimal outcome.