While there are a plethora of tips and guides for men on how their formal wear should fit, there aren’t so many for women. Knowing what makes a well fitted suit is crucial to not only look good but also know what you want when you’re having a bespoke or tailor made suit crafted. Any good tailor will ensure your suited is fitted well however knowing what makes a well fitted suit will offer you that self-assurance that you’re looking your very best.

We’ve looked at how each element of a suit should sit to form a perfect look for any formal occasion.


There a few fundamentals which should be in order before looking at the finer details. The blazer is the key element of the suit to get right as it will define your body shape depending on its fit – oversized and it’ll make your body look disproportionate, too small and you’ll be left gasping for air.

One of the key points on the blazer is ensuring that the shoulders are no wider than they need to be. If the shoulders on your blazer extend too far wide, they’ll have you looking broader than you actually are. While ensuring your shoulders are snug, make sure you also allow for room to manoeuvre your arms, a well fitted blazer should also allow for comfort so make sure you don’t feel restricted.

When it comes to the arm length there’s a clear guide for the men, however women have more freedom with anywhere between the wrist and the top knuckle of your thumb being seen as suitable. If you’re opting for a cropped jacket then your sleeves should at least reach your elbow, anything shorted than this could look too casual for a formal occasion.

Another area that women need to consider is their bust. When dressing for a formal occasion you’ll ideally want your blazer buttoned, which means it’ll need to close comfortably. If it’s at a strain as a result of your bust it will not only look untidy but also draw unnecessary attention. Remember it’s widely accepted to just close the top button of your blazer so keep this in this mind when you’re assessing the fit around your bust.


Getting the length of your trousers right can be a tricky task, especially if you’re planning on wearing them with shoes of varying heights. Many women opt for trousers which reach to an inch of the floor, and while this might be fine with a certain pair of heels, it can lead to the trousers catching the floor when worn with flat shoes – and worn out trousers won’t impress anyone at a formal event. This limits the style of footwear you’re able to wear with your trousers. A great way around this is to have your trousers cropped just above the ankles, allowing them to look good with heels and flat shoes.

If however you have bigger hips than the average lady and you’re concerned about over emphasizing this with cropped trousers then you can opt for ones which are flared. While some might consider these to offer a more relaxed look they’re very much suited to a formal outfit.


Similar to the blazer arms, your skirt length is important in helping to maintain a formal look which is appropriate for most events. A general rule of thumb to follow is to ensure that it is long enough to reach your knees. We’d recommend something that sits just below the knees to play it safe.

For the colder months feel free to accompany your skirt with stocking or pantyhose for an extra layer of warmth – just make sure the colour is in line with your suit or of a nude shade to match your skin.

Remember when it comes to formal wear there is a need to be more reserved with your dress. From the colours you choose to wear to the fit of your suit.

At Hemingway we can help to design a made to measure suit ideal for any formal event, get in touch today to book a personal appointment. 

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