Do you need to buy a new suit but don’t know what size you need? Perhaps your body has changed since you last bought a suit and now you don’t know what fit is right for you? Or are you curious and want to know more?
Whatever the reason might be that brought you here today, we have the answers for you!
Buying a new suit is never easy. Not only do you have countless styles to battle through to find one you like, but the sizing and different fits can leave you swimming in a sea of numbers, unsure which one is right for you!
The size of your suit is given in inches but followed by S, R, or L.
These stand for ‘’short’, ‘regular’, and ‘large’, describing the overall length of your jacket and sleeve. But which one is right for you? And how can you find the suit that fits you best?
These questions can plague you, keeping you up at night and preventing you from buying the suit that you want.
Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers that you need! Just keep reading to find out what the different sizes are and how you can find the best size for you!
Suit Jackets – Finding The Right Size
Let’s get straight into it! There are a few measurements you should know before you start shopping for a suit! Having these beforehand will save you from needing to try on countless suits to find the right one for you.
If you can, have a friend or family member help you with the measurements, it is always easier with a second pair of hands! If not, don’t panic, you can do it yourself.
To start, measure around the fullest part of your chest. You will want to go across your chest and under your arms too.
Make sure that you aren’t holding your breath when you are doing this, as it won’t give you an accurate measurement. Instead, relax and let the measuring tape fit flush to your chest and torso.
Once you have the measurement, jot it down so you don’t forget it!
Short, Regular, Or Long Jacket And Sleeve Length – Which One?
Once you have your chest measurement, you will want to measure your height too. Do this in feet and inches, this will help you work out whether your jacket needs to be a short, regular, or long fit.
If you are 5 foot 8 inches or shorter, then opt for a short jacket. If you are between 5 foot 9 and 6 foot 1, opt for a regular jacket. And if you are 6 foot 6 inches or taller, then you need a long jacket.
How do you know if the jacket you have is the right fit for you? Well, you should be able to see ¼ inch to ½ inch of sleeve underneath your jacket sleeve.
You don’t want too much of your shirt sleeve poking out, or no part of the sleeve at all! Use a mirror and a measuring tape to double-check this length!
You will also want the jacket to cover your entire behind! Again, use a mirror to check that the suit jacket is fitting correctly!
Now, if your overarm measurement is more than 7-inches than your chest measurement, then you will want to size up!
Opt for a jacket one size larger than your chest size to ensure that you’re comfortable and the jacket fits your whole upper body correctly.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, then a good way to find the best fit for you is to look at the different jacket cuts available to you.
Different Suit Jacket Cuts
Let’s take a quick look at the different suit jacket cuts that you can choose from. The fit of your jacket can impact your overall appearance in a suit, so you must choose the jacket that best fits you!
Your jacket is also responsible for the fit of the suit and the shape of it, you don’t want to select one that is unflattering or doesn’t show off your figure!
The cut of the suit, or its fit, impacts how much the jacket hugs your body. If the fit is a slim cut, then the jacket will fit more narrowly around the jacket.
A classic fit, on the other hand, will have more room across the chest. The measurement you took from your chest earlier will help you decide what fit you should have!
For example, if you have a large chest, then a loosely cut suit jacket might be a better fit for you. This is because slim fit suit jackets are quite tight around the chest, with the armholes cut higher too.
Slim-fit suit jackets feature fabric sitting closer to your body. This means less material is used in the suit jacket, and it can be quite restrictive in terms of movement.
Classic fit suits will have a slight excess of fabric, meaning they drape your body more loosely and give you more space around your arms and chest to move.
Modern suits feature a mixture of slim fit and classic cuts. They are more tailored than the classic fit but without the restrictiveness of the slim fit cut.
You should consider this and how much you move your arms when wearing suits to help you find the right fit for you!
We think it’s best to try on different cuts and fits to see what you find most comfortable.
Suit Pants – How Should They Fit?
Once you have settled on the jacket fit and cut, it’s time to turn your attention to your pants.
For the best fit, you will again want to get your measuring tape out and measure your waist and inner leg length. Make a note of these measurements too so that you don’t forget them!
You will want your trousers to smoothly drape throughout, regardless of the type or fit of the trousers. You don’t want any part of the trousers to be saggy or pulling too high either.
The Correct Pant Length For You
So what does the correct pant length look like? Well, you want the bottom of your pants to brush the top of your shoe, give or take.
You don’t want your ankle visible at any point either! How long your pants will be and the weight of the fabric used will help to determine your pant break.
But what is your pant break? It is the crease that forms around your ankle and helps to stop the hem of your pants from touching the top of the shoe.
Pant breaks will look different on all trousers, especially those with different fits. So let’s look at the different fits now to learn more about their pant breaks!
Slim fit suits typically have no break at all. This is because their ankles are tapered, making the trousers narrow enough to fall on your shoes without any extra fabric creasing.
Most suits do have a partial break, where you don’t have a large dent or crease along your ankle or lower calf. It’s an ideal length for most classic fit suits and it’s the most common fit!
There are some suits with a full trouser break, but they are a little harder to pull off. They can also make your trousers look a little baggy, so it’s always worth avoiding these.
Pant Sizing – How Does It Work?
So how do pant sizings work? Well, suit pants are typically sold according to the drop, which is roughly 6 inches.
This drop is the ratio between the trouser’s waist size and chest size on your jacket. A 6-inch drop difference between pant and jacket size means a 40R jacket size would be paired with a 34R pants.
Some brands offer a higher drop too, which is worth considering if the 6-inch drop doesn’t fit you. If this is the case, you could alter the suit, or you can purchase the jacket and pants separately, allowing you to find the perfect fit for you.
Again, we recommend trying on a few different suits to find a fit and style that suits your body best.
Short Men – The Suit Fit For You
Now let’s look at some ways that short men can wear and style their suits to look a little taller! Remember, short-fit suits are for men who are 5 foot 8 inches and shorter.
Our first tip is to make sure that the suit fits! If you wear a suit that is too big, you run the risk of the suit looking baggy (and like you borrowed it from your dad or uncle)!
Loose-fitting clothes stretch your appearance horizontally, as they can make you look shorter and wider. Instead, you will want to draw your eyes upwards.
You can do this with watches, pocket squares, and even sunglasses! We would avoid visible belts though, as they can cut the body in half, which can shorten your body horizontally, making you seem shorter than you are!
You should also avoid very dark blues and blacks as they can shrink your total appearance. Instead, opt for lighter shades that will create the impression that you are larger than you are.
You should also avoid wearing waistcoats with your suit jacket, as they can draw attention away from the vertical length of your jacket length.
You should choose jackets too that have buttons higher up to elongate your legs and draw people’s eyes upwards.
You can also break the rule we mentioned earlier of wearing a jacket that covers your behind entirely! Instead, purchase a shorter jacket, as this can help your legs seem longer than they are!
Trousers with no break can also help your legs seem longer than they are.
Pairing your suit jacket with vertical stripes can also help you seem longer than you are.
Monochrome colors like a blue shirt with a navy jacket work best, rather than a contrast color. Solid color shirts can also lengthen the body providing they are not broken up into color blocks.
Tall Men – The Suit Fit For You
If you are 6 foot 1 inch or taller, then you will want a long fit. Be careful when purchasing your suit, you don’t want to purchase one off the rack that is too big for you. You need the fit to be perfect!
If you do buy a suit too big, don’t panic! A good tailor can adjust your suit by an inch or two, giving the appearance that you have lost weight, rather than you borrowing someone else’s suit!
You should avoid vertical stripes as these can make you seem taller than you are! Instead of pinstripes, go for suits with plain fabrics.
You will want to do the same with the shirts underneath your suit too. Keep these in clean colors, like white, and pair them with a navy-colored suit.
The color of your tie should be solid too, with the length stopping just as it brushes your belt! Be sure to wear a belt as this will break your body up, creating the impression of a smaller torso.
Big Men – The Suit Fit For You
Finally, we have not forgotten the big men in the room! You might need to have your suit custom tailored, but this depends largely on your body type.
Why? Well, if you are carrying some extra weight on your chest or stomach, this doesn’t change your arm size and height.
If you purchase a suit off the rack, it’s best to go for a regular fit. The chest and stomach area will be wider, making it easier for a tailor to make adjustments and altering to suit your body.
Be sure to speak to staff in a suit store about your options when it comes to making adjustments.
Adjusting The Suit
If you end up having a suit that needs to be adjusted, it’s best to have the tailor do the adjustments for you.
Suit manufacturers typically leave an inch of fabric in the seams of your suit, allowing your tailor to adjust both your suit jacket and pants easily.
Be sure to speak to your tailor to find out what they can do with the suit in terms of adjustments.
Often, if you purchase your suit from a store with a tailor present, you can speak to them and have them take a look at the suit to see what they can do to the suit.
Thankfully, most tailors will be honest about what can be done to adjust the suit and give you some insight as to what an adjusted suit will look like on your body.
And there you have it, everything that you need to know about suits and the fit that you need. Remember to measure your body and jot these measurements down so you know what suits you should purchase!
Be sure to take advantage of the staff and tailors in suit stores to help you make the right choice, after all, they are the experts!
You can use the tips you have picked up in today’s article to help you purchase a suit that best flatters your body.
Whether you are looking to appear a little taller or show off your super-defined calves and biceps, there is a suit out there with your name on it!
You might just need to try a few different ones to find the right one, so go forth with our knowledge and a little patience!