The Biggest Problem With Suits Today

February 20, 2017

The Biggest Problem with Suits Today

I’m not much of a late night show guy, but I’ve been really enjoying The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Supposedly, the show wasn’t doing so hot last year – ratings faltered against Jimmy Fallon and there was talk about replacing Colbert with James Corden. In the last couple of weeks, however, the program has really gained momentum, surging to the number one spot on late night television. Hard to not think it’s because Colbert provides good laughs in today’s highly charged political climate.

The only things I don’t like are Colbert’s suits. They show all the problems with how suits fit today. The waist is too suppressed – so much that the button pulls in the center. The buttoning point, which is where the jacket fastens, is also set too high. Traditionally, this should be around the natural waist (where your torso bends), but Colbert’s is about a half inch north. Additionally, his trousers are too low, so that the shirt and tie peek out from underneath the jacket.

It’s not that these things break traditional rules (nobody cares about rules anymore). It’s that they’re unflattering. Together, they make Colbert look heavier than he is – with a jacket that seemingly flares out over his stomach and trousers that are being pushed down past his hips. Colbert’s a pretty fit guy, but from the photo above, it almost looks like he has a beer belly.

The solution?

  • Get a longer jacket. As hemlines have crept up over the years, so have the buttoning points. That’s because the last button always has to be some distance way from the hem. Find jackets that fit in a more traditional length and you’ll find buttoning points that sit near your natural waist – where they should be.
  • Don’t suppress the waist so much. We all want that V-shaped figure, but you can only take in a jacket as much as your body allows. If you don’t get the shape you want, find jackets that fit slightly bigger in the chest and shoulders. It’ll make your waist look smaller by comparison.
  • Get trousers with a higher rise. I hate it when you can see the belt buckle beneath the buttoning point, but at the very least, your shirt and tie shouldn’t show. They ruin what would have been an otherwise pretty clean look.
  • Don’t button the jacket. Alternatively, if you already have suits that fit like this, just don’t button the jacket. Almost everything will go away once the jacket is worn open. You won’t get that nice, shaped waist of a properly fitted suit, but you also won’t look heavier than you are.