The Noble Ninefold Path to Suit Enlightenment, Part I

The Rake’s Founder & Editor-in-Chief talks you through the very foundations of the suit itself; the shoulders and armholes.

One: The Shoulders

The shoulders are the foundation of the suit jacket. They frame the face and are the first thing that catches the eye of the beholder. Getting the fit of your shoulders right is crucial, as they absolutely cannot be altered.

So how should the shoulders fit? The suit jacket shoulders should cover but not overwhelm your shoulders, in such a way that the material of the sleeve head just kisses the shoulder and upper arm but flows in an unbroken line from the shoulder to your wrist.

Now observe the way the sleeve falls from the shoulder. If you see any unsightly bulges of the underlying arm the coat is too small for you. If the shoulder extends too far beyond the underlying deltoid, it is too big. If you are unsure if the shoulders of your coat fit, ask to try one size larger and smaller to compare. Take your time. You're making a substantial investment, so go slow.


September 2015


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