When measuring for a suit jacket, gentlemen have, what we call, a subconscious fear of getting things wrong. This is partly due to a lack of understanding and being overwhelmed by rest instructions. So don’t work hard!
Instead, grab a tape measure and be prepared. To help you, this article will start with understanding jacket sizes step by step. Then we’ll cover how to measure yourself properly and end up with any changes you may need.
How to find the right suit jacket size
To begin with, the first thing to measure is your height. This is paramount because the height gives an idea of the length of the jacket. Another important factor is your body weight. These two together will help in delineating the body type and ultimately, the cut style.
Chest measurement is also an essential part of jacket sizing. In fact, off-the-rack suit jackets mainly rely on chest measurements and jacket length for proper fit.
You may consider having the suit cut to size. Younger men mostly prefer a slim fit; However, modern and classic fits are also options. Retailers display all these factors in letters and numbers, which we will discuss next.
Difference between numbers and letters in jacket shape
You’ll see measurements like 38S, 40R, and 40L on jacket labels. Here the number represents the chest measurement in inches. On the other hand, the letters show jacket length variations as short, regular, and long, marked S, M, and L, respectively. You can see the chest measurement as 38-40; This means a size of 39.
Don’t confuse the letters S, R, and L with the XS, S, M, L, XL, and 2XL sizing charts. The last-mentioned represent the combined jacket length, chest, waist and sleeve measurements. Also, this size chart may vary by brand.
Different suit jacket length variations
For a perfectly fitting suit the length of the jacket should end between the thumb knuckle. It should also cover the hips. That’s the general rule, and Short, regular, and long suit jacket lengths Variety only helps you achieve this. Height is helpful because it directly relates to the correct jacket length.
So, guys under 5’8″ (172cm) should choose a “short” length suit jacket. 5’8″ to 6’1″ (172-185 cm) is the appropriate height for a “regular” suit jacket. Above 6’2″, you should aim for an “oversized” suit jacket. The length of the sleeves also varies with the length of the jacket. Ideally, ¼ to ½ inch of your shirt cuff should be visible.
How to Measure for a Suit Jacket Easily
You can measure your suit jacket in two ways. The first is to rely on a jacket that already fits you well and measure from it. The second is to ask someone to help you. We recommend the latter, as it gives more accurate measurements.
For starters, wear a dress shirt and pants and not jeans. Empty the pocket and take off the watch. Stay in a comfortable, relaxed position. Similarly, do not try to pull in your stomach or inflate your chest, as this can cause incorrect measurements.
When measuring, keep the measuring tape snug but not too tight. Always keep a finger between the body and the measuring tape. With these principles in mind, take measurements now.
Measure chest width for size
Correct chest measurement is important because it determines the number of suit jacket sizes. To measure the chest, wrap the tape measure around the widest area just below the armpit. Take half of this circumference to find the chest width. On a suit jacket, this will match the distance between the armholes.
You can also take chest measurements from a well-fitting suit jacket. To do this, button the jacket completely and lay it flat. Next, unfold the lapels so that they join together. Also, point the sleeves to the sides, making an oblique angle with the shoulders. Then measure the chest width between the two armholes.
How to measure suit jacket length
For a proper suit jacket length you must measure your height. To do this, stand straight, barefoot, with your back against a wall. Put your feet together and stand in such a way that your heels, hips and occiput touch the wall. Place the cardboard on the head and mark the point.
Now use the tape measure to record the height. You can then use these measurements to determine the suit jacket length (S, R, L). Alternatively, you can measure the length of the jacket with the face down. Measure the length from the starting point at the bottom of the collar to the bottom hem of the jacket.
Measure the sleeve length
Jacket sleeve length is the measurement from the shoulder seam to the jacket cuff. You can measure it by lying with the jacket facing up. Lay the sleeve flat against the jacket and measure from the end point of the shoulder padding to the cuff. To take the measurement, stand relaxed and mark the tip of the shoulder.
Then measure just shy of the hinge of your wrist from this tip. Now that you have the sleeve length, you need to tailor the sleeve.
Shoulder to shoulder width
Shoulder width is essential as it determines the comfort of your suit jacket. It is also practical in determining your suit cut. To measure shoulder to shoulder width, stand completely relaxed and mark the tip of the shoulder.
Measure between these two tips following the contour of the back and you will have shoulder to shoulder width. Now, if you want a trimmed slim-fit suit jacket, you can use these exact measurements. However, add a half or an inch to this measurement for extra room for modern and classic fits.
Measure around the wrist
Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of the wrist to measure the wrist. This measurement will determine the cuff size of the jacket. It is also helpful in deciding the suit jacket cut. Slim-fit jackets stay close to the body. Thus, they have a narrower wrist measurement than their modern and classic fit counterparts.
When to change
Before buying, always try the suit first. If this is a common problem, the tailor can fix it. Therefore, you should know when you can stay change. In case of poor sleeve fit, you can get sleeve fit.
Tailor can adjust both sleeve length and width. Also, if there is room in the chest/stomach, the tailor may remove excess fabric. Apart from that, most things like the collar, shoulders and length of the suit jacket are not easy to fix. Therefore, get their rights in the first place.