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
- Accurate Measurements: Body measurements such as chest, waist, hips, inseam, and arm length are crucial for determining the correct suit size.
- Suit Sizes: Suits are sized by a number (chest measurement) and a letter (jacket length: S for short, R for regular, L for long). The “drop” denotes the difference between chest and waist sizes.
- Fit: A well-fitting suit should have smooth shoulders, a comfortable collar, proper sleeve length, and a jacket length reaching the thumb’s second knuckle.
- Alterations: Don’t shy away from alterations. They’re common and can help achieve the perfect fit.
Suit Size Chart
Here’s a standard size and conversion chart for suits.
|International||US Size||EU Size||Chest circumference (In)||Waist circumference (In)||Arm length (In)|
Understanding Suit Sizes
Suit sizes are typically represented by a number and a letter. The number refers to the chest measurement of the jacket, and the letter refers to the length of the jacket. The three lengths are Short (S), Regular (R), and Long (L).
The chest measurement is the circumference of the largest part of your chest, typically measured in inches in the US. This measurement is taken just under the arms, across the shoulder blades, with the person’s arms hanging down at their sides. The number in a suit size, such as 42 in a size “42R”, represents this chest measurement.
The jacket length is represented by the letter in a suit size. This is typically S for short, R for regular, and L for long. Find our full suit jacket guide here.
The exact measurements can vary slightly between manufacturers, but here’s a general guide:
- Short (S): This is best for men who are 5’7″ and under. The jacket length is shorter, and the sleeves are also a bit shorter.
- Regular (R): This is best for men who are between 5’8″ and 5’11”. The jacket and sleeve lengths are average.
- Long (L): This is best for men who are 6′ and taller. The jacket length is longer, and the sleeves are also a bit longer.
The Drop in Suit Sizing
The “drop” in a suit refers to the difference between the chest and waist size. A standard drop is 6 inches, meaning a size 40 jacket would pair with size 36 pants.
The drop can vary based on body type. For instance, if you have a lean athletic build with a significant difference between your chest and waist, you might need a suit with a larger drop. On the other hand, if your chest and waist measurements are closer, a suit with a smaller drop might be a better fit.
The drop also describes the jacket’s tapering. A higher drop results in a slim fit, while a lower drop gives a relaxed fit. Off-the-rack suits usually have a relaxed drop, as it fits a wider range of body types and can be adjusted for a slimmer fit by a tailor.
The drop number isn’t usually explicitly stated on the suit label in most off-the-rack suits. Instead, it’s typically implied. For example, if you see a suit labeled as “42R/36W”, this suit has a drop of 6 because the difference between the jacket size (42) and the waist size (36) is 6.
However, in some high-end or European brands, you might see a label like “52/6”. In this case, 52 is the European jacket size, and 6 is the drop.
How Should a Suit Fit?
Here are some general guidelines on how a suit should fit:
- Pants: They should fit well, staying up without a belt while still providing enough room for you to sit and move.
- Break: The crease where the pant leg meets the shoe should be just right – not too much fabric piling up or too little covering the ankle.
- Shoulders: The shoulders of the suit should match up with your own, without any signs of wrinkling or extra material.
- Collar: The collar should rest comfortably and flat against your neck, without any signs of tugging, bulging, or gaps as you move.
- Jacket Button: In a two-button jacket, the top button should be positioned about 1-3 fingers above your belly button. The jacket should button up smoothly without any signs of tugging.
- Sleeve Length: The sleeves should end just before the wrist, showing about a quarter to an inch of your shirt cuff.
- Jacket Length: The length of the jacket should reach your thumb’s second knuckle, fully covering your backside but not hanging below it.
- Jacket Chest or Back: The jacket should fit smoothly across your chest and back, without any signs of tugging, wrinkling, or extra fabric. You should be able to move freely, even with the jacket buttoned up.
How to Measure for a Suit?
Here are the steps to measuring yourself for a new suit:
- Chest: Maintain a relaxed and natural posture. Wrap the measuring tape around your chest, directly under your armpits and across the nipples. The tape should be snug but not tight, allowing for about a finger’s width underneath.
- Shoulders: Measure from one shoulder seam to the other, straight across the back.
- Sleeve: Start at the shoulder seam and measure down to the second knuckle of your thumb.
- Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your buttocks, ensuring the tape is level all around. The tape should be snug but not tight, with about two fingers’ width underneath for comfort.
- Waist: For high-rise trousers, measure around your natural waistline at the belly button. For low-rise trousers, measure about two to three fingers’ width below the belly button.
- Inseam Length: Measure from the topmost point of the crotch seam down to the bottom of the pants. Ensure the fabric is pulled taut to avoid inaccurate measurements due to slack in the material.
- Outseam Length: For a tailored garment, measure the length from the top of your trousers to where you want the hem to end.
To get a well-fitted suit, you need to measure certain parts of your body. Measure your chest at its fullest part. Your waist is measured at its narrowest part. Measure your hips around the fullest part. The shoulder width is the distance between your two shoulders. Jacket and sleeve lengths are measured from your neck and shoulder to where you want them to end. For trousers, measure your legs from thigh to ankle, and your wrist and neck for cuff and collar sizes. Full suit size measurement guide here.
Suit Size Chart
Reading a suit size chart begins with understanding your measurements. The jacket size usually includes a number, which matches your chest measurement in inches. A letter often follows, indicating the fit: ‘S’ for short, ‘R’ for regular, and ‘L’ for long. Your trouser size usually corresponds to your waist measurement in inches. The second number in trouser size often indicates the ‘inside leg’ length, also in inches. Find our suit size charts here.
How should a suit fit?
A well-fitted suit should feel comfortable and look tailored. The jacket should hug your shoulders snugly, and the sleeves should end just past your wrists. The jacket’s length should cover your rear end. Trousers should sit at your waist, not your hips, with a slight break at the shoes. Finally, the collar should lay flat against your neck without gaping or hugging too tightly. Full suit size guide here.