Tuxedo and Suit Fitting for Beginners: How Should a Tux or Suit Fit?

You could be wear­ing the most gor­geous suit in the world, but it’ll only look great if it actu­al­ly fits. If you’re unsure of “how should a tuxe­do fit?”, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help.

Fit is the num­ber one most impor­tant ele­ment of a good-look­ing suit. You can have the best fab­rics, the coolest shoes or the most orig­i­nal tie, but if the suit doesn’t fit prop­er­ly, it won’t look good. And you deserve to look your best.

Does James Bond ever have his pants pool­ing over his shoes? Would Frank Sina­tra get caught dead with a jack­et that bulged at the but­tons? The man should wear the suit. The suit shouldn’t wear the man.

To help you on your red car­pet style pur­suit, here’s our defin­i­tive guide to ensur­ing your suit or tux looks like you know what you’re doing


The jack­et is the inte­gral part of a suit or tuxe­do. It’s what real­ly makes a suit a suit. And while, yes, pants are so impor­tant, it’s the jack­et that every­one will notice first. Every part of the jack­et should fit in all the right places to ensure the sharpest look pos­si­ble.

Where should the bottom of my jacket land?

The hem of a prop­er­ly fit­ted suit or tuxe­do should hit around the mid­dle of your hand, when your arms are casu­al­ly at your sides. Too high and you get a flare above your butt. Too long and you’ll be swim­ming in it.

Pro Tip: The sweet spot of jack­et length is right where your butt starts to curve inward


The shirt sleeve should land nat­u­ral­ly at your wrist where your hand starts to widen. The jack­et sleeve should end with enough room to show off about a half inch of your shirt sleeve. No more, no less. You can show off your cuf­flinks and won’t look like you’re wear­ing some­one else’s jack­et.

Pro Tip: Make sure your shirt is ful­ly but­toned and tucked in to gauge the prop­er sleeve length. Yes, that includes that pesky col­lar button—if your shirt is the right size, a too-tight col­lar should­n’t be an issue.


With a two-but­ton jack­et, you should only but­ton the top one. With a three-but­ton jack­et, always but­ton the top one and whether or not to but­ton the mid­dle but­ton is up to you. Always leave the bot­tom but­ton undone. The bot­tom but­ton is also often left undone for vests as well. For a one-but­ton jack­et, always but­ton it.

Pro Tip: If you’re going to take a seat, remem­ber to unbut­ton your jack­et. It’s more com­fort­able and it pre­vents your jack­et from bunch­ing around the chest.

Too Tight or Too Loose?

  • If you see an “x” shape in the chest after but­ton­ing up, your jack­et is too tight.
  • If you see a gap behind your neck, your jack­et is too loose.
  • Your shoul­ders should lie flat and should not have bunchy, tight wrin­kles or loose lumps.

Pro Tip: The shoul­ders of your suit or tuxe­do jack­et are the most dif­fi­cult part to adjust. So if you’re buy­ing or rent­ing from a store, make sure your shoul­ders are cor­rect before order­ing or get­ting alter­ations.

groom in blue suit trying shoes


Okay, so, yes, we made jack­ets sound way more impor­tant in the pre­vi­ous sec­tion, but don’t get us wrong. Pants are still impor­tant. They are pants, after all. If you want to look your tallest and lean­est, make sure you have your pants fit­ted prop­er­ly.

Where should my waistband sit?

Make sure that your pants waist sits right at your nat­ur­al waist, or right below your bel­ly but­ton.  That way, your pants won’t be too long and your look won’t be slop­py.

Pro Tip: Use sus­penders to main­tain the appro­pri­ate tuxe­do pant length, while adding clas­sic flair to your look.


Your pants should have about a half inch break, land­ing at the back of the shoe. Try on your pants with the shoes you are wear­ing to the event. Should your pants bunch up slight­ly around your ankles, check to make sure your pant waist is where it should be — just below your belly­but­ton. This should allow for a more nat­ur­al break in the pant. We repeat — do not leave the house with pants that are pool­ing at the ankles.


While the pant cut for a suit or tuxe­do may not be as form-fit­ting as your every­day wear, you can choose a slim fit pant to repli­cate that more close­ly-fit­ted look if you pre­fer.

The seat of your pants should be a smooth drape over the shape of your butt. The fab­ric should lie loose against your under­wear and not feel too tight when you sit down. To spot a bad fit, you’ll see hor­i­zon­tal wrin­kles direct­ly beneath the butt for a fit that is too tight and long, u‑shaped folds down the back of the legs for a fit that is too loose.


Either sus­penders or a belt can be worn with a suit, but only sus­penders should be worn with a tuxe­do. Tuxe­do pants do not have belt loops, just in case you for­get which one goes with a tux.

Repeat after me: I will not wear a belt with tuxe­do pants. I will not wear a belt with tuxe­do pants.

Generation Tux fit infographic

These rules are the sta­ples for wear­ing a suit or tuxe­do. This is one of the biggest days of your life and you deserve to look your absolute best—which means fol­low­ing all the rules, even if they’re a has­sle. Yes, we know it’s a lot to keep up with, but trust us. Those wed­ding pho­tos are for­ev­er and if your wear­ing an ill-fit­ting suit in them, your bride will be salty about it for years to come.

Ready to pick a look now? With 21 suit and tuxe­do styles and thou­sands of acces­so­ry options, we have just what you’re look­ing for for your big day. Not to men­tion our easy online process makes choos­ing the groom­swear one less thing you have to wor­ry about. See what we have to offer to make your union extra­or­di­nary.

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