A Tailor's Guide to Finding Your Size

Aside from working at Revival I work for famous clothiers in the middle of Leeds.  My day to day duties include replacing stock, checking presentation standards and taking payments, the usual suspects. However, one of my extra duties if measuring gentlemen for suits and alterations.   Although my customers often have impeccable taste, I must confess that I sometimes wonder if they’ve ever tried on clothes that properly fit them.  So today I’ve decided I will help you find your perfect fit!

1.Size.

Undoubtedly everyone’s first though when buying a new item of clothing is “do they have the right size for me?” And this is probably one of the most important questions and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, if you get it right! To find the perfect fit might take a bit of time trying on various different sizes. Once you have done this a few times you should have a good gauge as to what size you are most commonly.  You’re looking for something that is snug but NOT tight. It might seem obvious but so many people grab something that is far too big because it’s comfortable, or something they have to squeeze into just because it makes them look slimmer. There is absolutely no need to sacrifice comfort for fit, if you get the size right.

Some tips for Particular items: when wearing a shirt you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably down your collar.

Trousers should sit comfortably at the desired height on the waist unaided without a belt. If they are a touch too tight it might be better to get them let out slightly rather than the next size up.

 As for blazers, always prioritise the fit of the shoulders & chest. Once you have found the correct shoulder size check the waist. A good test is to do the top button and see where the second button falls. If the second button falls directly under the first it’s the correct size. If you experience any bulging of the chest this is because you need a larger size.

2. Fit

Most people confuse the fit of an item with the size. The difference is that size is relates to comfort and the fit decides how garment fits. This part often requires a piece to be altered, so here’s what you might want to keep in mind before speaking to a tailor. The 3 most commonly altered garments are shirts, blazers and trousers. Think of speaking to your tailor as like speaking to your barber. Describe exactly what you want from an item of clothing and allow your tailor to explain if this is possible, and if not what alternatives you have. Sometimes it might not be possible to make a certain alteration for a variety of reasons, but your tailor should explain some alternatives.

If you have a specific look in mind, don’t be afraid to look to show them some photographs, and if there is a general look you are going for don’t be afraid to mention them by name. For example, I you are looking for something a little slimmer in the waist and leg than usual, you might looking for an Italian fit(60s), or a little more room in the waist and a roped shoulder you might be looking for a British fit(40s).

3. Refit!

Once the alterations have been carried out, be sure to try the garment on in the shop. This is because if there are any problems you should be able to get them corrected quickly and for free if still in the shop. Most garments can be realtered with no damage unless specified.  If you’re happy with the item then you’re free to go, but if not re-alter!

I hope I’ve done my bit to help you get the right size, after all a well fitting piece of clothing could be enough to turn you from scruffy to sharp!

 By Cian Smith