Truly, you can leave all the work and details to your tailor, it does not hurt to know the types of adjustments that can be made, and even more importantly, what a good fit should look like. In the case of a suit, you can tell whether it fits well based on your natural stance – your posture when standing upright with your arms relaxed at the sides.
Here is some useful men’s styling advice to let you know what a “tailored to fit” should look like:
The Tailor and the Shoulders
You know your jacket’s shoulders fit well if they lie flat, with the seam at the top extending the same length as your shoulder-bone underneath. The seam should meet the jacket’s sleeve at the joint between your arm and shoulder.
Shoulders are very hard to adjust after a jacket is fully constructed, so it is important that you don’t buy a jacket with an ill-fitting shoulder – with the seam connecting the sleeve to the jacket hiked up your shoulder bone, or dangling down your upper arm.
The Tailor and the Jacket Closure
When you assume the natural stance, you should be able to button your jacket comfortably. When checking how well it closes over your body, close only one of the buttons first, to see if the two sides meet neatly. For a proper fit, the lapels should not hang forward off your body (this means it is too loose), and the lower edges should not flare out like a skirt (this means it is too tight).
The buttons should close without forming wrinkles. If something is off, your tailor can adjust it slightly, though not much can be done to adjust a very loose or excessively tight jacket without ruining it.
The Tailor and the Trouser Seat
The rear of your trousers should drape smoothly over the shape of your bottom, without pulling tightly against your rear end, or hanging loosely down your thighs.
You can tell a bad fit from a proper one if the there are horizontal wrinkles under your bottom – for a very tight fit, or loose, u-shaped sags around your hamstring – for a very loose fit. While a bad fit is fairly easy to adjust, it is advisable that you don’t purchase overly baggy or tight Trousers, because getting a proper fit might mean pulling the pockets out of their correct position.
The Tailor and the Trouser Break
A break is that small wrinkle formed when your trouser cuff falls on the top of your shoe, breaking its full length. The ideal break should be small and subtle, possible one horizontal crease resting on top of your shoe, when you are standing in the natural stance. It is a very easy adjustment to make, so if everything else fits well, you can leave this adjustment to your tailor.
There are a few other jacket adjustments that you might want to consider when getting your suit adjusted, like the jacket sleeve length, collar, and length. While most of these measurements are adjustable, it is best to purchase a garment that is as close to your perfect fit as possible in order to preserve most of its natural look.