When I was growing up, New Kids on the Block were the fashion benchmark. Girls adored them and guys wanted to be them. Mastering the vocal chops and sick dance moves took more effort than begging my mom for acid wash jeans, denim vests, and varsity jackets, so I copied their fresh street style in the hope of being just as cool. This is when I first learned the importance of “fit.” I came home with what I considered a pretty close replica of the blazer Jordan was sporting in the Step by Step video, and yet somehow it didn’t have the same appeal on my scrawny frame. It looked a bit more like I was playing dress up. Which, in truth, I kind of was.
This was one of the first style values I ever learned, even at a young age. Fit is key. You can still buy off the rack, but investing in a quick nip and tuck here and there makes all the difference in how you feel and how you look. Tailoring a suit is much easier than you might think. Hang Tuff because here are the ways to level up your suit game, Step By Step baby.
Investing in a quick nip and tuck here and there makes all the difference.
Key Elements of a Tailored Suit
When it comes to having a suit tailored, there are key areas you need to focus your attention on to ensure the perfect fit.
Shoulder - The seams of the shoulder should line up with your actual shoulder ends. Additional padding or structuring can throw off the balance and make you look more like Robocop than Joey in his prime.
Waist - The waist of your pants should fall just a few inches below the navel area. This might seem high when you first put them on, but trust us (and every girl in the room) you won’t look like Steve Urkel.
Sleeve - Sleeves should follow close to your natural contours, and end as close to where the arm ends and thumb begins as possible.
Legs - The legs of your tailored suit should allow for slightly more room in the thigh area than toward or below the knee. They should be long enough to hide your ankle while standing, but it’s ok to give people a sneak peak of the socks when you sit down.
Jacket Length - With your hands at your side, look to see if your jacket ends around the knuckles of your hand or around the bottom of your zipper.
Pair this with a tailored shirt and some sweet shoes, and you walk into the board room or any event with the confidence of Jordan Knight in his prime, making every else look like your background dancers, AKA Danny Wood (sorry Danny).
Make every else look like your background dancers
Get the Perfect Fit Right From the Start
If taking your new suit to the tailor is inconvenient for you, there are a number of stores, like Brooks Brothers, that offer made-to-measure suits. You go in and have a suit made from your exact measurements. This eliminates the need for alterations post purchase. When you go in for your suit measurements, be sure to bring a pair of dress shoes with you. This will help establish the length of your pants.
Now, suits are just the beginning. Once you experience the benefits of tailored goods, you’ll want to tailor everything: pants, shirts, coats. Trust me. It feels better and it looks better. You might not be able to go back in time and be a part of a boy band, but you can feel like the star in any room with a suit that shows off your best features.