A Guide to Suit Fits

Selecting the right suit isn’t just about picking a colour or fabric that appeals to you; the fit is paramount, and it heavily leans on one critical factor: your body shape. It’s the cornerstone of style, comfort, and (dare we say?) swagger. A suit should feel like a second skin. Knowing which fit flatters your physique can transform you into a man who doesn’t just wear a suit, but commands it.

There is another factor at play here, however. The fit of men’s suits is subject to fashion just like all other garments. Right now, we’ve been in a “slim” phase for a good decade. That holds true for men and women, for formal and informal fashion. Some men like to accentuate the slimness and go into skinny territory. That might be preferable if you have muscular build, where even a small amount of play could make the trousers look quite loose.

Will the narrow trend last forever? Possibly not – we’re starting to see signs that contours are getting a little more generous. There’s always a chance we’ll end up in Miami Vice territory again. One thing is known – there will always be a premium for a tailored look in suits. It oozes sophistication and taste. Fashion is itself just a gentle hand on the tiller, guiding the suit in subtle directions.

Let’s walk through the main types of suit fits that every modern gentleman should familiarise himself with – skinny, slim, regular, tailored, and relaxed. 

Skinny fit suit

Skinny suits are characterised by their tight-fitting silhouette that closely hugs the body. For the jacket, expect narrower lapels and a cinched waist, creating a sleek, contemporary profile. The trousers here are equally form-fitting, tapering more aggressively towards the ankle than other fits.

This cut is most flattering for men with a slimmer, more angular physique. A word to the wise: “skinny” doesn’t mean “restrictive,” so ensure the fabric allows for a comfortable range of motion.

Slim fit suit

The slim fit is akin to the skinny fit but offers a tad more room, making it a versatile choice for various body types. The jacket in this fit is snug across the shoulders and chest but less constricting around the waist. Slim-fit trousers maintain a narrow leg but don’t cling as tightly to the skin as their skinny counterparts, affording a bit more freedom.

Slim is an excellent choice for men who seek a modern silhouette without venturing into skin-tight territory. It’s a contemporary look that you can hardly go wrong with as it’s flattering and stylish.

Regular fit suit

The regular fit is the classic choice that has stood the test of time. This fit provides more room through the chest and waist of the jacket, making it suitable for almost any body type. The shoulders are typically broader to offer maximum comfort without forgoing formality.

Trousers in a regular fit are straight-legged, not tapering much from hip to hem, ensuring ease of movement and a timeless look. If you're after flexibility and traditional elegance, the regular fit is your go-to.

Tailored fit suit

Navigating the space between slim and regular fits, the tailored fit is precisely what it sounds like: it offers a sculpted silhouette that looks custom-made. Jackets are designed to accentuate the shoulders and narrow down towards the waist, though not as snugly as in slim or skinny fits. 

Trousers follow the form with a gentle taper that highlights your natural shape while ensuring comfort. It’s a universally flattering choice that combines modernity with classic tailoring principles.

Loose or relaxed fit suit

Embracing comfort without losing sight of sophistication, the loose or relaxed fit is all about ease of wear. Jackets are roomier around the chest and waist without billowing – think structured yet spacious. Relaxed-fit trousers are straight-legged but offer a generous cut, allowing for unrestricted movement throughout the day.

This fit is ideal for men who prioritise comfort above all else or those with larger frames seeking suits that don’t compromise on style or fit. It’s also a cool option for summer months, especially if worn in a light colour with minimal underlayering.

In essence …

A well-chosen suit amplifies your confidence and reflects your personal style. Whether you lean towards the body-hugging appeal of skinny suits or favour the nonchalant elegance of relaxed fits, there’s something for every man.

Pay attention to how the jacket and trousers complement your body shape. Tailor your choices not just to your aesthetic inclinations but also to where and how you plan to wear them; context matters as much as cut. Armed with this guide, you’re well on your way to building an ensemble that’s both quintessentially yours and unapologetically smart.