Is it just us, or is 2014 flying by? Seems like just yesterday we were toasting the new year and shoveling snow—suddenly, it’s nearly spring. If you’ve been infinitely too busy to make a New Year’s resolution or two, fear not—it’s never too late to improve yourself. And unlike last year’s resolution to get ripped like Conan (the Barbarian, not O’Brien), the following five simple style tips will last all year—or even a lifetime.
If you’re used to wearing suits and confident in your preferred brands and correct size, shop our full online selection of Suits and Sportcoats. (Unsure of your size? Read our crash-course on how to measure.)
If you’re new to the suiting game, or feel like getting a fresh perspective, your best bet is to block out some time with one of our Personal Stylists. They’ll help you define your ideal fit and offer honest advice on the right brands for you—all completely free and with no obligation to buy. Fill out this form to get started.
Last but not least: The true game-changer is a trustworthy tailor. With master tailors at every Nordstrom store, we’ve made it easy to turn an off-the-rack suit into a fully customized classic. If you’re wondering what that might entail, it goes way beyond hemming your pants. Learn some lesser-known tricks of the trade below, courtesy of our Men’s Fashion Director.
1. Sharp Shoulder. Seams should hit at the edge of your own shoulder. If there’s extra room after you’ve found your closest size, a tailor can nip the jacket in back to tighten up the ‘point to point.’
2. Fitted Torso. The jacket should graze your frame, but not hug it. A tailor can move the buttons left or right, subtly affecting how snugly the jacket fits.
3. Tailored Sleeve. Your jacket sleeve should be short enough to show a sliver of shirt cuff: Quarter-inch minimum; up to a full inch for a more dramatic effect. (You can also have the sleeve narrowed slightly, below the elbow.)
4. The Seat of Your Pants. The seat should hang comfortably, but without a lot of excess fabric. Your tailor can take it in or out as needed.
5. Clean Break. When having your trousers hemmed, ask for either a slight break in front (the traditional option) or no break, ending at or just above your shoe.