Size Matters: How to Know if Your Suit Fits Properly

May 28, 2019

Here’s something every guy should know when it comes to wearing a suit with confidence—size does matter. While most guys are familiar with suit sizing based around chest size and pant length, those are just two of the dozens of measurements that impact how well your suit fits.

People often ask me, “Do you ever have a hard time at weddings or social events when you look around and see all the ill-fitted suits?” While I try to never judge a man by his suit, I can’t deny that there are certain areas of a suit where you can instantly tell that the fit is wrong.

The Most Important Measurement Factors for Making Sure Your Suit Fits

So, what should you know about suit sizing and measurements to make sure you find the perfect fit? Let’s talk through the most important factors of each piece.

1. The Jacket—Start with the neck and work your way down.

When it comes to fitting a jacket, most stores will start with chest size and alter the jacket based on that (i.e. shorten the sleeves or bring it in in the midsection). At Richards Bespoke, I like to start with the shoulders because it’s the hardest thing to perfect a jacket. If you’re buying a suit off the rack—let’s say a 42R—the chest size might look right, but you’ll notice the shoulders can look boxy if the suit is not customized to fit your specific shoulder slope.

Once you find the right fit in the shoulders and chest, the next thing to focus on is length. Most of the time, off-the-rack jacket sleeves are way too long. Your jacket sleeve should go to the knobby bone on your wrist and should never exceed past the break of your wrist. I typically will show about an inch of shirt cuff outside of the jacket sleeve but will always ask my clients their preference on how much shirt cuff they would like to show.

Most guys today are built with more of an hourglass shape, with broader shoulders and smaller in the waist. I tell guys that I can fit the midsection AND make it comfortable in the shoulders.

2. The Shirt—Don’t Ignore What’s Underneath the Jacket

Shirts are similar to jackets. Neck and sleeve measurements are often all you see with off-the-rack shirts, but even off-the-rack extra slim fit shirts can fit wrong. If you’re a guy on the taller or shorter side, those numbers can be way off.

This is why I’m just as big a proponent for creating a custom fit shirt as I am a custom jacket or sport coat. You can have a sharp-looking jacket but still feel uncomfortable if your shirt is too baggy or long underneath. I always encourage customers to take advantage of our custom shirt packages. A custom jacket will always look better with a custom shirt.

3. The Pants—Get Rid of Areas that are Too Baggy or Saggy

When it comes to pants, I usually hear wives or girlfriends say, “Please help him with the right fit for pants. Most of his are either too saggy in the seat and too long or baggy in the legs.”

For the pant seat, we measure around hips. This helps ensure the pants not only fit properly but that they also accentuate the seat area based on your specific body weight and shape.

If you truly want your suit to fit from head to toe, it’s important to consider the unique measurements of various parts of your legs. As a general rule, the taper of your pants should be smaller from the knee down. Off-the-rack suits are often the same circumference at the knee and ankle. This is why pants can look baggy. At Richards Bespoke, we base the taper on calf size and size of the shoe. You want the length of your pants to touch your shoe. However, if pants are going underneath your heel without a shoe, that’s a problem.

Create a Suit that Fits You Perfectly

When it comes to helping my clients find the perfect fit, I typically take over 40 different measurements. This is just one of the things that makes the Richards Bespoke experience unique.

If you’re ready to embrace the confidence that comes with wearing a suit that fits perfectly, I’d love to walk you through the bespoke process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to begin the process of creating a suit that fits your unique shape, style, and lifestyle.

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