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The short answer: Yes. Unless your suit is made-to-measure, any off-the-rack suit is going to need to have alterations done. Here’s why: Suits are typically constructed to fit the “average” body. The problem is that everyone’s body is different. Even if you consider yourself to be of “average” build, most suits have not been constructed exactly for your body. These are the parts of your suit that you’ll probably need to alter:

Sleeves: You always want the sleeve of your suit jacket to show about a quarter inch of the cuff of your shirt. 

Body of the jacket: You want the jacket to have a V-cut taper. 

The waist of the pants: Although you can wear a belt to hold up a pair of pants that is too big at the waist, a good fit is the difference between looking just OK and looking amazing. 

Tapering the legs:This means a small taper from the knee down to the ankle. (As opposed to making the pants skin tight.) 

Hem: Have the hem of the pants adjusted to the right length. The bottom of the hem should hit just across the top of your shoe. 

When you buy a suit, figure tailoring into your budget. Fit is everything. You can spend thousands of dollars on a suit, but if the fit is not right it’s not worth it. An affordable suit that has been altered for your body will look better than an expensive suit that doesn’t fit right, so protect your investment – or turn an inexpensive suit into one that looks like a million bucks. 

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Dennis Berry

Dennis Berry

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