Wearing a perfectly fitting suit is one way for a man to look stylish, and there are fashion tips to follow to achieve a tailored look. Are you not sure about your suit size? Use our suit size charts and measuring guidelines to find the perfect fit for you.
At a Glance
- A suit usually consists of pants and a jacket. However, men often wear a vest over their shirts on more formal occasions. A suit’s material is typically a mix of cotton, polyester, and lycra.
- To correctly determine your suit size, you need to measure your (1) height, (2) chest circumference, (3) hip circumference, and (4) waistband. You also need to know your (5) step length (along the leg, from crotch to the ground) and (6) your side length (from the waist over the hip to the sole).
- The ideal suit for “tall and thin” individuals has a jacket with a narrow lapel and no less than three buttons. The pants shouldn’t have a crease so that the legs do not look too long.
- The ideal suit for “heavy and muscular” men has a two-button jacket that makes them look slimmer. They should avoid wearing wide-leg pants and wear waist-pleated ones instead.
- The ideal suit for “short and thin” individuals comes with a short figure-hugging jacket with three buttons. The pant leg cut should be long enough to show medium to full break.
- The best option for “short and muscular” men is a well-fitting two-button jacket that makes their body look longer and slimmer, along with pants pleated to the shoe to make the legs appear longer
Suit Size Chart
The following dimensions are important for determining the size of your new suit:
- chest circumference
- hip circumference
|Internat. Suit Size||US Suit Size||Euro Suit Size||Chest (Inch)||Waist (Inch)||Arm (Inch)|
How do I measure my perfect suit size?
The practical thing about wearing a suit is you are always dressed up immediately. A dress shirt underneath (never with a pocket!), matching belt, good fitting shoes, maybe a tie, more casual without, and you are ready.
Being dressed doesn’t automatically mean you’re well dressed. In fact, in everyday life, countless men wear ill-fitting suits that simply don’t match their body type.
Of course, men also have problem areas. That’s why it doesn’t have to be a made-to-measure suit. The right cut is sometimes enough.
- Body height: Stand against a door frame without shoes and measure from head to toe.
- Bust measurement: Measure over the prominent part of the chest around the body horizontally.
- Waist measurement: Measure horizontally around the waist. Do not cut the tape measure.
- Step length: Along the leg from the crotch to the ground.
- Side length: Measured from the waist over the hip to the sole.
- Hip circumference: Measure horizontally at the prominent part of the buttocks, close to the body.
To find out the correct size of a suit jacket, measuring the chest circumference is the most important thing to do. Place the tape measure around the widest area of the chest. We measure the waist, approximately 3 fingers wide, under the navel. Visit suit jackets, blazers and sports coats to learn more.
Determine the length of a suit’s pant legs by measuring the interior part of each leg. Then you must measure the highest point of the inside of the leg, to the part where the heel touches the ground. Do not wear shoes while you measure, and make sure your legs are slightly spread.More detailed sizing charts and instructions for pants are here.
In some cases, you cannot just pick your suit “off the shelf” because your upper body might be longer than average or you have particularly long legs. In such cases, you need to pick the suit jacket and the suit pants in different sizes. Some brands offer such flexibility, others do not. You are almost always 100 percent safe if you purchase a tailor-made suit.
(If you need help finding the right-fitting dress shirt, this article is for you.)
Standard Size Chart
|Internat. Sizes||US Sizes||UK Sizes||French Sizes||Italian Sizes||German Sizes|
Suit Selection Guidelines for Your Body Type
Tall and thin
Men 6’2” and taller belong in the tall category, but not all have broad shoulders and a muscular upper body. Most men do not want to look like a beanpole; It could happen, if they wear the wrong size suit. Hence…
- Choose a suit jacket with a narrow lapel and at least three buttons. The neckline is smaller and the upper body looks more voluminous than with a two-button jacket.
- Pinstripes are taboo – they stretch the upper body even more. At best, this type of figure can afford to wear large checks.
- If you wear a tie, it should be a bit wider. This is visually impressive.
- The pants shouldn’t have a crease, though, in order to look less long.
Heavy and muscular
The problem zone for men in this category is usually the stomach. Too much food, too much beer, too little exercise can lead to an out-of-shape body. Quite a few men try to hide their potbelly stomachs under suits that are far too wide.
It is a mistake because it makes that area look even thicker. Therefore…
- Wear two-button jackets. They stretch the upper body again thanks to their deep neckline and make the person look slimmer. A three-button jacket is also appropriate even if the lapel is not too short.
- Avoid upholstered shoulder areas at all costs, as they apply even more.
- You should omit samples of all kinds: Neither pinstripes on the jacket, nor stripes on the shirt. The latter makes a man look heavier. Better: use dark suits and plain shirts.
- The same applies to the tie: no stripes, not too narrow – that also give the upper body a more massive look.
- Avoid wide trouser legs – they make you look thicker. It is better to wear waist-pleated pants.
Short and thin
Short men often have the advantage of evenly proportioned bodies, but if they are small and very thin, they may look boyish. Here are tips on how to choose a suit that makes you look mature:
- Choose suits with short jackets and are figure-hugging.These visually extend the legs and give you more contour.
- Three-button jackets and pinstripes also stretch the upper body – they make you look bigger. The same applies to narrow lapel.
- Patterned shirts give your upper body more volume. Only wear plain shirts under patterned suits!
- The pants legs should be cut in such a way that they lie on the shoe with a crease.
Short and muscular
This variant is probably the most challenging body type to fit for a suit. It is necessary to conceal the hip area, and there are no counterbalancing guards. The concealment options include:
- A well-fitting two-button jacket that, thanks to a deep neckline, can make the upper body look longer and slimmer.
- Avoid patterned fabrics. Stripes and checks only add additional volume.
Instead, wear a handkerchief in a jacket – this directs attention from the stomach to the upper body.
- Pant legs with an (impact?)also belong back on the shelf. It is better to wear trousers with a pleat on the shoe. They make legs look longer.
How do you recognize a high-quality suit?
- Inspect the so-called tailoring edge. This is an additional, hand stitched, well visible seam on the outer edges of the lapel. Premium cloth has minimal irregular distances between the seams.
- The buttons should be made of natural materials such as buffalo horn and the buttonholes should be hemmed by hand and neatly cut. The so-called handle of the button (this is the bridge between fabric and button made of a thread) must not be too short and should be durably wrapped.
- If the buttons on the sleeve slits are not defective and open and close normally, these are indications of good quality clothing. (” functioning” buttons are normally a sure indication of custom-made work).
- Designing the shoulders of a suit jacket is difficult. They are at the transition between the sleeves and the shoulder and there should be no wrinkles/bunches in the fabric when wearing a good suit.
- The pattern of a suit should run cleanly over the seams without breaks. Pay particular attention to this on the shoulder area of the jacket and around the breast pocket.
- A high-quality jacket has an inner lining which protects the inside and allows the jacket to glide smoothly over a shirt.
How do I pack my suit in the suitcase?
Silk paper is one of the best products to use when packing your suit in a suitcase. Make sure to fold the trouser legs along the crease and have them lie directly on top of each other. Place the trousers with the waistband in the case, but let the legs hang out sideways. Place tissue paper on the trousers and add another pair of suit trousers. Once you almost fill your suitcase, fold over the trouser legs.
Stuff the sleeves of your jacket with tissue paper and put it on top of the other packed clothing with the backup. Tip: Next time you buy shirts, keep the collar cardboards and use them to stabilize jacket collars in your suitcase.
If you often have to look presentable on business trips, invest in a suit bag. It can keep suits wrinkle-free.
What you should consider regarding the material of your suit
The suit usually consists of pants and a jacket. Men often wear a vest over a shirt on formal occasions. The recommended material for a good suit is a blend of cotton, polyester, and lycra. A lycra content of about 2 percent ensures that the suit material stretches slightly and always fits snugly against the body.
The higher the proportion of natural cotton or wool in the suit material, the more expensive the suit is. Wool warms your body during the cold winter months but can make you feel itchy, so a blend of cotton, wool, and polyester is ideal.
How do I combine suit, shirt and tie?
Your taste determines how you combine your suit and shirt. A white shirt almost always works, but so do shirts in delicate shades such as light blue, light grey, or pink that are a great match for a dark suit.
The choice of the tie is a bit more challenging. It should match the shirt’s color and should not attract too much attention.
For example, a tie with blue and noble silver stripes goes well with a light blue shirt. Ties with slightly stronger patterns, such as Paisley, go well with a dark shirt.
By the way, you can also choose a patterned or checkered shirt and wear a solid-colored tie. Under no circumstances should you wear a differently patterned tie with these shirts.
Which shoes go best with the suit?
Classic shoes for the suit are the elegant black Oxford, the somewhat more casual Derby and the Brogue, which can be recognized by its typical lace pattern. All three are high-quality leather shoes that you should care for regularly. If the shoes are not worn, keep them in the cupboard with shoe tensioners in shape. Boat shoes and penny loafers are tempting in summer but should be left to our neighbors south of the Alps – at least in the area of business clothing.
How many buttons of the jacket do I have to close?
It depends on the total number of buttons. As a rule of thumb, three buttons close the middle button, and four buttons close the two middle buttons. Close all the buttons only if a jacket is very wide. On the other hand, close as few buttons as possible when wearing a snug-fitting jacket.
What should I wear under the shirt when wearing a suit?
The former classic fine rib undershirt is outdated and stuffy. It is better if your undershirt is not noticeable at all. Thin, skintight T-shirts or so-called invisible, skin-colored undershirts are in style. Not wearing an undershirt at all is a fashion faux pas.
How many suits does a man need?
The number of suits a man needs depends on a few factors. Those who can go to work in jeans and T-shirts probably only need two suits for special occasions – a darker, heavier suit for winter and a lighter suit for the summer.
However, if you wear a suit every day to work, you require more than that. We recommend a basic set of three to four suits in dark gray and dark blue, which you can combine with different shirts and ties. In addition, consider buying a light suit especially for warm days and an elegant tuxedo for festive evening events.
How do I clean a suit?
A suit needs to be well-maintained. It is inappropriate to wear a wrinkled and frayed suit to business meetings and could make you look unprofessional.
In most cases it is a good idea to take your suit to a professional dry cleaning service. However, if you wear a suit every day for professional reasons, save money by taking care of your suit at home.
Clean the suit (both jacket and trousers) after wearing it with a natural hairbrush and let it air out overnight in a dry open space before you hang it back up in your wardrobe. Steam cleaning it from time to time to freshen up natural fabrics in a jacket is a good idea.
To do this, simply turn on the hot shower water in an enclosed bathroom to produce steam. Leave the garment hanging there for about 15 minutes and use a cloth to dab off stains.
How do I hang a suit properly?
Invest in special wooden hangers for your suits. These consist of a regular coat hanger (for the jacket) and a thicker crossbar on which the pants hang without wrinkling. An alternative method to avoid wrinkles in the pants is a pant hanger with clips.
Hang up worn suits for ventilation immediately after taking them off. Do this with freshly ironed pants to keep them from wrinkling while lying down