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How to Measure Yourself for a Men's Suit

Published April 29, 2010 | Updated June 11, 2015

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 the fit. Before you buy a men's suit, you will need to take several measurements for both your jacket and trousers. Taking these measurements beforehand will save you a lot of time when you compare sizes and fits of men's suits. These tips will ensure that you get a suit that looks and fits perfectly.

Measuring Yourself for a Suit:

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Things You'll Need
Measuring tape
A friend to help
  1. Measure Yourself for the Suit Jacket

    You'll need to know the width of 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, don't measure too loosely, either. This measurement is important to determine your suit size.

  2. 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 5'7" with a chest measurement of 36 inches to 46 inches should purchase a short suit, while men between 5'7" and 5'11" 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.

  3. Measure Your Waist for Your Pant Size

    The pants will normally rest around the belly button, so start measuring around your torso at the height of the belly button. Stick a couple fingers between the measuring tape and your body, so the fit won't be so tight. When you sit down, you'll need that breathing room.

  4. 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 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.

  5. Measure Your Seat

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

  6. Calculate Your 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.

Men's Suit Measurement Tips

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. This is essential to making any men's suit look just right.

What Shoppers Are Saying

Purest Sharkskin

Back in the days of Elvis, Sharkskin suits were all the rave. made of Wool and natural fabrics, Mostly in Gray or blue, they cost a small fortune. Then they came out with some synthetic sharkskin materials that were called cheap suits, cause of this same price. Sharkskin suits have come and gone in ...
kassium May 27, 2014

40L fits 150# 6' frame perfect

I wish you'd tell your body size and then tell fit. otherwise nobody has a clue to the bases of your review. I'm sure the bigger sized football stars have a hard fit. Material, is unnoticeable lighter fabric than my Kenneth Cole Black suit. Only by rubbing the sleeves cuffs next to Both suits will you ...
kassium May 21, 2013

It's cheap, but decent for the price paid.

I own 6 other decent quality tailored suits. So it's quite easy for me to compare the characteristics of this suit. Though they were much more money, so I won't try to compare apples to oranges. First, I have had no problems with sizing as a few people mentioned. Both pants and jacket fit exactly as ...
firebirdude June 22, 2012

Great looking ring

I really wanted a tungsten carbide ring for a replacement wedding ring due to the durability and scratch resistance, but couldn't pass up this titanium ring with the abalone inlay. There is an inscription inside the band that states "Spike-ti titanium jewelry" which is almost impossible to read without ...
madmango1 July 17, 2013