What exactly is a slim fit suit?
What is a slim fit suit?
A slim fit suit is a modern interpretation of tighter fitting suits that young male Celebrities wore during the early 1960s era. Anyone who was alive during that time period would remember many of the most popular singers and music groups wore these tighter fitting suits that had tapered legs on the pants. James Brown and the Beatles are two of the biggest examples of music Celebrities who often were seen wearing slim fit style suits when they performed on stage. It has always been about image.
If you pay attention to any of the Hollywood red carpet events like the Oscars or the Emmy's you will see most of the young Celebrities wearing slim fit suits exclusively almost like they became a uniform of the entire generation. Regardless of whether they are made by a famous designer, the look is all the same. Tight and tailored with hardly a drop of fabric to spare. Since people are always prone to wanting to dress like their favorite celebrities, it only became natural for men’s slim fit suits to make a strong comeback in the fashion world.
The most easily identifiable feature of the slim fit suit is the jacket of course. You will immediately recognize that the jacket looks tight fitting compared to your standard regular fit business suit.
Since a business suit is essentially a uniform for the business world, you are not going to find style features on the suit. The fit of a business suit is generally boxy in appearance. The torso of the jacket generally hangs straight down the wearer hiding the man’s physique. The slim fit suit jacket does not do this. Instead, it celebrates the slimness of the man wearing it. You will see that the jacket is tight fitting without excess. More vacuum sealed if you will.
History of the Slim fit suit.
Men’s slim fit suits have made a comeback in a huge way in the last two years. It is a well-known fact that fashion styles come back every so many years, but it literally took fifty years for the slim fit suit to come back in style. We are talking about the era of Camelot. JFK. That is how long ago these slimmer fitting suits were around and seen on most of the better dressed men. The early days of the Beatles before the weirdness of the later 1960s when there was still a seeming innocence in American society, and you should get the idea.
One of the catalysts of this suit trend might just be President Obama. Although his suits are not slim fit suits at all. Just by his physical size and the way his suits fit and look on him due to his height and trim figure, it may have been how these slim fitting style suits made a comeback with the suit designers. It could also be that because most of young men’s fashion changed from baggy fitting jeans to skinny jeans, that young men had no trouble adapting to the trend of wearing a slim fit suit.
How are slim fit suits different?
A slim fit suit is not just a tighter fitting suit. There are many more aspects involved to designing a slim fit style suit. The first aspect of course is how the jacket torso fits. The torso part of jacket will look like you sucked the excess air out of it to make the jacket fit tighter. Since style is all about balance and that balance is about visual appearance, you cannot just make a tighter fitting torso jacket and call it a day. There is far more involved.
Since we are talking about the torso part of the jacket, we will focus on that for now. The arm hole height on the torso part of the jacket are higher than will be found on your standard business suit. On a slim fit suit, you are going to find that the bottom of the armholes literally goes straight up into the armpit of the wearer. The business suit does not have that at all. You will not have the armholes literally hugging your armpits as you would on a slim fit suit. There is breathing room for sliding your hands into the sleeve of the jacket.
Since the armholes on a slim fit suit are both higher up and tighter in size, that allows the designer to create sleeves for the jacket to visually balance that out. That means that the sleeves on the jacket themselves are also tight fitting in correspondence to tighter overall style of the suit. On a business suit jacket, you rarely will see a bulging bicep but with a slim fit suit, the bulging bicep is requested for properly filling up the sleeve. You are going to find that the sleeves are tight fitting all the way down to the wrist. You just will not see such a thing on a regular style suit.
The torso length on a slim fit suit jacket is going to be shorter too. Your standard fitting suit generally has a 32-inch-long jacket. It may be longer for a long size suit or an inch shorter for a short-sized suit. On the slim fit suit, once again visual balance comes into the design. By taking a tape measure, you are going to see that the torso length is about two inches shorter on a slim fit suit jacket in comparison to your regular fit suit. You will see that the slim fit jacket length is about 30 inches long. It may not seem like much, but it helps give the suit a much different appearance.
On a proper fitting regular suit, it is known that the coat length should fall to cover both the buttocks in back and well as the crotch in front. The slim fit suit does not do this at all. Since the torso is about 2 inches shorter, you are going to see that rise does not cover the entire buttocks in the back and does not cover the entire crotch in the front either. This is one of the features that let you know that this is not some suit that you would see on a Bank manager but a slim fit suit.
Since we all know now that the torso is tight fitting, we still need to move around. This is one of the reasons that you will always find vents in the back of the jacket. The vents allow the wearer to move with more ease. Without the vents, the jacket torso is going to twist and move in an ungainly manner. The vents are not just for looks. Most of the time on a slim fit suit you will find side vents. On some suits, you may find a center vent instead. It is all up to the suit designer and what message he is trying to create.
In honor of the early 1960s era, slim narrow style lapels are usually found on a slim fit suit. Once again, it is about balance. Although you can find a standard width lapel on a slim fit suit, it is more likely that the lapels are going to be narrower than your standard regular fit suit. Some slim fit suits may have lapels as narrow as an inch and a quarter in width. Those are a more extreme example of narrow lapel width. Most lapels on a slim fit suit will be about two inches wide.
Are the pants just tighter fitting?
Since this is about slim fit suits and not just a slim fit blazer, the pants need to be addressed as well. In keeping with the balanced look that is required to professionally design a slim fit suit, the pants have differences as well. They look tighter fitting of course but that is not the only thing that makes them different.
On slim fit suit pants, the first thing you may notice is that waistline of the pants sits lower than your traditional slacks. You can usually find that the waist will sit about an inch and half to an inch and three quarter lower than your traditional fitting slacks. Once again this is about visual balance. The suit designer’s job is always about balance and lower rise in the slim fit suit pants makes this necessary for the proper look.
Since the waistband drops lower, guess what else happens. The crotch height of the pants rises in conjunction to the lowering of the waistband. You are going to see that this also makes the slim fit suit stand out from your regular fitting suit. Where you have some breathing room in the crotch of a regular business suit, the slim fit pants do not have this aspect at all. It seems to be about putting everything on display if you will. No different that the tight-fitting clothing that young women seem to favor.
The legs on slim fit pants are tight fitting as well. You are going to notice that the tightness of the legs starts from about the hips and stays tight all the way down. Some more extreme than others depending on the style of the slim fit suit. Many slim fit suit pants will have tapered leg bottoms with much narrower width than you would ever find on a regular style suit. This feature also goes back to the early 1960s look.
Common Features that Slim Fit Suits All Have:
- The torso of the jacket tapers from top to bottom
- Narrow-width lapels
- Slim Fit Flat Front Trousers, Never Pleated
- Shoulders of Jacket always fit nicely
- Length of the Jacket is always shorter
- Higher armpit holes
- Tight fitting sleeves
- Tapered legs on the pants
Can a suit be tailored to slim fit?
Although with money, anything is possible. The problem is that in order to take a regular fit suit and turn it into a slim fit suit, the entire suit would have to be completely disassembled, re-cut into slim fit portions and resewn. It simply is not possible to take it in here and there. There are far too many differences in the slim fit suit compared to a regular suit as mentioned in the previous paragraphs. The amount of time and effort to convert a regular fitting suit into a slim fit suit would be extreme. It would cost more than even having a custom suit made for you out of all brand-new fabrics.
Who should wear a slim fit suit?
That is easy to answer. The men who look best wearing these tighter fitting suits are men who trim and in shape. As a rule, if your suit size is over 48 in the chest, you really have no business wearing one of these types of suits. Reality is reality. The men should be seen wearing a slim fit suit should be thin. It is not much different than seeing a heavy woman wearing a dress that was obviously designed for someone who is skinny to wear it. Another factor is age. If you are over 40 years old, you really should not be wearing a slim fit type of suit because they are designed for a young man to wear. Sure, there are exceptions but sometimes you need to face reality and wear what suits you. A middle age man wearing something that was designed for a 20-year-old man to wear is not usually a good idea.
Is it okay to wear a slim fit suit to work?
The quick answer is no. A slim fit suit by its very nature is a fashion suit. Even though it is comprised of a jacket and matching pair of slacks, they are intended to be worn in a non-business environment. If you have a job that requires wearing a suit, the suit needs to be a business type of suit which is regular fit and not trying to make a fashion statement. The moment, the suit you are wearing is making a fashion statement should be the catalyst of telling you that the suit is not proper for wearing to work. There are suits for play and suits for business. The slim fit suit is obviously a suit for wearing on your own time.