The problem is a lot of guys think that they can just get something nice and wear it off the rack. Some are too intimidated to dive into the tailoring process because they think it’s weird having a guy feel you up. It’s actually easier than you think to get the most out of your suit.

Dress Shirts

If you get the right shirt, you actually don’t need to get it tailored. Some brands fit some bodies better than others. Knowing what looks good on your frame takes trying stuff on.

There are three distinct cuts: Classic, Tailored, and Slim Fit.  Stick with the slim fit, unless you are a heftier individual, then go for tailored.  Stay away from classic unless you want to look like your grandpa, and not in the cool Macklemore “Thrift Shop” way.  Slim fit dress shirts hug your body and give you all the right lines when you’re suited up.

No muffin-top fabric-bunching for you, my friend.  Knowing your collar size is paramount because most guys wear collars that are tragically too big.  A collar should be tight; you should only be able to fit two fingers between your neck and the collar, and even by doing that, it should feel snug.  The correct fit compliments and frames your best asset: Your face! (as well as creating a more modern silhouette for the rest of the shirt).

The Suit

The same rule-of-three different trims usually applies to most menswear suit lines.  Pass on classic and tailored, and walk right over to slim fit. Slim fit suits are here to stay. Slim fit suits are characterized with higher arm holes, a trimmer, slightly shorter, jacket, and flat fronts on the pants (as in no pleats). A slim fit suit is engineered to always compliment your silhouette even if you aren’t the most fit guy out there.

Don’t worry if you aren’t completely happy with your purchases or think they make you look like a skater kid trying to dress up for prom…this is where our new best friend the tailor comes in.  If you want bonus points, take the time to pick up a few pocket squares while you’re shopping. That little piece of fabric stuffed in your breast pocket not only is the mark of a true pro, but also surreptitiously draws the eye to the upper half of your figure. The Kooples has a fantastic lineup of suits.

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Image credit: I Am Galla

Getting Tailor Made

Here comes the fun part.  Finding the RIGHT tailor is going to take some time. You need to find a tailor that is going to put the focus on you and your body/swag and not follow some 50 plus year template of how a man should dress.  Also, steer clear from the cigarette-reeking tailoring shops owned by someone behind the counter who you wouldn’t trust to dress you .  Nothing against those dudes, but you need to find a modern tailor who has an eye for current trends and caters to personal needs.  I use Marin Tailors in Beverly Hills, but it’s up to you to find someone hip and knowledgeable in the field.  Yelp that shit.

What You Need to Ask For

  1. It all starts with the pants.  Always ask to take the pants an inch slimmer throughout the entire length of the leg.  This takes away any last boxy shapes left in the slim cut pants and adds curves that frame your leg.  Next, tackle the crotch so it doesn’t look like you are packaging your manhood in a fed-ex box.  Have your tailor take the crotch up in front and behind.  If you got the right waist size you shouldn’t need that adjusted at all! But, most dress pants come with a little extra fabric, so if you ever need to get them let out, you probably can ask.
  1.  The jacket is definitely going to need to be taken in at the waist.  This creates a v-shape that is flattering to your torso.  You’ll know you are getting to the right place when you start seeing more of your body’s natural shape coming through.  Additionally, shorten the sleeves of the jacket so a quarter inch of shirt fabric is showing when your arms are at rest.
  1.  The modern man keeps his pants with no break. The break is the point at which the fabric bends upon touching the tops of your shoes.  You don’t want this; it’s old fashioned. They will probably ask, “medium break or small break?” Neither. You don’t want a break, because it makes you look short. Every tailor knows how to do a no break, but not every tailor recommends it (aka the old timer tailors stuck in a by-gone age). Take charge. Don’t take no for an answer.  Having no break makes your legs look longer and gives off cleaner lines; nothing is worse than having a pile of fabric sitting on top of your shoes.

You look great, man.  You’re a regular Don Draper!  Last piece of advice, when you go to your tailor, remember you are the boss.  You make the calls, so you should come in knowing what kind of look you want.  A great tailor brings his knowledge of the field to the table, but you shouldn’t be afraid to suggest a little more “no” to a “no-break”.  Try new things, print out some pictures from the latest GQ, but most importantly be confident that you are taking the first step into becoming a sartorial legend like this guy.

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