WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Many gentlemen confuse the two and then don’t understand why their fitted suit doesn’t last as long as their looser suits, even though they both “fit”. The difference is quite simple: if a suit fits, it follows your natural body shape precisely and will fit like a second skin. A fitted suit on the other hand will be much closer to the body. This will accentuate the figure of the wearer, which perhaps is why younger or more athletic gents tend to choose them.
It is more of a fashion trend to have a fitted suit, whereas suits that fit are more of a classic style. Though there is nothing wrong with favoring fitted suits, they are more likely to wear quicker due to extra stress on the tightly pulled seams.
Suits that fit
The shoulder on suits that fit will end exactly on your natural shoulder. The sleeve will then fall in a straight, un-interrupted line. The wearer will notice that the suit is hugging them a little closer than they might be used to if they are typically an off the peg wearer, however there will be enough cloth for the wearer to still move comfortably in.
The waist on suits that fit will gently follow the wearer’s natural waist, with about an inch of allowance for comfort and movement. There should be no “X” shape on the cloth around where the button fastens.
The sleeve on suits that fit will allow for plenty of movement, whilst still eliminating extra cloth that would give a baggy look to the sleeve.
The trousers on suits that fit will fall completely straight down the creases that run along the front and back of the trouser. There will be 1.5+ inches of room in the thigh and a little more at the hem – often between 2-3 inches more. This means that when the wearer walks there is still plenty of space for the leg to move without putting pressure on the seams, likewise when the wearer is seated and their thighs expand. At the hem of the trouser will typically be either a ½ or ¼ break – dependent on the wearer’s taste, which helps with maintaining clean lines with no baggy excess cloth.
Suits that are fitted
The shoulder on a fitted suit will finish just before the wearer’s natural shoulder does, resulting in a tighter fit across the wearers back. Instead of the sleeve falling straight and smooth line down the arm, the cloth will instead bend around the wearers shoulder cap. Movement is reduced and – depending on how tight the shoulder is – the seams will be under higher pressure, which will weaken them over time.
The waist on a fitted suit will be cut much closer to the body, to the point that there is often no allowance for movement. This means that while a slimmer aesthetic may have been achieved, there will be an “X” around the fastened button where the cloth is pulling.
The sleeve on a fitted suit will be much slimmer, following the wearer’s arm much more closely. This means that as the wearer bends their arms, the cloth will hug the muscles closely as they expand – a desirable trait for anyone proud of their gym achievements.
The trousers on a suit that is fitted will be much slimmer at the hem, often offering as little as 1 inch of room for the leg to move around in. Through the knee and thigh the trouser will also be much tighter and as a result the seat will hug the wearers buttocks closely. The hem of the trouser often stops well before the shoe; meaning breaks on fitted trousers are seen much less often. If the trouser were to be left at normal length whist so close to the wearer’s leg, the result would be unsightly bunching at the ankle. The reduced room in the trouser will aid in showing off slimmer legs but will reduce flexibility and durability.
A fitted suit will serve well at keeping the wearer in-trend and will assist in highlighting an athletic figure. In terms of day-to-day wear however, the tightly pulled seams will give way much quicker over time. For a party or one-off event, your fitted suit will serve you well. If however you’re a daily suit wearer, you’re going to get a more comfortable and longer lasting garment if you choose to wear a suit that fits.