How can something so routine as the cut of a competition suit affect so much?
Similar to the foundation of a home the suit cut is the underpinning of your competition suit.
Miss on that part and more likely than not you WILL create a cascading effect that may negatively influence your personal style, confidence, stage presence and ultimately your placing.
How Can a Suit Cut Adversely Affect Your Personal Style?
First let me define personal style in context to walking on stage.
Your personal style is your natural essence. Moreover, when you walk on a stage among twenty or more fantastic physiques you want your style to stand out not blend in.
You want to exude your sense of style on stage, let it be unique for you and yet identifiable by others.
I am sure you have experienced this, but sometimes your eyes become so familiar with the scenery that if you do not have a change, you are bored.
It is the same when judging a stage full of beautiful well-conditioned physiques.
All these amazing physiques tend to blend in, and that, I feel, is how your personal style can set you apart from the herd.
Everyone has a personal style, that IT factor you exude when you feel comfortable in your own skin.
When designing a suit for a client, I never try to change their natural personal style unless it is hurting their chances of a good result (like too much bounce or jiggle).
However, your natural personal style will only shine through if what you are wearing makes you feel a cut above the rest.
( Above my client Lorena, a bikini competitor, provides a great example, see how her confidence shines through?)
We have all been in that place when everything just works; the outfit, hair, make-up all falls into place.
When you are in that place, your confidence is sky high, and you feel unstoppable.
That feeling of invisibility is what you want to achieve when selecting the right competition suit, AND it all begins with the right cut!
The biggest mistake I see time and again are competitors trying to fit into another competitors design.
They see a beautiful competition suit worn by a peer they admire and want the same one for themselves.
Even though the suit cut they want does not flatter their particular frame.
AVOID this trap at all cost!
I cannot stress this enough, above all else, even above the fabric color and stoning, the cut of your suit is crucial and the foundation of the design.
Moreover, believe me when I say this but no amount of bling, sparkling fabric or dazzling connectors can make-up for selecting the wrong suit cut!
Choosing the wrong suit cut may not only affect your personal style on stage but also can affect your overall confidence, your stage presence and ultimately your placing.
Really? Can The Wrong Suit Cut Affect My Stage Presence?
YES! AND then some!
You can sense when a competitor feels uncomfortable in the suit cut that she is wearing.
Maybe it rides up her bum a little too much, or it does not support her tata’s.
It many cases a wrong suit cut can make her waist line look full and wide and the shoulders narrow.
Whatever it may be, you can sense she does not feel or look 100% right in her suit.
When your suit cut is wrong, it will cause you to look and feel out of sync and as a consequence may throw off a chain reaction of unwanted events resulting in what I coined as the:
“Wall Flower Domino Effect”
Wrong Suit Cut = Unflattering Physique = Lack Of Confidence= Awkward Stage Presence = Wall Flower Hell!
That being said, I believe it is safe to say that you did not spend months prepping for your show to achieve wallflower hell….right?
It is no secret, but 90% of feeling confident on stage is knowing that you are prepared and that everything is on point.
If you feel self-confident, your personal style and stage presence shines through, and that will ultimately affect your placing in a positive manner.
Here’s How You Can Be 100% Certain Your Competition Suit Looks Amazing On You Everytime You Walk On Stage….
Next to the importance of bringing in a well-conditioned physique is nailing down your stage presence package.
Nailing down a stage presence package starts by selecting the right competition suit and in the end hiring a trusted suit designer to design it, and preferably one that has walked your walk!
Below is a short checklist of what you should look for the next time you decide to hire a suit designer:
* They must be accessible to you on demand
*Serves you like a client, not a customer (look up the words)
*Understands how a body changes through a prepping cycle
*Takes the time to understand your entire stage presence package
*Has an eye for body structure and angles (this is a gift)
Also, If you are a Figure Competitor make sure the designer has experience designing Figure Competition Suits.
And the same goes for Women’s Physique and Bikini Competiton Suits.
NOTE: After you select your suit cut you can learn how to choose the right suit color, bling and connectors here.
Ask if they are experienced designing suits for NPC and IFBB caliber show.
This is important because different federations have varying requirements when it comes to suit designs.
A professional suit designer will take the time to understand the whole you.
This includes your personality, body shape, the history of how your physique changes during a prep, eye and hair color, skin tone and other intangibles that ultimately (should) feed into the design process.
Personally, I spend time getting to know my clients before I start a new project. I develop a very thorough profile for every one of my clients so I can better serve them.
CLICK HERE: For a FREE Suit or Stage Presence Consultation
Because the closer I can step into my clients shoes the more fantastic the design will be.
I keep these profiles along with the images of the suits I have designed for my clients saved to their personal database profile.
This simple process is invaluable for both me and my clients and allows for a point a reference the next time I design a suit for them.
Not only that but by keeping a database of hundreds of suit designs I can match up body types to suit styles that resulted in winning outcomes.
It is no secret; your body is going to change quite a bit as you go through prep.
Hence, throughout the suit design process, having a direct a line of open communication with your suit designer to discuss any changes to your suit is imperative.
Align yourself with a designer that you can communicate with when YOU need them rather than days after you sent them an email.
As the show date looms, an experienced designer will know when to time your measurements, begin construction on the suit and when to bling all while leaving enough leeway in the suit to make alterations.
(That is why I allow FREE alterations with my suits leading up to show day)
CLICK HERE: For a FREE Suit or Stage Presence Consultation
More importantly there is an art to designing and fitting a suit.
There are certain materials and stitching that look great but are not practical for a Bikini Competition style suit.
Also blinging a suit too early affects the elasticity of the fabric and consequently the fit. You need a designer that understands that.
Finally, a good suit designer never tries to match a cut to the client but rather a client to the cut.
At the end of the day select a suit that suits your style but please focus first on the right cut. (Have I said that enough?) 🙂
I see competitors dedicate countless hours and a good sum of money preparing their physique for a show. AND when it is time to present all that hard work on stage they cut corners by buying a suit off the rack based on how it looks not how it fits.
Don’t do it!
Frankly when I first started competing finding the right suit cut was my biggest frustration and the driving force behind why I started making my own suits.
I feel a suit should be an extension of your personality, not someone else’s, and it should flatter you NOT make you look and feel out of place.
I know this expression is overdone, but your suit should fit like a glove on all levels and make you feel unstoppable.
Match the right suit cut to a well-conditioned physique and I promise your personal style, confidence, stage presence and ultimately your placing will put a smile on your face that blings as bright as your suit. 🙂
Questions? Comments? Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments section.Thanks!
AND if you want to discuss your next suit purchase (even if it is not through me) I would love to help! Click on the link below and fill out the simple contact form and I will get back to you ASAP:
Great article Shawn, now I see why the fit of the suit I borrowed for my last show was off. The suit was beautiful but did not flatter my physique in the least. Would you mind if I sent you a few pictures from my last show so you could provide me with an idea of what cut would look best on me? I would appreciate it greatly! Thanks for your help, I can’t thank you enough for all the tips and advice you have provided me throughout the years–it’s made all the difference for me.
Hey, Michelle, I am glad I have been able to help. Send me some pictures and let me take a look. Talk soon!
I just finished reading your article, and you are the designer I want to work with. You seem to really know what you are talking about! I have been shopping for a new suit for months, and no one has been able to answer my questions like you have. I follow all your youtube videos and post and can say I have learned more about competition suits and stage presence in the last six months that I had over the last four years. Thank you so much for all you do for us.:)
Thank you, Lisa, for the kind words. I love what I do and receive a high level of satisfaction when I can help other competitors improve, grow and reach their goals. Whenever you’re ready to discuss your next suit, feel free to reach out to me. Thanks!