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We went with exaggeration when creating these images…some border on the ridiculous. Understand, our point is to show what not to accept from your tuxedo’s fit.
We will show you the proper fit.
All fashion and tips provided by Matthew McDermott of Vittorio’s Formal Wear
It seems like guys instinctively know how casual clothes should fit. When you’re looking for a comfortable pair of jeans at the outlet mall, you know whether they are too tight or too short or whether they look and feel good. That sense ends up going haywire when it comes to formal wear. Maybe it’s because you don’t wear it every day or because what feels normal in a rugby shirt doesn’t quite apply to a pleated wing collar formal shirt that uses cufflinks.
Whatever the reason, here are some thoughts about the fit you should expect with formal wear and tuxedos.
Liar, liar, pants on fire? Hopefully, there won’t be any combustion involved with your tuxedo pants. Short of a fire that completely ruins your look, there are a few things you can take into account when trying for correctly fitting formal pants.
Getting the length of your pants correct starts with a proper fitting – you typically wear tuxedo or formal pants a little higher on your waist (just below your navel) than those skinny jeans or Dockers in your closet. Be sure to try a pair on and have them measured when they are sitting correctly on your waist.
There’s a range of acceptable lengths for pants that starts with just touching the top of the upper of your shoe to coming down to the top of your heal in back. If your socks are showing they’re too short, and if you are stepping on the bottoms of them they’re too long.
The waist and seat of your pants should be correctly proportioned. If the seat of your pants is too tight, it will pull the pockets sideways and out which is not ideal. It’s better to go up a size in the pants and bring the waist in to correctly accommodate your hip and seat while maintaining flat pockets.
The jacket or coat should correctly fit you and for most guys, that starts with how it fits in the shoulders. Too small and you’ll see a lot of tension on the center seam of the coat and have a feeling that you might, “Incredible Hulk” out of it at any time. You’ll also see a very pronounced ‘X’ wrinkle in the front of the coat if it’s too tight.
Determining coat sleeve length should be done with your arms at your sides in a neutral position. Your sleeves should be long enough to leave a slight reveal of your shirt sleeves – ¼ to ½ inch but not more. If you see the whole shirt cuff, the coat sleeves are too short.
Similar to shirt sleeves, if you have a handful of coat sleeve in your palm with your arms at your sides, you have too much length and they should be shortened.
Tuxedo shirts come in a few major varieties with some differences in the details. One of those styles is a wing collar (sometimes called a butterfly collar) shirt and is a great traditional formal shirt choice. If you are wearing one, you need to be sure to wear the wings are located behind the body of the tie (not in front).
A laydown collar shirt is the second major variety and can be found either with or without pleats on the front of the shirt.
With this or any other dress or formal shirt, you want to be sure it fits correctly. The sleeve length should fall to the base of your thumb. If it’s too short you can see a lot of your wrist and lower arm exposed. If it’s too long, you’ll have a palm full of shirt cuff and it won’t look correct in person or in pictures.
Getting the right fit doesn’t take a lot of extra time, but it does take some time. Be sure to start the fitting process early enough so that your formal wear retailer can correctly reserve the inventory needed for the wedding or event day. Unless it’s your wedding, you may not have picked out the styles but if you can, be sure to try on garments to be sure they work correctly with your body style and build. If changes need to be made, it’s a lot easier to take care of them early, rather than an hour before you have to be at the wedding venue.
If you gain or lose 20 or more pounds after your fitting, you should probably be re-measured, since that can impact the fit enough that a different size may need to be ordered.
Most tuxedo retailers offer a second or final fitting when you pick up your tuxedos the week of the wedding. This is a normal part of the fitting process and it’s typical to have some “fine-tuning” tailoring or adjustments handled then. Word to the wise – don’t just grab and go (or have your Uncle Fred pick up your tux with his). Take the time to try your items on and make sure they fit correctly.
With a little time and attention paid to the fit of your tuxedo you’ll look your best and feel great at your event.
Matthew McDermott lives in the Highland Park Neighborhood and is the owner of Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo in Irondequoit. They help Rochester look great for milestone events like weddings, proms and special occasions.
Working with Preferred Photography was great. In the age of cameras in everyone’s mobile phone, there’s an assumption that anyone can be a photographer. That may be the case for casual snapshots, but in a commercial setting there’s a lot more knowledge and precision required. Being able to correctly light the shoot, compensating for the environment we were shooting in, planning the right shots and keeping things on schedule were all important for us. Preferred Photography really made this an easy process. – Matt, Vittorio’s Formal Wear
Maybe we will talk about it next time. Thanks for reading.