Image via Institchu. Lighter fabric in navy.

Suit shopping for your wedding can go one of two ways; either it’s a massive drainer or you absolutely crush it.

It usually depends on how much you’re used to wearing suits. After all, some people don’t need to wear a suit unless, well, unless they’re going to a wedding, while others wear one nearly every day.
And if you’re the former, how do you know if your off-the-rack suit is the right fit?

Advice from the professionals

Carl Nave Individually Tailored – a Melbourne business which specialises in individually tailored suits for all occasions, had a few simple but important pieces of advice, and he said going against them was a “cardinal sin”, as far as he was concerned.


“Always look at the shoulders, and the length of the jacket and sleeves,” Carl says.

“If the shoulders are too tight, or too broad, the rest of the suit is not going to fit well.

“The length of jacket is crucial in achieving the right proportions from width to length.

“Cropped jackets are uncouth, your jacket should always cover your back side and crotch, adversely you don’t want the jacket to be too long either, you’ll look like you’re wearing your dad’s jacket and the whole thing will swallow you up.

“Sleeve lengths are paramount to executing the perfect look.”

Carl says your jacket sleeve should be cut 2cm shorter than your shirt cuff.

Image via Carl Nave. Model Sam Wines wearing Carl Nave.

Mauricio Rios – Wedding Manager at InStitchu – custom, tailored menswear around the globe – also highlighted the shoulders as a place to start when seeking the perfect suit.

“One of the most important things to look for in a suit is how well the shoulders fit and – one that so many people get wrong.

“When assessing the fit of your suit, start from your shoulders and then work your way down.
“The shoulder seams of your coat should lay flat and finish at the end of your shoulders where your shoulders start to curve down to your arm.

“The shoulder seams should not extend beyond this, or the jacket will look oversized and ill-fitted.
“It is very difficult to alter a jacket’s shoulders without recreating the whole garment, so if you buy oversized and off the rack it will be difficult to improve the fit.”

Common mistakes

Carl says that he’s seen “many” common mistakes but the worst offender is the ill-fitting jacket.
“Some jackets are cut way too tight and other can to broad and boxy. The perfect jacket should hug your shoulders and drape softly around the body with a lovely taper through the waist widening out over the hips a tad.

“This helps create a slender elongated build.”

Mauricio looked a bit further south for his most common fail.

“Walking through the city, one of the biggest fails we have seen is the length of the pants that some people endure.

“It is really sad to see a guy wearing a perfectly fitted jacket with really long and baggy trousers.
“This really devalues the suit, no matter where he bought it from.

“Another common fashion crime that men in suits make is using both buttons on your standard two-button, single breasted jacket. The bottom button of your jacket should never be done up.”

Image via Institchu.

How to buy a suit

Mauricio stressed that a groom’s “suit buying journey” should be enjoyable.

1. Relax!
“First and foremost, have fun with it,” he says.

2. Fit is everything
“Don’t settle for an ill-fitting off the rack or hire suit on the most important day of your life – think of the photos.”

3. Keep it simple
“We suggest resisting the temptation to overcomplicate things – keep your design simple, clean and classic for your wedding day.

4. Consider a tailored suit
“Go tailored – enjoy the old-world tailoring experience with your Groomsmen, take your time and go for a design that you’re comfortable with, don’t get talked into designs that are outside your comfort zone.”

5. Consider the details
“It’s the little things that make your garment your own and one of a kind – as a nice touch, for your wedding day, we suggest personalising your garments by perhaps having your wedding date or initials monogrammed on your shirt cuffs or inside your jacket.”

Ms Zigzag says: Even the most sophisticated suit can look daggy if it doesn’t fit properly- thank you Mr Houndstooth for sharing this expert advice. 

About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.