How to take measurements for a men's suit

Updated February 21, 2017

Suits for men are sized according to a few different measurements, but all of them can be taken easily in just a few minutes. Whether taking measurements to rent a tuxedo or to invest in purchasing a good suit, it is important to measure accurately so the suit will fit well. Suits can be altered, especially in the trousers, but taking your measurements will help find the best suit to start with or to rent for a special event.

Remove any bulky clothing you are wearing. Ideally, you should take off everything except your underwear to get an accurate measurement.

Stand up straight and measure your chest at its fullest point, under your arms. If at all possible, get somebody else to do this step for you so your arms can stay at your sides. The measuring tape should be parallel to the ground all the way around and go over your shoulder blades, under your arms and across your chest. Write down this measurement as your chest size.

Measure your torso at its fullest point over your arms. This is typically in the upper arms or shoulders. Again, keep the measuring tape parallel to the ground all the way around, and write down the largest measurement you can find of your torso.

Subtract seven from the measurement of your torso. If this number is larger than your chest measurement, this should be your suit size. If your chest measurement is larger, then use that as your suit size.

Measure your height in inches. If you are 67 inches or shorter, you will require a short suit. If you are between 68 and 71 inches, a regular suit will be best. Men who are 72 to 74 inches should get a long suit. Men over 74 inches will require an extra long suit, or maybe even a specially tailored suit.

Measure your waist size while standing comfortably. Your waist is where you crease if you bend to the side, usually right around your navel. If you plan to wear your trousers higher or lower than this, you should measure where you expect the waistline of your trousers to sit. Write this measurement down as your trousers size. Ideally, it should be about 6 inches less than your jacket size. If it is closer to 2 to 4 inches, look for a suit in an executive cut so the trousers will be less likely to need tailoring.

Measure the inseam of a pair of trousers of a similar style and fit to the suit you expect to get. Your measurement should be from the seam of the crotch down to the hem. Trousers are made so they can be let down an inch or two if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible measuring tape with inches
  • Pen
  • Paper
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