A great-fitting suit is not about how tight it fits, it’s about proportion and balance. To the average person this may sound insignificant, as most men would rather hear about lapel width, 6” or 7” drops, shoulder padding, and the like.
Firstly, a great-fitting suit must start with proportion and balance. If the neck to waist measurement on a shorter man is too long, the jacket breaks at his waist in the back. We are meticulous about proper measurements. Also, when a shorter guy puts on a very short trendy jacket, it can’t fit because the waist and sleeves and other proportions are made for a taller man. So, don’t be fooled by length alone. Shorter men tend to stand more erect, so we’ve adjusted our garments the appropriate amount for this. By correcting this issue, it helps prevent the sleeve heads from twisting,and collars don’t have to be lowered (an alteration done to fix the ripple effect one gets at the nape of their neck). In our garments, also because of the correct balance, you won’t find that the front of the jacket stands/sticks away.
Men may not care about the technical details that makes a suit fit great, but they are thrilled with the fact that ours do. What are perhaps boring facts to the consumer; elbow placement on jackets, knee notch position on pants, the balance and proportion of a garment, are critical and exciting elements to me, because I know the results are going to be great! I work very closely with our suppliers who are very amenable to working on perfecting measurements and patterns for us. I am fortunate to have been in the specialty business for a long time, and these very important matters, are always first and fore most on my mind.
Once the balance and fit is right, then the next obvious step is to make the length of the jacket appropriate to current fashion trends. Right now, a modern suit should come to the bottom of one’s seat. This modern shorter jacket length (compared to older longer styles) looks great and will be around for quite a while. For the last number of years the industry has touted tighter and tighter fits, however the easing up of silhouettes in suits and sport jackets is trending in very quickly. Too tight is OUT!
There are so many important details that make a suit on a shorter man fit better; button stance, slope of shoulder, pitch, etc. that I could write a book. Ultimately, a customer just wants to come in and say, “Wow! this fits great!”.
Robbie Brown is a retail entrepreneur and fashion innovator. He is currently building a retail concept called, ROBBIE BROWN, clothing for men up to 5’8” (a fashionable and better quality store for shorter men).