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How to Tell if a Suit Fits

While putting on a suit can make the world of a difference in how someone perceives you, its important to remember you are only as impressive as the fit of your suit. Follow this wikiHow to guide to figure out if your suit fits properly.

1Decide if you should get a short, regular, or a long suit. This will depend on your height and the length of your limbs. If you have particularly long or short arms/legs, you might want to consider a long or short despite your height.

  • Short (S) is for men roughly shorter than 5’7.
  • Regular (R) is for men roughly between 5’8 and 5’10.
  • Long (L) is for men roughly taller than 5’11.

2Pick your suit size ranging from sizes 36-54. This is based on your “chest” measurement.To measure your chest, have someone else use a tape measure to wrap around your chest (just under arms and across shoulder blades). This should be straight across the fullest part of your chest. Do not hold your breathe while you are being measured.

3Pants are sized based on the “chest sizing.” Typically, there is a 6 inch (15.2 cm) drop between your chest size and the waist size of the pants. Again, the length is based on the S, R or L sizing in step one.

The Right Fit

1Make sure the suit jacket isn’t too wide. Check this by making sure the end of the shoulder pads (the seams) end where your shoulders end under the jacket.

2Make sure that the proportions of the jacket are correct. If you are buying a three button suit the middle button should not fall below your belly button. If it’s a two button suit the top button should not fall below your belly button.

3Be sure that your suit jacket isn’t too long. If you put your arms at your side, your knuckles should be roughly even with the bottom of your suit jacket.

  • Check that the length of the sleeves is right. The sleeves of your suit jacket should sit at base of your thumb (where your thumb meets your wrist). The button up shirt under your suit jacket should be visible. You should have roughly 1/4th to about 12 inch (1.3 cm) of shirt’s cuff peeking out from the sleeves.

4Make sure that the suit isn’t too loose. Slip your hand into your lapel. If you hand is flat, it should slip in easily. If you put your fist into your lapel, the highest button on your jacket should pull.

5Check that your pants are not too long. There should be roughly one inch of “break” at the bottom of your pants (where the end of your pants fall on your shoes). There are three options to the size of your “break.”

  • Full break is when the hem hits the top of the shoe’s soles. This is a fashion forward look.
  • Half break or medium break is when the hem hits roughly halfway down the back of the shoes. This is a traditional look.
  • No break is when the hem ends right before top of your shoes. This is a casual look.

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