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How to Measure Yourself for a Men's Suit

by Jon Burgoyne

Menswear Ace

A great suit is one of the most important pieces in a man's wardrobe, and the key to looking good in a suit is impeccable fit. Knowing how to measure for a suit is an important part of getting the right fit.


Before you buy a men's suit, you will need to take several measurements for both your jacket and trousers to find the best suit size for you. Taking these measurements beforehand will save you a lot of time when you compare sizes and fits of men's suits.


The tips in this guide will ensure you get a suit that can be easily tailored to look great and fit perfectly. You will need a measuring tape and a friend's help to make the process as easy as possible.


Front view of man's chest being measured

How to Measure Chest Size

Chest size is determined by measuring around the widest part of your torso, which is just under your arms and across the chest. Don't hold your breath while measuring, or you could end up with a tighter suit jacket than you intended. However, make sure the tape measure is snug (not tight) against the body.

Man marking height against wall with a pencil

Determine Your Height in Feet and Inches

The chest measurement plus the height will determine whether the suit will be a short, medium, or long. For example, men under 5 feet 7 inches with a chest measurement of 36 inches to 46 inches should purchase a short suit, while men between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 11 inches with a chest measurement of 36 inches to 54 inches should try a regular suit. Men who are 6 feet tall or taller will need to purchase a long suit.

Man in dress clothes having his waist measured

Measure Your Waist for Your Pant Size

To find your waist measurement for suit pants, first bend to the side to find your natural crease. Measure around your waist at this point, making sure to keep the tape comfortably loose by keeping two fingers between the measuring tape and your body. This is called ease, and it will allow room to move when you purchase a new suit. When you sit down, you'll need that breathing room.

Man in dress clothes having his inseam measured

Find Your Inseam Measurement

Wear a fitted pair of pants when you're doing this to get a better measurement and stand with your legs about a foot apart. Take the measuring tape and measure from the crotch to the bottom of the shoe so the pants won't be too short or drag on the floor. You won't be able to take the measurement properly if you try to do it yourself, so get someone to help you find the measurement at the shoe level.

Side view of man in dress clothes having his seat measured

Measure Your Seat

Make sure the measuring tape includes the widest part of the hips. Don't hold the tape too tightly or too loosely - just enough that you can fit two fingers between the tape.

Side view of man in dress clothes having his sleeve measured

How to Measure Sleeve Length

To measure sleeve length, start from the shoulder seam and measure to about two inches below the wrist. Most suit jackets are fitted using the standard formula of chest width and height, but in case you have different proportions, this measurement could be useful.

Front view of man in fitted suit

What's Next

Record the measurements in both inches and centimeters if your tape measure has both options. This will make it easier to purchase a suit online from a different country.

Most suit pants come unhemmed, so you will need to take them to a tailor to have the hems sewn. Take your suit jacket with you too, so the tailor can make any minor adjustments needed to get an exact fit. These minor adjustments are essential to making any men's tailored suit look just right.

Author Pic

by Jon Burgoyne

Menswear Ace

Jon is an active writer, musician, and dad. When not wielding a pen, guitar or baby, he enjoys spending time outdoors or with a good book. Jon also loves finding deals on clothes that feel as good as they look.