What makes a good suit?

Those well-tailored gents at Cad & the Dandy met with Y&YW to talk tailoring and the steps you should really take when selecting the perfect fit suit.

Well Groomed

When You & Your Wedding met up with James Sleater and Ian Meiers from bespoke and made-to-measure tailors Cad & the Dandy, we invited the dynamic, incredibly well-dressed duo to tell us – in eight steps – their criteria for a finely cut suit. Let’s face it; your husband-to-be gets almost as much camera time as you on your wedding day.


Image: James Sleater measures up

Step 1: Cut

The cut of the suit is everything. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t matter how good the cloth and construction is, it won’t look good. Go to a good tailor who will cut an individual pattern to fit your body.

Step 2: Construction

There are two ways to construct a suit: either fuse (glue) it or canvass it. A canvass holds shape in the suit and is a key ingredient in maintaining a waisted look in the jacket.

Step 3: Finish

The suit should be finished by hand, not by machine. Avoid the heavy machine-pick stitching and make sure it has a subtle hand finish on the edge and button holes. This is the high-end finish your suit deserves.

Step 4: Trouser Height and Length

Too many men wear their trousers on their hips (see left) like a pair of jeans. The proportions of the suit look far better with the trousers sitting at the waist (see right), creating a longer run through the legs. Low sitting trousers look sloppy.

Step 5: Shoulder Width

Shoulders are key. If they don’t sit well, the suit will never hang right. The shoulders of the suit should reach just to the end of your shoulder and the padding should be enough to create shape, but not to over-accentuate – avoid the Flash Gordon look!

Step 6: Shirt Cuff and Sleeve

Show 1/4″ to 1/2″ of shirt cuff to bring life into your wedding photos. The secret to a good suit is in the sleeve. Cutting high into the sleeve removes the excess cloth and allows the tailor to create a long line into the waist. This creates the effect of the “waisted” suit.

Step 7: Trouser Length

Get your trouser length right. You want the back of the trouser to hang straight and just a single break (crease) to show on the front. That’s the perfect length for a pair of trousers.

Step 8: Linings

Keep your suit classic and avoid unnecessary coloured button holes. If you want to have fun, bring the colour into the lining, which will of course go on the back of your waistcoat too.