How to Size Suit Jackets

Written by nathan fisher
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How to Size Suit Jackets
The size of a suit jacket is determined with three basic measurements. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Suit jackets are available in a wide range of sizes to fit most people, without the need for alterations. However, when sizing suit jackets, as well as blazers and sport coats, you must understand how the garments are measured to fit the different areas of the upper body. When determining how to size suit jackets there are three standard measurements: the chest, the shoulders and the arms.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Place the tape measure around your chest, under your arms. Measure the area around the widest part of your chest and back, over the shoulder blades.

  2. 2

    Move the tape to the outside of your shoulders. Repeat the measurement around the widest part of your chest and shoulder blades. Subtract seven inches from this measurement, to use for comparison in determining your correct chest size

  3. 3

    Compare the two chest measurements (the underarm measurement to the over-the-shoulder measurement, minus seven inches). Use the larger of the two measurements for your chest size when fitting a suit jacket. For example, say your underarm measurement is 40 inches, and your over-the-shoulder measurement is 50 inches. Subtract seven inches from 50 to reach 43 inches (50 -- 7 = 43). As 43 is the lager number, 43 inches is the chest size you would use when sizing suit jackets.

  4. 4

    Allow your arm to hang naturally at your side while cupping your fingers into a loose grip. Take a measurement from the tip of your longest finger, going upwards to the top of your shoulder. This is your sleeve measurement.

Tips and warnings

  • When taking chest measurements, keep the tape parallel with the floor to ensure you are getting accurate readings.

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