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Suits

How to: Wear a slim-fit suit

How to: Wear a slim-fit suit

"Slim-fit suits are cut to follow your body's natural shape without as much extra fabric as regular suits," explains Thread stylist Millie Rich. Because a slim suit’s jacket goes in slightly between your ribs and waist—and the trousers are subtly narrower at the ankle than at the thigh—this style of suit is flattering, especially on slimmer guys.

Wondering whether a slim-fit suit is right for you? Consider Millie's rule of thumb: "If you like wearing slim jeans or trousers, you'll like the way a slim-fit suit is cut."

Wary of buying a suit online? Here's Millie's take: "It’s extremely rare to try on a suit and find that it fits absolutely perfectly; getting some quick tailoring will almost always improve a suit exponentially. If you want to try wearing a slim-fit suit, I'd recommend buying an option or two online, choosing your favourite, and then bringing it to a tailor to have it tweaked to fit perfectly." (You can find some of the Thread stylists' favourite suit tailors here.)

Below, Millie shares five things that make a slim-fit suit look its best.

1. Trousers are slim, very subtly tapered, and sit at the top of the shoes

"If a slim-fit suit's trousers fit well, you should have about two inches of fabric to pinch in the thigh when you're standing up, and a couple more inches around the bottom of your ankle. (A skinny suit, by contrast, would be tight at the ankles.) The trousers should sit at the tops of your shoes—slightly shorter than the trousers of a normal suit."

2. The shirt must be slim-fit, so it doesn't bunch

"If you wear an ordinary shirt with a slim suit, it'll end up scrunched under your jacket; a slim shirt, on the other hand, won't bunch."

3. Your jacket's shoulder seams sit on the ends of your shoulder blades

"If your suit jacket's shoulder seams sit on the ends of the shoulder blades, the arms will lie smooth and the whole jacket will look its smartest. If the seams sit nearer to your neck, the fabric will stretch around the shoulders and make you look bulky. And if the shoulders are too big, they'll create what stylists call 'divots'—puckers of excess fabric right under the seam that make the whole suit look dated."

4. Your jacket's body isn't too tight

"First of all, you should be able to fasten all the jacket's buttons without straining the fabric around the waist. And here's another way to know if it fits: When you button the top button and pull it out from your stomach with your thumb, you should have about an inch of space. Any more than an inch and the jacket's too big; any less and it'll bunch or stretch around your chest or stomach."

5. The tie and lapels are slim (like the suit)

"If you think about proportions, it makes sense that your tie and lapel should be narrower if you're wearing a slim-fit suit. At its widest point, your tie should be no wider than a credit card, and your lapel can be the same width or a centimeter or two wider. If your tie and lapels are any wider than this, they'll overwhelm your whole look; if they're any thinner, your suit will look trendy."