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​​How To Buy A Suit That Fits: The Best Secrets For Men About How To Dress Well

1 month ago

How To Buy A Suit That Fits: The Best Secrets For Men About How To Dress Well

One of the most special items in any man’s wardrobe, and through which a man can show his personality, is the suit. There are so many occasions and social events where a dress code calls for an elegant suit or a blazer, that is always an important piece of somebody’s wardrobe. Finding the perfect-fitting suit may not be so easy, especially when ordering online, so we’re going to share some style tips for how a suit should fit.

A men’s suit is essential in any man’s wardrobe. A suit is a key item for men, whether single or double-breasted, a dinner suit for formal evening occasions, a linen suit for the summer, or a tweed suit for the winter. Suits can be very formal or bring a smart casual look, and it’s always a good idea to add a personal touch by combining a suit with a well-chosen tie or pocket handkerchief.

We bring you some advice to choose a suit according to your body shape – it’s very important to select a men’s suit according to the stature and shape of the body to be able to take advantage of the best attributes of everyone’s body: texture, colour, or design that makes this possible.

After all, nobody knows our own bodies better than we do!!

How to measure for a suit

Knowing your measurements and knowing how to take them can guarantee that you find a hassle-free way to shop online – which is why our size guide is so detailed!

Some things you might consider before buying a suit are knowing exactly the size suit you need. Don’t know your size? It’s easy to figure it out. You’ll need a tape measure and somebody at home to help you with it, if possible. An alternative option is to measure yourself in front of a mirror, so you can check the tape measure is straight enough when you’re measuring yourself. And remember that more accurate measures are always without clothes on.

These are the main measurements you need to take so you can be well on your way to being able to order an affordable suit online that fits like it was tailor-made for you:


It’s the first (and easiest) measurement you need to take to get your trouser size. Measure the natural waistline just above the top of your hips and below your stomach – just where your trousers normally sit. Don’t forget to leave the tape a little loose to give your trousers just enough room to fit two fingers in the back of the trousers’ waist (aren’t they useful after some events?).


Measure the chest at the fullest part, placing the tape close up under the arms and making sure the tape is well up at the back over the shoulder blades – be sure to keep the tape measure horizontal and not to pull too hard to hold your breath. This is a very important measurement as it decides the size you might need for the suit jacket.

Arms and legs

You need to measure your arm length, from the top of the shoulder to the wrist (neither above or below), and leg length from the crotch to the bottom of the trouser, making sure the tape measure is totally straight.


Wrap the tape measure carefully around the bottom of the neck, leaving at least a finger’s width between the tape and your neck.

Jacket length

You need to measure from the centre of the back of your neck to your hemline. The length measurement will vary depending on the style of the jacket - but the most elegant is when the derriere is covered by the jacket. The place where our knuckles reach should be roughly the place where our jacket ends.

Contrary to popular belief, the most important thing about a suit is that it fits well on the shoulders and not on the waist, as the waist is a measure that can be adjusted more easily. Jackets are usually the most expensive part of a suit, so when buying one it’s important to consider whether or not it will work for the occasion.

A suit has to fit well on the shoulders and not on the waist – Dobell.

What is the best suit fit for your shape?

How do you want to feel when wearing a suit? A men’s suit has to go very well according to your body shape and personality. It’s important that you look into the proper fit of the suit you are choosing before purchasing, and then you can ensure it’s going to be comfortable for you. Every cut of suit is different and frames your body in a different way.

These are the most popular type of suit fits:

Skinny fit

it’s the tightest fitting suit and there’s no excess fabric around the waist of a skinny fit jacket. The jacket is usually shorter and trousers can finish with a break above the shoes. You have to choose the perfect size and fabric to feel comfortable – and show your muscles through the suit!

Slim fit

Slim fits will usually have slimmer lapels, and narrower shoulders and chest. A slim-fit jacket is usually short and sits on the hips, rather than below them. Pieces are usually tighter than traditional suits.

Tailored fit

They are usually comfortable and smart, and are perfect for men of all shapes and sizes, as it frames the body without feeling tight. Jackets fit across the shoulders, nipped in at the waist, and sits just below the hips. Tailored suit trousers are slightly tapered, but not as much as the skinny or slim fits, and men look sharp in them.

Regular fit

The classiest cut of men's clothes, helping it to drape naturally on the body, while still maintaining a clean body shape.

Tailored fit suits are trendy, but if you need to decide the perfect cut for your body you should try to fasten the jacket and make sure that the lapels are not open or some wrinkles are formed. It this happens when you try a jacket, you should choose a bigger size or look for a different fit that best suits your body.

When finding the perfect suit trousers look for a pair of trousers that match with the suit jacket. To identify the correct size, pockets do not open and the waist is not too tight or too wide. Once these two points have been checked, try to squat and hold the posture for a few seconds – if you can do it and you feel comfortable you’ve found the right pair of trousers. And what about the trouser length? Your trousers should touch the shoe slightly, no more or less. It might seem too short, but trousers that are wrinkled at the ankles are not elegant!

How to tell that your suit fits

These are our top tips that could help when buying a suit online and trying it at home:

  1. Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top or middle button is fastened.

  2. The top button of a two-button suit – or the middle button of a three-button suit – should not fall below your navel.

  3. Jacket sleeves should end just above the large bone in your wrist.

  4. Check the shoulder seam fits correctly on your shoulder. If you spot any lumps or wrinkles then it isn’t fitting correctly.

  5. Make sure that between a quarter of an inch and half an inch of shirt cuff should be visible.

  6. Shoulder pads end with your shoulders.

  7. Slide your thumb between the button and your stomach. If your finger feels slightly tight it’s the suit is the right size for you. If you feel loose, you can adjust the bag a bit. But if you feel it’s too tight, try on a larger size.

  8. The flaps should lie on your chest if the jacket is buttoned. If there’s a space between the jacket and the collar of the shirt you need another size… or even another suit style for you!

Nailing the basics: what do you need to check before buying a suit?

The colour

One of the main characteristics when deciding to buy a suit is the colour. Blue or navy suits are classic and versatile because you can wear them in the office or for a day or evening event. Grey suits are easy-wearing and are easy to combine with a range of shirts and shoes, unlike that black suits, that are more common as uniforms. And what about brown suits? They are original and elegant, but it’s better to consider this colour once you have a good collection of suits.

The fabric

We can find many types of fabric and finishings. If you don’t want to take a risk in your suit, the most conservative fabric should be matte (not glossy) finish. Bright suits are really pretty but focused for an evening event, but a matte fabric is acceptable for either day or night.

The type of lapel

Lapels define the character of the suits and brings a lot of information about a jacket, for example, it can tell us the age and quality of a suit (simply stroking the hidden part we can see the level of internal assembly that provides the jacket). Each type of lapel is made for a different occasion, so when buying a new jacket consider when and how it will be worn. There are three types of lapels: notch lapel, peak lapel, and shawl lapels (popular for dining jackets and tuxedos).

Notch Lapel Peak Lapel Shawl Lapel
Description Edges pointing forwards and towards the shoulders are traditionally the most formal lapels, originally common in tailcoats and morning coats Also known as 'stepped lapel' the notch lapel is defined by a notch where the bottom of the collar meets the top of the lapel, generally at a 75-90 degree angle Single-rounded edge, and most seen on dinner jackets or tuxedos. Depending on the colour of the jacket it can be wear in other more informal occasions
Best occasion to wear it Weddings, formal dinner, black tie events, or whenever you want to dress up a bit Business suits, it's a great piece for job interviews Weddings, dinners, black tie events, proms, red carpet galas
Best for this type of body Suitable for all body types but slim notch lapels help to flatter and maintain the proportions of a slimmer frame
Suitable for all body types and great for short men: the point a peak lapel can create the effect of adding some height – people tend to look forward
Perhaps not recommended if you have a round face or body – it brings attention to the body shape

The number of buttons

Jackets can include one, two, or three buttons. If in doubt, at Dobell Menswear we would recommend a two-button jacket because it’s between a formal and an informal look – and it usually looks good in different shapes or size bodies. Try to leave the last button open so you can keep a good proportion of your body (the top button should be above your belly button).

The double-breasted suits

Two parallel rows of buttons superimposed on chest and belly. Only one of the rows is usually functional, while the other is decorative and ads an inner button as an “anchor” which holds the piece in place. The jacket is usually worn buttoned.

Tie or pocket handkerchief

Ties are a must in a formal event, but pocket handkerchiefs, or pocket squares, are becoming very popular for youngsters to bring a smart casual look and avoid the tie in the outfit. Tie colours are often said to signify something about the wearer’s personality; for example, a red tie conveys power, a yellow tie shows confidence, and an orange tie creates a memorable first impression.

Buying a suit online shouldn’t be risky when you get the advice of the size guides and tutorials, and at Dobell Menswear with a wide range of suits, you might be confident to find the perfect one here!