How to measure for a suit: Suit measurement tips for the perfect fit

How to measure for a suit: Suit measurement tips for the perfect fit

Knowing how to measure for a suit is essential to achieving the perfect fit. You can ensure a tailored look that exudes confidence and style by following precise measurement tips. From chest and sleeve length to waist and inseam measurements, mastering how to measure for a suit is critical to looking sharp and sophisticated.

suits and jacket
Knowing how to measure for a suit jacket is important to achieve the perfect fit. Photo: @DivineInStyles, @dejiandkola on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Proper suit measurement is crucial for an individual as it ensures a flattering fit that enhances their body shape and silhouette. Ill-fitting suits can project sloppiness or unprofessionalism, whereas a well-tailored suit exudes confidence and sophistication. If you desire to learn how to achieve a perfect fit, here is everything you need to know.

How do you measure yourself for a suit?

Measuring yourself for a suit involves several measurements to ensure a proper fit. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure yourself for a suit:

1. Chest measurement

Stand comfortably upright, and wrap a flexible measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest, keeping it straight and parallel to the ground. Note down the measurement in inches.

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2. Waist measurement

Find the narrowest part of your waistline, typically around your belly button. Then, keep the tape measure level and parallel to the ground.

3. Shoulder and sleeve length measurements

Measure from one shoulder tip across your back to the other shoulder. And for the sleeve length, start from the centre back of your neck, go over your shoulder, and down to your wrist.

4. Jacket length

Measure from the base of your neckline down your back to your desired jacket length. Do this carefully and never assume anything.

5. Pant waist

Measure around the narrowest part of your waistline. It is advisable not to do this when you have just finished eating to get the perfect suit measurements.

6. Pant length (inseam)

Begin from the top of your inner thigh. Measure down to your preferred pant length.

different shades of suit colour
Knowing how to create a nice suit, shirt and tie combinations is a matter of style and elegance. Photo: @pinnaxis (modified by author)
Source: UGC

7. Armhole depth

From the shoulder, measure down your body to your desired armhole depth. Capture the size that will make you comfortable after sewing.

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8. Neck size

Measure around the base of your neck, ensuring the tape is level.

Remember to take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy, and consider getting a friend or professional to help you take your measurements. Use a flexible measuring tape and stand straight and relaxed for the most accurate results.

How to measure a suit jacket

Getting the perfect fit for your suit jacket is key to looking sharp and feeling confident. Here are the steps on how to measure suit jacket size:

  • Overarm: Measure the over-arm by wrapping the tape measure around the broadest part of the shoulder and upper arms.
  • Chest: Measure around your upper body, underneath your arms, and over the fullest part of your chest and shoulder blades.
  • Waist: Find your natural waist and measure while keeping the tape loose.
  • Inseam: Measure from the crotch seam to the hem.
  • Jacket length: Measure the length of the jacket based on your height.
  • Shoulder measurement: With a well-fitting shirt, measure the distance between the armhole seams across your back.
  • Sleeve measurement: Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms down, then measure from the edge of your shoulder at the armhole to the wrist.
  • Neck measurement: Measure around the fullest part of your neck, ensuring the tape is not too tight, leaving room for a finger or two between the tape and your neck.

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Suit styles
Suit styles. Photo: @dejiandkola on Facebook (modified by author)
Source: UGC

How is suit size calculated?

When finding the right suit size, consider important factors such as your height, weight, age, body shape, and even your shoe size. Plus, using a suit measurement calculator can give you spot-on results. Here is a guide on how to interpret suit sizes.

Jacket chest

Suit and tuxedo jackets are sized in numbers, typically between 34 and 52, plus a letter or two. These numbers relate to the jacket's chest size (but not your chest measurement) and are typically offered in even sizes.

Jacket length

Jackets come in short (S), regular (R), and long (L) lengths, with some brands offering extra short (XS) and extra long (XL) lengths, too. Your height usually determines these lengths.

Pant sizes

The first number on the pant label indicates the waist size, while the second represents the length (also known as the inseam). Suit pants will not always list a length and are often hemmed to the perfect length anyway.

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You will always find a waist size on the tag. Waist sizes come in even sizing (32, 34, 36, etc.), and if a suit pant inseam is offered, it will come in even sizes, too.

What size is a 36 regular suit?

A 36 regular suit is typically designed for individuals with a chest measurement between 34 and 36 inches. The overarm measurement is between 42 and 44 inches, while the waist measurement is between 27 and 30 inches.

The hip measurement typically ranges from 33 to 36 inches, and the neck measurement is between 14 and 15.5 inches. Sleeve measurements usually range from 33 to 34 inches, and individuals wearing this size are typically between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall.

What is 42L size?

When measuring suit sizes, the 42L size denotes a suit jacket tailored for individuals with a chest measurement of 40-42 inches, a waist size of 34 or 36 inches, and a height of 5'11.5"-6'2.5".

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types of suit. Photo: @dejiandkola on X (modified by author)
Types of suit. Photo: @dejiandkola on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The "L" signifies a long length suitable for those over 6 feet tall. This ensures the sleeves and overall jacket length accommodate taller individuals, providing a comfortable fit.

How to measure for suit pants

Measuring for suit pants involves taking a few key measurements to ensure a proper fit. Here is a simple guide:

1. Waist measurement

Measure around your natural waistline, usually near your belly button. Keep the tape parallel to the floor.

2. Pant length (inseam)

Measure from your inner thigh down to your desired pant length. Use a well-fitting pair of pants as a reference.

3. Seat measurement

Measure around the fullest part of your seat. Keep the tape parallel to the floor.

4. Thigh measurement

Measure around the fullest part of your thigh. Keep the tape parallel to the floor.

5. Knee measurement

Measure around the narrowest part of your knee, parallel to the floor.

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6. Hem width

Measure the width of the pant leg at the hem. But ensure it matches your shoe width.

Now that you know how to measure for a suit, you are well on your way to achieving a perfect fit for any occasion. These simple suit measurement tips will ensure a comfortable, flattering, and professional look. Remember to take your time, use a flexible measuring tape, and do not hesitate to seek help if needed.

READ ALSO: Semi-formal attire for men: The ultimate style guide

As published on Briefly, it can be confusing to style and differentiate between formal and semi-formal wear as they are found in everybody's wardrobe. Semi-formal attire for men makes you look sharp, feel confident, and keep cool.

Semi-formal attire for men balances casual and formal wear, creating a polished yet not overly formal look. This includes a well-fitted suit or blazer paired with dress pants and a button-down shirt. Dress shoes and a matching belt complete the ensemble.

Source: Briefly News

Favour Adeaga avatar

Favour Adeaga (Lifestyle writer) Dr. Favour Adeaga is an author, speaker, and coach. He graduated with a degree in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria. He did his internship at The Nation Newspaper and taught diploma students in Newspaper and Magazine courses at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. He has curated the facts and life hacks category since 2018. Dr Favour is the author of several books available on Amazon. He currently lives in Nigeria. Email:

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