Shopping for a suit can be a tedious, time-consuming experience that can leave you frustrated without anything to show for it. This is particularly true for big and tall men, as suits are typically made to accommodate the “average” size guy. You can scour dozens upon dozens of retail stores, all to no avail. Sure, you may stumble upon a few suits in the color/style that you prefer, but chances are they won’t fit. This begs the question: how do big and tall men find the perfect suit?
You’re Doing it Wrong
Far too many men assume that it’s best to shop for a suit in person instead of ordering it online. After all, conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that you’ll find a better fit by shopping for a suit in person. Doing so will allow you to try the suit on, checking to see exactly how it fits on your body. But if you’re a big and tall guy, you may want to skip this traditional method of thinking, as it can hinder your ability to find the perfect-fitting suit.
As stated above, the problem with many retail suit stores and brick-and-mortar suit shops is that they produce their suits based on the measurements of an average customer. No two men are the same, however, so even a suit fits one guy, it may not fit the next. Granted, you may get lucky and stumble upon the perfect suit that fits your body just right, but it’s usually hit or miss — and misses occur more frequently than hits for big and tall men. If you want to find the perfect suit — and I’m assuming you do — you need to change your way of thinking.
Custom Order Your Suit
Arguably, the single most important suit tip for big and tall men is to custom order your suit. We’ve talked about this before on the StudioSuits blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that there are several different ways to “buy” a suit. Retail and department stores, for instance, typically offer off-the-rack suits, which are made using standard sizing and later sold without any modifications. You can expect to pay less for an off-the-rack suit, but unfortunately there’s a good chance that it may not fit right, especially if you’re big and tall. So, what type of suit should you buy instead?
Rather than buying an off-the-rack suit, consider choosing either a bespoke or made-to-measure suit. Made-to-measure suits are created by machine, typically using a pattern that’s adjusted based on the customer’s specified measurements. When ordering a made-to-measure suit, the customer specifies his body measurements to ensure a proper fit. Bespoke suits offer similar benefits, as they are also custom made according to the customer’s specifications. The only difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is that bespoke suits are typically crafted by hand, without the use of a pattern. Regardless, you really can’t go wrong with a bespoke or made-to-measure suit.
Don’t Go ‘Too’ Big
One of the biggest mistakes that big and tall men make when choosing a suit involves the size. Because they are big, they assume it’s best to choose the largest suit possible. Nine out of ten times, however, this created an unflattering appearance that takes away from their outfit. But how do you know if a suit is too big for your respective body size?
A simple test is to look at yourself in the mirror, checking to see if there’s any wrinkles, sagging fabric or other excess material. Big and tall men need to eliminate these imperfections by choosing an appropriate, proper-fitting suit. While a baggy suit is never a good idea, regardless of your weight and/or size, it’s especially bad big and tall men. Otherwise minor imperfections like wrinkles and sagging fabric are enhanced on big and tall men, making them stand out.
When you’re busy looking at all of the features in a men’s suit, you may overlook its weight. Besides, how much of a difference does the weight of a suit really make? In terms of appearance, it’s not going to have a huge effect. However, the weight of a suit will affect other aspects of its use, such as its breathability and overall comfort.
Wool and similar thick fabric should be avoided by big and tall men. Instead, consider choosing a suit made of a lighter fabric like twill or linen. Fabrics such as these allow for greater breathability, making them more comfortable to wear during the hot spring and summer months. You can still add a wool suit to your collection, although it’s best to wear thicker suits during the winter.
Watch the Wrists
Of course, you should also check to make sure that your suit isn’t too small. Suit jackets should stop at your wrists, not before or not after. It’s not uncommon for some suit jackets, however, to stop just a couple inches shy of the wrist. When this occurs, it will reveal a portion of your shirt, creating a messy appearance. Hold your arms out to see where exactly your suit jacket sleeves stop. If it’s before the wrist — even by just a couple of inches — you’ll need to either choose a different suit jacket or have your existing jacket altered by a professional tailor.
Shopping for a suit isn’t always easy if your a big and tall guy. Most retailers produce and sell suits for the average-sized guy, making it difficult to find the perfect fit. But there are ways to avoid these headaches, such as custom ordering your suit from the experts here at StudioSuits. Customers can specify their own measurements during the checkout process, eliminating the possibility of a bad fit. Whether you’re big, small or somewhere in between, avoid shopping for suits at genetic retail and department stores, and instead buy your suit here at StudioSuits. It’s a smart decision that will pay off in the form of a better-fitting, more comfortable suit.