How Do You Size Men's Suits?


Quick Answer

Men's suit jackets are sized based on chest width, shoulder width, height and arm length. Pant sizes are determined by waist width and the length of the inside of the leg, or inseam.

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How Do You Size Men's Suits?
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Full Answer

Take chest measurements at the broadest point of the chest, just under the arms, with the man's arms down to his sides. This is the single most important measurement; in the United States, this is the main measurement used to designate suit sizes. Suits are usually sized 2 inches wider than the customer's actual size to allow freedom of movement. For example, a man with a 38-inch chest typically orders a size 40 suit. Jacket length is determined by height. Men under 5 feet, 6 inches should order S, or short sizes; men between 5 feet, 7 inches and 5 feet, 11 inches should order R, or regular; and men 6 feet and taller should order L, or long.

These measurements are typically adequate for business attire, but for formal events such as weddings, many men choose to have their suits altered to fit perfectly. Additional alterations can be made to the neck, sleeve and waist to achieve a well-tailored look.

European suits typically run 10 sizes bigger than American sizes. For example, a man who fits into a size 38S American suit should order a size 48S suit from Europe. Finer measurements for European clothing are expressed in centimeters rather than inches. The United Kingdom uses the same suit measurement system as the United States.

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