Expert: What is balance?

Suit Balance

Have you ever wondered why a suit just doesn't feel right (take our test and find out)? It is typically a issue with balance and requires expert measurement, cutting and general tailoring skill. But what is balance?

A key principle of the tailoring process is balance, how the parts of a suit work in unison. This is generally taken to mean the relationship between the front and back of the  jacket, and the left and right hand sides. Despite some controversy on whether the front should be longer than the back, tailors agree that the left and right should be even along the hem. This relationship between measurements, makes the suit perfectly hang on the body, in a comfortable, stylish and elegant fit.

There are several types of balance, including a ratio driven approach, called ideal balance, based upon chest measurement. Natural balance is based upon equal front and back measurements tweaked to fit overall measure. For instance, a need for more fabric on the back would require more on the front. Finally, specific balance, where the unique nature of the human body is the focus. 

For example, a chap with 'salient blades' (big shoulder blades) would need extra back balance, where as a chap with a prominent tummy would need some front balance. The excess produced by both adjustments would need to be handled correctly, so the excess fabric contours to the body. 

In summary, balance is critical part of the bespoke process - a good tailor takes these into account to make a excellent suit with balanced result. This produces an pleasing silhouette and a garment you will love.