The Style Blog

Three Things You Need To Know To Find A Well Fitted Suit

By Kristen Jones on 2021-09-09

Men's Fitted Suit in Light Grey, Business Casual Suiting Charcoal Grey, Women's Fitted Suit in Light Blue, Women's Business Casual Blazer in Dark Grey

#1 How “The Drop” affects ordering a suit (and why we dropped it).

The “drop” refers to the difference between a man’s chest and waist measurements, or the difference between the jacket and pant sizes. For example, if someone wears a 40 jacket with size 32 pants, then they would have an eight-inch drop. 

Tailored Suit Jacket, Men's Custom Fitted Suit in Navy, Fitted Navy Suit, What is "The Drop" in suiting?

The retail industry has standardized the drop to be 6 inches with the most common jacket/pant combinations being size 40/34 and 42/36. As a set, a jacket and pants are considered one garment and manufactured together using the standardized six inch drop for modern fitting suits and a seven inch drop for slim fitting suits. The industry has assumed that the “average” person can usually fit into one of those two options. Logistically, this simplifies inventory management and minimizes odd sizes left unsold.

The problem with this is that “average” accounts for only about 25% of men. For everyone else, they either make alterations to off-the-rack suits or find brands that will sell jackets and pants as separates. This would typically come with a premium price, but SuitShop realized this was outdated and unfair because every body is made differently--so we chose to drop “the drop” and offer our suit and tuxedo jacket and pants as separates.

The problem with this is that “average” accounts for only about 25% of men. For everyone else, they either make alterations to off-the-rack suits or find brands that will sell jackets and pants as separates. This would typically come with a premium price, but SuitShop realized this was outdated and unfair because every body is made differently--so we chose to drop “the drop” and offer our suit and tuxedo jacket and pants as separates.

"We chose to drop “the drop” and offer our suit and tuxedo jacket and pants as separates."

Tuxedo Rental gone wrong from the real wedding of Jeanne Foley, co-founder of SuitShop.

Co-Founder, Jeanne Foley’s wedding party dressed in rental suits using the standard “drop” (pre-SuitShop, of course).

#2 The “Cut” of the Suit: Modern Fit vs Slim Fit

While we don’t sell our suits and tuxedos as sets, a person’s “drop” does tell us about their build. Those with a chest-to-waist ratio of fewer than six inches are likely to have a straighter shape and a more equally proportioned chest, waist, and hips. Our modern fit jacket is less tapered in the waist and our modern fit pants accommodate a more muscular build. Men with larger legs and a rounder butt prefer the extra room the modern pant provides. Despite the bit of extra room that our modern cut gives, it is fitted to have a “slim” appearance.

The slim fit is generally designed for men with a larger drop of seven or more inches. A candidate for our slim fit tends to have more broad and/or muscular shoulders, with a leaner waist and legs. Our slim fit jackets offer more room in the shoulders and a narrow waistline, so men with a smaller waist, hips, and butt tend to prefer the more tapered pant leg of the slim fit.

Often, we suit individuals that are some combination of both a slim and modern fit. Selling our suits and tuxedos as separate pieces allows for endless combinations to nail the perfect look. For example, someone with broad shoulders, a slim waist, and thicker legs may prefer a slim fit jacket with modern fit pants to get the sizing just right.

The difference between Modern Fit vs Slim Fit Jacket, Modern Cut vs Fit Cut Jacket, Modern vs Slim Jacket

Modern fit jackets have a straighter cut with more room in the waist, between the jacket and your body vs slim fit jacketsare v-shaped with broader shoulders, tapered waist, and less room between the jacket and your body

The difference between Modern Fit vs Slim Fit Pants, Modern Cut vs Fit Cut Pants, Modern vs Slim Pants

Similarly, slim fit pants have a straight waist and tapered leg that’s slimmer in the hip/thigh/butt vs modern fit pants are cut with a contoured waistband and more room in the butt and thigh area with an easier fit through the leg.

If you’d like to learn more about our sizing and the difference between a modern fit vs slim fit, we encourage you to check out our fit guide.

#3 The perfect hem can make or “break” your look.

The "break" is the fold or bend just above where the cuff of the pants meet the shoe. Typically this fold “breaks” the clean line of the pants --making the name quite literal. The amount of break on a pants cut is usually subject to personal preference and will affect the final style and fit.

There are four primary pant breaks that most will choose from. The Full Break is the most traditional (a significant amount of fabric folding near the ankle, with a wider leg opening), the Half Break is a more modern approach to the full break  (some fabric on top of the shoe with no ankle exposed, typically a slimer opening), No Break (a generally modern cut with a small amount of ankle or sock is exposed when standing, great for slim fit pants), and the Negative Break (typically, less formal with a short inseam that exposes the ankle and socks). 

Full Pant Break, Half Pant Break, No Pant Break, Negative Pant Break

Images from: https://propercloth.com/reference/what-is-pant-break/

When renting a suit or tuxedo, a person will typically have little to no control over the break of their pants once they’ve arrived. However, when shopping with SuitShop, we offer four different pant lengths and deliver our garments unhemmed so that each person is able to tailor them to ensure a look that feels best to them.

So how does SuitShop offer the look of a custom fitted suit without the premium price tag?

From the beginning, we’ve never wanted to force men into a suit jacket and pant combo that wasn’t ideal for their build. While we’ve always offered our suit and tuxedo jackets and pants as separates, we’ve worked hard over the years to expand our inventory to accommodate all shapes and sizes. We are now known to have one of the most inclusive size ranges of any suiting retailer.

Each of our men's suits and tuxedos are sold as separates and offered in two fit types (slim and modern), four lengths (short to extra-long), and in 15 chest sizes (34-60). We also offer a complimentary women’s suiting collection in three different lengths (short to long), with sizes ranging from 0-20 and the option to mix, for example, a women’s jacket with a pair of men’s pants. By offering this variation, we’re able to find the best fit for each person that comes to us, no matter their style preferences. Doing so leaves little to no need for tailoring, yet the suit or tuxedo still has the custom-fitted look. 

Over the last five+ years, we’ve been able to accommodate the short and small, the big and tall, and mostly all other body types. For example, we’ve suited men with broad shoulders and slim waists, women with smaller builds that need slimmer cuts and shorter length options, people that prefer a more androgynous look (pairing our men’s pants with women’s jacket), and everyone in between.

Mix Gendered Wedding Party in Brilliant Blue Fitted Suits, Groom in Vest to Stand Out

To understand how to measure for a suit, you can watch this quick video, or skip the hassle and try our Fit-Finder to get your SuitShop size.

About the Author

Kristen Jones

Kristen is Director of Marketing at The Groomsman Suit. Prior to TGS, Kristen worked for startups like Yik Yak and Uber Eats, and has helped develop marketing strategies for over 500 eCommerce stores throughout her career! Ultimately, she’s a well-rounded creative and adds a little extra heart + creative touch to our team.