Men’s Fashion – How to Create Illusions with a Well Tailored Suit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 60,872
    Men’s fashion expert Matt Landsberg discusses how to create illusions with a well tailored suit.

    Matt Landsberg

    Matt Landsberg

    Starting out in structured finance and asset-backed securities, Mattrealized the money isn’t always greener working for someone else. He decided to make a180-degree turn, leave securities(and security) and start Eric Finn Custom Clothiers. Working with and learning from master tailors, Matthas built a successful custom clothing company, catering to the needs of numerous executives, politicians, attorneys, and professional athletes (and anyone else that appreciates perfect fitting clothes). Matt offers BBG some insight on the benefits of making a good impression.

    Hi, my name is Matt Landsberg with Eric Finn Custom Clothiers, and we're talking about how to buy a suit and have a suit and shirt fit properly. Specifically now we're going to talk about how to create illusion with a suit to make you look either taller, wider or slimmer. In this case, if we imagine Brice looking -- or if Brice were say 5 foot 5, and he wanted to create illusion of being a little bit taller, we want to create more linear lines or more long vertical lines. So, the first thing you would want to do when you are buying a suit jacket is get something that's got a longer lapel. So, he would prefer a two button jacket which creates longer lines on him, versus a three button jacket where you have got a wider v in the lapel. The other important thing to consider is the suit jacket length. To create the illusion of longer legs you want the jacket, the overall jacket length to be a little bit shorter, making the legs look longer. For those guys that are wearing their suit jackets too long, it makes the legs look very stumpy. On the trousers, one of the things you can do is not have cuffs. So, if you don't have a cuff, that's ideal because again, a cuff creates a horizontal line, you want to stay away from horizontal lines when you're shorter as much as possible. The same thing goes for the pattern of the suit jacket. The more lines and the more verticality to it, is better than anything horizontal. So, stay away from the window pane patterns and that goes with the shirt as well. So, the other things to do to help create the illusion of height is to make sure that the suit jacket is not too wide in the shoulders. Again, more horizontal lines is not an ideal situation, and also making sure that the jacket waist is fairly tapered, at least as much as possible for somebody shorter. For somebody who is a little bit heavier and might have a bit of a stomach to show, there are some other illusions that can be done. One thing is keep the eyes attention away from the midsection. So, in this case you might want to put a pocket square in your pocket, and again, that's going to focus the eye up and away from the belly. Another thing too is you want to keep the jacket close, when the jacket is open you've got a stomach protruding, that's not ideal. A lot of the same factors apply to somebody who is a little bit overweight, as to somebody who is shorter. So again, any linear pattern is more ideal than something more horizontal. For somebody who wants to look a little bit wider, for example, somebody who has got a slighter build and wants to look a little bit bulkier, they're going to want to do a few things as well. It's important for them to have a more form fitting shoulders. So, for example, if the shoulder came out to here on Brice, it makes him look smaller, and make his head look smaller, and make his neck look smaller, and make his shoulders look like they don't quite fit. Again, it's all about balance and proportion, so this would be an issue, this might be contrary to what a lot of people believe, saying well, I want to look bigger so I want to have broader shoulders. To the contrary, you're going to look like a kid wearing his father's jacket, it's just too large and ill-fitting. The other thing too that's really important is to make sure that the midsection is well tapered and it's pretty close. I don't want to say form fitting, but it's nicely tapered and fits the waist well, otherwise there's too much room and it creates the illusion of somebody being very small inside of an oversized suit jacket. That's how you create illusion with various lines and balance in the suits.