Men Suits


Whether purchasing a mens suit at a department store or online, it is always critical to get correct fitment and measurements. You might be wondering which terms related to mens suit measurements you’ll need to be familiar with in getting sized and measured for a mens suit. Suit measurements should be taken by a tailor either at a store or wherever a customer is able to locate a tailor. In a pinch, you can have a friend use a cloth tape to very carefully measure some of the suit measurements listed below. However, it is usually better to have your mens suit measurements taken by a tailor or a salesperson.

Oftentimes while being measured it may be disconcerting to hear unfamiliar terms such as “40 short” or “32-inch inseam” bandied about, it can be very confusing. Not to worry, we will demystify all these mens suit measurements for you. Following are some conventional suit measurement terms and definitions that you should be familiar with when being fitted for a dress suit.

Commonly Used Mens Suit Measurements:

    • Chest– Measurement is taken around chest, just under arms, across shoulder blades, with arms relaxed down at the sides. This is usually the number referenced when sizing a suit, i.e. “that gentleman requires a 40R,” which is a suit with a 40-inch chest and regular jacket length.
    • Jacket (or Coat) Length– Measurement from the highest point of the shoulder down. Typically S, R, or L, for Short, Regular, and Long. Short corresponds to a height of 5’5″ to 5’7″. Regular corresponds to a height of 5’8″-5’10”. Long corresponds to a height of 5’11” to 6’2″.
    • Waist– Mens suit measurements that go around the natural waistline which will appear as a crease when bending to the side.
    • Drop– Suit drop is the difference between the number given in a suit size and the waist size.
      • Suits in sizes 36-42 subtract 6 for the corresponding waist size.
      • Suits in sizes 44-46 subtract 5.
      • Suits in sizes 48+ subtract 4. For example, a size 40 suit would have a corresponding pants waist size of 40-6=34. These are industry mens suit measurement standards, so typically, waist sizes may need to be increased or decreased to fit.
    • Height– Measurement from the top of the head down standing barefoot on a hard flat surface with normal posture.
    • Inseam– Measurement from the inside crotch seam to the hem of well-fitting pants
    • Neck– Measurement around the fullest part of the neck.
    • Sleeve– Measurement from the center of the back of the neck, over the point of the shoulder, and down the outside of the arm past the elbow, to the wrist with arm relaxed at the side.
    • Breaks and Cuffs– Mens suit measurements for pants.
    • Full Break- Pants are hemmed to hit the top of the shoes’ heels, the front of the hem breaks over the shoes naturally. This is a trendier look.
    • Half Break- Pants are hemmed to reach approximately halfway down the backs of the shoes. This is a pretty typical choice.
    • No Break- The hem ends right before the shoes, with a bit of sock showing. This is a casual look.

Other Mens Suit Measurements:

  • Wrist– Measurement taken around the fullest part of the wrist.
  • Hip/Seat– A pants measurement around the fullest part of the hips and buttocks.
  • Thigh– A mens suit measurement around the thigh at its widest point.
  • Knee– Measurement around the knee at its widest point.

Important Notes on Mens Suit Measurements

  • The actual chest measurement of a mens dress suit is typically 2 inches greater than the size of the suit to allow room for adequate range of movement.
  • European measurements are typically 10 greater than US sizes. A size 48 European is equivalent to a size 38 US.
  • There are limits to how much a tailor can add or subtract from pants. Typically, slacks are not able to be let out past 2 inches. On the other hand, if slacks must be taken in past 2 inches, a tailor will likely charge more to remove material for better fitment.
  • Pant bottoms usually come unfinished and unhemmed, it is best to check to make sure whether pants are already hemmed when purchased or if a professional tailor will be altering the length for you.
  • A measuring tape should be held flat against the body, snug, and not droopy, but not restrictive.
  • Mens suit measurements should be taken to the nearest quarter (.25) inch.

Mens suit measurements do not need to be daunting, in fact, armed with the information in this article, you should feel more than confident when getting sized for a dress suit or trying to find a mens suit that fits well.