What are the differences between tailored-fit and slim-fit Suits?

Differentiating between Tailored fit versus Slim-fit Suits

Nowadays, choosing a formal and business wear brand is no simple choice. You will have to select the best trousers, shirts, and suits. What is the difference when choosing between a tailored fit and a slim fit?

The answer is simple. A tailored fit does not match the body’s shape as firm as a slim fit. As a result, a tailored fit falls between the mid-range of a classic fit and a trim fit style.

This article will inform you of what a slim and tailored fit looks like in shirts, trousers, and suits. It will aid your assessment of these styles and guide your selection of the best fit for you. Lastly, you will get to consider slim fit and tailored fit in contrast to other styles like classic fit.

Tailored-Fit versus Slim-Fit: Basic Points to Note

Study the table below to get more insight into the primary differences between custom-made and slim-fit attire.

  Tailored Fit Slim Fit
Shoulders Well fitting shoulders Well fitting shoulders made tight by tiny armholes
Armholes Not too tiny The outline is often tiny and high, drawing the chest and shoulders closely together
Chest This is more fit than a traditional cut and more loose-fitting than a slim fit. Often very fitting. Mostly tight
Sleeves Often fuller at the top but narrower at the wrist Fitted and narrow at the wrist
Waist Narrow side seams make for a nipped-in waist Thin side seams make for a nipped-in waist
Seat Cosy but not roomy Quite tight
Rise Based on the brand’s choice Based on the brand’s choice
Leg opening



It consists of different sizes but is often almost as spacious as a traditional fit

Smaller than a tailored fit, giving room to a narrower ankle


Body shape


For medium or slender body types, although those with a more muscular might also fit this design For small or medium, or tall and skinny body types. An excellent recommendation for those who want to accentuate their outlook
Comfort Quite cosy while maintaining a modern contour Not quite snug and may not be flexible


The Tailored Fit

Tailored styles highlight the features of your body without hugging your skin. This style is unique for allowing more unrestrained movement than a slim-cut—many renowned brands like Jos. A. Bank offers a tailored fit option in their major clothing lines for a snug and contemporary outlook. While most brands offer slim-fit styles, few offer a tailored cut option.

However, the term “tailored” casts the image of a designer over a sewing machine, fastening designs for your specific needs; tailored fits are ready-made by renowned fashion labels around the world. As a result, like any ready-made piece, it will fit some people more than others.

So what can you say defines a tailored fit style? You sometimes see this style referred to as a trim fit or a trimmer look than the regular ready-made general options.

You are more likely to find a tailored-fit shirt or jacket having less fabric, which makes it slimmer around the waist than a classic cut. T-shirts and button-down shirts mostly have a smaller waist, though not tightly fitting. At times, armholes may not lap the same in tailored cuts as they usually will with traditional cuts.

Tailored-fit trousers will be slimmer at the legs, though not tight. They mostly break slightly above the ankle than classic cuts.

The Slim Fit

A slim-fit cut style by a fashion label will mainly be the most closely fitting style they offer. As a result, you may easily find slim-fit pieces by renowned fashion labels in a store. You may know this style as the body-hug trend.

This style aims to eliminate excess fabric, just so what is left is enough to cover the clear skin. In this way, a slim-fit dress shirt will narrow to compliment the V-shape around the waist. It will also have tight high armholes and often contain narrow sleeves.

Slim-fit suit jackets mostly have thin, sharp lapels to emphasise the jacket’s sharp angles and narrowed side seams. Mostly, a slim-fit jacket ends more at the waist than the hips, making it appear short.

Slim-fit will have slimmer legs. They often have a nice, sharp crease to make them look even tighter! So, who can wear slim-fit clothing and who should not? This question mainly depends on whom you ask. Some stylists suggest that slim-fit cuts look best on people who have a straight, narrow frame.

The majority find slim-fit appealing irrespective of their body type. As with all styles, ultimately, you get to decide what looks good on you.

Slim-fit clothes look stylish, but they tend to restrict movement. The body-hug look of a slim-fit button-down looks trendy, especially when worn with a blazer; however, keep in mind that it may be challenging to raise your arms due to the high armholes.

Moreover, most button-downs use non-elastic material, which means you could feel pressure on your chest.

The advantage to this cut is that you look sharp in slim-fit trousers or shirts. This style outlines your body in one straight line.

What Is the Difference Between Tailored Fit and Slim Fit?

The significant difference between a tailored fit and a slim fit cut is that a custom fit uses more fabric and is not as narrow as slim-fit styles. While tailored cuts give a streamlined look much like slim-fit, they are not nearly as tight and are not the same.

What you find is more variation from one brand to another. In this way, a Calvin Klein slim-fit suit may fit you differently than a Jos. A. Bank slim-fit suit! The terms give you a general picture of what form the clothing will have, but you would need to sample the garment to see how that specific brand fits you. Whereas every fashion label puts a distinct spin on each style, you can expect general features from tailored fit or slim fit shirts, suits, t-shirts, trousers, and dress pants.

How are Shirts Different?

From a distance, slim fit and tailored button-down shirts may look similar, but up close, you notice that the armholes are different in these distinct styles. In some brands, slim-fit shirts use darts in the back to make the chest and waist area fit in the narrow fabric.

Both slim-fit and tailored shirts have narrowed waists. In this way, the shirt’s side seams to cut in, and the shirt becomes smaller at the waist. Tailored shirts primarily include more fabric in the chest and waist area than a slim-fit shirt.

The most significant difference between these two styles is in the features of their arms. Slim-fit shirts include prominent high and small armholes. This creates an angled, sharp shoulder and lets the fabric lie smooth and tight across the chest. However, different people find the tight armhole and sleeve uncomfortable and prefer a tailored-fit shirt’s slightly lower, more open armhole.

How are T-shirts Different?

Lately, most fashion brands are beginning to offer slim-fit t-shirts. However, tailored-fit t-shirts are not an option in many of these brands’ pieces. You may find companies that offer to design a t-shirt specifically to your dimensions, but so far, slim-fit remains the only ready-made style you can find to get the narrow waist look in a t-shirt.

When we say “slim-fit”, what do we mean by t-shirts?

Firstly, it would include open side seams that nip in at the sides and waist in an inverted C manner. This looks very different from a regular-fit tee’s rectangular shape!

Secondly, many slim-fit t-shirts also use smaller armholes that enable the sleeves to hug your upper arms.

Finally, slim-fit t-shirts are sometimes shorter in length than regular-style t-shirts. Some brands sell shirts that have these features but call them fitted t-shirts.

How are Suits Different?

The significant distinction between tailored-fit and slim-fit suits is that jackets and trousers will fit more snugly than tailored-fit suits. You may also see significant differences, such as tighter lapels on slim-fit suits and higher armholes in the jacket.

Most renowned fashion labels sell slim-fit and tailored-fit varieties of suits. In addition, these labels promote customised terminologies in place of the fit’s known name. Instead of “slim-fit”, they may call it an “executive cut” or skinny style”. You may also want to research how a particular brand defines its suit styles before purchasing.

Slim-fit suits may trend for a while, but fashion is dynamic. For example, the baggy, rectangular suits with shoulder pads in the 1980s trended for a time; look at how far we are from then fashion-wise!

The truth is that suit cuts and styles will come and go. This means that you may want to keep an eye on current trends while selecting the cut that suits your body the most.

How are Dress Pants Different?

The primary distinction between slim-fit and tailored-fit dress pants is that slim-fit pants may have narrower ankles and a bit of a tighter leg throughout. However, this may change from brand to brand.

Furthermore, most brands sell a slim-fit option. Some also offer tailored-fit, but not as many. You may find that certain brands refer to a regular or classic style as a tailored fit, which makes it more difficult!

You should look for a slim fit in your favourite brand if you want the tightest dress pants made for sale. You may consider a tailored fit if you want more flexibility in the hip area and possibly some room in the trouser legs. If the fashion label you like does not offer a tailored-fit cut, you consider taking a blocky classic fit tailor for substitutions.

The Trousers

Although it is hard to find ready-to-wear tailored-fit pants, you can find various kinds of slim-fit kinds and popular pencil pants, including some khaki labels. You could discover that the pants become narrower around the ankle region in skinny pants. You can also find a tight waist and hip area and slim trouser legs.

Often, you will see a distinction between slim-fit and skinny-fit trousers. In differentiating them, slim-fit is not narrower in the ankle region than skinny-fit jeans; it creates a vertical line from the knee to the ankle region.

The Tailored Fit Jeans

Several brands provide a particular pants design known as a custom fit—for instance, Jos. A. Bank presents this intermediate design for people who prefer a contemporary look with a cosy feeling. Some other brands refer to a similar kind of pants as a classic fit or narrowed-legged pants.

Jos. A. Bank, the tailored pants provide a waist that sits slightly above the hips, a snug seat area, and slender less without becoming narrower. Also, these pants contain a synthetic stretchy fibre which gives room for mobility. The Jos. A. Bank brand refers to these pants as fashionable but comparable to an old-fashioned age.

Tailored  fit versus Traditional fit

Customary fit deals with the loose-fitting, spacious pattern of an outfit, while the tailored fit is narrower in shape. Not all brands use these specific terms, but often, many brands proffer identical prints, although they refer to them as something different.

What are the differences between a tailored fit and a customary fit shirt? The following tips will help you identify each style.

A customary fit shirt often has vertical stitches; it appears in rectangular shapes and looks boxy when placed flat on the floor. It often contains a crease at the top back, providing more material in its spacious style. The shirt sleeves might have gathers or small pleat patterns around the armhole, making it look loose and full.

Unlike the traditional fit, the tailored fit has curved seams made inward to reveal the shape of your waist. This shirt will also have narrowed sleeves, although the armhole should not be too tight. The waistline should be smooth and steady on your skin rather than sticking out above your trouser’s waistband if you tuck in.

While custom-made fit shirts are readymade, they should look like tailored clothes made specifically for you.

Custom-made fit versus Traditional Fit

Custom-made clothes make use of less material than a traditional design. Most brands use the words conventional or classic fit synonymously with “regular fit.” However, some other brands might make little difference between these words.

Traditional fit often showcases a loose, spacious cut that gives room for flexibility. In contemporary times, this ample cut does not indicate an impressive fashion trend; you may want to pay attention to the sharp lines in a slim fit pattern or the pointy refinement of a tailored fit.


Below is a comparison between a traditional fit vs a custom-made fit suit.

A custom-made suit will contain more material in the arm region with more oversized armholes and a rectangular chest and waist area. Since contemporary styles are always in vogue toward the fitted side seam, a traditional fit suit might contain a narrow curve at the waist area. The trousers will give enough room in the seating area, a spacious leg, and perhaps a break at the lower ends of the pants.

To make a more fashionable impression, a tailored fit suit will have fitted shoulders and a suit that stops at the waist. This suit will have narrowed sleeves, although the armholes will not be too tight. Also, there will be pants with a roomy upper leg but a smart narrowing around the ankle, creating a sharp image.

Slim Fit Versus Classic Fit

These two kinds of clothes appear differently because of the narrow pointy shape a slim fit style bears. Classic or traditional fits are often said to be flexible, informal, or spacious. Although these are comfortable descriptions, they are not as fashionable and popular as sharp, streamlined, and slim-fitted descriptions of slim-fit clothes.

To get slim-fit clothe styles, you will have to give up some comfort. Traditional or classic clothing is much more spacious, giving room for flexibility compared to slim-fit clothing.

Differences between a classic and a slim fit shirt

A traditional or classic fit shirt comprises additional clothing material to enable you to expand your chest, waist, and arms region in case you need to. Often, it has vertical side seams, giving it a rectangular outlook. This shirt will often look spacious and lose on your body; it may stick out around your waist when you tuck in.

Unlike the classic wear, the slim-fit shirt of the same brand and size will contain much less material. It will comfortably fit around your shoulders and chest areas, and it will also have a pointy and narrow waistline which will give you a V-shaped appearance. It will finally have small armholes and closed sleeves slimmer on the wrist.

Selecting Your Suitable Fit

Knowing the differences between customised fit and slim-fit clothes, you may want to know which is the most suitable for you. To enable you to make a perfect choice, choose a brand you like and then try on the same kind of clothing in the classic, custom-made, or slim fit. This will help you compare each dress.

If you cannot do that, then you can consider online shopping using the following procedures:

Firstly, where do you want to put on the jacket, shirt, or pants? If it is for a job interview, you may want to choose slim-fit attire with a sharp look. If it is to a wedding, you may want to consider a classic fit with a cosy and flexible shape.

Do you value your appearance over comfort? Would you need to cover long distances while putting on the pants you are considering buying? If yes, you may want to consider custom-made fit pants rather than a slim fit.

Furthermore, the shape of your body should be put into consideration. If you want to accentuate your waist with the narrow cut of a slim-fit shirt, suit, or t-shirt, you may opt for a straight, traditional, or regular fit.

The shoulders of a suit should always be considered. You may adjust different parts of a suit but not the shoulders. Ensure that you find the most suitable shoulder fit for you.

For your shirt or suits, you do not want them to be tight at the buttons. If this happens, you can maintain the cut you want and increase the size.

The significant difference between a slim fit and a custom-made fit costume design is that the slim fit is tighter while the customised looks narrow but less tight. While slim-fit often looks more fashionable among young professionals, both styles can appear classy. Although they give more regular classic cut designs for shirts, jackets, and pants, most brands typically sell both kinds.

Slim fit clothing might be too rigid due to its narrowed look and large armholes. In contrast, custom-made clothes will give you room for flexibility yet a fitting look.

There is a perfect style for you, either tailored fit or slim-fit. Are you in need of well patterned bespoke wear for your regular or special occasion? Contact Bespoke Suits London on 02071832372 to book your unique clothing collection that will make you stand out. Our highly skilled men tailors in London are ready to make those dynamic fashion patterns for you.

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