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How to Take Your Own Suit Measurements

BY: REUBEN WESTMAAS | 3.3.2017 |

measurements man measuring suit chest size

In a well-tailored suit, any man looks like a king. In an ill-fitting suit, he looks like a kid wearing his dad’s clothes. That’s the only pitfall when shopping for suits online—it’s never been easier and the variety of styles and custom options are staggering, but there’s no tailor there to take suit measurements for you. Fortunately, it’s not hard to measure yourself. Just follow our step-by-step walkthrough, and you’ll end up with all the data you need to order new suits, shirts, and custom men’s fashion whenever you like—unless your weight changes or you accidentally swallow a watermelon whole.

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ESSENTIAL MEASUREMENTS CUSTOM-TAILORING MEASUREMENTS

Jacket

Jacket

Trousers

Trousers


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Getting Started

What You Need

  • Cloth measuring tape
  • A dress shirt and trousers that fit well
  • A pad of paper and a pen
  • A friend (you can do most measurements solo, but some are easier with a helper)

Before You Start

General Tips

  • Hold the measuring tape comfortably snug, but not tight.
  • Round all measurements to the nearest inch.
  • Unless otherwise stated, you should be able to comfortably put your index finger between the tape and your body.

How to Use Your Measurements

  • Unless you’re commissioning a custom suit, you’ll probably only need the essentials (such as chest measurement and waist) to make your order.
  • However, having all your measurements handy can save you time if you plan on taking your suit to a tailor for a more custom fit.

Once you’ve gotten everything in order, it’s time to start taking down numbers.

Essential Measurements

Jacket Measurements

Chest

“chest

Hold the measuring tape at roughly nipple level, and wind it under the armpits and over the shoulder blades.

Shoulder

“shoulder

Measure across the top of the back from the end of one shoulder to the end of the other. If your dress shirt fits well, you can simply measure along the shoulder seams.

Jacket Length

“jacket

Measure from the highest part of your shoulder, where the shoulder and neck seams meet, to your desired length, which is usually around the thumb joint.

Sleeve Length

“sleeve

With your arm at your side, measure from the shoulder seam to your desired length—generally at the base of the thumb.

Neck

“neck

Measure around your lower neck, where your collar would sit. 

Trouser Measurements

Waist

“waist

Wearing the trousers with your shirt tucked in, measure around your waist at the height where you would like to wear your pants. Make sure the tape is snug and does not overlap your waistband, but you should still be able to put your index finger inside the tape.

Inseam

“inseam

NOTE: it’s common for online sellers to sell trousers unhemmed. If you’re not prompted for this measurement, you’ll likely need to have your pants tailored when they arrive. This measurement is good to know regardless.

Start from the lowest part of your crotch and measure to the floor. Hold the tape tight to your leg and keep your feet bare.

Custom-Tailoring Measurements

Jacket Measurements

Overarm

“over

Wrap the measuring tape around your chest again, but this time keep your arms at your sides and encompass them as well. This is where a friend or a very trustworthy robot will start to come in handy.

Stomach

“stomach

Circle the widest part of your abdomen (usually around your belly button), making sure to keep your tape at the same height all the way around.

Bicep

“bicep

Flex your bicep and measure around your upper arm at the widest point.

Wrist

“wrist

Measure around your wrist bone. Remember: snug but not tight.

Vest Length

“vest

Measure from the lower point of the rear collar down to the desired length, generally just below the belt.

Trouser Measurements

Hips

“hips

Measure around the fullest part of your hips, making sure your pockets are empty and the tape is not restrictive. You should just barely feel the tape against your body.

Crotch

“crotch

Measure along the crotch seam from the top of the belt in the rear to the top of the belt in the front.

Thigh Width

“thigh

Empty your pockets, and measure from the top of the inseam all the way around the thigh.

Pants Length

“pants

Measure from the top of the pants waist, along the side pant seam, to the desired hem length, roughly one inch above the ground.

Knee

“knee

Measure around your knee at the widest point.


Related Guides

Men’s suit buying guideWhat to Know When You’re Buying a Suit

Buying a suit requires you to consider everything from choice of materials to cut to your own measurements. Nail a style you’ll like with this walkthrough.

Guide Staff Writer
BY: Reuben Westmaas Guide Staff Writer